This week in our "Postcards" series, we're doing things a little differently. Typically, Mortals like us aren't allowed in the Kingdom of Heaven because we're still living on Earth. However, Fate made a special exception for us as long as we stay close to our tour guide. So, for the next four (4) weeks, we have special clearance through the Pearl Gates to see what Life will be like when we are finished on Earth. Although you only briefly explore all four cities in "In the Beginning," you will travel more as the series goes on, so an in-depth dive now will help you later. You can always refer back to these postcards for refreshers on what each city is like as the series goes along. Enjoy!!
THE PEARL GATES
Welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the first of the Three Realms to exist in Time. As a new soul, visiting this Realm, you must first pass through the Pearl Gates. We must deem you worthy of entry to our Kingdom before we can take you on the tour. Unfortunately, try as we might, not all Mortals are worthy of entry. That is why we post two of our most fierce and loyal Defenders to stand constant watch.
Now, if you'll please just stand still while these faithful Angels in armor examine you for the Heavenly Mark. Just tilt your head forward...There. That's it. Well, I'm glad to see you would be worthy of entry when your Time on Earth expires. Now, stand back a bit; these Gates swing wide and I'd hate for you to expire prematurely from a fall back down to Earth.
Perfection. Now, come inside and allow me to introduce myself. I am Carmen, an Angel of Wisdom and the Keeper of Knowledge for Heaven and Earth. Unfortunately, I do not possess much knowledge of Hell aside from what can be found in the Holy Library. That terrible burden is something only the Higher Powers possess--but you'll learn all about them as you travel through this Realm. It is quite unheard of to provide tours of our Kingdom as if it were some tourist destination, but our Pied Piper has insisted it is Fate's will, so I must oblige. So let us begin.
The Pearl Gates are made of solid gold bars and locks with mother of pearl inlays. When the sun is at its peak in the sky, it really is a spectacular welcome. The Defenders who guard it have been there since...well, since The Fall. And we do not discuss Divine matters with Mortals, so do not bother asking.
As I was saying: our Defenders at the Pearl Gates are the only ones adorned in amor since they are our first line of defense. It is quite heavy as it is also made of solid gold and mother of pearl. They are strong Angels, determined by Fate to be unmatched in battle. Thankfully, we have never had to test that. Also, notice, if you will, that our Pearl Gate Defenders are the only ones who openly carry a sword at their side. Those swords are made from the waters of the Eternal Pool and cast in Heavenly magic. There is almost nothing they cannot cut through.
Now, if you'll follow me this way, we will go to our first stop on your rather unorthodox tour...
THE LEARNED CITY
This is Nirvana. Most of the Angels in Heaven call it the Learned City because it is the first place a new Angel comes to learn their craft. Heavenly magic is not inherent, you know. It is a skill that takes hundreds, if not thousands, of years to perfect. Why, I've been around since the Dawn of Time, and I am humble enough to know that I have not learned everything.
The Realms are ever-changing. Magic is fluid--being from Earth, I'm sure you know that. What is that old adage you Mortals created? Oh, right. "Use it or lose it." It's a crude phrase, but it does have a lot of truth to it. For those of you Human Mortals, it might be difficult to comprehend. In short, as Time progresses and Fate changes the way Life must be led, the magic in the Three Realms evolves with it. One can never perfect Mortal magic, let alone Heavenly magic. But one can study it and learn the magic and skill that will evolve easily and fluidly.
That, my dear Mortals, is what Nirvana is for.
You see, when your Mortal soul expires from Earth--and it is a great misfortune that you all must face that Fate as a result of the events preceding The Fall--if Fate deems you worthy of Heavenly passage, you will enter first through the Pearl Gates. You are then escorted by another pair of Defenders to my home in Ecstasy. It is my understanding that Patrise will guide you through there, so I will not digress further.
Although I do apologize, in advance, for Patrise. She was brought in as an Angel of Wisdom after The Fall, and her role is not one that we are glad to have Heaven. In fact, many of us pray daily to have her removed. It would alleviate so much suffering in the Realms, but that is not our decision to make...
As I was saying, when you come to meet us in Ecstasy, you have a very important choice to make. Those who choose to follow me, the Keeper of Knowledge, are gifted with an Angelic Life that starts anew here, in Nirvana. As you look around the Learned City, you will notice Angels flitting about with their small, white wings. Most of them are no older than one hundred years, by your Earthly age measurement. As I said before, education can take a long Time. As long as it needs to. We do not rush any Angel through Nirvana because we want them to be the best they can be. After all, they are learning how to best protect you while you still Live on Earth.
THE ANGEL EDUCATION CENTER
We take our Angelic training very seriously. Angels who are in training for their Divine Purpose all reside here, in the Angel Education Center. Those tall, marble columns have supported the weight of countless young flapping wings since the Dawn. I used to live there myself, before I was summoned by Fate to serve as an Angel of Wisdom. That is why knowledge is so important to me. It is who I have always been since the first moment I can remember.
A lot of our Angels found they share my same disposition. None of us know our Divine Purpose until Fate calls upon us. It can be the moment we pass through those Pearl Gates or it can be while sleeping in your luxurious bed in the Angel Education Center. When your Divine Purpose calls to you, you will know, and you must answer.
Oh, look at me! Digressing into a long-forgotten past. My apologies for trudging up old memories when you are here for a specific purpose. Let's go inside the Center, shall we?
You'll notice there are Defenders perched everywhere we can place them. Outside the main entrance here; inside by each staircase; and even outside every hall. The Angels that reside in this Center are our future; they must be protected at any cost. One other thing to note about the Defenders here: they do not wear armor or carry weapons. Such things are intimidating and we do not want our precious Angels in learning to be fearful every day. Yet, our Defenders are all well-versed in battle and have extensive training on their natural weapons. Come here, let me show you what I mean.
This is our Defender, Mark. His Divine Purpose is to stand watch over the lobby of our Angel Education Center until the Time comes that Fate calls him to the Eternal Pool for rest. Until then, he is always poised for defense in the event of an attack. Mark, extend your wings, if you will...
Beautiful! As you can see, Mark's wings are considerably larger than those of the Angels flying here and there around Nirvana. That is because they have been trained in strength and protection. In the Kingdom of Heaven, our wings grow to match the role we must fill. When an Angel is fit for protection, like Mark, they serve as a natural shield or weapon. At any point, he can choose to harden the soft, white feathers and they will be virtually impenetrable. Hard as diamonds!
As you make your way through our Kingdom, you will surely notice that most of our Angels have chords tethered to their wings. Defenders do not; they would simply get in the way during battle. All other Angels do, however, and most of them have gems hanging off of the chords. The color and type of gem vary, depending on what status that Angel has and how long they have been in Heaven. Chords are earned, first, by completing basic Angelic training here in Nirvana. Gems are added during a ceremony as Angels move forward in their Purpose. I, myself, only have golden chords as Angels of Wisdom do.
Let us finish up with Mark so he can return to his duty. Note that he has a hidden weapon at his disposal. Turn, please Mark...I'm going to lift your shirt, if you don't mind... This is Mark's tattoo, but it is also his weapon: the sword. It is the same kind of sword that the Defenders of the Pearl Gates carry, but his is more discreet. It is protected with a magic that only he knows and it is sharper than a fresh razor blade! All he has to do is touch his hand to the hilt, and it lift from his flesh into existence. The thick and curved design of the hilt and the swirls and rhune-style letter markings on the blade are symbolic of Mark. They are of his creation for his Divine Purpose. Normally, we would decipher their meaning for educational purposes, but that is something reserved only for Angels.
One day, when your soul expires to Heaven, you can choose to follow the path of Knowledge and come to the Learned City to decipher it for yourself. Until then, however, we must allow some things in your Mortal Life to remain a mystery...
Now, if you'll kindly follow me, I'll take you to the other location we keep in Nirvana. Come. We don't want to get in the way of the Angels.
THE HOLY LIBRARY
Stand here for a moment and gaze upon the beauty and glory that is The Holy Library. This is the brain, so to speak, of Heaven. If there is anything you want to know, you can surely find it here. Well, most anything. As you might recall me indicating previously, we do not keep a lot of information about Hell and Lucien here. Our history with the Lord of Darkness is...complicated. As a result, only the Higher Powers have all the Knowledge since the Dawn of Time.
Come on, then! Let's go inside and I'll show you around.
This is the main study hall. All of the books on the shelves are blank inside. If you were to open one at this very minute, you would not be able to read anything. That is ancient Heavenly magic that has never had to evolve with Time. Come here and I will show you...
This volume is blank. Hundreds of pages inside this worn blue leather binding. Not even a title on the cover. Go ahead. Place your hand on the cover...Now on the pages...You can see they are just normal binding and pages but without text. That is because it is not your Fate to see the words. This book contains information only certain Angels need to know based on their Divine Purpose. When Angels are new to Nirvana, they will have to pick up the book and open it to summon the words in much the same way you Mortals do when you study.
For example, with a touch of my hand to this page, I can summon as many words as I want to see. Or as many words as Fate will allow. Do you see that? I have summoned the word "the" for you to see. Because I am the Keeper of Knowledge, I have the ability to read any book in this Library. But not all Angels have that power when they are fresh, nor will most of them ever come to possess that power. However, as their Heavenly magic quickly grows, they are blessed with a unique gift: Angels have the power to read an entire volume of text without ever opening the book.
So if I close this book and place my hand on its cover, I can absorb the information within in a matter of seconds. I can tell you this book is about learning how to use your wings. So when you return to Heaven as an Angel, this might be one that you pick up.
As we walk down the hall of The Holy Library, you will notice doors between the book shelves. Those are what you might consider classrooms. Some Angels achieve all their training in Nirvana only to find that they are destined to remain here in a leadership role. We have Angelic Leaders for every type of Angelic student that can exist. When a new Angel is ready, they just make their way to the appropriate classroom and they will begin their hands-on instruction. Of course, it can take ages before an Angel is ready for that...
Alright, if we head back this way--What are you doing? Don't linger and fall behind. Keep up. This is the last thing you are able to see, and you should consider yourself blessed to see it. Most of the Angels here are not permitted anywhere near the Vault as it contains some of the most sacred Knowledge in the entire Kingdom. The only library that has Knowledge more sacred is in the Castle of Fate--and I can't imagine our Pied Piper letting you anywhere near that!
Here we are. This small glass box is what we call The Vault. The texts inside are so sacred that you must be permitted by Fate to enter it. Even I cannot go in there without allowance from Fate. It is said that some of the volumes in there are simply mirrors of books that were stolen by Lucien when he fell. In other words, Lucien stole the physical copies and left us with holograms of what used to be. Therefore, we can only see what he permits us to see in those books. And, no, I do not know which ones they are. I only go in The Vault under dire circumstances and I only read the books that Fate reveals are part of my mission.
That's what all good Angels do. We abide by Fate and follow our Divine Purpose until it is fulfilled and we can rest in the Eternal Pool. I would elaborate since I have that knowledge, but I'm afraid you're only permitted to hear that from Patrise. I hope her simple mind can do it justice.
Well, that's all there is for Mortal eyes to witness in Nirvana. I hope you found it enlightening for your own Divine Purpose. I still do not understand why Fate would allow Mortals to view the Kingdom, but I am certain it is with good reason. If you have any questions, please do ask. As the Keeper of Knowledge, I assure you I will have the answer, although I reserve the right not to provide it to you.
Now, if you will just follow the Library Defender, he will take you to Utopia. Thankfully, you're meeting with Theo next. He is an excellent Angel of Wisdom whom I am sure will provide you with all the insight you can handle.
I hope you enjoyed this week's postcard! And I hope Carmen wasn't too snippy with you. She's not bad; she's just very protective of Heaven. Being the Keeper of Knowledge is a tough job, especially since The Fall. But I'm sure you'll have a good time following Theo around Utopia next week! Until then, buy "In the Beginning"; write a review; and tell your friends!
Also, remember to keep up with my website and social media. I'll be posting a few polls that I'd be interested in your opinion for future blog entries that will lead us into the release of Book 2! Stay tuned for those!