Ducit led me along the river, but as we marched along, I noticed that we were now closer to the Royal Falls than we had ever been. Our path was one that was ever steeper and ever heading up. I could feel a slight burn in my calves and legs as we walked up the hills. The mist of the falls wafted across the air often in this place.
“Who lives,” I asked as my breathing got a little heavy and chopped up my words, “up in this part of the Highlands?” We were walking up, and the terrain around us grew steeper and steeper.
“I am taking you to see the Overseers, and if it is in the providence of the Ancient of Days, you might even get an inclusive audience with the Mature Ones,” Ducit answered without any labored breathing.
I noticed he was breathing deeply and regularly. I tried to match his breathing as we walked and I found that as I breathed deeper the burning in my legs and the labor of my lungs lessened. The air in this place was a little different closer to the Royal Falls as the mist was heavy.
As we were walking along the cliff, I half listened to Ducit explain about the Overseers. My eyes and attention were actually on the Royal Falls in the distance. I was not watching where I was going.
In a moment…
… I slipped off the side of the cliff
… I yelled out
… Ducit quickly extended his stick to me.
I know this sounds impossible, but the vine on his stick wrapped around my wrist and kept me from falling. Maybe I just got tangled. It all happened so quickly, and Ducit pulled me back onto the path. We sat down to rest awhile and for me to recover from my fright. I think Ducit needed to recover from his fright a little as well!
As we sat, I again thought in wonderment about the people I had met named Ducit. The people of Ancient’s Rule give of themselves in the Highlands. I would have never made it this far without the peoples of Ancient’s Rule. I realized that it was through the Ducits and my relationship with them that I better knew the Host. In my time in the Hashem, I had grown close to the Ancient of days because of the Ducits. Loyalty. Love. Protection. They were all a wonderful gift from the Host. Walking with them revealed the nature of The Name. They did so with a loyal heart towards me. I knew the love of the Name mostly because of Ducits. And here they brought me safely to the Royal Falls.
I recovered. He recovered. We again marched our way forward.
“What is the difference between the Overseer and the Mature Ones?” I asked as we rounded the path into an orchard of bright green and red fruit. The fruit of both colors grew in plenty in all the branches of all the trees. As we walked through the orchard, Ducit plucked two green fruits from a branch and ate. I noted these were safe to eat!
“All of the Overseers nearest to the Royal Falls are Mature Ones. Those who have journeyed deep and close to the Name are Mature ones. All Overseers are Mature Ones, but not all Mature Ones are Overseers.” As Ducit explained, she bit into the green fruit and made a strange face. The sourness of the fruit was evident. It was also apparent that she loved the sourness of each bite. As we walked, I grabbed two of the red fruits off of the trees and took bites myself. These fruits were not sour, but sweet. They were the sweetest fruit that I have ever eaten. Both sour and sweet fruit grew on the same tree. I imagined that they were meant to be eaten together.
As we were walking and talking we came to a cliff that leads down to a valley. I looked at Ducit and asked him, “Now what is this?” He told me that the valley we were looking at was the Emnuah Valley. I remembered the Emunah Valley when I was with the People of Grace and Mercy.
“How big is that valley?!” I asked with shock and surprise.
“The Emunah Valley,” he said with a teaching tone, “Reaches around and through the land, but the deepest part of the Valley reaches here before the Overseers.”
We walked on from there and we came to a large bridge that reached across the valley and into what I could only assume was the area of the Overseers. It was a bit cloudy with mist, however, and just how far and to where it reaches I could not see.
All of a sudden Ducit shouted at the top of his lungs, “I just love it!”
We arrived at the base of the Royal Falls and found the Overseers. I noticed that the Overseers seemed to be dressed with an element of all the tribes of the people of the Highlands. They were not dressed simply, but full of full bloomed vines and various leaves that looked to be quite a burdensome load. I wondered how some of them moved around, but they seemed used to it, even happy from what I could tell.
“What makes these people special?” I asked Ducit quietly as we were walking up to a group of Overseers.
“Well,” Ducit said in an equally quiet voice, “These are those who have been in the Land of Hashem the longest and reflect the most about the character of the Ancient of Days. They are our guides and our beacons of hope. The Overseers are worthy of honor, and the Mature Ones are worthy of double honor. The Overseers of Hashem are blameless in character. They are not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Most are hospitable, and all of them love what is good. They exude self-control. They are upright, holy and disciplined.”
“Wow,” I said, “That is quite a tongue-full of words.”
Ducit led me to a sitting area where four Overseers were sitting and talking. “Greetings Overseers,” Ducit said.
All of the Overseers greeted Ducit warmly and rose and embraced him. They welcomed him like they were welcoming an old friend. All of them greeted me just as warmly and asked me to sit down. One of them sitting nearest to me asked me to recount my journey thus far. I did so. I started with my family in Receding and ended with my newest experience with the People of Inspiration.
“May I ask you a question young man?” one of the Overseers asked politely.
“Why after all this time here do you still call it the Highlands? As you recounted your journey here, you mentioned ‘The Highlands’ often. We call this the Land of Hashem. Why after all this time here do you still call it the Highlands?”
I looked at the Overseers with shock. I had not noticed. Ducit looked at me with a knowing glance showing that their observation about my wording was accurate. I was silent for a few moments.
The Overseers who asked the question saw my discomfort and quickly came to my aid for his aim was not to make me uncomfortable, but to guide me. “I have noticed over the years that those who say the Highlands either don’t trust the Ancient of Days or say the Highlands in an effort to not confuse those who do not truly understand. We here understand fully so it is not the latter and I pray and hope for you that it is not the former.”
“The naming of something,” one of the other Overseers started to say to no one in particular, “is often an important step in knowledge and understanding.” He then turned to me and addressed me. “The place you come from is low and dying. This place is high and full of life. Yes, it is the Highlands, but it is much more than that. Yet, if you continue to use the term ‘Highlands’ it shows a lack of faith about the place in which you now stand.” The man indicated to all the men sitting before me, “We welcome you in the Name to the Land of Hashem.”
Another Overseer addressed me with kindness in his voice. “You are in the Land of Hashem. This is the land filled with the hope of the Ancient of Days. Our fondest hope and prayer for you is that you will be filled with the knowledge of the Name. This whole place is filled with the essence of the Ancient of Days, and here satisfaction is found.”
A young man arrived among the Overseers and did as the Overseers instructed. They all rose and took me from the care of Ducit. “Come let us serve you and care for you. We have such high hopes for you and want to fully heal your past in Receding with the help of the Ancient of Days.”
One said, “Be full of expectation.”
Another said, “Live with the hope of glory.”
till another said, “There is something deep in this place high up.”
I looked up in the direction this last Overseer pointed. I looked and made a decision that when it was time, I would go higher up and see what was there. I had a sense that everything would be made clear once I was there.
I arrived at a small hut and was ushered into a large bath. The water was hot. The steam and mist filled the hut. Drops of water came off the ceiling because everything was so damp. A few of the young men, servants of the Mature Ones, helped me into the bath. I didn’t even take off my clothes. Once in the tub, the servants poured some kind of oil in the bath, and the pure water became murky.
Soon, Overseer after Overseer came into the hut and the whole damp misty hut was filled with people. They all began to pray. Some of them sang. Some of them read poems and lyrics. As they did so, I felt a tingling all over my body. It started on the bottoms of my feet, and the tingling was soon all over my body. The tingling hurt and times on my back and arms… the places where the sores were the worst.
After some time, I cannot tell you how long, the tingling went away. I moved my arm out of the water, and the sore was gone. I moved my other arm out of the water, and the sores on that arm were gone as well. I felt around to my back, and the skin felt smooth. I touched my face. I whooped with joy. The people around me whooped and yelled out praises to the Ancient of Days.
One of the Mature Ones came and took me by the hand. He said, “When the Ancient of Days heals, He heals completely.” Then he added, “Here with us this is what you will learn. Now have something to eat.”
I ate a wonderful meal with the whole group. The meal was bread and fish and fruit of all kinds. There were some roots and vegetables that I had never seen before. I can only assume they came from the Valley of Emunah. I noticed, as we ate, children of all ages serving us, eating with us, and playing all around us. All the children looked to have some type of disability.
I reached out and touched a young one on the shoulder and asked him where all the children had come from. There were so many! He answered me without hesitation, “We are the Weak Ones.”
“The Weak Ones?” I asked.
He continued, “Yes, we live here with the Mature Ones.”
“All of you?”
“Yes,” the child replied. “All of us children along with some widows, widowers, lame, deaf, and blind.”
I thought back to a few buildings in the South Rim Neighborhood in Receding I had seen. I asked to confirm, “You mean this is an orphanage and a poorhouse?”
The kid looked at me with a mix of offense and questioning, “Well, in a way I guess, but we don’t call it that. The Overseers have adopted us. What we call ourselves is ‘family.’ The Overseers teach us to help people grow. That starts on the inside. We grow from the inside to the outside so we can all be complete like the Host. They say we are gifted for the task and are highly esteemed by the Ancient of Days. The Overseers call us ‘good soil.’”
I had it all wrong. I went around talking with many others. I spent time with the people there, and they were a very fruitful group. They served one another continuously. They also seemed to have a knack for repairing things. I guess it was the job of the widows and widowers to teach the children. Everyone there learned how to fix and mend the broken and to serve with love. I was told several times that their highest duty was to help one another with love.
Everyone there was productive and fruitful, and I could see why the Overseers and Mature Ones called them “good soil.” The Overseers and Mature Ones had nurtured all these people and instilled in each and every child to embrace their weaknesses as the best means of reflecting the essence of the Ancient of Days. It took me a little while to figure that out, and I am still not sure I have it all down completely.
The “good soil” were the most selfless people I have ever encountered. I met them. I got to know some of them a little, and I came away nourished. I was inspired to seek the Name. I became better aware of the Name.
This whole situation was hard to accept. I thought I was going to encounter some great chieftains with boundless wisdom. I did meet wonderfully wise people, but there was so much more to behold below the Royal Falls.
Hashem was full of many strong due to the richness of the land.
Hashem was full of the weak due to their impairments.
I wondered why the Host left them in such a state.
Why not heal them?
Why allow bad things to happen?
Why allow suffering?
Why allow weakness?
I soon realized that if I had eyes to see (not physical eyes, but spiritual eyes) I would see with great purpose in the Land of Hashem. Physical wellness was abundant here because of the pure water, but physical wellness was not the goal. I understood, sitting there, watching people come and go around the Royal Falls, that many had more profound aspirations than physical well being.
Weakness aided the process. The children called themselves the “Weak Ones,” but this was their strength. No one reflected the Ancient of Days more in Hashem than these children. Their nature was gentle, and they had a purposeful calling about each of them. They had a gift of inner courage. They manifested true meekness. They were deliberate in their hospitality towards strangers (I had experienced that). Many I had met in Hashem had inner courage and strength, but it was nothing like these children. In the end, as I watched and listened, I finally understood that these children were true mirrors of the Host. They were true mirrors of the Host because they blamelessly lived for Him. Yes, they were indeed “good soil.” I felt like I grew as a person just being in their presence. I also realized how much of Receding was still in my mind and in my ways.
I longed to be like them.
After a while of breathing in all their attention, I asked a little one sitting next to me, “So how is it all the Mature Ones have such thick vines hanging around their garments? How do you even become an Overseer?” I said this in a low voice because I certainly didn’t want to offend anyone with my questions.
A Mature One sort of near me must have had the ears of a child himself because he turned his head my direction and said, “Emunah, down in the Emunah Valley.”
The young one with me, who was well on his way to having a garment like the Mature Ones himself said cryptically, “It comes with effort, but not work. Growth comes from submission, but not force. The Emunah Valley is where everything and everyone grows in the Names’ submissive order.”
I heard every word the child said. It sounded more like a riddle than an answer. It would be one of those answers I would have to ponder for a while and then all of a sudden, I would be blessed with the answer. I went on to the second question that I had asked. “Do the people in different villages and areas vote the Overseers to their rank? How does that work?”
The young one giggled. And he giggled. I thought for a moment maybe he thought I had said a funny riddle. Then he replied, “What good would voting do? They are Overseers because they follow the Name. The more you follow the Name, the more you lead. It is all in how you follow the Name. They follow so thereby they lead.” He nodded no longer giggling. “Yes, things in Hashem work that way.”
The rest of the night was me just taking it all in. The next morning, after I awoke, I stepped out of my temporary hut, and an Overseer was there waiting for me. He greeted me warmly and offered praise when he noticed my still-healed skin.
“Are you ready to go?” He asked.
“Go?” I questioned lowly.
“Yes, to the Emunah Valley!” He exclaimed. “Let’s go!”
We immediately headed down to the ridge of the Valley. We came to the bridge we first crossed coming to the Overseers. I had not noticed it before, but there was a dirt path that led under the bridge and down into the Emunah Valley. It was very steep, and we were going down fast. On either side of me were the roots of the trees that stretched into the sky. The valley was full of green. I have never seen so much green. Everything was green or attached to something green. Leaves. Moss. Flowers. Bugs. Birds.
I asked the Mature One who was leading me (I figured he was because of the thick vines around his waist), “By the way, I am sorry, but I never caught your name? Do you have a name? Do I just call you Mature One?” I was beginning to breathe heavy, and I was hoping conversation would slow him down.
“My name is Ducit.”
“What?!” I said in exclamation. I stopped walking and so did he in response to my lack of steps. “You are Ducit? Where is your walking stick?!”
He laughed with a gleam in his eye. “I retired my stick years ago. It is ‘Master Ducit’ now.” He then looked me straight in the eye and put his hand on my shoulder, “Come on my boy! The best fruit in Hashem is down in the Valley!”
Then a remarkable thing happened! This man of great age took off running like a grade school child headed for the playground. Master Ducit was fast, and I could not keep up with him. Not even a little. He needed no stick. I wish I had one as I fell many times trying to keep up with him downhill. I followed. We ran. I followed. Finally, Master Ducit slowed and came to a stop and waited for me to catch up. When I got to him, he said with joy on his face, “There are few joys like running in the Mist of Hashem.”
After we walked a few minutes, we could see the farm. I could smell the fresh growth in the air. It looked more like a garden the size of a town, but they called it the Farm. We arrived at the edge of the Farm, and a tall man came out to meet us. He had a thick crown of vines draped down his shoulders and a very thick vine belt. The vines had several large colorful leaves.
“Deep greetings my friends! Have you come to abide for the day here at the farm?” I would soon discover that the tall vine-dressed man meant ‘do good works’ when he used the word ‘abide.’
Master Ducit answered before me before I could even react. “I brought him down.”
“Wonderful,” the man said. He tossed Master Ducit a large berry of some kind, and he took a large bite. He tossed one out me as well. I figured that the offering of fruit was a kind of welcome on the Farm.
I knew of course that I would have been welcomed regardless, but this is how they shared with one another. This was how to serve those who came into the Valley. I can imagine that time was short for most in the Valley and so they wanted to make the most of time with visitors. Those in the Valley and those at the Farm are faultlessly hospitable.
“Where is that Lilly of yours?” Master Ducit asked between bites. He wiped juice from the berry in his mouth onto his sleeve and where he did so a small leaf sprouted. “Lilly,” he said to me in explanation, “is his wife.”
From around one side of the man, she came into view from the main farmhouse. She was a woman with long auburn hair pinned up. She was a woman with soil-stained hands and slight beads of sweat on her brow. She had been working. Her hair shined due to the wet atmosphere, and she was covered in vines, like the man, but her vines were full of white lilies. She looked at me and smiled. I knew instantly she was of the Peoples of Patience and Gentleness. Kindness poured from her forest green eyes like a spring breeze. She was precious to the soul and so lovely to behold that it stunned me. I realized I was holding my breath.
I did not know what to say. Out of my mouth came, “I always wanted to meet a Lilly.”
She giggled and said, “That is just a nickname these fellows tease me with. I have been here so long among the lilies people say I am becoming one! They call me Lilly for fun. I don’t mind. It is their way of saying ‘you are beautiful’ in a respectful tone. It is true I am comfortable here in the Valley just like the lilies, but you must understand, I was born here. My parents are of the Peoples of Gentleness and Patience and matured to serve at the farm years ago. During that time, I was born. I wasn’t given a name at first. Everyone started calling me ‘Faith’ because I was born here in the Emunah Valley. My parents fell in love with the name. My name is Faith.”
She talked, and all three of us listened to her words full of care. As she spoke, I wished the time to never end, it was all so nourishing.
She continued for some time than stated, “And look at me rattling off my family history without even a thought!” I didn’t mind. I could listen to her forever. She, like the gentle and patient ones I had met before, loved and were literally in harmony with nature. Her garments were thick with vines like everyone else in the Valley through she had a reborn innocence that stood out. Her words seeming to resonate peace like wind over a river current into my heart. I could indeed remain in her stunning presence without end.
Her husband spoke up as he put his arm around her, “true beauty grows by faith with meekness immersed in living water. I am glad her name is Faith. It really does remind us how we should live our lives.”
“People are what they reflect,” Master Ducit chimed in. “Here in the mist of the Emunah Valley we are rooted in the Host. The Host is the True Vine that all goodness grows out from.”
“Your vines are thick,” I commented to both of them. “The lilies are fragrant. Your leaves are quite colorful. Why is that?”
Faith-Lilly responded, “Our garments are full of thick vines because we are a reflection of the True Vine.”
As I listened, I could feel my lungs struggling to breathe in the thick air of the Valley. The mist was thick here in this place. I thought, to myself, it must take weeks or months of suffering to adjust to the thick mist. It must take great long-suffering.
All three of them noticed my breathing and Master Ducit said to me, “The air here is clean, but it is hard to breathe as you have noticed. It does take a while.”
“We simply love it here. We are farmers. We love to spread seed,” Faith-Lilly said. At this point, she (in compassion for me) snapped a few thick vines off her garment and wound them around my neck. I could instantly breathe better. I figured that the vine must help absorb the damp, misty air.
Master Ducit indicated that it was time for us to leave. I did not want to go. I told him so. I looked at the man and his wife and wished I could stay with them. “We do have to go,” he said kindly. I am fairly strong, but I cannot carry you up the ridge. You must learn to carry your own load.”
This puzzled me.
He was quick to notice my ignorance and said, “Come now, I’ll explain more on the way.” We waved at the tenants of the Farm in the Emunah Valley. I promised myself that I would make it back there one day. We walked back up the side of the valley that we had run down. I was glad we were not running up the valley!
On the way back up, Mater Ducit explained his earlier comment about carrying my load.
“We watch over you. We love you! Keep that vine around your neck because we want you to know you are supported with all the True Vine grows in the peoples of Hashem. We support you. Nevertheless, understand that when I say you must carry your own load, I am speaking of your own learning to reflect the Host. We cannot do that for you. A person should not live off the character of others nor should your life be a reflection in itself of what others wear.”
This puzzled me.
“Please understand that what I wear is not really mine, but comes from the Host. He is from whom all branches grow. I am just reflecting Him. Now you must grow your own garments. Grow your vines and manifest who you are in Hashem.”
That gave me much to think about. I understood. I could not take from others in Hashem and truly grow myself. I had to reflect the Ancient of Days myself, and my own vines would reflect that effort. I pondered this and prayed on it as we trekked up the side of the Valley.
I knew in my heart that Master Ducit cared for me. I thought it was time for me, as we trekked up the Valley, for me to settle a question. I asked with all sincerity, “What does Ducit mean? I mean, what does it mean and why do all your people have the same name? For the life of me, I cannot figure it out!”
Master Ducit had a knowing smile and explained, “The people of Ancient’s Rule deny self and do not seek to make a name for themselves but to image the Name. To image, the Name is a great honor, and knowing this we seek to do so even in the most basic manner of our identity.”
I nodded. Understanding it was one more way to point to the Ancient of Days. “Yes,” I replied, “but what does ‘Ducit’ mean? Was it the name given by the Ancient of Days? Was he or she the first one from your tribe?”
He smiled and said quietly, “He Leads.”
Again, I found myself reflecting on what the Ducits had lead me to know. I had relief wash over me as we reached the top of the Valley. I was relieved that they had revealed how to have a personal bond with the Name. Through their excellent behavior in submission to the Host, I was awakened to the deeply personal nature of the Host.
His Loyal Faithfulness.
His Unselfish Love.
The Nearness of the Ancient of Days.
Security and Safety in Relationship.
I learned of the ways of the Ancient of Days in the Land of Hashem, but each Ducit made it personal to me by revealing the relational nature of knowing the Ancient of Days. Each of them was Him in action. The Ducits revealed what it means to walk with the Ancient of Days and more importantly image Him.
Master Ducit watched me grow before him and looked at me with a father’s pride in his eyes.
The next morning, as the previous morning, I stepped out of my temporary hut, and an Overseer was there waiting for me. I wondered for a moment if I was having a dream about the day before. He greeted me warmly and offered praise when he noticed my still-healed skin. He also offered praise for the thick vine around my neck knowing that I had visited the Emunah Valley.
“I would like to take you to the Ridge of the Overseers if you are up to it?” he said with a kind offer in the form of a question.
The two of us moved east up and up the side of the Royal Falls. The water was continually rushing down beside us, and I was amazed at the amount of water flowing past every moment. The water moved. The water fell. The mist sprayed from the Falls and filled the air. The higher we went, the more the mist filled the air.
Step after step. The path was not one with stairs, but rather a well-worn winding path up the cliffs beside the Royal Falls. My calves burned after some time. My feet hurt. My breath was indeed labored. I was soon walking up the path with my hands on my knees forcing my legs to move. I was just about to give up.
“We are here,” the Overseer called out in a victorious sentence.
I came around the bend following him and stood on the Ridge of the Overseers with the Royal Falls cascading behind the cliff where we stood that ledged out to a view of Hashem. From the Ridge of the Overseers, I could see all the land of the Highlands. From the Ridge of the Overseers, I could see all the Land of Hashem. I could see nothing further than the Trench. Yet, I knew Receding laid there beyond the desert. Hashem was consuming my passion and all my thought. Nothing of Receding remained in view. There was nothing left, but my memories rising now forever. I saw the bottom of the falls and the large pond which gathered the water. From there, the pond emptied into the river which had one main tributary, but branching off from the river was many other small streams all over Hashem. Far far to the edge of the streams, I saw the line of trees and the trench where the river reaches out west to the Gate of Baptism.
I could see the path I traveled along the river from the People of Grace and Mercy. I saw the vast Valley of Emunah. I saw Lake Transcendent which was larger than I imagined. I even could see the tower of the Scholars of Deep Thought shining brightly.
I could see nothing behind me. Behind the Royal Falls was a thick wall of mist. It did not move but looked to be a constant barrier. I could see nothing past the veil, but there was light coming from it. I looked at the mist barrier and then looked back over the cliff to the Land of Hashem that was spread out before me.
The Overseer let me take it in for quite some time. He finally commented, “Here in this place is the best view of Hashem. The better view is from atop the Falls beyond the Royal Veil.” Then he instructed, “Notice how the river, grace incarnate from the Ancient of Days, branches out in a spirit of love all over the land. It, through patience, brings life to everyone all at once. Mercy and Grace are extended to everyone, and Power is seen. Light and Life are given without expectation of return, and Provision is given to everyone living in the land. Every single person who lives in Hashem derives their life from the living water of the river.”
“How do you all know all this about the Ancient of Days?” I asked. “How do we in Hashem know about goodness, mercy, grace, power, sovereignty, or anything about the Ancient of Days?”
“We know,” the Overseer said with pure confidence in his eyes and voice, “Because the Host, the Son of the Ancient of Days, showed us exactly who He is. The Son through His patience brought us mercy. When we humbly asked the Son for love, He gave it freely.”
This Overseer spoke differently than anyone else I had ever met. He called the Host in whom is the Name of Ancient of Days, the Son.
He continued to speak about the Ancient of Days:
“The Ancient of Days is…
… All powerful and supreme among all spiritual beings
… Benevolent and defines what love actually is.
… Creator of all things and is without equal.
… Consuming fire and pure light.
… Definer of good and evil.
… Existent in the eternal.
… Father of all days.
… Forgiving and forgetful of our sins.
… Holy and just in His judgments.
… Known completely by His Son.
… Love transcendent.
… Living water.
… Promise Keeper.
… Provider of all good gifts and needed discipline.
I think he would have kept talking if I had not indicated I wished him to stop. I held up my hand in an overwhelmed gesture, “Thank you for your wisdom.” I just sat for a moment and was soaking in all that had happened to me and everything I was being told.
Just as I was pondering all of this and we were sitting quietly, I heard rustling and footsteps behind me. Someone was coming from the wall of mist! I looked, and an Overseer I had not yet met came from beyond the veil. His smile was full and reached from ear to ear with a unique glow of radiance on his face. His pace slow. His arms opened wide to us in greeting as he cleared the wall of mist.
“Greetings!” they spoke loudly to one another.
The newest arrival greeted me warmly as well and joined us standing on the cliff overlooking the Land of Hashem.
After a few moments, I was bold and asked the question that was burning through my mind ever since he stepped from beyond the wall of mist. “What is it like there?”
The Overseer looked and questioned, “You mean behind the veil?” He motioned with his hand behind us.
The Overseer replied in a soft tone as his gaze seemed to take him to another place. His voice was low but grew louder as he poetically spoke. His eyes began to burn with joy:
Up there beyond the sky’s light, Where Creation has no sight,
Where the Essence glows, Where there need be no air
Where Wisdom dwells, Beyond what our souls can grasp.
Where Creation dares not stare. Up there.
Where echoes drown the voice of light,
Meant for willing hearts to reflect bringing all to be bright,
Then he paused with a deep silence…
After a few moments, he looked right at me saying,
Up there is where the Son came forth.”
Then the two Overseers moved along leaving me to ponder. And I did. There near the thundering waters that humbled my soul. I must admit I was overwhelmed. Yet, there at the thundering waters was a peace that drew my heart. I began to pray to the Ancient of Days that He would order my thoughts and help me make sense of all this. I prayed for wisdom and insight. I prayed that I would change to be like Him. I prayed that Receding would leave my thoughts and my heart.
Who are You?
What does who You are mean for me?
I stood there praying with the veil of mist behind me and the whole Land of Hashem before me. I was able to focus my thoughts on the Ancient of Days. I was able to make some sense, I thought, of what was even beyond the Royal Falls. Do I dare go beyond the veil? All I had been told and experienced up to this point directed me to say “yes” to the notion. No one named Ducit was here to guide me. The Overseers had left.
I kicked off my shoes.
I entered into a surprisingly thick roaring watery darkness.
The water both pressed me and drew me forward.
I chose to step forward
I passed through the veil.
Immediately, Light began overwhelming me and drained away my soul as I moved forward. The light was more than I could bear. The atmosphere was mighty. I was weak in this place… too weak to take steps. I paused walking forward to sit down. I prayed for help to keep going, to keep moving forward. The light was so very bright. I rested my eyelids. I open my eyes to realize that time seemed to have passed. Then the mighty light eased like the flurry of a short-lived storm. I stood up and felt embraced by the light. It felt healthy and surreal.
I saw a natural formation like a staircase leading up and spiraling upward. It was completely bathed in light. The stairs and the light made me look up as I walked. I followed the rising light as I moved up the staircase. As I stared, my eyes began to burn. The light hurt them a little. Even when I closed my eyes tight, the light seemed to invade my eyes.
As I wound my way up the staircase, I began to feel a wind. It swirled around me like a whirlwind. The higher I walked the stronger the wind got, and it almost felt like the wind wanted to carry me up the stairs. I finally reached the top of the stairs.
Before me streamed light brighter than I have ever experienced. The light was not just before me, but all around me. It felt like light was in me. It felt like light was a river washing over me and through me. I felt the current of the light, and my heart felt warm. My breath felt illuminated. I felt a vibration of peace through me like calm music. I know that sounds impossible, but it is my best description.
There was only light.
My heart cried out for peace and serenity as I gazed into this fountain of light. As I looked, I noticed that at a distance from me the light had grown brighter. This brightness was not only light but also alive with the presence of wind swirling about hovering among what appeared to be beings of flame and beings of light. Above them was a Radiance that came forth from the Abundant light. The Hovering light revealed a distinction to me in the form of a man. The Radiance was brighter than all the other lower lights that surrounded it. At this point, I got the sense that my presence was being recognized.
“Is someone there?” I did not know what else to ask. I did not know if I should speak at all.
After I spoke, the brightness that was before me became a little clearer. Perhaps it became clearer, or my eyes were beginning to adjust to the sheer light I was experiencing. I do not know. I now noticed that the brightness was not one light, but three distinct lights The Abundant light itself, the Radiance that came forth and the Hovering light all merged as one light. I saw an exchange of energy between the lights like illumination.
I cannot explain it, but when I saw the exchange happen, I also felt something in my heart and down to my very bones. I felt love. This was love purer than I am able to put into words, but then again it reminded of when I was with the people of Grace and Mercy, yet purer and more. Which shared the witness I first came to know in the cave that was before the Gate of Baptism.
Then the Radiance light came forth from the Abundant light towards me. The Man of Radiance came from the brightness bathed in the light of this most holy place straight towards me. He walked toward me clothed in garments of white. They were not plain white but bore artistic symbols vines, flowers, and shrubs of all kinds. I also noticed that His clothes were those of servants from Receding. The poor, the shamed, the enslaved. Those people in Receding usually had this type of garment, but it was dingy and brown and even when washed looked quite stained. His, on the other hand, was full of light and white beyond measure.
As He approached, I became very unsure of myself. Not knowing what to do, I bowed. I bowed with my face to the ground. I was in complete awe. The Radiance about me brought me to my knees. My forehead touched the ground.
I though unsure, felt very welcome in this place
I had peace beyond my understanding.
The Man of Radiance before me was the Host. I knew this to be true.
I slowly looked up to The Man of Radiance. His appearance was still in garments of white (like the servants), but they had altered, or I had not seen them clearly the first time. The garments were still perfectly clean, without any speck of dirt, but the symbols of vines and flowers were gone. His garments were not full of any type of artistic symbol, but rather His garments were ripped and torn. He looked as though He had been extremely mistreated. I recalled what the Monks and others told me about the mistreatment of the Traveler. He still bore the marks of His mistreatment. I bowed my head again.
The Man of Radiance was an overwhelming presence to witness.
He was refreshing.
He was inspiring.
He still bore the marks of how much He loved me.
I kept my head bowed before Him. As I kept my head bowed, I noticed all the rips and tears of the garment. I understood, at that moment, that those tears and rips and snags were very much a symbol of the goodness of Hashem and a memorial of what He did in Receding.
I heard words come from Him.
“It is good to see your bare feet. My light is kind to the thirsty soul, but consumes the unwilling.”
My heart opened to drink in the glory that was surrounding me. His presence was indeed pure light and pure glory.
I asked, “Please show me Your glory? May I see Your eyes? I want to embrace the light completely. I feel your kindness, but I want to see it too. I dare not look into Your face on my own.” Again, in the humblest tone I could muster, I asked, “May I please see your eyes?”
“Yes, he replied without hesitation, but not yet. It is better for you to behold My glory as I lead.”
Then I heard Him say, “Turn around.”
I turned and saw the path leading back out from the overflow of light and to the Falls. The path of light guided my eyes to a view of the Highlands from the sacred place where I stood in His presence. I, from above, watched the water flow down into Hashem. I saw the river following from the Royal falls all the way to the great trench. The streams I noticed branched down to the peoples like a tree planted in the sky. The water provided what the people needed at their point of thirst in equal measure. Grace, mercy, patience, guidance, insight, vision, holiness, hope, fairness; all the goodness to nurture maturity. The love to live. The streams were of the River and had within them the fullness of the River. The NAME was providing of himself through the living water when received through submitted hearts. Seeing this all from above, I turned in awe to The Presence Eternal who was clearly One. I fell to my knees. I kissed his feet. I took my given place in the living water with the current freely flowing.
He was Love.
He was Light.
He was Life.
I felt His love and was bathed in His light and knew Him and it was Life eternal.
The Host of Life then said, “return to the peoples and know your prayer is welcome here where I remain until I come with the flood of light to surround My peoples with the living water once again. I will come to you all who continue seeking Me. I will bring forth in you the glory you see in Me.”
I believed Him and with that word of promise. I was all over again filled with the hope of glory. And not looking back I started the descent from glory to glory…
JOURNEY TO THE GLORY: A Story About Reflecting Wisdom