WHERE TIME IS NOT
I think you now understand from what I
have said that not all the souls who have passed the airy frontier are either in
heaven or hell. Few reach an extreme, and most live out their allotted period
here as they lived out their allotted period on earth, without realising either
the possibilities or the significance of their condition.
Wisdom is a tree of slow growth; the rings around its
trunk are earthly lives, and the grooves between are the periods between the
lives. Who grieves that an acorn is slow in becoming an oak? It is equally
unphilosophical to feel that the truth which I have endeavoured to make you
understand—the truth of the soul’s great leisure—is necessarily sad. If a man
were to become an archangel in a few years’ time, he would suffer terribly from
growing-pains. The Law is implacable, but it often seems to be kind.
Nevertheless there are many souls in heaven, and
there are many heavens, of which I have seen a few.
But do not fancy that most people go from place to
place and from state to state as I do. The things which I describe to you are
not exceptional; but that one man should be able to see and describe so many
things is exceptional indeed. I owe it largely to the Teacher. Without his
guidance I could not have acquired so rich an experience.
Yes, there are many heavens. Last night I felt the
yearning for beauty which sometimes came to me on earth. One of the strangest
phenomena of this ethereal world is the tremendous attraction by sympathy—the
attraction of events, I mean. Desire a thing intensely enough, and you are on
the way to it. A body of a feather’s weight moves swiftly when propelled by a
I felt a yearning for beauty, which is a synonym for
heaven. Did I really move from my place, or did heaven come to me? I cannot say,
space means so little here. For every vale without there is a vale
within. We desire a place, and we are there. Perhaps the Teacher could give you
a scientific explanation of this, but I cannot at the moment. And then, I want
to tell you about the heaven where I was last night. It was so beautiful that
the charm of it is over me still.
I saw a double row of dark-topped trees, like
cypresses, and at the end of this long avenue down which I passed was a softly
diffused light. Somewhere I have read of a heaven lighted by a thousand suns,
but my heaven was not like that. The light as I approached it was softer than
moonlight, though clearer. Perhaps the light of the sun would shine as softly if
seen through many veils of alabaster. Yet this light seemed to come from
nowhere. It simply was.
As I approached I saw two beings walking towards me,
hand in hand. There was such a look of happiness on their faces as one never
sees on the faces of earth. Only a spirit unconscious of time could look like
I should say that these two were man and woman, save
that they seemed so different from what you understand by man and woman. They
did not even look at each other as they walked; the touch of the hand seemed to
make them so much one, that the realisation of the eye could have added nothing
to their content. Like the light which came from nowhere, they simply were.
A little farther on I saw a group of bright-robed
children dancing among flowers. Hand in hand in a ring they danced, and their
garments, which were like the petals of flowers, moved with the rhythm of their
dancing limbs. A great joy filled my heart. They, too, were unconscious of time,
and might have been dancing there from eternity, for all I knew. But whether
their gladness was of the moment or of the ages had no significance for me or
for them. Like the light, and like the lovers who had passed me hand in hand,
they were, and that was enough.
I had left the avenue of cypresses and stood in a wide
plain, encircled by a forest of blossoming trees. The odours of spring were on
the air, and birds sang. In the centre of the plain a great circular fountain
played with the waters, tossing them in the air, whence they descended in
feathery spray. An atmosphere of inexpressible charm was over everything. Here
and there in this circular flower-scented heaven walked angelic beings, many or
most of whom must some time have been human. Two by two they walked, or in
groups, smiling to themselves or at one another.
On earth you often use the word "peace"; but compared
with the peace of that place the greatest peace of earth is only turmoil. I
realised that I was in one of the fairest heavens, but that I was alone there.
No sooner had this thought of solitude found
lodgment in my heart than I saw standing before me the Beautiful Being about
whom I wrote you a little time ago. It smiled, and said to me:
"He who is sadly conscious of his solitude is no longer
in heaven. So I have come to hold you here yet a little while."
"Is this the particular heaven where you dwell?" I
"Oh, I dwell nowhere and everywhere," the Beautiful
Being answered. "I am one of the voluntary wanderers, who find the charm of home
in every heavenly or earthly place."
"So you sometimes visit earth?"
"Yes, even the remotest hells I go to, but I never stay
there long. My purpose is to know all things, and yet to remain unattached."
"And do you love the earth?"
"The earth is one of my playgrounds. I sing to the
children of earth sometimes; and when I sing to the poets, they believe that
their muse is with them. Here is a song which I sang one night to a soul which
dwells among men:
"My sister, I am often with you when you realise it
For me a poet soul is a well of water in whose deeps
I live in a glamour of light and colour, which you
try to express in magic words.
I am in the sunset and in the star; I watched the
grow old and
you grow young.
In childhood you sought for me in the swiftly moving
maturity you fancied you had caught me
in the gleam
of a lover’s eye; but I am the eluder
I beckon and I fly, and the touch of my feet does
the heads of the blossoming daisies.
You can find me and lose me again, for mortal cannot
I am nearest to those who seek beauty—whether in
thought or in
form; I fly from those who seek to
You can come each day to the region where I dwell.
Sometimes you will meet me, sometimes not; for my
is the wind’s
will, and I answer no beckoning finger:
But when I beckon, the souls come flying from the
Your soul comes flying, too; for you are one of
by the spell of my magic.
I have use for you, and you have meaning for me; I
to see your
soul in its hours of dream and ecstasy.
Whenever one of my own dreams a dream of Paradise,
grows brighter for me, to whom all things
Oh, forget not the charm of the moment, forget not
lure of the
For the mood is wiser than all the magi of earth,
of the moment are richer and rarer
hoarded wealth of the ages.
The moment is real, while the age is only a
memory, and a
Be sure that each moment is all, and the moment is
Time carries an hour-glass, and his step is slow;
is white with
the rime of years, and his scythe is
But he never yet has caught the moment in its
He has grown
old in casting nets for it.
Ah, the magic of life and of the endless combination
I was young when the sun was formed, and I shall be
the moon falls dead in the arms of her
Will you not be young with me? The dust is as
soul is all.
Like a crescent moon on the surface of a lake of
is the moment
of loves awakening;
Like a faded flower in the lap of the tired world is
But there is love and Love, and the love of the
is the love of souls for each other.
There is no death where the inner light shines,
fields of the within—the beyond—the unattainable attainment.
You know where to find me."