William Howell

“Heaven's Stepping Stones’

has helped me understand the nature and purpose of art; indeed, it has brought my appreciation of art itself nearly to fulfillment.”


William Howell

Cofounder of Sanctuary House

In late 1996, having met Hada and Hadani, I made the above statement. In my heart, when I uttered these words, was simply the sense that—if I were an artist, I could think of no greater art, no greater gift to the world than the vision of Heaven's Stepping Stones. Such a greatness of purpose: the connection of the terrestrial to the celestial via a tower whose design and elements and inscripted intention will channel the energies of heaven into useful manifested form for our earthly vibration. The purpose is matched by the greatness of the edifice (the spiraling tower topped by a discus of 1000 gold petals each inscribed with a name of the Divine Mother), an obelisk unparalleled by any in the world in terms of beauty and form--and its location (on the International Date Line between two islands currently owned respectively by the United States and Russia). And the process, so human, matches the greatness of the purpose and the actual object of art, since two global actions will necessarily intersect to produce the final stage, which is the erecting of Heaven's Stepping Stones: First, that Hada will personally carry the Thousand-petaled Golden Discus to all the sages and cultures of the world for their prayers and consecration, as well as contributions of the thousand names of the Divine Mother; and Second, that, via the news media and the documentary films that will visually move this global sojourn of popular support, the grass-roots support for this unique and uplifting project is what will move both the great nations of Russia and the United States to not only allow for the building and erecting of Heaven's Stepping Stones but also to dedicate the two islands to there People of the World and to declare these islands to belong to no time zone.

Here is perhaps the most concrete understanding that I can offer as to the fulfillment of art. Now, to be sure, art can never be 'fulfilled,' since it is ever freshly arising in each new generation via the inspiration born of human expression in contact with what might be called 'the unified field of Art'. But to have a concrete artistic expression be 1) cosmic (uniting heaven and earth) , 2) global (involving and seeking support from all the world's peoples), 3) meta-political (the worldwide voice of the people acting in a global democratic lobby to have a spot on Earth belong to no one), and 4) transcendental (the dedication of the Diomedes Islands as belonging to no time zone--to, in a sense, be 'out of time' and, therefore, a place of the eternal)...well, really, what art in all of history could make such statements! All of this, one would of course reason, assumes the success of Heaven's Stepping Stones. But not so, I think. For, the very idea--in its proportion, in its idea, in its drama, in its potential--stirs the human heart. Certainly, it has stirred mine. And this conception is like a great epic of literature--inherently poetic, involving the great forces of God and love and mortality, carried out for the benefit of all humanity for countless generations--which moves the human soul toward greatness. Even if it remains only an idea, it will stimulate other great artists to imagine beyond the normal boundaries of human artistic endeavor.

Yet I pray that it indeed is enacted, that our human species will fully support such a testament to the human heart, to our aspiration, to the understanding of what art is and what art points to and what art can do. If so, it will mean that the Age of Enlightenment, the Golden Era of Peace, the Epoch of Human Harmony has actually arrived. If Heaven's Stepping Stones becomes physical reality, then every soul will have a foundation on our planet where some of the great questions--What is Art?, What is our human purpose? and What is possible for humanity to achieve?--will have a marvelous response a monument that has become, in effect, a timeless poem, silently speaking greatness and wonder.

All this from a work of art? Yes, if the idea comes from the Source of Art and is for the highest good, then art becomes transformational for all of humanity. That, to me, is an insight into whatever the fulfillment of art must be.


William Herbert 'Francis' Howell
Abraham ben Torah
Yusuf al-Anwar al-Latif al-Jerrahi
Swami Vishnu Datta



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