The door of the cabin was open when I awoke, the sun shone brightly, and my friend, apparently happy and unconcerned, said: "Father, we must soon start on our journey; I have taken advantage of your refreshing sleep, and have engaged breakfast at yonder farm-house; our meal awaits us."
I arose, washed my wrinkled face, combed my white hair, and shuddered as I saw in a pocket mirror the reflection of my figure, an aged, apparently decrepit man.
"Do not be disturbed at your feeble condition," said my companion; "your infirmities are not real. Few men have ever been permitted to drink of the richness of the revelations that await you; and in view of these expectations the fact that you are prematurely aged in appearance should not unnerve you,. Be of good heart, and when you say the word, we will start on our journey, which will begin as soon as you have said farewell to former friends and acquaintances."
I made no reply, but silently accompanied him, for my thoughts were in the past, and my reflections were far from pleasant.
We reached the farm-house, and as I observed the care and attention extended me by the pleasant-faced housewife, I realized that, in one respect at least, old age brought its compensation. After breakfast a man appeared from the farmer's barn, driving a team of horses attached to an open spring-wagon which, in obedience to the request of my guide, I entered, accompanied by my young friend, who directed that we be driven toward the village from which I had been abducted. He seemed to know my past life as I knew it; he asked me to select those of my friends to whom I first wished to bid farewell, even mentioning their names; he seemed all that a patient, faithful son could be, and I began to wonder at his audacity, even as much as I admired his self-confidence.
As we journeyed onward we engaged in familiar talk. We sat together on the back seat of the open spring-wagon, in full sight of passers, no attempt being made to conceal my person. Thus we traveled for two days, and on our course we passed through a large city with which I was acquainted, a city that my abductors had previously carried me through and beyond. I found that my "son" possessed fine conversational power, and a rich mine of information, and he became increasingly interesting as he drew from his fund of knowledge, and poured into my listening ears an entrancing strain of historical and metaphysical information. Never at a loss for a word or an idea, he appeared to discern my cogitations, and as my mind wandered in this or that direction he fell into the channel of my fancies, and answered my unspoken thoughts, my mind-questions or meditations, as pertinently as though I had spoken them.
His accomplishments, for the methods of his perception were unaccompanied by any endeavor to draw me into word expression, made me aware at least, that, in him, I had to deal with a man unquestionably possessed of more than ordinary intellect and education, and as this conviction entered my mind he changed his subject and promptly answered the silent inquiry, speaking as follows:
"Have you not sometimes felt that in yourself there may exist undeveloped senses that await an awakening touch to open to yourself a new world, senses that may be fully developed, but which saturate each other and neutralize themselves; quiescent, closed circles which you can not reach, satisfied circuits slumbering within your body and that defy your efforts to utilize them? In your dreams have you not seen sights that words are inadequate to describe, that your faculties can not retain in waking moments, and which dissolve into intangible nothingness, leaving only a vague, shadowy outline as the mind quickens, or rather when the senses that possess you in sleep relinquish the body to the returning vital functions and spirit? This unconscious conception of other planes, a beyond or betwixt, that is neither mental nor material, neither here nor located elsewhere, belongs to humanity in general, and is made evident from the unsatiable desire of men to pry into phenomena latent or recondite that offer no apparent return to humanity. This desire has given men the knowledge they now possess of the sciences; sciences yet in their infancy. Study in this direction is, at present, altogether of the material plane, but in time to come, men will gain control of outlying senses which will enable them to step from the seen into the consideration of matter or force that is now subtle and evasive, which must be accomplished by means of the latent faculties that I have indicated. There will be an unconscious development of new mind-forces in the student of nature as the rudiments of these so-called sciences are elaborated. Step by step, as the ages pass, the faculties of men will, under progressive series of evolutions, imperceptibly pass into higher phases until that which is even now possible with some individuals of the purified esoteric school, but which would seem miraculous if practiced openly at this day, will prove feasible to humanity generally and be found in exact accord with natural laws. The conversational method of men, whereby communion between human beings is carried on by disturbing the air by means of vocal organs so as to produce mechanical pulsations of that medium, is crude in the extreme. Mind craves to meet mind, but can not yet thrust matter aside, and in order to communicate one with another, the impression one mind wishes to convey to another must be first made on the brain matter that accompanies it, which in turn influences the organs of speech, inducing a disturbance of the air by the motions of the vocal organs, which, by undulations that reach to another being, act on his ear, and secondarily on the earthly matter of his brain, and finally by this roundabout course, impress the second being's mind. In this transmission of motions there is great waste of energy and loss of time, but such methods are a necessity of the present slow, much-obstructed method of communication. There is, in cultivated man, an innate craving for something more facile, and often a partly developed conception, spectral and vague, appears, and the being feels that there may be for mortals a richer, brighter life, a higher earthly existence that science does not now indicate. Such intimation of a deeper play of faculties is now most vivid with men during the perfect loss of mental self as experienced in dreams, which as yet man in the quick can not grasp, and which fade as he awakens. As mental sciences are developed, investigators will find that the medium known as air is unnecessary as a means of conveying mind conceptions from one person to another; that material sounds and word pulsations are cumbersome; that thought force unexpressed may be used to accomplish more than speech can do, and that physical exertions as exemplified in motion of matter such as I have described will be unnecessary for mental communication. As door after door in these directions shall open before men, mystery after mystery will be disclosed, and vanish as mysteries to reappear as simple facts. Phenomena that are impossible and unrevealed to the scientist of to-day will be familiar to the coining multitude, and at last, as by degrees, clearer knowledge is evolved, the vocal language of men will disappear, and humanity, regardless of nationality, will, in silence and even in darkness, converse eloquently together in mind language. That which is now esoteric will become exoteric. Then mind will meet mind as my mind now impinges on your own, and, in reply to your unuttered question regarding my apparently unaccountable powers of perception, I say they are perfectly natural, but while I can read your thoughts, because of the fact that you can not reciprocate in this direction, I must use my voice to impress your mind. You will know more of this, however, at a future day, for it has been ordained that you are to be educated with an object that is now concealed. At present you are interested mainly in the affairs of life as you know them, and can not enter into these purer spheres. We are approaching one of your former friends, and it may be your pleasure to ask him some questions and to bid him farewell."