Page 291 "TRUTH THE DESTROYER."
By Harford Hall. "For now we see through a glass, darkly."
I DREAMED that the heavens were a sea of glass which seemed to be crystal clear. And the sun and the moon and the stars swam in this sea. And the winds of heaven blew upon the surface and raised tempests here and there, and the foam had the appearance of clouds. And at times the whole surface of the sea was overcast with the foam, so that the sun and the moon and the stars could send down their light but dimly.
And there came a day when the great god, Thor, shattered the sea of glass by a blow of his hammer. And the glass was highly tempered and of exceeding hardness, so that under the blow of Thor's hammer it became fine dust; and the sun and the moon and the stars were as dust. And the winds of heaven blew the dust away and there was no longer the firmament, but the infinite spaces were filled with pure white light— light in which there was no shadow nor variation through which parts or regions might be discerned. There were no streams nor rays of light. The light did not come nor go. The Light WAS.
Such was the brightness of the Light, that in its presence the noonday sun had been as a shadow of darkness. And then I knew that the firmament of heaven had not been crystal clear, as I had supposed, but had been a dense screen to protect the souls of mortals from the Light; and I knew that the sun and the moon and the stars had been made somewhat more clear in order that they might transmit a little of the Light from without the firmament to the mortal souls that dwelt upon the earth beneath its azure dome. And when I looked about me, all things lay as dead; and I knew in my dream that the souls of men had been smitten with blindness by the Light, and that the soul of every living thing had been so stricken; or not one was able to bear the Light.
And I was caught up and borne to another place; and in my dream I knew that it was that I might see and hear the council of the gods, met to consider if by any means the souls of all the earth might be saved from death ;for as yet, though each mortal thing seemed but dead, within the soul life still slept, and still was there left hope.
And in the council of the gods there rose up one whose name was Ludor, which is by interpretation Illusion. And his voice was as the ravishing of exquisite music. And Ludor proposed that it be tried if by some means the nature of the Light might be changed, if by some means its intensity might be abated, so that it might not hold all mortal souls in blindness, and in the end consume them. And as he was speaking, his words were suddenly overwhelmed by a great wave of laughter which swept over the council of the gods ; for they knew that the Light IS, and that it cannot be changed even by the power of Illusion.
And when the laughter had spent itself, there rose up another whose name was Ruthor, which being interpreted is Compassion. And his words were like the falling of rain upon a parched field. And the gods listened with shining eyes, which seemed as though at any moment they might be suffused with divine tears. And they listened with hope upon their faces; for they knew that Ruthor would search his heart for some good thing which might be done to save all mortal souls from death.
And Ruthor spake and said: "Great is this untoward misfortune. The protecting firmament of heaven is now as though it had never been, and the souls of all the earth are exposed to the Infinite Light before they can by any means bear its presence. We know how, by the plan, each soul obeying the law of its being was to develop and grow, how through the blessed means of pain and happiness, of hope and despair, of doubt and faith, of love and hate, and of all the dark angels we send to oppose it, and of all the angels of light we send to inspire, each soul should win to itself strength to endure, courage to see and know, power to overcome and be. But we know that by the law of its being each soul grows but slowly, and for its perfection there is need of all the ages of the seven eternities before it can become so strong that nothing can change it, so pure that it shall offer no resistance to the Light, wherefore the Light shall nourish it and not destroy. And we know that by the plan, each soul as it should attain to this degree of perfectness would of itself pass outside the firmament of heaven and would come into the pure presence of the Light."
And when Ruthor named the Presence of the Light, each of the blessed gods bowed the head and made reverent salutation.
"We know," he continued, "that our brother, Ludor, spake of impulse without taking thought; for much as he delights in his wondrous magic, much as he delights in enticing the souls of men into pitfalls by false lights, to the end that they may learn to discern the Way, he, too, reveres the Light as do we all, nor would he presume to think that the Light can change.
"And yet it may be, Brothers of the Greater Way, it may be that we shall be able to forefend the doom which threatens the souls of all the earth. It maybe that if we impart of our strength to each soul, it will be able to endure the Light. It may be that if for but one eternity—or two— we lay aside all other high emprise and give all our thought to their helping, we shall be able so to hasten their growth that the work of the seven eternities shall be done in lesser time. Nor in the end would our loftier labors be delayed; for when the souls of men were come to such degree of perfectness, they would be able to assist us in many humble ways; and the infinite host of heaven, glad in the thought that these younger brothers are safely on the Way, will move forward with happier feet up the eternal heights of the Seven Beatitudes toward the giver of the Light." And when Ruthor named the giver of the Light, all the host of blessed gods fell upon their faces; and as I lay prostrate there among the host, I felt the passing of a Presence, and my soul was ravished nearly unto perishing.
When after an unknown time the gods were again seated in council, there arose one whose majesty drew all eyes, and in my dream I knew that it was the great god, Sagor, he to whom even the blessed gods look for wisdom. As finished blocks of stone in a perfect building, each cut to fill its place with absolute exactitude, so were Sagor's words for exactness that they might mean neither more nor less than the measure of his thought.
"Brothers of the Greater Way," he began, "we know that we cannot by taking thought discover means through which we may change the nature of the Light, nor can the Light of itself change; for that which IS knows no change. And as our thought cannot change the Light, so our love •cannot save the soul of man from that which is. We have always known that from the nature of its being each soul must either win its way up to the place where we already stand, or failing this, must resolve itself again into the Unconscious, whence it came. Through the ages, we have watched the progress of the souls of all the earth. We have kept the star of hope before them that they might have heart to do battle with the dark angels which we send against them, to the end that through contest they grow strong. By the law of its being, each soul grows strong through battle and through overcoming in battle. In no other way can it grow strong. We cannot give it our strength. We can only give the battle. We can temper the heat of the fight. We can keep shining the star. But we cannot impart of our being to another. The Plan which in earth's beginning was given us with which to work, is the only plan; else had another been revealed to us in this our hour of need. There is but one thing for us to do. W e must traverse the innumerable paths of space. We must seek out and bring back the fine dust of the sea of glass. W e must build again the firmament of heaven. We must restore the sun and the moon and the stars. Then in the twilight that these transmit, the souls of all the earth will wake again to conscious life. To restore the heavens the labor is vast, but there is no other way."
As Sagor set forth the only way, the faces of the blessed gods grew grave; for well they knew how mighty the labor he proposed and at what sacrifice it must be done. And many thought that to do this thing would be to neglect the greater for the lesser good; and the murmur of discussion was heard throughout the host. While they were reasoning, Ruthor again arose; and as one and another turned and saw him standing there, the music of the many voices slowly faded into a great stillness. And as Ruthor spake again, his voice was as a river of compassion that swept his thoughts along upon its surface.
"Beloved brothers," he began; and his words went upon their shining way far out beyond the vast silence of the listening gods, "throughout these many ages past, since the souls of men began to grope their darkened way upward toward the Light, ours has been the trust to watch and guard. Whenever they have seemed for a little time to be learning the right road and to be walking therein, we have rejoiced as we have seen the divine within them shining more and more, and our love for them has grown. When they have lost their way and have wandered backward toward the night, then has our love followed after them and has grown deeper and more compassionate the farther they have strayed. Ever has grown our love for these, our younger brothers. They have become life of our life, heart of our heart, soul of our soul. At whatever age-long cost of toil, we must save the souls of men from death. Come, brothers, let us go. However great the task maybe, it will not be greater than our love. And the toil of love is always blessed by the nameless Giver of the Light."
Again the countless host fell prostrate in adoration, while the ineffable Presence ravished every mind and heart.
I know not how long I lay absorbed in ecstacy, whether days or ages; but when, in my dream, I returned to consciousness, the firmament of heaven again arched the earth, shielding the souls of men from the blinding and consuming Light.