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Another heavy test
99,1. We are already on the summit of the mountains, which we once saw before us glowing at a great distance. So, see this indescribably beautiful country, which, seen from this mountain range, is somewhat lower, as an endless expanse in the greatest splendor and marvelous variety.Magnificent wide valleys with alternating rows of hills cross in all directions, and the most beautiful streams cross the valleys. These streams have water like the purest, transparent gold. The water moves in mutual juxtaposition, and, as one brook flows into the other, it forms a small, always round lake, which produces a splendid radiance from its small undulating surface. Look, on the shore of such a lake are the most glorious palaces, with reddish-green roofs; these roofs are not destined to protect from the rain, but only to let the light in the most varied colors, falling into the interior of such a palace.
99,2. Then consider the construction of such a palace, what admirably beautiful, sublime architecture adorns each one, and how a different light color flows from each of the many windows. Then look around these palaces at the wonderfully beautiful garden plants, in which cute little trees with the most wonderful fruits in the most beautiful rows are to be seen. Then also the glowing flowers of unimagined splendor. In between all kinds of garden salons, some of which look like small hanging gardens, some of them like towers with magnificent domes, some of them like temples with all sorts of radiant pillars, and some rounded, sometimes pyramid-pointed roofs. See also the splendid garden enclosures, which consist of the most beautiful arcades and foliage, and can be wandered through to your delight over and over again.
99,3. Further, see the most numerous sea-vessels, and in them, several blessed spirits of this region, faring on the surface of the magnificent body of water, and sailing from one shore to another. But listen also to the wonderful singing, coming from afar to our ears. And see, everywhere on the hills stand church-like buildings with very high towers. Each tower has a magnificently chiming bell. So you can also convince yourself of how such bells sound because, for reason of our appearance, all bells are being rung.
99,4. These bells do not sound like earthly bells, but their sound resembles the soft tones of your so-called winds, but this whisper of the unspeakable is purer and still echoes far away in all its other delicacies. You can hear the deepest tones in the purest, fully harmonic relationship contrast with the higher tones.
99,5. But now look at the straight path before us, which does not look like a country road on your earth, but rather like a velvet ribbon of several fathoms, splendidly adorned with gold and smooth stones, lined both sides with trees, always with full fragrant flowers together with the most delicious ripe fruit. On this road, you can see how a procession, though without a flag and a crucifix, but with radiant palm trees in their hands, is approaching us. The female beings have baskets filled with all sorts of heavenly fruits, to straightway entertain the arriving guests with the utmost loving-kindness and hospitality.
99,6. See, the procession is coming still closer, and the female spirits are now hurrying out in front with their baskets, to be with us even sooner. Two are already here. Consider for once the infinite delicacy and the most wonderfully beautiful form. Everything is to be seen in a brilliant light-round roundness on them. A true heavenly, cheerful kindness radiates from their faces. And their exceedingly delicate clothes attest to the great innocence of these beings. But see, ever more and more come up, and their figures are even increasingly more magnificent and glorious.
99,7. Listen also to their heavenly, gentle, euphonic speech, and how they welcome our company, saying, O come, you supreme friends of our most holy and most loving Father, and be refreshed with our fruits which we have brought you here with a loving heart , Oh, how happy are we once again, to be partakers in the infinite, most blessed happiness to again be able to see as your leader, our Lord, the most good and most loving, God and Father!
99,8. Now look also to our company, as they begin to make big eyes, and the prior has just turned to the Lord, saying, O Lord, O Lord, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Creator and Father of all beings in heaven and on earth! What is it for your will's sake? Are these also angel spirits, who once lived on the earth, or are they the purest angels of the highest heaven? For such infinitely wonderful and glorious beauty has never entered my inner fantasy. I was a staunch celibate on the earth; but if something similar had happened to me in my highest celibate zeal, I would have been able to replace it with the most shameful Mohammedanism. Lord and Father! Here, in the literal sense, it is said, "Suppose we are lost, otherwise we are lost, provided that one can be lost here.
99,9. The Lord says: Well, my dear friend and brother, have we found the right place? As I perceive, you do not appear to be at all reluctant to choose a place of residence with a dear heavenly bride; for there is no more talk about being lost, and you and all your brethren can choose here in My presence at will. If therefore, you are satisfied, you can at once choose a heavenly bride, and with it also a little palace, and I will bless you and everyone and will reveal you also your heavenly office. Behold, this is, in short, My offer; but under the condition that you choose freely.
99,10. The priest, like his brethren, first look at the region, then to the Lord, but mostly at the beautiful heavenly brides. And therefore, the Prior cannot be ready so soon with an answer at all, and thus converses with himself: It would, of course, be good here at the side of such a heavenly bride and in such a most glorious possession, where the roasted birds are more than literally flying roasted into the mouth! It is truly eternally impossible for an immortal spirit to be able to imagine heaven to be more heavenly than this. Truly, and three more times truly, if good advice would not be expensive here, it will not be in eternity. If I only think how one would embrace such a heavenly bride, and press her to his immortal breast, full of heavenly glowing love, I feel quite dizzy, and I would like to, very much indeed, yes, even infinitely much, want to pronounce my strong 'Yes' before the Lord, provided that this infinite glory does in all respects has its firm foundation.
99,11. But if this whole story were only an examination? If we were to bite into this apple the same way as Eve did in Paradise and poor Adam, but after the bite, the wondrous place has changed into something else, may God keep us from this in all eternity, then would such a celestially magical bite turn out to be significantly more expensive than the very best advice in history! Yes, if I could know for sure that it really has an everlasting existence, I should, I barely dare to say, would secretly say 'yes' to this heavenly proposal from the side of the most holy, most loving Father.
99,12. Now, however, the other monk, already known to us, goes up to the Prior, and says, "But hear brother, how long will you wait for the most loving Holy Father to answer?" If it were for me to answer, I, together with several others, would have been finished already for a long time. I am telling you nothing but what my innermost feeling reveals to me, and this is as follows: O Lord and Father in all your infinite love and mercy! With You and together with You is everywhere, so here also in this heavenly wondrous glory, it is very well and good to be. If You stay here, I will feel very much at home here. If You, however, as the Primordial Source of all these glories, do not stay here and if this is no permanent dwelling place for You, I will not remain here, but if it is Your holy will, I will continue with you until You say: here I am at home! - What do you think brother, wouldn't that be a correct answer?
99,13. The prior says: yes, brother, you have helped me out of my dream; you are right. It is the same with me deep in my heart and I shall speak as such with the Lord, for He is more than all these heavenly glories!
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