So sunny was the day I had to climb the cliffs to get closer to the sky. So wide was the bay I had to keep turning to expand my eyes with the view. So vast were the headlands and sea I had to spread my arms in imitation. So acute was the enthusiasm I had to try very, very hard not to shout “Thank you” to the heavens.
Why didn’t I? Ah but a sudden spontaneous one-man prayer meeting would have been no more acceptable than sidling up to a nearby shrub and chatting with the nature spirits. Or complimenting the sylphs of the air on their combination of oxygen, ozone and sunlight.
You just don’t do these things.
Let’s return to that spread-arm posture and note the symptoms. If you’re expanding like that you’ll be straightening the spine. You’ll be stretching the neck. You’ll be lifting the head. What’s more, you’ll be filling the lungs, you’ll be deepening the breath, you’ll be boosting the blood circulation.
Okay, let’s look at the opposite now. Let’s say it’s an overcast day, a cold day, a drizzling day. How’s the posture? Shoulders hunched, head aimed down, spine bent, breathing cramped, abdomen sagging, blood sluggish.
When we feel like that what do we do to feel better? Treat ourselves to a Big Mac? Go for a giant cup cake? Buy some expensive clothes? Cover ourselves in bling? Go home and flop in front of the home cinema system? Go online and order a better home cinema system? Go online and order a better online system? Order clothes, bling, takeaways, a new body, a new life?
I think of it as The Gap.
God got the sack a few decades ago. Nature and other spirits got the sack a few centuries ago. It’s hard to stretch out our arms any more and shout thank you to the air. Maybe if we can find a handy Titanic we can stand on the prow, conveniently supported by selfless pal, and turn our faces to the wind. But in the normal course of things, we’ve got a gap where the transcendent feeling ought to be.
We’re not climbing the sunlit cliffs of life. We’re not marvelling at the sunlit bay of life. We’re not spreading our arms at the sunlit sky of life. We’ve got a gap where all that ought to be. And we’re filling it with crap.
There are times when disbelief just isn’t worth it. Maybe not, you might say, but what’s the remedy? Same as if we’re watching a film or reading a book. What we need is what Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Rime of the Ancient Mariner etc) called ‘a willing suspension of disbelief’. It’s the magic carpet of story, the sorcery of narrative, the giddy flight of poetry or music.
So let’s suspend that disbelief. (We don’t need to give it the sack – too much of that sort of thing going on.) Let’s talk to the nature spirits, smile with the sylphs of the air, glory in the transcendent sun, spread our arms and shout Hallelujah to whoever or whatever seems right.
Let’s step into Dimensions Beyond.
That’s what this blog is about. It’s about anything and everything that takes us Beyond. It’s about – well, let’s compile a list – bestsellers like Harry Potter or Twilight; perennials like Lord of the Rings, The Alchemist, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull; popular TV like Buffy or Medium; films like Men who Stare at Goats or Ghost; classics such as Dante, Virgil, Milton, Goethe; science like dark matter, dark flow, quantum soup and the very substance of space; fringe science such as telepathy, psychical research and near death experiences; travellers' tales from the Beyond and how convincing or unconvincing they seem; speculating about worst fears and best hopes; speculating about hell and heaven; wondering about something between (borderland, purgatory); and so on.
So welcome to Dimensions Beyond, everybody. I hope you enjoy your visit!
May I invite you to make certain purchases? (I may? Why, thank you...)
(a) The Salamander Stone (by my most excellent and trusty pal, Mrs Me) from one of these outlets:
Direct from the publisher, Burst Books: click here
Amazon UK: click here
(b) The Two Worlds of Wellesley Tudor Pole (by Mrs Me’s most excellent and trusty pal, Me):
Amazon UK: click here
Amazon.com (US): click here
(You’ll be getting both of them? Well, that is an admirable choice, if I may say so...)