Chapter 8

The Teaching Quality of Angels

The word "angel" is derived from the Greek angelos, the Hebrew counterpart of which is malakh, which is translated as "messenger". The last book of the Old Testament is called Malachi, which means "my messenger". Whether this was the actual name of the writer or simply a cognomen one does not know. Yet one thing is certain: the Book of Malachi contains a grave message to the newly settled exiles from Babylon who have now returned to the Holy Land (a term for Palestine first found in the earlier Book of Zechariah), and have again forgotten the precept of the Law by failing in their religious duties and by the scandal of mixed marriages and divorce. Malachi also says there will come a day when God will purify the priesthood, destroy the wicked, and secure the triumph of righteousness. There is also a beautiful consoling oracle, "Bring the whole tithe into the treasury; let there be food in my house. Put me to the proof, says the Lord of Hosts, and see if I do not open windows in the sky and pour a blessing on you as long as there is need" (Malachi 3.10).

The messenger of light brings tidings from God; and it is quite probable that the prophets of Israel were inspired by angels of light who brought the power of the Holy Spirit to them (see Chapter 4). Angelic messages of instruction on a highly moral level can occur in the lives of lesser mortals also. I have been the instrument of angelic instruction throughout my ministry in the Church of God, which is the world at large no less than a place of denominational worship. It is good to know that God has no religion, but is involved in all religions; we remember St Paul's injunction, "... all that is true, all that is noble, all that is just and pure, all that is lovable and attractive, whatever is excellent and admirable - fill your thoughts with these things" (Philippians 4.8). The Spirit of God is not merely in these things, but is the inspiration behind them. Where a religion reveals these qualities, God's presence is not too far away. On the other hand, where there is falsehood and evil, the angels of darkness congregate; in fact, no religion is free from this taint. However, its very presence tends to stimulate the powers of light to perform their work of transformation: nothing evokes the power of light more radically than an obfuscating darkness. It is thus that humanity can undergo the growth that follows the interaction of the angels of darkness and those of light. We considered this paradoxical state of affairs in the last chapter. God looks for something more than virtue; he desires a transformed humanity made into something of the image of Christ. The essential key is always love.

A close friend of mine, whose life has not been an easy one, has been kind enough to write out the following encounter with an angel of light, who showed him a great deal about the nature of worldly success, truth, and integrity. This man, now in his forties, is widely read in world religions and an authority in Jungian studies. Yet despite this, he has not been able to gain a foothold on the rungs of the academic ladder.

For a brief time in the late 1980s, I had more confidence in the future. In the autumn of 1988, I had established contact with the head of a department of a well-established provincial university, and found someone in academia who spoke the same language as I did. After our meeting it seemed only logical that I should embark on a programme of doctoral research. Of course, there were no funds for this and I would have to finance myself by means of supply teaching; but it seemed faint-hearted not to take up this opportunity. Moreover, if I could keep going for the first year and produce some high-quality work, I could then apply for a grant or scholarship with the backing of the university.
When I began the course in the spring of the following year, there was no reason to doubt the wisdom of my decision. I found my superior stimulating, and enjoyed his style of trenchant criticism. A letter to a distinguished Jungian analyst requesting a slot in a depth-psychology journal for my first research paper had elicited a positive response, and this gave an added impetus. However, as the year progressed I began to see the writing on the wall! First, I was dismayed to learn that this university does not give a damn about its graduates. There was no chance of any backing from this source, although it could be relied on to raise the cost of my tuition fees by £100 each year. I then discovered that my superior was in a somewhat marginal position in the order of things. By way of defence, he resorted to frantic overwork and an obsessive preoccupation with academic politics. As the pressures on him mounted, so the quality of his supervision deteriorated.
If the government's ill-conceived plans for reform of the universities were taking their toll on my supervisor, the equally abortive plans for the schools were undermining me. Supply teaching is precarious and stressful work at the best of times; now it was becoming intolerable. I needed a research grant as a matter of urgency, but this had proved to be a remote and elusive possibility. After some bids that inevitably came to nothing, I could see no other option but to discontinue the doctorate. I took an intermission for 1989-90 in the hope that circumstances would be more favourable for the next academic year.
Fate was not in a benevolent mood in 1990. The pressures of the classroom intensified, and so did a low-level migraine I acquired early in that year. At the same time, my marriage was under strain, and our housing situation was unsatisfactory to say the least. By October 1990, the container was on the verge of collapse. What was I to do to halt or reverse this alarming state of affairs? There was perhaps one option. If I could secure a research fellowship from Oxford or Cambridge, this would transform the socio-economic situation that was undermining my health and marriage, it would save my research project, and restore our shattered confidence in the future. However, everything rested on a big "if". I knew that competition for such fellowships is ferocious, and I would be one of forty applicants. Yet even if I had only a 1 per cent chance of success, was this not worth taking? The alternative seemed unthinkable - or so I reasoned with my ego.
Despite all the pressure and disruption, I managed to put together some passable research proposals for a fellowship at one of the Cambridge colleges. Once I had sent it off, I could only wait for the date in mid-December when the short-listed candidates would be notified. As the splitting apart continued unabated, I increasingly pinned my hopes on this 1 per cent chance.
The angelic intervention must have occurred in the first or second week in December, close to the eagerly awaited deadline. I had not slept well that night, and was wide awake in the early hours of the morning (3.00-4.00 a.m.); my wife was fast asleep. I sensed a presence above me in the top right-hand corner of the room. I remained on my back and focused my gaze at an angle of 60 degrees. The presence took no perceptible form, and communicated with me by direct intuition. My thoughts then translated the intuition into words, so that I was having an intrapsychic dialogue with an extrapsychic presence.
I was asked if I wanted the fellowship for its own sake or as a means of extricating myself from my predicament. Naturally I wanted to give an unconditional "yes", as the question implied that the fellowship could be mine if I really wanted it. Despite my commitment to pursuing my research by any means possible, I hesitated. This was not on account of my misgivings about joining the establishment - it was rather that I was not sure that I wanted to be let off the hook in this way. My ongoing confrontation with adverse fate or the dark face of God was, presumably, an essential part of my individuation. I felt that if I did not see it through, I would be irrevocably diminished - in short, a Cambridge fellow.
After I admitted to my inability to give my assent, the presence remained for a little while. I felt the awkwardness of being at a loss for words before a person of immense authority. This was numinous unworth of a kind, but also abasement on account of what my ego had put me up to. In the face of such transpersonal authority, I felt slightly ridiculous.
The Cambridge college declined to put me on the short-list for their fellowship; and after two more intermission years, I withdrew completely from the doctoral programme of the provincial university.

My friend continues on the precarious course of supply teaching, but is growing spiritually by the day. No longer set on conquering the world of professional studies, he is able to set his mind to considering some of the deeper mysteries of our life in the shadow of God's presence. His wife, fortunately, is solidly behind his endeavours, but there are no children - no doubt a blessing when one considers his way of living. He has no affiliation with any religious group because no one religion could encompass the scope of his spirituality. This is a pity not so much for him as for the religious community, for he has much to offer.

Another friend who has had a useful teaching visit from angels is a middle-aged lady with grown-up daughters, but who looks very youthful. She is a practising Christian of growing spirituality and wide sympathies. Here is her very recent story:

Last night I developed symptoms and felt ill. There is illness at work at present, lasting a number of days. This morning I experienced a bad head, dry throat, sickness, etc. I knew it was going to be bad, so prepared myself as best I could. I came home at lunchtime, did what was necessary, and went to bed. I switched the TV on, although my eyes really couldn't stand the movement. It was the story of an Indian tribe who had captured a white couple and their baby. The woman was telling the Indians the nativity story; I then turned the TV off. Quite some time later, I turned it on again. She was saying about the angel visiting Mary and how she was filled with the Holy Spirit. This passage had been coming to me in many different ways. I did think how extraordinary that all this should happen at the flick of a switch. The reason I am writing this is because all my symptoms disappeared, though I had previously been feeling so groggy. I decided that if after some time this really had happened, I would write to you. I am certainly experiencing things outside my control, feeling helpless in the situation, but things seem to be all right. I still can't quite believe it, but I am feeling better.

In this much simpler account than that of the supply teacher, it would seem that the angels and the Holy Spirit were working together to heal the woman of an influenza-like illness and, more important, to bring her to a greater spiritual awareness. She had no idea that I was in the process of writing a book about angels, but was delighted that her small experience should be used as I wished it. However, the matter did not end there. In her next letter she wrote:

I wasn't completely cured. The symptoms I described to you didn't come back, but four days later (Tuesday, 27th), knowing I was going back to work on the 28th, I went out to a church service and got worse and worse on my return. I had a severe headache, and all the symptoms of a head cold came out. All this meant a re-run with the practice manager over the phone, and discussing when I would be back at work. I had to hold on to the fact that things had improved [in her work in the medical practice], and keep that uppermost in my mind.
Previously I hadn't been to the doctor, and the practice manager kept asking why I hadn't gone. I'm sure she didn't believe I was ill. This time I've imagined the next day I'll be fine, but the next day proved me wrong. In the end I went to my doctor, and she told me to take the week off: As much as anything, I think my sinuses are blocked.
All along, whatever has happened to me I do feel has been meant. It was a tremendous hurdle to come through with the practice manager, and thankfully the atmosphere was fine, the doctor taking the stress out of the situation in the end.

What is, to my mind, especially noteworthy about this simple account of spiritual experience is the gradually expanding field of awareness. It would have sounded much more satisfying to have announced a complete, lasting recovery at the end of the television viewing, but, no, after a period of remission there was a recrudescence of illness that found its end in an atmosphere, previously lacking of harmony in the medical practice in which my friend plays a valuable part as full-time receptionist. I can just imagine how helpful her presence is to the various patients, making them feel fully at home. Any type of loving work is best performed when one knows what it feels like to left out in the cold - perhaps after a broken marriage or a severe illness. A real healing is more than a merely personal affair, for it brings in other people also.

For some considerable number of years, there has been the phenomenon of people, either in trance or in apparently normal consciousness, bringing through teaching what purports to be a source of intelligence higher than the ordinary human mind with its store of knowledge. This process is called channelling, and the person who transmits the teaching may or may not be entirely cognizant of what is being transmitted through them. Often the credentials of the source of information remain obscure, even if a definite name is supplied. There is clearly a relationship between channelling and spiritualistic mediumship, and also "New Age" metaphysic; but, as we noted in Chapter 5, some communicators give important, indeed urgent, advice about the state of the world that cannot be faulted for the gravity of its message. Much such teaching is geared at people who are initiated into more expansive ways of thought. This is what is meant by esoteric doctrine, but some of this is arrogant and irritatingly self-assured (as are some dogmatic religious teachings from all the world faiths when placed in the hands of basically insecure people who need to assert themselves to prove their authority). Not all higher spiritual teaching need have an unpleasant esotericism; some of it is simple and direct, so that the disciples can attain a finer knowledge by a simple awareness of the present moment. One thinks here of the spiritual teaching present in the Gospels, the Hebrew prophets, and much of the scriptures of the other world faiths.

A relatively recent book brings in esoteric teaching on a much more simple, practical level. It is called Talking with Angels', and consists of protocols and notes that describe actual events that took place in Hungary during 1943 and 1944, when the country was under German domination, but was for a time free of actual occupation. Four people were involved, three were Jews called Hanna, Joseph (her husband), and Lili, and one was a Gentile called Gitta. Ultimately Gitta Mallasz alone survived, since she was only peripherally involved in the Holocaust (she suffered for sheltering Jewish women), while the others were all killed in concentration camps. From June 1943 until November 1944, Hanna received communications from the life beyond death, but the teaching was distinctly different from the usual "New Age" material that is so widely current. There were eighty-eight "dialogues" altogether, initially addressed to Hanna, Lili, and occasionally Joseph, but toward the end the teaching was general, because the individuals were scattered and increasingly in danger of persecution and death.

Gitta Mallasz was eventually able to emigrate to France, taking the written material that she transcribed from Hanna's addresses. This material formed the basis of the book written in French and translated into German and English. In his fine preface, the English translator Robert Hinshaw commends the work's straightforward, down-to-earth character, in contrast to so many publications dealing with esoteric matters. He also comments on the naturalness with which these four "ordinary" young people, none of whom had ever had significant religious instruction, accepted the sudden appearance of "angels" into their everyday existence: it shows that possibilities for new ways and for transformation do come to us when there seems to be no way out, if only we are open to them; for, as Hinshaw observes, this luminous and numinous event came to the four just at the darkest hour of their lives.

The earliest dialogues are not especially arresting, except for those to whom they were addressed. Awareness, especially of their own disposition and its ambivalent nature, is stressed, and Gitta and Lili are encouraged to question the communicator about what has been said as well as their own personal problems. Joseph played only a very small part in the proceedings. In the course of the fifth dialogue, Gitta states that her dearest desire is to serve, and she is told that her task is mighty and wondrous. The vibration of these words spoken through Hanna conveys to Gitta a foretaste of a completely new life intensity. Behind the spoken words, she sensed an infinite multitude in perfect harmony, and she wondered whether her "teacher" could be what we humans call an "angel". With lowered eyes and upward-turned hands, the following words are gently spoken by her "teacher": "We sing praise, we praise the Divine." When Gitta asks whether they always see God, she is told, "You know not what you say. Ask another question."

In the thirteenth dialogue, Gitta experiences a remarkable baptism with what appears to be blue water. Hanna requires some water to drink during her arduous work, but then Gitta is told to drink. With astonishment, she obeys. Through the eyes of Gitta's angel, Hanna sees blue light reflected in the water. As she drinks she has the impression that this blue light is streaming throughout her body, even into the finest blood vessels. Her angel then says to her, "When you are hard inside, when something is blocked in your heart, remember this water. It dissolves everything. Do you feel it?" She feels wonderful believing that this must be divine grace. The angel says, "You give me water from below. I give you water from above. Give to all who thirst, and the water from above will always flow. It is to the Divine that you give every drop." This dialogue illustrates the high spirituality of the teaching.

In the fourteenth dialogue, Gitta asks what true humility is. Her angel tells her that it is easy to recognize: "If you bow your head and feel uplifted - this is true humility, If you bow your head and feel lowered - this is false humility." In the sixteenth dialogue, we find the interesting dictum, "For the strong, sin is a lesson. For the weak, it is damnation." A crucial part of the teaching, first outlined in the nineteenth dialogue, is that the human's great task is to bridge the abyss between the created world of mineral, plant, and animal and the creating world of angels. There are seven levels, or centres, of which the human is the fourth. Much later on, in the forty-fourth dialogue, the creating world is shown to extend beyond the angel (symbolizing peace and silence) to the seraph (symbolizing pure joy and shining power) and a seventh level, which is called the mysterious, the highest degree of all life. In the sixty-third dialogue, this mysterious being is finally identified as the Son of God. In this dialogue, there is the interesting teaching about baptism: the Son of God on the wooden cross; beginning and end, earth and heaven - the first baptism. The second baptism is water baptism: union of water and joy (the connection of the plant and the seraph). The third baptism is baptism by fire: harmony united with silence, movement and peace (the connection of the animal and the angel). Thus the original six levels are contracted into three. The fourth, or human, level remains unattached in the middle, and is the means of final union of Creator and creation: there are no longer seven levels, but one alone. It is no wonder that the Word became flesh and made his home among us (John 1.14).

I could continue quoting memorable practical spiritual teaching, but what has been given should illustrate the general tenor of Talking with Angels. Early on, God is only occasionally mentioned, and Christ's name even less so. In the concluding pages, though, all is concentrated on Christ, and the impression produced is a particularly acceptable one, distinctly different from the usual religious stereotype that tends to deaden one's full response to him and all he stands for in our disordered world. The angels do not look for very virtuous people treading the same paths as in the past, but a new person completely. Towards the end of the Second World War, many spiritually minded people thought along similar lines (one recalls Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison). The angels were emphatic in predicting that a new order of living was not far away, but over fifty years have elapsed since they communicated with their gallant band of disciples, and the degree of spiritual progress among humans has been negligible. Perhaps the "new order" will be concurrent with the parousia, Christ's second coming in the world.

It is not without significance that the impressive teaching outlined in Talking with Angels was transmitted by a young Jewish woman who knew little about the Christian religion, or probably any other religion either. Both Hanna and Gitta were artists, and worked quite closely together later in their lives. Hanna's husband Joseph was a furniture designer, and Lili gave courses in bodily movement therapy. Once the German army invaded Hungary, the full force of anti-Jewish destruction broke loose. Hanna and Lili could have escaped, having been persuaded to become baptized in order to present themselves as Christians. They demurred, considering the action as opportunistic, but Gitta saw otherwise. The earlier baptism with the "blue water" had produced a lasting effect on her, so that she was able to see that the sacraments are symbols of an inner process: a spiritual reality might act through a corresponding spiritual form, a thought that occurs at the end of the sixty-second dialogue. Be this as it may, in the end Hanna and Lili openly revealed their Jewish origin to the German SS guards, although Hanna looked conspicuously "Aryan" with her fair complexion and straight nose, and could easily have passed herself off as a gentile Hungarian. Instead, she and Lili died nobly in a concentration camp, as did Joseph (in another concentration camp) at almost the same time.

The book needs to be read slowly and meditatively. The first pages may seem to drag, but the angelic teacher knew how necessary it is to start with basic discussions about purpose and motive. As the book unfolds, so its exceptional spiritual authority becomes evident; the angels had certainly performed a considerable work.

Another kind friend has given me an account of a fairly typical angelic experience that also has a teaching component.
She writes:

During the Second World War a colleague and I had been evacuated to Burford (in Oxfordshire), and one hot Sunday we set off for a cycle ride. All road signs had been removed, in fear of an invasion, but my friend knew the way and we cycled for several miles until a lowering cloud burst suddenly and rain sheeted down. My friend, then in front, called over her shoulder, but the words were drowned and I soared past her downhill as the road grew ever steeper. I pulled hard on the brakes with no response, and at terrifying speed I saw the horrifically steepening road veering sharply to the left, with a tall Cotswold drystone wall, with its blocks of bumpy stone, confronting it. I had instantly to choose between heading straight at the wall or turning left downhill and being squashed against it. I rode straight at the wall, and with a terrific impact lost consciousness for several moments... I came to sitting astride the top of the wall; and whereas I had, seconds before, been sitting on my cycle, now the cycle was sitting on me, across the back of my neck (I can't begin to fathom how), the wheels whizzing madly round, one each side of my shoulders.
I felt no weight, I felt no pain, and in my shocked state I was conscious of one thing only: two angels appeared in the air in front of me, a little to the left - mighty Presences, ten feet high, just shapes, with wings, no details - but laughing and laughing at the neat way they had fielded me.
They vanished (and after that I could recall only isolated shots): slowly I felt a dislocated little finger, a flayed inch of skin above one knee - no more, no pain, just shock. Then my friend appeared, wheeling her bicycle slowly downhill; a man drove up in a car; my glasses had flown off, to land unhurt upon a thistle; of my collapsing from the bottom of the wall and insisting on lying down on the soaking verge under the pelting rain to recover; of a moment in the car; of entering a cottage with a sofa opposite the front door and being helped invisibly towards it; and last, my neck and shoulders miraculously untouched and of mounting my completely undamaged, unbuckled, unpunctured, unscathed bicycle in the sunshine, and riding all the way home.
Angels had never meant anything to me till then (though I had never been so near to death): they lived only in the past. Now they saved and strengthened me for the suffering that loomed two months ahead.

The young lady entered a convent some two months after the events recorded above, but was rejected three years later, with even greater suffering, for her "vocation" had seemed so powerful. She realized that she was to share in the sufferings of Jesus, rejected by his fellow-Jews. The words "Go, for I will send you to the Gentiles far away" sparked off her subsequent life of service in the world. She was taught much about the relative nature of all material appearances in her experience of a miracle superintended by angels. But then came the disappointment, followed by a completely different life of service.

Another rather different type of miracle mediated by angelic agencies occurred in the life of this woman about ten years later:

A nun in a contemplative community wrote urgently asking if I could place this quotation from Browning:

Religion's all or nothing; it's no mere smile
of contentment, sigh of aspiration, sir...

She badly wanted it for a talk she was about to give to the Mothers' Union. It required an immediate answer, but I could not remember ever meeting the words. I opened at random my Browning volume of 696 pages in double columns and small print with sadness in my plea for help, knowing I had no time to search.

The first two lines I saw* were those she had sent - a miraculous answer to her habitual, adaptable prayer when in need, i.e. "Lord, I need this quotation. Please take possession of my thinking so that I may search in the right place; or please send my guardian angel to show my dear friend where to look."

Yet how does one discern an angelic message from that of an impostor? The answer lies in Jesus' criterion, "You will recognize them by their fruit" (Matthew 7.16, 20). A dubious spirit tends to boost the ego, making the person feel superior to others, while a genuine angelic encounter lights up the whole being of the person with faith, hope, and love.

In 1 John 4.1-3, we are warned not to trust every spirit, but to test the spirits to see whether they come from God. The way of discernment that is recommended is to ascertain that the spirit acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; if it does so, it is indeed from God. Of course making such a verbal confession of faith is not beyond the wiles of Satan. As the saying goes, "actions speak louder than words". If the spirit leads one to a finer way of life, less ego-centred and more self-giving to others, the Spirit of Christ is indeed with one. If on the other hand, one's religion makes one exclusive in one's attitude and destructively critical of other people, one should beware. This was not the way of Jesus, who had no difficulty in mixing with many different types of people. He may have dissented radically from some of their opinions, but I do not see him ever withdrawing his love from anyone, no matter how depraved their lifestyle or how cruel their behaviour to humans or animals. Acceptance at least bears the possibility of redemption of the offender from the bondage of evil attitudes, whereas rejection does no one any good. Of course, intractably stubborn behaviour inevitably brings with it a heavy quota of disapproval, which quite reasonably can culminate in total rejection until there is repentance. The law of social responsibility as laid down in the Bible is not disregarded lightly, but fortunately there is forgiveness once an honest attempt at an amended life has been ventured.

When one considers these accounts of a few individuals' experiences of angels, a certain pattern emerges. They were all spiritually uplifting because the recipients were caring people who did not stint themselves in their work for others. Whereas the supply teacher is someone of superb intellect, the lady who works as a receptionist in a medical practice would claim no special mental capacity, but through the vicissitudes of her life she has gained a considerable degree of practical wisdom in organizing her domestic affairs, so that at present she is of great help to a number of people. It is worth distinguishing between learning, of which the receptionist has little, and wisdom, in which she is growing. Learning follows the direct application of the rational mind to acquiring knowledge, and as such is invaluable in doing the intellectual work set before us. Wisdom, however, is an overall view of existence whereby we can live as profitably with nature and as harmoniously with our fellow creatures as possible. Learning finds its apogee when the mind confronts the great mysteries of life, and by various philosophies attempts to reach a conclusion. As we noted at the beginning of the book, thought will never give us the final answer; love alone suffices, for by love we come to the full unitive knowledge of God, who is the source of all wisdom. Angels are creatures of God's wisdom that come to us when we are ready to receive them. The learning of the supply teacher needed to be obfuscated before angelic wisdom could approach him. By contrast the much humbler mental capacity of the receptionist was able to receive angelic communication of a very much more basic type, one that simply encouraged her in the daily round of her existence.

In the instance of the young lady who had her miraculous brush with death only to emerge virtually unscathed from the encounter, one can envisage her character quite clearly: a clean-living, religious person hoping to enter a contemplative community. Her spirituality was full of vigour, so that she could enjoy the beauties of nature and the full use of her body in cycling down country lanes during the Second World War. When the inevitability of an accident stared her in the face, she calmly decided on a clear course of action and then remained still. Somehow she had tuned into the rhythm of the cosmos, so that aid from sources far beyond intellectual understanding was available to her. She was privileged to see the angels who ministered this aid that came from God himself. Her mind was free of guile and distractions, so she was open to the divine grace. In the second episode, when she was able to find an obscure quotation from Browning merely by opening a large book at the right place, she was receptive to the direct inspiration of her guardian angel.

These three people all share a common concern with spiritual matters. None would think much of themselves, but all would agree that the quest for God is the most important consideration in their life. I feel sure that the same point of view would have been affirmed by the four Hungarians who were involved in writing Talking with Angels. When people of more mundane interests, those who would not normally care very much about God except perhaps in a customary institutional way, encounter an angel, there has nearly always been some crisis in their lives that knocks them off their perch of worldly assurance. This brings them into contact with a source of wisdom far exceeding anything that the world has to offer. It is not surprising that after an angelic encounter the person feels much better in body as well as mind. I wonder whether the Hungarian group would have been able to do their important work had their country not been in the greatest danger and their own lives in growing peril.

It is interesting finally to consider the criteria that St Teresa of Avila (1515-82) used to evaluate her visions: they have a sense of power and authority; they produce tranquillity, recollectedness, and a desire to praise God; they impart an inner certainty that what is envisioned is true; they are clear and distinct, with each part carrying great meaning; and finally the most important criterion, true visions result in a life of improved ethics and psychological integration. They give strength and peace and inspire love for God.

*The lines are from Mr Sludge, "The Medium", a very long, minor work that I had never read.

Chapter 9
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