It was, I believe, a first century Roman, Plotinus, who once observed that “Man is not unlike an amphibious creature. An amphibian can live equally well on land or in water; but to fulfil its “amphibianhood”, it requires both”. As human beings we live and are at home in a time-based physical world of immediate sensory reality and perception. But is that the only and final reality? Somehow, we know there is more. Why else should we possess even the remotest understanding of and interest in terms such as “immortality” and “eternity”? Whether it is in the world of science or of free thought, the old dualistic views of mind and body and slavishly mechanistic interpretations of our world and of matter are changing or, one by one, being discredited altogether.
This in turn opens up immense possibilities for interpretation. Illness – even life threatening illness may be – indeed, undeniably is – limiting frustrating and, by definition, threatening to physical and material perpetuity. But what if we too can, with equal confidence, transpose and transform our somewhat tarnished awareness of present reality, as did RLS’s old byresman? Remember, “Something ayont “? Coleridge once wrote words, which may be paraphrased as follows:- “What if you slept and dreamed a dream; and what if in your dream you went to a beyond and there plucked a rare and beautiful flower; and what, if when you awoke, you held that flower in your hand?”
The ‘long and the short’ of it, in my submission, is that we are indeed “spirits” who in this life (which is the only life of which we have present and direct and ‘hands-on’ knowledge) are inextricably bound to the limitations of matter and time. Moreover, although a reasonably adequate understanding of and insight into the physical, physiological, mental and emotional aspects of being has been an essential pre-requisite in the ‘penning’ of these letters, this on its own – for this writer at any rate – is always unlikely to be totally satisfying and convincing. To go beyond this present point in such a volume as this would be to venture beyond the bounds that were set out in “To Whom it May Concern” at the commencement of this work. Suffice it here therefore for me now to bring this letter and this volume to a close (and in so doing to “nail’ my own ‘colours to the mast’) with some words which, although I wrote them almost fifty years ago now, are to the writer, so much more relevant and meaningful today than ever they were in those raw and ‘heady’ days of long ago:-
“Where sense and wit do flourish and abound, to quality bestow upon man’s lot, There all who own it marvel and aspire to greater gains, their little stock to prove; So, lighting softly, gently as the dew of morn upon an arid, barren spot – That “inner eye” employs to welcome in a dawn of purest light and love. Here, is a world beyond the span of mortal sense; where minds and spirits blend, And though its form and ‘face’ I cannot quite behold, yet still ’tis very real to me; to live and move and blessed comfort give, receive, as from one who is “friend”,For time is the elusion; and “here and now”, a veiled vista of eternity.” Sidney Bindemann 1957).