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Book Of Lightning(2007)

Buy at Townsends


The Archivist searched through papers in her study late into the night. Her subject, the early twenty-first century, was much documented, yet certain significances eluded her, frustrating her attempts to tie certain acts of that era to later outcomes. She lay down the folder marked ‘2006-7’ and sat in her chair, eyes closed.

Immediately her inner landscape came into focus; the hills of her knowledge; the soil and hard ground of her experience; the cities of her convictions; the capricious weather of her emotions, all lit – at clear times such as this – by the bright sun of her soul. Considering this tableau, she focussed on a small silver tower. In her mind’s eye saw herself enter this tower, and take position in a small carriage that waited within. She imagined the carriage lifting and transporting her up, up and through the roof of the tower, high into a clear night sky. Then something happened that was not the product of her imagination: the carriage was swept up, like a cork on a wave, in a jetstream of energy, a soulway, that led through the ethers to the higher realms of those entities which humans once called angels.

And so the Archivist journeyed, borne at the speed of thought on this ancient, long-travelled highway of the spirit worlds. And when the energy stream set her carriage down, she stepped out, finding herself in a high, thin region of light and movement, with myriad bright creatures moving like gossamer through the atmosphere around her.

Close by was a vast building, made not of wood or stone, but of the impossibly subtle fabric of ether, its appearance – more accurately its vibration - familiar to all inner voyagers: the Library of Souls. As she entered she became aware of tier upon tier of luminous beings; the angelic Memory-keepers and Lore-givers of the subtle worlds, custodians of the great record of all earthly actions, deeds and fates, the Book Of Lightning.

The words “Traveller, what do you will?” were transmitted into her mind. She responded: “to identify and comprehend the outcomes of certain actions, taken by human souls in the early twenty-first century.” And one among the multitude of beings replied: “Attune to my vibration.”

The Archivist focussed on the source of this reply and felt herself enter into empathy with a consciousness vaster than her own, like a warm ocean, buzzing with incredible power and pressure. She felt the download begin; the perimeters of her consciousness expanding in precise directions, like water flowing into newly-dug channels. In thirty seconds she saw the why and the what-issued-from of certain infamous and much-debated actions of the early twenty-first century. She beheld, laid as it were before her, the entire network of origins of those actions, and all the incredible web of consequences, and consequences-upon-consequences, issuing from them unto infinite complexity.

She remained thus, rapt, full of intensity, as the influx of information, at first overwhelming, gradually organised itself in her perception until, at what seemed great length, she achieved understanding of it. She knew from experience that any state of full understanding is equal to an experience of pure love, and when she felt that peak emotion arrive in all its unique and unmistakeable flavour, her mind responded like a computer ‘blipping’ as it finishes its task, and the operation was complete.

Having given signs of gratitude and honour to the Memory-keepers, she exited the Library Of Souls, and returned from the heights of consciousness to her own level, resting a while in her still-seated physical body, breathing evenly, feeling her feet on the solid floor, before finally opening her eyes.

The next morning, as the crows sang their harsh song in the meadow beyond, she cast the net of her mind around her new comprehensions and began composing her account.