I must add that, though I am a great dreamer at night and have always at all times a strong power of mental visualisations, I am not accustomed to be controlled by it, but rather to control it; and I have never at any time had any sort of similar vision, of a thing apart from memory or fancy.
I do believe very firmly in the telepathic faculty. I think that our thoughts are much affected both consciously and unconsciously by the thoughts of others. I believe thought takes place in a spiritual medium and that there is much interlacing and transference of thought. I have never tried any definite experiments in it, but I have had frequent evidence of my thoughts being affected by the thoughts of my friends. It seems to me that this may be a case of some open channel of communication, as if two wires had become in some way entangled. The whole method of thought is so obscure that it is hard to say under what conditions this takes place. But I allow myself the happiness of believing that the place and the people of whom I have been so often aware are real and tangible existences, and that impressions of things unseen and unrecognised by me have passed into my brain, so that some secret fellowship has been established. It would be a great joy to me if this could be definitely established; and I am not without hopes that this piece of writing may by some happy chance be the bearer of definite tidings to two people whom unseen I love, and whose thought may have been bent aimlessly perhaps and indistinctly upon mine, but never without some touch of kinship and goodwill.
THAT OTHER ONE
I am going to try, in these few pages, to draw water out of a deep well—the well of which William Morris wrote as the “Well at the World’s End.” I shall try to describe a very strange and secret experience, which visits me rarely and at unequal intervals; sometimes for weeks together not at all, sometimes several times in a day. When it happens it is not strange at all, nor wonderful; the only wonder about it is that it does not happen more often, because it seems at the moment to be the one true thing in a world of vain shadows; everything else falls away, becomes accidental and remote, like the lights, let me say, of some unknown town, which one sees as one travels by night and as one twitches aside the curtain from the window of a railway-carriage, in a sudden interval between two profound slumbers. The train has relaxed its speed; one looks out; the red and green signal lamps hang high in the air; and one glides past a sleeping town, the lamps burning quietly in deserted streets; there are house-fronts below, in a long thoroughfare suddenly visible from end to end; above, there are indeterminate shadows, the glimmering faces of high towers; it is all ghost-like and mysterious; one only knows that men live and work there; and then the tides of slumber flow in upon the brain, and one dives thirstily to the depths of sleep.