The House on the Borderland HTML version
20. The Celestial Globes
"FOR AWHILE, many thoughts crowded my mind, so that I was unable to do aught, save
stare, blindly, before me. I seemed whelmed in a sea of doubt and wonder and sorrowful
remembrance. "It was later, that I came out of my bewilderment. I looked about, dazedly.
Thus, I saw so extraordinary a sight that, for awhile, I could scarcely believe I was not
still wrapped in the visionary tumult of my own thoughts. Out of the reigning green, had
grown a boundless river of softly shimmering globes--each one enfolded in a wondrous
fleece of pure cloud. They reached, both above and below me, to an unknown distance;
and, not only hid the shining of the Green Sun; but supplied, in place thereof, a tender
glow of light, that suffused itself around me, like unto nothing I have ever seen, before or
"In a little, I noticed that there was about these spheres, a sort of transparency, almost as
though they were formed of clouded crystal, within which burned a radiance--gentle and
subdued. They moved on, past me, continually, floating onward at no great speed; but
rather as though they had eternity before them. A great while, I watched, and could
perceive no end to them. At times, I seemed to distinguish faces, amid the cloudiness; but
strangely indistinct, as though partly real, and partly formed of the mistiness through
which they showed.
"For a long time, I waited, passively, with a sense of growing content. I had no longer
that feeling of unutterable loneliness; but felt, rather, that I was less alone, than I had
been for kalpas of years. This feeling of contentment, increased, so that I would have
been satisfied to float in company with those celestial globules, for ever.
"Ages slipped by, and I saw the shadowy faces, with increased frequency, also with
greater plainness. Whether this was due to my soul having become more attuned to its
surroundings, I cannot tell--probably it was so. But, however this may be, I am assured
now, only of the fact that I became steadily more conscious of a new mystery about me,
telling me that I had, indeed, penetrated within the borderland of some unthought-of
region--some subtle, intangible place, or form, of existence.
"The enormous stream of luminous spheres continued to pass me, at an unvarying rate--
countless millions; and still they came, showing no signs of ending, nor even
"Then, as I was borne, silently, upon the unbuoying ether, I felt a sudden, irresistible,
forward movement, towards one of the passing globes. An instant, and I was beside it.
Then, I slid through, into the interior, without experiencing the least resistance, of any
description. For a short while, I could see nothing; and waited, curiously.
"All at once, I became aware that a sound broke the inconceivable stillness. It was like
the murmur of a great sea at calm--a sea breathing in its sleep. Gradually, the mist that