So I rose from level to level with hard labour, finding ever lighter materials, briefer manuals and taller fly-starts. I kept thinking about the advertisement: the sentence about the highest heavens. It took an effort to adapt to every new level – I was often short of breath and had to rest – but it became more and more beautiful around me. Strangely enough, the people seemed more distant in the first instance. They were very busy with themselves and their flying. Luckily the approachability improved on higher levels. That was a relief and relief made you go higher, I noticed.
I reached such a height that I finally did not need food and drink anymore and was conscious of my surroundings, even when I slept. That is really extraordinary! Imagine all those people deep down who had not a clue of all the things they were capable of! They were busy living their silly daily lives… Oops! I suddenly hung a lot lower and decided to rather occupy myself with above in future.
After how long I do not know, I found a plateau again, although it was entirely transparent. There stood almost invisible sprits of thin glass, I guessed. The gauze, so light that I almost could not feel it, seemed to be made of this fine glass species as well. It conveyed lovely, rainbow-coloured light and I was amazed by its beauty. The gauze almost attached itself to the bows and the wings attached themselves to me. A miracle touched my heart. I had experienced so many wonderful things by now, that it seemed to me that the end of my journey must have been reached. It was gorgeous here. The people were very friendly and considerate and of fine stature. Their wings created waves of rainbows and I could not stop gazing. I did not sleep at all anymore and I flew and flew, enjoying every minute.
When quite frankly I did not think about above at all, I caught sight of a plateau. ‘Plateau’ is much too real a word for what it was, but I cannot find the words to describe it. My wings were ready for me and I could not keep my eyes off them, they were so magnificent. Is there a wafer-thin kind of diamond? I do not know, but I had never seen anything so beautiful. Soon I was surrounded by lovely, luminous people and I felt nothing other than love. This had to be the seventh heaven, that was the only possibility.
To my immense surprise there were all kinds of buildings here: elegant castles, magnificent churches and whatever beautiful towers and bridges you could think of, surrounded by woods, mountains and valleys, with flowers and trees, everything consisted of beauty and joy. I heard a kind of singing, so incredibly beautiful, that I shall not take the trouble explaining. Pure happiness, that is what it was. Nothing could be more beautiful than this heaven. I radiantly wandered among radiant people. Everything shone and was illuminated by a golden sheen, which was white at the same time. I felt at home here and did not need to go higher. At least… that is what I thought at the time but I must admit that even this splendour and joy were not enough for me in the end. I was ashamed about it and as a result flew somewhat lower. I almost sank through the level. After a while I firmly focused on higher things and later on I flew higher than all the others. They shouted that I should not do that, that I did not know what to expect if I went even higher. They screamed that I was ungrateful and that they had not surrounded me with love for nothing. Strangely enough that was exactly what gave me the incentive to go even higher. This could never be the highest level after all.
Ouch! I bumped my head hard and my wing hit something, so that I quickly toned down a bit. I looked up, but it was too light over there and I did not see a thing. Perhaps it had been the next plateau which I bumped into, I thought and moved further up. But again, I bumped my head when I wanted to go up and my left wing was damaged. I did not give up and kept trying. Suddenly it sounded ‘crack’ and one of my wings gave up. I started to rotate around my axis and fall at the same time: deeper and deeper, faster and faster until I landed on the ground with a hard thump. Before I knew it I was surrounded by children and their parents, with their hard wings, looking up to me in adoration. ‘An angel, an angel has come to earth,’ people whispered and they even knelt, which made a loud noise as their wings struck each other.
I was the only one who knew for sure that I was no angel and therefore quickly got to my feet, grabbed my gorgeous wings and tried to escape. I ran in the direction of my old home and suddenly noticed the child with the green eyes beside me, who kept up with me without effort and I stopped in astonishment. He sat himself down like he sat on the stone before and patted the ground next to him. I had trouble getting seated and felt some resistance to the earth but I flopped down and looked at him speechlessly.
He took something from the ground and held it out to me. It was a seed of some sort.
‘Look,’ he said.
He threw the seed in the air and it fell down again helplessly.
‘This is you.’
I looked at him incomprehensibly.
‘You wanted to rise up as a seed, but in fact the seed must go deep into the ground, allowing for something to come up. Just when the seed is silently resting in a place where no-one can see it, quietly enduring darkness and cold, moisture and oppression and yet longing for the light, it can germinate. The seed will not get bigger or higher then, but it yields and gives way, so that something quite different can grow. The seed offers protection and energy, but the germ grows relentlessly in the direction of the light, to its destination.’
Actually, I understood right away. I felt understanding and love arise from deep within my heart, an eminent benevolence and willingness. But I did ask: ‘Why didn’t you tell me right away? You yourself sent me up!’
‘Because the fruit must ripen before the seed can fall.’