Part Three: Cassiel’s struggle with Judas’ guilt
Our tour group stood in the amber light of the flickering lanterns dotting the cemetery. We huddled close to our tour guide, Archangel Cassiel, who stood like a mourning statue at what I could only assume was an unmarked gravestone. The jagged boulder, about the size of a tanker truck tire, sank deep into the soft, damp soil. And for the duration that we all stood around it, Cassiel never seemed to lift his eyes from its rough, yet unblemished surface.
I watched as a dark shadow seemed to move over the angel’s gaze. It was then that I noticed that the temperature had dropped a few degrees in my office where I was channeling the tour for a group of attendees, angel enthusiasts all eager to hear from the Angel of Tears and Sorrow himself.
I was deep-trance channeling Cassiel, allowing him to speak through me, and often when angels do this, I can feel their emotions. In this moment, I could feel a torrent of pain swelling in my chest. It was a tempest of guilt and anguish, an ice storm of emotions that brought tears to my eyes.
Cassiel noticed the effect he was having on me and withdrew his angelic energy a bit, allowing me a moment to collect myself. But I encouraged him to continue by placing my hand over my heart in an effort to sooth us both.
After a brief pause, the archangel began to speak.
Furious over losing the game, the wager, whatever you might want to call it, Helel retreated to the Garden [of Eden] and laid waste to it with a single swipe of his hand. The trembling of all Creation sent humans panicking and angels scrambling. It was a terrifying moment of pandemonium that calmed only after Immanuel approached Helel and saw what our eldest—the Light Bearer—had done.
The Creator’s first work, first masterpiece, had been destroyed. The trees and flowers had become dust, the waterfalls atomized and were rendered dry, gray cliffs. The fauna turned to stone statues scattered across what was now a desolate, colorless plain. Helel then manifested a woolen cloak, drew it over his shoulders and across his chest—wherein he held the Light our Creator had bestowed upon him—and plunged the now stygian garden into total darkness.
It was then that Immanuel, who was now our king—when before there had been none—offered his hand in comfort and spoke, ‘No one in Heaven shall ever feel forlorn, brother. No one, not even you. But we have work to do. We have been charged to watch over our human siblings. It is our purpose. It is why we are here.’ There was no rebuke, no condemnation. Despite every trial and obstacle Helel threw at Immanuel during the Jesus script, Immanuel offered only love in return. I sometimes wonder if it was because our little brother chose warmth and gentleness in his request that Helel acquiesced and offered to minister to ‘corrupted’ human souls.
In that very same moment, the Creator decreed that all the archangels create their own gardens [mansions]. And to this day, some of us believe the assignment was a distraction, of sorts.
See, angels aren’t hardwired for emotions. Only after an eternity of dealing with humans were we just beginning to…feel, and that day, our collective emotions were scattered across the map with little understanding of how to process them. From elation over Immanuel’s victory, to rage over the now permanent occupation of humans in our world, to despair over the pain Immanuel had to endure for said humans, we were completely overwhelmed. And in the midst of it all, a most notable thing happened—Helel wept for the first time.
And so did I.
I stood close and watched Archangel Cassiel slip back into the shadows of the past. With his hands stuffed deep into the pockets of his jeans, his arms were stiff, his shoulders high about his ears. He was as motionless as a statue, though the bone-chilling wind rustled through his tall, spiky hair as deftly as it stirred the leafless trees on the cemetery’s perimeter.
Despite the wind, the angel didn’t so much as blink as he continued to gaze at the boulder lodged in the soft, mossy soil before us. Cassiel’s eyes shimmered with tears that refused to fall. The rest of us stood there in silence, our attention rapt by his every word.
My heart was pounding in my chest, kept on tenterhooks, in anticipation of just how much the angel would reveal this night. After all, this meditation was only meant to take a small group through his angelic mansion. It wasn’t exactly a novel or difficult endeavor. Other archangels had guided us through their personal slice of Heaven before. But I should have known that Cassiel’s tour would be different. As an angel that specifically teaches humans to set aside prejudices and ignore external appearances to focus more on the soul, Cassiel seems to always strive for full context, full understanding.
Sure, he could have just pointed to a few key features of his mansion and sent us humans on our merry way—as a few angels had in the past. But Cassiel didn’t just want us leering at the uniqueness of his home without first understanding why it was so different from any other part of Heaven, without understanding why his mansion was the only one without a sun, or why his home was the only one with a shrine dedicated to death and decay.
Most humans view death as the end of our journey. No matter how we live our lives, no matter our social or economic standing, we will all ultimately face the same fate. We will die. And in this illusion, this dream world, death is a big deal. It’s the end of all things.
The angels, however, see it differently. To them, death simply indicates that a human is done with a particular simulation, that the human is waking up from an experience. It’s a transition, not an end to anything more than a scripted assignment for our soul’s avatar. And upon completion, the experience itself is stored away in the Akashic Records just as this blog is stored away on WordPress’ servers.
Meanwhile, those of us left behind in the dream build monuments of stone. We plow thousands of acres of land for graves, fell millions of trees to fashion crates into which we will stuff a decaying husk of meat. For what? To honor the dead? Or to sooth our ourselves? To celebrate a life? Or to help us wean off someone’s presence?
I believe that the cemetery is an outdated, overpriced pacifier. It allows us time to mourn after a loved one is gone from us, sure. But in the grand scheme of things, putting a body in a fancy box is about as useful as placing a bookmark after the last page of a novel. The story is done. The experience is over.
And the memories will remain with or without a headstone.
We can also find comfort in knowing that the experience and pain of losing someone we love exists only in the illusion. There is no death in Heaven. No goodbyes, no need to cling to a pile of bones resting beneath a flowerbed.
Yet, here we all were, standing in a cemetery. In Heaven. Next to an angel in perpetual mourning.
The first thing I carved into the space allotted for me was this plot of land. Before the chapel was built, before the north mountain ridge was installed, there was just me, this rock, and darkness. I don’t know how long I lingered here, but Immanuel eventually came to rescue me from myself, Cassiel slowly knelt down to press his palms upon the stone. He said he’d been calling me. For the first time ever, I hadn’t heard him—or anyone, for that matter. I had found what I was seeking in the shadows. Silence.
His solemn voice dragged me back to the moment at hand as he insisted that the angels all regroup. While we all disappeared into our personal home-building projects, the dream worlds had been shut down and closed. All the humans were here in Heaven, fully awake.
And they were getting restless. Multitudes were eager to get back to their wars, their romances, their dramas. I wanted nothing to do with any of it. I especially wanted nothing to do with the pomp and pageantry of royalty. I couldn’t continue on as the patron of kings, and in that moment, as Immanuel stood with me in this very spot, I changed.
There was no discussion. With a mere thought, my entire being transformed, and I became the Angel of Tears and Sorrow. With that transformation, my mind turned to a single thought.
Judas. The human avatar had split off from me once I returned home, and he was burdened with every thought, every deed I had done in his name.
Cassiel paused for a moment and then chuckled wryly. You all are wondering how there’s a Judas human when I, an archangel, played the role.
We all nodded in unison. Though I’d written three books, all covering Cassiel and mentioning Judas, I never once wondered how two souls could occupy one space, one body.
In the beginning, there was the Word, and the word was with God, the archangel quoted the Book of Genesis. Cassiel swept his hand across the stone to reveal glowing glyphs that I didn’t recognize. In the beginning, there is always the Word. Your script. Your class syllabus of life lessons. The itinerary for your tour through one of the countless dream worlds.
Once you decide on what this will be and you plan it all out, an avatar is created for you. It’s more than a physical body, it’s a bundled program with flaws, inner demons, strengths, everything you need to play your role.
And when you’re done with it all, you return with a lifetime of experience under your belt, and the avatar is stored in [Archangel] Metatron, the embodiment of the Akashic Records, for anyone seeking a turn to live your life.
This bit of information didn’t shock anyone in the group, really. The angels had been teaching us the inner workings of scripts and avatars for a decade now. The storing of avatars with their full life scripts attached is what allows each and every one of us to literally walk in another’s shoes.
It’s also why we often run into someone at an office party that believes they may have been Cleopatra, Marc Anthony, Joan of Arc or some impressive historical figure in a past life. Your coworkers aren’t crazy. Well, not when it comes to this, anyway. Every soul has a shot at living through those simulations. The thought that there could only be one Cleopatra is a limited, if not antiquated, way of thinking about the cosmos, the multiverse.
We’re all Cleopatra. We’re all Julius Caesar.
Et tu Brute?
But there are some roles in our history that are too intense for human souls play—too monstrous, too destructive. Abominable. The roles are far too burdensome and could inflict immeasurable spiritual damage.
For those roles, the archangels are called upon.
Cassiel was called upon to betray his own brother, the youngest of the angels, and deliver him into the hands of humans to be mercilessly tortured for over thirty hours and then crucified. No human could endure the weight of such guilt, especially with the additional risk that Immanuel himself might break under the strain heaped upon him by Helel (Lucifer). The risk of Immanuel returning home to Heaven with a corrupted spirit was very real. Helel was banking on using Immanuel’s failed attempt at a human script as an excuse to destroy all of humanity.
Cassiel and Uriel, who were also fed up with humans, stood with Helel against Michael and Immanuel. All the other archangels seemed to have been silent in the matter, preferring to wait and see what the outcome would be.
For the first time in existence, no one knew what to expect. Well, no one other than the Creator, and she, too, remained silent to let the archangels sort out this disagreement amongst themselves.
Blessedly, Immanuel returned home safe and whole, securing an eternal place in Heaven for all humans.
It was those that stood against Immanuel who didn’t fare well. The anguish that Helel, Cassiel and Uriel endured was perhaps the first taste of what would be called Hell.
(To be continued…)