Wise old King Solomon was only half as wise as this man, and yet he was very wise indeed, and governed the forces of nature and ruled over mighty spirits; even Death itself was forced to report every morning with a list of those who were to die during the day. But King Solomon himself had to die, too (...)
What happened to man when the Angel of Death came to him? What could Death be? The body became decayed. And the soul? Yes, what was the soul? What became of it? Where did it go? "To the life eternal," the comforting voice of religion said. But what was the transition? Where did one dwell, and how? "In heaven above," said the pious people; "it is there we go." "Above?" repeated the Wise Man, and gazed up at the moon and stars. "Up there?"
From the earthly globe he saw that "above" and "below" could be one and the same, depending upon where one stood on the revolving earth. And if he ascended as high as the earth's loftiest mountains rear their peaks, there in the air that we below call clear and transparent – "the pure heaven" – would be a black darkness, spread over all like a cloth, and the sun would have a coppery glow without giving forth rays, and our earth would lie wrapped in an orange mist. How narrow were the limits of the mortal eye, and how little could be seen by the eye of the soul! Even the wisest knew little of that which is the most important of all to us.