[ Setting: A sports field. ]

BILLY:       There was a sports field like this in our neighborhood. I loved to watch all the other kids play. I couldn’t join them ‘cuz I was too sick. Being sick wasn’t so tough on me but I know it was for Mom. She was so sad when it was my time to go. But Dad is in heaven waiting for me and Mom told me to show him how smart I am. He got killed in the war when I was just a little kid, before I got sick. So I need to ask a lot of questions to tell him what I’ve learned.

ALLEGENTIA:       I’ll be glad to help all I can.

BILLY:       So are there sports in heaven? Is there baseball? Dad loved baseball. Boy that would be great to be able to play baseball with him. I know all the rules, you know.

ALLEGENTIA:       I’m sure you do.

There are not only sports but many other types of entertainment and diversions, some you would expect and others will be very new to you. The enjoyment you find in your afterlife is much the same as in your previous life; that is, you create your own and share it with others. And as you grow less physical and more intellectual, your fulfillment will increasingly be with creativity, communication, music, culture, art, and discovery but physical play is always fun. As you live longer you will find more and more pleasure in cooperation. Relationships, like with your father, are the most fascinating because people have so many facets.

Not all of the sports you had on Earth are popular in heaven but many are, and there are others you will find very interesting. With your new body you will be able to play the sports you missed. I am sure your Dad will be thrilled to play baseball with you and take you to a game. It is a bit different though. The fields are larger because the ball travels faster and farther. You will particularly enjoy watching the players who came from Earth compete with the men and women from other planets who have taken up the game.

BILLY:       Wow! Will I get to meet people from other planets? That would be neat.

ALLEGENTIA:       Yes you will. There are people from just over six hundred planets in this part of space who will be on these Progress Worlds.

BILLY:       Will I get to visit strange new worlds?

ALLEGENTIA:       There are billions of inhabited worlds in the galaxy. For the most part they are restricted to the inhabitants who were born on them and the angelic forces who help them, just like on Earth. But there are many training worlds within sight of the first Progress World with new and interesting environments for you to explore and discover.

BILLY:       Okay, sign me up. How do I get there?

ALLEGENTIA:       When you transition from one stage of existence to another, as you are now, you are transported through interstellar space, and I can go very fast because I am carrying only your soul. After you’re in your new body and you need to go to one of the nearby training worlds, you will be carried at sub-light speeds. And when you are a true spirit you will be able to move through space on your own without angelic aid.

            But do not get ahead of yourself. There is a lot to do before you go planet hopping.

BILLY:       Okay, I’m just excited. I want to do everything. While we are talking who is driving? Will we run into anything? Do you ever sleep?

ALLEGENTIA:       I understand your excitement. And you will have all the time in the universe to do everything you want to do.

I’m still driving. I am shielded from all of the dust and radiation floating around and I will navigate around anything big or dangerous. I know, at all times, exactly where I am. Even though I am talking with you I can see any object within a few days of our current position. This gives me plenty of time and space to avoid them. Also if and when I need to slow down I can do so very quickly. I will also adjust my trajectory to take advantage of a nearby star to increase my speed. Plus, since I have taken this trip many, many times, I am very aware of what is out here.

            My form of rest is not what you would call sleep. When I rest, I make sure I am on a kind of attentive auto-pilot.

BILLY:        What kind of fuel do you use? What do you eat?

ALLEGENTIA:      There are many types of energy. In your old body, you were mostly physical but you also had some mental, personality, and spiritual energies. On the physical level alone there are thirty different phases of energy. Here, between the stars, you are also energy  soul-energy – an intervening stage between the physical and the spiritual. Pure spirit beings can pass right through physical matter as if it weren’t even there.

I take in several appropriate forms of energy which I can use to move and think, just like you took in food, water, and air to do the same thing while on Earth. There are several types of rejuvenation. The highest forms are worship and meditation. And the very space we are moving through contains the lowest form of energy I need. I breathe light just as you used to breathe air.

BILLY:       Cool! What does light taste like? What kind of food will I eat? How does it taste?

ALLEGENTIA:       Light does not taste like anything, it feels good to absorb though. Your new body will be a mix of physical and spirit substance and even though it will not have a blood-pumping circulatory system, it is still mostly a physical system. You will consume food and water; and you will need physical rest. As you become more spiritual your food will increasingly be in the nature of worship rather than biological refreshment.

You will still have your senses of taste and smell and will enjoy a full range of culinary delights. Mealtime will continue to be a very rewarding communal and family affair. Your old body depended upon the chemical breakdown and conversion of food, but your new body converts all intake directly into usable energy; there is no residue.

BILLY:       Really? That sounds great! When you first talked to us you said we are going to take seventeen years to get there. How far is that and how far can you go?

ALLEGENTIA:       We will travel about fifty-one light years, that’s about twelve times farther than your nearest star, Proxima Centauri. We are moving toward the center of the Milky Way but since it is nearly a half a million light years across we are staying pretty close to home. I can cover about 300 trillion miles in seventeen years. I could keep on going as far as my assignment dictates, but I stay within our local system.

BILLY:       Wow, those are big numbers. Do you get bored spending years just flying through mostly empty space?

ALLEGENTIA:       I don’t get bored. We are in a convoy of other angels. They are all my friends and we are good company. Other than talking with you and the other souls I have with me, we play games, solve problems, and have several creative projects we are working on. Both play and discovery are very refreshing. As a matter of fact, you could call them a kind of food too.

            I am fulfilled because I can give you transit to your next life. Carrying souls from Earth to heaven is an important service and no service is a waste of time. You would probably not be here if you did not do something for someone else without thought of yourself, thinking only of them with love. You have already learned you always get something valuable when you give something of yourself, especially if getting something is not your motive.

BILLY:       Yeah, I know what you are talking about. Mom used to call it the “GB.” That stands for Goodness Bonus. She was always making stuff up like that. So you are racking up the GB’s just for helping us get to heaven. How much longer are you going to be a pilot?

ALLEGENTIA:       I like the idea of GB’s. I will have to share that with my sisters.

Angels do sign up for specific periods of time, more or less, and that period is a minimum of eight thousand years. I am speaking of earth years, standard system and local universe years contain more time. Since a lot can happen in eight thousand years I could be reassigned or volunteer for a different task in that time. We shuffle around as needed and particularly if we are specially suited for a definite task. I have worked at lots of other jobs.

BILLY:       How old are you?

ALLEGENTIA:       Measured in earth years I am about two million years old. All beings learn and all beings grow, in that sense I age, but angels do not get feeble as their bodies grow older. Your new body will not age like it would have on Earth either.

BILLY:       Wow, you are old! So you can travel three times the speed of light, why not four or seven? Is this your maximum speed?

ALLEGENTIA:       Yes, three times the speed of light is my maximum speed. I was created with inherent self-propulsion. It took me some time to learn how to use my abilities and get good at them just like running was for you. Eventually I mastered them. But there are upper limits for all facets of natural ability, whereas spiritual growth is never ending. And for angels like me, growth is particularly tied to service.

BILLY:       Since we are traveling three times the speed of light, does that mean we can time travel?

ALLEGENTIA:       The maximum speed of physical energy is the speed of light but we are composed of more refined energy – mind and spiritual energy. You remember taking a flight of fancy in your mind while on Earth? During that kind of flight you had no space restrictions within the fantasy, but you still lived in real time. True spirit beings can eventually be completely free from the confines of time and space but when they function within finite reality they must still conform to the law of one directional time.

BILLY:       So at some time in the future, when I am a true spirit, I can go outside of time and then back in anywhere I want?

ALLEGENTIA:       In the far distant future you will have become sufficiently spiritual to be able to free yourself of the finite. You will share some of what it is like to be infinite. Your spiritual growth is the key. The more you grow the more you are able to accomplish. But even then you will not be able to jump around in time. If you need to come back into the finite realm, you will still be subject to the laws of the finite. You will enter right where time is at that point. But you should be able to jump to any point in space.

Nevertheless since God is the most creative and generous person in the universe he may have something like time travel on his agenda in the eternal future. I do not know.

BILLY:       Are there really pearly gates in heaven? Will Saint Peter meet us?

ALLEGENTIA:       There are lots and lots of gates and some are adorned with gems. Other building materials include luminous metals and, as a matter of fact, there is also a kind of shimmery pearlescent crystal construction material. Peter the apostle is not regularly meeting new arrivals, although I understand he does volunteer in the resurrection halls from time to time.

BILLY:       Are the streets paved with gold, like they say?

ALLEGENTIA:       There is a particular street on which people from your world continue to set down gold bricks. You understand this is a symbol of abundance. But everything you will see will have been built, over millions of years, by angels and humans who have come before you.

BILLY:       What about the sea of glass and the harp of God? I learned about them in Bible School.

ALLEGENTIA:       The sea of glass is a common feature on many architectural worlds. It is a gigantic crystal. We do not use magic in heaven. Certainly many things will seem very fantastic to you but when you study our physics you will see all things have been accomplished by human and angel inventiveness.

            The sea of glass is used as a landing and departure field, but it is also used as a transmitter and receiver. Curiosity is universal. We all desire to know what is transpiring in far-flung places and to stay in touch. The broadcasts of the system and beyond are sent out and received at the sea of glass. You can tune in to them with your “harp of God.” You might describe it as a very versatile, handheld computer. Later, when you have become more spiritual, the harp will not be needed because you can tap into the broadcasts as part of your own innate mental abilities.

            The apostle John, who wrote some of the book of Revelations in the Bible, had a vision of the capitol planet of the Progress Worlds. You can imagine how difficult it was for him to come up with a way to describe what he saw. Even if he had lived in the twenty-first century his visions would have astonished him. But how to describe them? The new vocabulary you will encounter on the first Progress World will be one of your first fascinating lessons. The new arrivals are easily recognized with their wide-eyed wonder, all asking: “What is that?”

BILLY:       I know you said you don’t use magic but Jesus performed miracles didn’t he?

ALLEGENTIA:       When Jesus was on Earth he did indeed perform miracles. His ability was such that he could tap into his higher powers of material, mental, and spiritual manipulation. But his creative powers are perfectly natural for a spiritually advanced person. He never resorted to trickery. He did not use his abilities for his own benefit, and he always weighed his actions against the Father’s will and the faith of the person or persons needing his help.

Coming from the twenty-first century you will understand there are many things which would be considered magic by people who are segregated from the wonders of modern accomplishments.

BILLY:       I understand. I once met a boy from Africa. He had never seen snow or a computer. He had brown skin. What color will my skin be?

ALLEGENTIA:       The first body you will personally inhabit will be a light emerald shade of violet. Others whose skin on Earth was primarily red or yellow, for instance, may retain some of those colors to somewhat match their original racial mix. While all skin tones on Earth are produced by a wide range of racial heredity, in heaven there is really no natural reason for one skin tone or another. Skin tones vary because of your spiritual character; which is always the most important factor. As you grow, your color, luminescence, body shape, and height will portray the person you have become. You will always get more beautiful.

BILLY:       Thanks for answering all of my questions. That’s all I can think of right now, and thanks for the ride. I’ll tell my Dad all about it.

ALLEGENTIA:       He is going to be very glad to see you. Now you will go to sleep and you won’t feel the time pass. You will be seeing him quick as a wink.