“Well, good afternoon Lisa.” Pete was determined not to stammer or make a fool of himself in front of the beautiful angel this time.
“Afternoon Pete,” smiled Lisa, her pure light radiated slightly brighter as she beamed fondly at the young man, “being a bit suave with me today are we?” Pete couldn’t think of anything to say in response, so he blushed instead. Lisa burst out laughing. “Oh Pete, I’m sorry. Don’t worry, I know you wouldn’t try and flirt with an angel, that would be very naughty, wouldn’t it? Plus, it’s not actually very suave to talk about afternoons in a place where they don’t exist.” Gently teasing Pete was fast becoming Lisa’s favourite hobby.
“But, but I can see it’s afternoon, look where the sun is outside!” Pete pointed through the slightly tinted lecture theatre window. Lisa smiled.
“That’s just how it seems to you, remember? My eternal soul is talking with yours. Because your soul isn’t yet old enough to experience true eternity, true freedom from time and space, you’re experiencing a kind of dumbed-down heaven, so that you can still comprehend it. No offence.” She added
“Oh, well fair enough then. Good eternity, Lisa,” smiled Pete, the angel giggled.
“That’s better, good eternity Pete!” she said warmly, “so what brings you up to see me today?”
“Men have fallen in love with angels before and it destroys them eventually.”
“Well, I seem to get quite a negative response from a lot of women when I talk about the truths of reality. They seem to see it all as patriarchal, I even get accused of ‘mansplaining’ things, whatever that means. I suppose maybe because of the ‘Father, Son’ focus of Christianity and a lot of the most well-known philosophers being male?
“That could be why,” said Lisa thoughtfully, “plus Saint Paul had a few ideas of male dominance, which is a shame really, he of all people should have had a better idea of what reality is really about.” Pete was surprised.
“Saint Paul didn’t know what he was talking about? But I thought he was pretty much the architect of Christianity, wrote a fair chunk of the New Testament, that sort of thing?”
“He knew a lot, but not as much as some of the people that I’d like you to visit,” said Lisa mysteriously.
“Who have we got?” Seeing Pete’s eagerness, the angel paused for effect.
“Elija Benamozegh,” she said grandly.
“Amazing!” said Pete after a slight pause. Lisa raised her shapely eyebrows as she stifled a giggle.
“Oh Pete! It’s nice of you to be polite, but we angels don’t need to be humoured. He’s obviously a lot more famous up here than in your time, a 19th century Italian rabbi who developed the Kabbalah, the deepest layers of Judaism and unified it with lots of other spiritual systems. A truly great man.”
“It would be a privilege to meet him,” said Pete, genuinely this time, “who else do you have for me?”
“Well, it sounds like a lot of the women that you talk to would like to hear a little bit about girl power, so how about a goddess? She’s from a time when feminine and masculine spiritual forces were a bit more balanced.” Pete felt nervous.
“A, a goddess? Do I need to change into something a bit more formal?” He looked awkwardly down at his student apparel. He was beginning to wish he’d bothered to get change for the launderette more recently. Lisa raised an eyebrow.
“Oh, so a humble angel like me gets cargo pants and an unsettlingly stained T-shirt, a high and mighty goddess gets the full black-tie treatment. Is that it?”
“Oh no!” Pete gasped horrified, “I don’t even know if goddesses are higher than angels. I didn’t mean to offend you. It’s just that I feel that I already know you, that’s all.” Lisa let out a hearty belly laugh, until she remembered herself.
“It’s okay Pete, I’m only teasing. A goddess does ‘out-rank’ an angel. Would you like to see?”
“Yes please!” said Pete keenly. The lecture theatre faded away, replaced by a gigantic cone of pure, golden light, suspended in outer space.
“I can hear flowing water,” said Pete, after recovering from the sheer majesty of the sight before him.
“Look more closely,” breathed Lisa, “it’s not water.” Pete realised that he could swim through the space surrounding the cone and made towards a particular area. He saw that the golden light was flowing, like water, in infinitely intricate streams all branching off into different coloured fluids, further and further, in myriad different paths, but all perfectly synchronised to present the illusion of free, harmonious flow, from the apex of the cone to the base. Lisa and Pete stared at it together for a few moments.
“Creation,” breathed Lisa, “seeing it all like this always blows me away too.” The playfulness was gone, Pete looked at the angel, a complex array of emotions crossed her face like fast moving clouds, there was desire, awe, concentration, even bliss. He saw passion, reverence, her truer angelic being, a soul utterly and eternally in love with creation and all in it. Eventually, Lisa wrenched herself away from the beauty before her and turned to Pete.
“You look… different,” he said. Lisa smiled and looked more tender and gentle than he had seen before. “Well, we’re getting to know each other well, I feel I can show you a deeper part of myself now.” But she suddenly looked alarmed. “No, Pete, you can’t start to have feelings like that for me. Men have fallen in love with angels before and it destroys them eventually.” Pete felt a massive bolt of adrenaline hit him.
“I keep forgetting you see my thoughts,” he said quietly.
“I’m sorry Pete, I shouldn’t have said what I did, I should have known that you would misinterpret it. Trust and intimacy are beautiful things between two souls, but when your soul reaches a higher level of existence, you’ll see that such things are different to the possessive, earthly kind of love. The higher love that I have for you and that behind the filter of your male, earthly mind, you have for me is what the ancient Greeks on your planet called agape, a perfect, spiritual love.
“Friend-zoned by an angel,” mused Pete a little wistfully, “well I suppose there’s no shame in that. But seriously, you know it was just a split-second thing? I still love my girlfriend, Sarah”
“Some tiny seeds can sprout incredibly fast, and soon start to starve of nutrients the tree which you have grown with someone else,” said Lisa knowingly.
“I see,” said Pete, he gestured at the cone of creation “perhaps you can show me where angels and goddesses fit into all this?” he said with enforced brightness.” Lisa decided enforced brightness was indeed the way to go.
“Okay Pete, time to show you my swanky pad!” the angel swam forward towards a higher part of the cone, and called over her shoulder “coming?” Pete set off in pursuit, as they got nearer still to the cone, the light became water, and closer still Pete could see a person at every point where the water of light split into separate streams. Crowds of beautiful men and woman all in similar white gowns to Lisa were directing the water lovingly downwards.
“Hi Gang!” called Lisa cheerfully. A number of angels turned, their ambient glow increasing when they saw her. (continue)