Previous Chapter: Hell and Purgatory
From there, we went to the midpoint on the surface of the earth, and I saw a blessed place in which there were trees with branches alive and blooming. There was a holy mountain, and towards the east was another mountain higher than this one. Between them lay a deep and narrow ravine, in which a stream ran south. To the west thereof there was another mountain, lower than the first and of lower elevation, and a deep, dry ravine ran between them. There were other deep, dry ravines at the extremities of the three mountains. All the ravines were deep and narrow, formed of hard rock, and no trees grew upon them. I marvelled at the rocks, and the ravines.
“What is the reason for this blessed land that is entirely filled with trees, and the accursed valleys between?” I asked.
“The accursed valley is for those who are accursed for ever,” said Uriel. “Here those who speak against the Lord and of His glory will be gathered together. This will be their place of judgment. In the last days, the spectacle of righteous judgment will fall upon them, in the presence of the righteous, for ever. The merciful will bless the Lord of glory, the Eternal King. In the days of judgment over the former, they shall bless Him for the mercy in accordance with which He has assigned them their lot.’
I blessed the Lord of Glory and set forth His glory and lauded Him gloriously.
We travelled east, into a mountain range in the desert, and I saw a wilderness and it was lonely, but full of trees and plants. Water gushed forth from a spring high above, rushing in a copious watercourse that flowed northwest. It caused clouds and dew to rise on every side.
From there we went to another place in the desert, approaching the eastern slopes of the mountain range. Aromatic trees, similar to the almond tree, exhaled the fragrances of frankincense and myrrh.
Beyond these, we travelled far into the east, and saw another place, a valley full of waters. There, a tree grew that was the colour of the resinous mastic tree. On the sides of the valleys grew fragrant cinnamon.
Proceeding eastward, we saw other mountains, and among them groves of pine trees, and aromatic galbanum flowed forth from them. Beyond these mountains I saw another mountain to the east of the ends of the earth, on which aloe trees grew, and almond-like trees that were exuding stacte which, when one burnt it, smelled sweeter than any other fragrant odour.
After these fragrant odours, we went north over the mountains, and I saw seven mountains covered in choice spikenard, fragrant trees, and cinnamon and pepper. We went over the summits of all these mountains, in the far east of the earth, crossed the Erythraean sea, and went far from it, and passing over the angel Zotiel. We came to the Garden of Righteousness, and from far off saw great trees in profusion. Among them was a tree that were exceptionally large, beautiful, glorious, and magnificent. It was the tree of knowledge, whose holy fruit give those who eat it great wisdom. The tree was as high as a fir, its leaves were like those of the carob tree, and its fruit like beautiful clusters of grapes. Its fragrance travelled far.
“This tree is so beautiful, and so attractive to look at!” I said.
“This is the tree of wisdom,” said Raphael, “from which your ancestors ate, learned wisdom, had their eyes opened, knew that they were naked, and they were driven out of the garden.”
From there, we went to the ends of the earth and saw great beasts, all different from each other. There were birds, also differing in appearance, beauty, and voice from one another. To the east of these beasts, I saw the ends of the earth on which the heavens rest and three open portals in the heavens. There were many small portals above them. Through each of these small portals, the stars of heaven passed and ran their course to the west on the path which was given to them. I saw how the stars of heaven came forth, counted the portals out of which they proceeded, and wrote down the outlet of each individual star, its number, name, course, position, time, and month, as Uriel showed me. He showed all things to me and had me write them down, telling me their names, their laws, and their companies.
We went northward to the ends of the earth, and there I saw three portals open in the heavens. The north winds proceeded through each of them. When they blew, there was cold, hail, frost, snow, dew, and rain. They blew out of one portal for good, but when they blew through the other two portals, it was with violence and affliction on the earth.
We returned to the western ends of the earth, and saw there three open portals in the heavens like I had seen in the north, and the same number of small portals and inlets as were in the east. From there we went to the southern ends of the earth, and saw there three open portals from which there come dew, rain, and wind.
I continued to bless the Lord of Glory who had wrought these great and glorious wonders, to show the greatness of His work to the angels, to spirits, and to men, so that they might praise His work and all His creations, and see the work of His might and praise the great work of His hands and bless Him for ever.