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The Life Everlasting: A Reality of Romance by Marie Corelli

Part 8 out of 8

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Into the Light,
Into the heart of the fire!
To the innermost core of the deathless flame
I ascend--I aspire!
Under me rolls the whirling Earth,
With the noise of a myriad wheels that run
Ever round and about the Sun,--
Over me circles the splendid heaven,
Strewn with the stars of morn and even,
And I, the queen
Of my soul serene,
Float with my rainbow wings unfurled,
Alone with Love, 'twixt God and the world!

My heart beat rapidly; every nerve in me trembled--yet I went on
resolvedly, not allowing myself to even think of danger.

And then I saw Aselzion--Aselzion, transfigured into an almost
supernatural beauty of aspect by the radiance which bathed him in
its lustrous glory!--Aselzion, with outstretched hands beckoning me
towards him--and as I approached I instinctively sank on my knees.
The music died away suddenly, and there was a profound silence. I
felt, though I could not see, that the eyes of all present were
fixed upon me. And Aselzion spoke:

"Rise!" he said--and his voice was clear and imperative--"Not here
must thou kneel--not here must thou rest! Rise and go onward!--thou
hast gone far, but the way is still beyond! The gate of the Last
Probation stands open--enter!--and may God be thy Guide!"

I rose as he commanded me,--and a dazzling flash of light struck my
eyes as though the heavens had opened. The blazing Cross and Star
became suddenly severed in two separate portions, dividing asunder
and disclosing what seemed to be a Hall of living fire! Flames of
every colour burned vividly, leaping and falling without pause or
cessation,--it was a kind of open furnace in which surely everything
must be consumed! I looked at Aselzion in silent enquiry--not in
fear--and in equally silent answer he pointed to the glowing vault.
I understood--and without another moment's hesitation I advanced
towards it. As in a dream I heard a kind of murmuring behind me--and
suppressed exclamations from the students or disciples of Aselzion
who were all assembled in the chapel--but I paid no heed to this--my
whole soul was set on fulfilling the last task demanded of me. Step
by step I went on--I passed Aselzion with a smile--

"Good-bye!" I murmured--"We shall meet again!"

And then I advanced towards the leaping flames. I felt their hot
breath on my cheeks--the scorching wind of them lifted my hair
through the folds of my veil--an idea came upon me that for some
cause or other I was now to experience that 'Change which men call
Death'--and that through this means I should meet my Beloved on the
other side of life--and with his name on my lips, and a passionate
appeal to him in my heart, I stepped into the glowing fire.

As I did so, I lost sight of Aselzion--of the chapel and of all
those who watched my movements, and found myself surrounded on all
sides by darting points of light which instead of scorching and
withering me like a blown leaf in a storm, were like cool and
fragrant showers playing all over me! Amazed, I went on--and as I
went grew bolder. At one step I was bathed in a rain of delicate
rays like sparkling diamond and topaz--at another a lovely violet
light shrouded me in its rich hues--at another I walked in melting
azure, like the hues of a summer sky--and the farther in I went the
deeper and more glowing was the light about me. I felt it
penetrating every pore of my skin--I held my hands out to it, and
saw them look transparent in the fine luminance,--and presently,
gaining courage, I threw back my veil and breathed in the radiance,
as one breathes the air! My whole body grew light, and moved as
though it floated rather than walked--I looked with unfatigued,
undazzled eyes at the glittering flames that sparkled harmlessly
about me and which changed to lovely shapes of flowers and leaves
beneath my feet, and arched themselves over my head like branches of
shading trees--and then all at once, down the long vista I caught
sight of a Shape like that of an Angel!--an angel that waited for me
with watchful eyes and outstretched arms!--it was but a moment that
I saw this vision, and yet I knew what it meant, and I pressed on
and on with all my Soul rising in me as it were, to go forth and
reach that Companion of itself which stood waiting with such tender
patience! The light around me now changed to waves of intense
luminance which swept upon me like waves of the sea--and I allowed
myself to be borne along with them, I knew not whither. All at once
I saw a vast Pillar of Fire which seemed to block my way,--pausing a
moment, I looked and saw it break asunder and form the Cross and
Star!--I gazed upward, wondering--its rays descending seemed to
pierce my eyes, my brain, my very soul!--I sprang forward, dazed and
dazzled, murmuring, "Let this be the end!"

Someone caught me in his arms--someone drew me to his breast,
holding me there as if I were the dearest possession of all the
world or life or time could give--and a voice, infinitely tender,
answered me--

"Not the end, but the Endless, my beloved!--Mine at last, and mine
for ever!--in triumph, in victory, in perfect joy!"

And then I knew!--I knew that I had found my love!--that it was
Rafel Santoris who thus held me in his close embrace,--that I had
fulfilled my own desire, which was to prove my faith if not my
worthiness--that I had won all I wanted in this world and the next,
and that nothing could ever separate our Souls, one from the other
again! This is the deep eternal ecstasy of a knowledge divinely
shared by the very angels of God, and of such supernal happiness
nothing can be said or written!

* * *
* *

I pen these last words on the deck of the 'Dream' with my Beloved
beside me. The sun is sinking in a glory of crimson--we are about to
anchor in still waters. A rosy light flashes on our wonderful white
sails, which will be presently furled; and we shall sit together,
Rafel and I, watching the night draw its soft dark curtain around
us, and the stars come out in the sky like diamonds embroidered on
deep purple velvet, and listening to the gentle murmur of the little
waves breaking into a rocky corner of the distant shore. And the
evening will close on a day of peace and happiness,--one of the many
unwearying, beautiful days which, like a procession of angels, bring
us new and ever more perfect joy!

More than a year has elapsed since my 'Probation' in the House of
Aselzion,--since we, my Beloved and I, knelt before the Master and
received his blessing on our eternal union. In that brief time I
have lost all my 'worldly' friends and acquaintances,--who have, if
I may so express it, become afraid of me. Afraid, chiefly, because I
possess all that the world can give me without their advice and
assistance--and not only afraid, but offended, because I have found
the Companion of my Soul with whom they have nothing in common. They
look upon me as 'lost to society' and cannot realise how much such
loss is gain! Meanwhile we, Rafel and I, live our own radiant and
happy lives, in full possession of all that makes life sweet and
valuable, and wanting nothing that our own secret forces cannot
supply. Wealth is ours--one of the least among the countless gifts
Nature provides for those among her children who know where to find
her inexhaustible riches--and we also enjoy the perfect health which
accompanies the constant inflowing of an exhaustless vitality. And
though the things we attain seem 'miraculous' to others, so that
even while accepting help and benefit at our hands, they frown and
shake their heads at the attitude we assume towards social
hypocrisies and conventions, we are nevertheless able to create such
'influences' around us, that none come near as without feeling
stronger, better and more content,--and this is the utmost we are
permitted to do for our fellow-creatures, inasmuch as none will
listen to argument, and none will follow advice. The most ardent
soul that ever dwelt in human form cannot lead another soul in the
way of lasting life or lasting happiness if it refuses to go,--and
there is no more absolute truth than this--That each man and each
woman must make his or her own destiny both here and hereafter. This
is the Law which changes not and which can never be subject to the
slightest variation. Forgiveness of sins there is none--since every
trespass against law carries its own punishment. Necessity for
prayer there is none,--since every faithful wish and desire of the
Soul is granted without parley. Necessity for praise there is much!-
-since the Soul lives and grows in the glory of its Creator. And the
whole Secret of Everlasting Life and Happiness is contained in the
full possession and control of the Divine Centre of ourselves--this
'Radia' or living flame, which must be DUAL in order to be perfect,
and which in its completed state, is an eternal Force which nothing
can destroy and nothing can resist. All Nature harmonises with its
action, and from Nature it draws its perpetual sustenance and
increasing power.

To me, and my Beloved, the world is a garden of paradise--rich with
beauty and delight. We live in it as a part of its loveliness--we
draw into our own organisations the warmth of the sunlight, the
glory of colour, the songs of sweet birds, the fragrance of flowers,
and the exquisite vibrations of the light and air. Like two notes of
a perfect chord we sound our lives on the keyboard of the Infinite--
and we know that the music will become fuller and sweeter as the
eternal seasons roll on. If it is asked why there should have been
any necessity to pass through the psychic ordeal imposed on me by
Aselzion, I reply--Look at the world in which men and women
generally live, and say frankly whether its ways are such as to
engender happiness! Look at society--look at politics--look at
commerce--all mere schemes for self-aggrandisement! And more than
all, look at the Sham of modern religion! Is it not too often a mere
blasphemy and affront to the majesty of the Divine? And are not
many, if not all these mistakes against Nature,--these offences
against eternal Law,--the result of Man's own 'influence' working in
opposition to the very decrees of God, which he disobeys even while
recognising that they exist?

The chief point of Aselzion's instruction was the test of the Brain
and Soul against 'influences'--the opposing influences of others--
and this is truly the chief hindrance to all spiritual progress. The
coward sentiment of fear itself is born in us through the influence
of timorous persons--and it is generally the dread of what 'other
people will say' or what 'other people will think' that holds us
back from performing many a noble action. It should be thoroughly
understood that in the eternal advancement of one's own Soul 'other
people' and their influences are hindrances to progress. It does not
matter a jot what anybody thinks or says, provided the central altar
of one's own Spirituality is clear and clean for the steadfast
burning of the dual flame of Life and Love. All opinion, all
criticism becomes absurd in such matters as these and absolutely

It does not affect me that anyone outside my sphere of thought
should be incredulous of my beliefs,--nor can it move me from my
happiness to know that persons who live their lives on a lower plane
consider me a fool for electing to live mine on the highest. I take
joy in the fact that even in so selfish and material an age as this,
Aselzion still has his students and disciples,--a mere handful out
of the million, it is true, but still sufficient to keep the
beautiful truth of the Soul's power alive and helpful to the chosen
few. For such who have studied these truths and have mastered them
sufficiently to practise them in the ordinary round of existence,
Life presents an ever living happiness--and offers daily proof that
there is no such thing as Death. Youth remains where Love is, and
Beauty stays with health and vitality. Decay and destruction are
changes which are brought about by apathy of the Will and
indifference to the Soul's existence, and the same Law which gives
the Soul its supreme sovereignty equally works for its release from
effete and inactive substances.

To those who would ask me how I am able to hold and keep the
treasures of life, love and youth, which the majority of mankind are
for ever losing, I answer that I can say no more than I have said,
and the lesson which all may learn is contained in what I have
written. It is no use arguing with those whom no argument will
convince, or trying to teach those who will not be taught. We--my
Beloved and I--can only prove the truth of the Soul's absolute
command over all spiritual, material and elemental forces by our One
life and the way we live it--we, to whom everything that is
necessary and desirable for our progress, comes on demand,--we, whom
Science serves as an Aladdin's lamp, realising every imaginable
delight--we, with whom Love, which with many human beings is judged
the most variable and transitory of emotions, is the very Principle
of Life, the very essence of the waves of the air through which we
move and have our being. The attainment of such happiness as ours is
possible to all, but there is only One Way of Attainment, and the
clue to that Way is in the Soul of each individual human being. Each
one must find it and follow it, regardless of all 'influences' which
may be brought to bear on his or her actions,--each one must
discover the Centre-poise of Life's movement, and firmly abide by
it. It is the Immortal Creature in each one of us whose destiny is
to make eternal progress and advancement through endless phases of
life, love and beauty, and when once we know and admit the actual
existence of this Immortal Centre we shall realise that with it all
things are possible, save Death. Radiating outward from itself, it
can preserve the health and youth of the body it inhabits
indefinitely, till of its own desire it seeks a higher plane of
action,--radiating inwardly, it is an irresistible attractive force
drawing to itself the powers and virtues of the planet on which it
dwells, and making all the forces of visible and invisible Nature
subject to its will and command. This is one of those great Truths
which the world denies, but which it is destined to learn within the
next two thousand years.

If anyone should desire to know the fate of Motion Harland and his
daughter, that fate has been precisely what they themselves brought
about by their way of life and action. Morton Harland himself
'died,' as the world puts it, of a painful and lingering disease
which could have been cured had he chosen to take the means offered
to him through Rafel Santoris. He did not choose,--therefore the end
was inevitable. Catherine married Dr. Brayle, and they two now live
a sufficiently wretched life together,--she, a moping, querulous
invalid, and he as a 'society' physician, possessed of great wealth
and the position wealth brings. We never meet,--our ways are now for
ever sundered. Mine is the upward and onward path--and with my
Beloved I ascend the supernal heights where the Shadow of Evil never
falls, and where the Secret of Life is centred in the Spirit of


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