A Cabinet of Curiosities - Graig Du Theatre Players.

I alluded to this play in an earlier post and I have included the text of the radio version of the play. In 1893, C.G Harrison, a High Church Anglican, gave a series of six lectures that caused a furore amongst certain people for they believed that he had revealed secrets that should have been forever hidden. The lectures were later published as "The Transcendental Universe". Harrison, in his lectures, predicted the First World War and the rise of Communism amongst other things,The plays uses fact and fiction as Harrison is about to present his first lecture to the Berean Society. Harrison knows the threat Madam Blavatsky poses with her Theosophy movement. He intends fighting her beliefs with what he understands of the universe and the meaning of Christ's incarnation. He soothes the anxieties of Charteris, who believes Harrison is making a terrible mistake. Then he speaks with Edward Ogden, a curate, who is full of doubt about his calling. Harrison then tells Ogden of the futures of Arthur Conan Doyle and Alesiter Crowley. . .

Sounds echo in the hall as Harrison coughs politely as John Charteris is startled.

Harrison:    I did not mean to startle you, John. I thought you must have heard me with the hall beginning slowly to fill. People are curious after all.

Charteris:   Forgive me, Charles. I was making sure your papers were in order. I did not look at your jottings. This makes little sense. Perhaps I am missing something.

Harrison:    I have no secrets from the society, John. You are reading what just an outline is. I may not use the ideas because it is all they are for the moment.My mood changes according to circumstance.

Charteris:   Are you not going to use notes?

Harrison:  The words are just prompts if I need inspiration. I am just waiting to see the reaction on peoples’ faces when I do begin. There will be such wonder.

Charteris:  Do you not mean suspicion?

Harrison:   Of what, pray.

Charteris:    Fear may come from what you speak of, Charles. Much needs to remain obscure.

Harrison:   There you and I differ. I have never been silent when I believe that there needs to be enlightenment. The soul is what binds us to what is unseen.

Charteris:    When you espouse a cause, you are uncompromising. These lectures, even if they have not started, have reached the ears of certain people who are displeased with you. They understand your ulterior motives and know not what to make of you.

Harrison:   They are imbeciles. I have never been afraid to be confrontational if need should arise. My words are never my own. I interpret what has been known for thousands of years.  Symbolism is easily understood if man’s mind can be awakened.

Charteris:   People would be shocked by the implications of these beliefs. There may be malign influences among the people who will be here later this afternoon.

Harrison:   They seek to undermine their own position because they realize how tenuous it has become.  There is no difference between divine magic, Christianity, and the path they have chosen.  We have always been free to make our own choices and there will be no recriminations. You of all people should understand this.  We have argued long enough that the spiritual reawakening will flounder if it is not reinterpreted for the century that is about to come.  The tiredness of man need not be.  There will always be the truth.  There will certainly be the ones who will deny, upsetting the gentle equilibrium.  They are fools. They foresee danger for themselves.

Charteris:    What will happen if someone other than Madame Blavatsky soils the ideal? You have a unique understanding about this, Charles.

Harrison:   Helena Petrovna is of no consequence.  Her abilities were genuine; now she is dead, no longer dominated by people who wished her harm.  Her belief system will only be partially successful.  It will slowly fade through internal squabbles and its leaders will realize then that their opportunity has passed. She did have her supporters with Annie Besant and the Countess of Caithness.

Charteris:   Debasing her character will serve no useful purpose.

Harrison:    The words will be implied.  It will fall to others to decide my meaning if there is any meaning.  Her arguments do have a few redeeming qualities that are not so far removed from the truth. If only for curiosity, the man in the street should have been more inquisitive to the world that is   around him.  That would have solved many an issue if the spark of ingenuity spoke once more and the ideas of creation thought differently.

Charteris:     You know this will not happen during our lifetime.  There have been false beginnings before now.

Harrison:   The secret knowledge is hidden because man is not yet ready to understand, John.

Charteris:    You are crediting them an intelligence they do not have.

Harrison:     I have always valued a man or woman who can think for themselves.  You do not have to be Oxbridge educated for dreams that come.

Charteris:  I still say this is folly.  You are staring at an unmitigated disaster.

Harrison:    If you say so.  The reaction will be favourable.  I would never attempt anything of this magnitude if I believed differently.

Charteris:    The newspapers will not see us as esotericists.

Harrison:    The newspapers will be of no consequence.  The term is a misnomer and subjective at that.  We believe what we do and it is for another to say differently if they have the courage.

Charteris:   You make it sound so superficial, Charles.

Harrison:   You used to be so indomitable once, John.  To seek the unbridled truth about the incarnation of Jesus Christ is not heretical or does it mean that the Berean Society is practicing Black Magic.  Science should realize that it would never be the solution to the enigma of the beginnings of time.  All they have are theories and they will remain just that.

Charteris:    Tell me, how can you profess to be of the Church of England?

Harrison:    There is no definite word that describes our work.  The hidden world is what we must try to understand if there is to be peace.  People, centuries ago, far wiser than you or me, strived for what we are trying to achieve.  The divine seed of man’s spirit will be within reach and he will soon forget the troubles of the mind.

Charteris:   I stand by what I said originally.

Harrison:    My defence is my strength of character. The truth of Christ’s incarnation, the worlds invisible, and man’s place in this morass is what I hope to convince people about.  We are friends and I hope that it will remain like that for the near future.

Charteris:    I am with you as always.

Harrison:   Good man. You said that there was someone to see me.

Charteris:    Yes, I quite forgot.  Edward Ogden.  He wanted to discuss a private matter with you before the first lecture took place. I will tell him to come now.

Harrison:   Of course.

The scene fades into Harrison’s voice-over.

Harrison:      John is fair to middling in his own way.  I would not say that others determine his character.  He is thoughtful, always ready to discover something.  This brings me naturally, as to why he was disturbed.  There has already been enough anguish as to the salvation of man.  Is not land valued more than the common fellow is in this fair country? There should be protest as there has been on the continent. My theory as to why it failed abysmally was due to the sweetness of the black widow of Windsor. Thought is already anew and there is the talk of Ubermensch appearing in the picture book land of the Kaiser.  He who wishes for his greatest desire may not be so fortuitous. Indeed, where does this leave man in the scheme of destiny?  Does such an insignificant creature deserve this ignominy?  The breath of existence is hidden within the shadows of the eye of the universe and will never be fathomed by the Royal Society. That we owe our existence to a fluke is to contradict that night follows day, or that the sun and moon have been worshipped as the light of man begun its journey into this pestilence from which it will never escape.  The conundrum of our existence should be witnessed in the unseen world that is above us.  It is no fabrication to say that the world is within stages, three being the favoured number.  The light of Christ is the essence of the forbidden world as it tried to correct the vision of Divine Love that was tempered by the Lord of Misrule in wisdom.  There could be a freeing from the carcass of flesh if people would just see.  The tenderness of his thought still pervades our minds.  What are we if not but images of the mind reflecting him?  A simple act of thinking is justified when it is thought that becomes a reality.  The old adage: As above, as below should be ample enough for what I just said.  What is to say that whatever occurs within pure light is not reflected in our presence for many years if not centuries afterwards?  Light is his primary source, but there is also darkness, for he is the father of all. As the dove, he spread his wings, bringing forth his wisdom.  Chaos was nothing more than the egg of regeneration.  Manipulating time as a bull, he pierced the shell with his horns and spirit became matter.  The womb of our world was ravaged as life forms took their early visages.  The gates of life and death transpired and man became a cast-off.  He was begat because of an injustice.  The men and women of clay could be created; they were inanimate without his divinity . . .  Man will never be able to create his own salvation without God.

Harrison’s voice slowly fades out as he says:

Harrison:    Ned, my good fellow.  I thought you would have been here earlier.  I have been trying to make sense of the notes that John has put in the wrong order.

Ogden:    I did not want to interrupt what you were just reading.

Harrison:    It will probably change before the lecture.  I always like to keep my options open.  I never really know what I am about to say until I begin.  The thoughts I speak are not necessarily mine. You forever seem to be in a state of anxiety.  I have told you on numerous occasions that there will be no recriminations.

Ogden:  You cannot say that, Charles.  I do not know how you have the nerve to speak on this stage.  I am sweating just standing here with only a few people in their seats. I would definitely panic. There are many eyes watching you, curious as to what you are doing.

Harrison:    Did you overhear part of what I said to John, Ned?

Ogden:    Yes.  Surely, there is a better way to counter the claims of the Theosophical Society.

Harrison:    Ned, have you not understood after all this time? The struggle repeats itself continuously.  I, on the one hand, stand for a natural explanation for the wonders that created the world.  The good Madame sees herself controlled by forces beyond her control.

Ogden:    How could she have written her work when it has been proved that she plagiarized parts?  That is why she fled to India with Olcott. Solovyoff destroyed her good name in Paris.

Harrison:   Fortune comes in many guises, Ned.  Did not God tempt Job?  Lucifer, you will recall, could only act with the full sanction of God.  Job is considered righteous.  Lucifer contends that this is only so because God has given him great riches.  The battle commences as Job is at a continual loss as Lucifer waits for him to condemn the Lord.   There is no difference with today.  She may have erred in her way, but she believed. That is what is so dangerous. One can only go so far before one is dismissed as a charlatan.

Ogden:   My problem is that other people will misunderstand your aims, Charles.  I agree that the time is nearly perfect for this train of thought.  There has been no substantial challenge for many years.  You and I may always be complete opposites.

Harrison:    The duality of man is an apt description.  Few truly understand.  Many sources indicate this.  You only have to read a simple folk tale to understand the riches hidden behind the words.  Words and phrases attach themselves to the unconscious mind when you are asleep and you are troubled because you cannot remember from where the ideas came.  Do you recall what I said about Emily Bronte last week?

Ogden:    Of course.

Harrison:    Well, before she wrote her rather curious masterpiece, English Literature was suffering from a dearth of ideas. This story encapsulates rather cleverly the two worlds of the invisible creator.  They brutally depict life and death throughout the book. Whoever would have thought that a frail girl such as this could write so powerfully?  Cathy cannot have all she wants. She marries Edgar Linton, but, secretly, her passion is still for Heathcliff, Ned.  Nellie tells Cathy that she has the respectability she always wanted by living at Thrushcross Grange.  Were Cathy and Heathcliff twined souls and did she connive in the creation of his temperament? This book works on many levels and I always discover something new when I reread it.

Ogden:    Can there be a love that is stronger than death?

Harrison:     The residue of the spirit can remain and this is the point that Emily Bronte was making. Heathcliff has his wish when they are reunited in death.  He will never see her flesh lifeless.  His excuse will be that it will be the north wind that chills her, while if she is silent, she will be asleep.  Cathy tells Ellen that she dreamt she was in heaven and that she wanted to come back to earth.  The angels, rightly perturbed, threw her out and she came back to Wuthering Heights.

Ogden:    The sisters must have suffered a lonely existence in the parsonage.

Harrison:    No one can predict how a child will develop.  This is the ultimate mystery and will never be unravelled for all that science pretends to understand.  The books the sisters wrote are subtle and will be spoken of when   other works of literature are long forgotten.  Their personal circumstances are unimportant in what we are discussing.  You and I both know that environment can determine character.  I have visited Haworth and it is never congenial on the warmest of days.  What intrigues me is where the ideas came from if the sisters led such sheltered lives.  An idea has to originate somewhere, whether it is in sleep or a kind of ecstasy, and it becomes formulated even if the man or a woman did not know they are thinking about it.   This is why man differs from other creatures.  We are the only ones capable of thought.  Consciousness is about cause and effect.  The book achieved its aim by the taking of the human condition and formulating a new level of consciousness.

Ogden:    How does this condone the poverty that I see in my parish, Charles? The people are proud and seek no charity unless it is necessary.  I admit that I was petrified when I gave my first sermons.  I was a callow youth who had no experience of life and I was trying to tell them that the hardship they endured was necessary.  Who would believe that nonsense when I did not believe it myself?  The countryside has suffered from a lack of employment because people have moved to the cities.  They very rarely return home, except for sending a poor remittance to aged parents who are grateful for it.  Where is the justification for the workhouse when families never see each other again? Where is God in this, Charles?

Harrison:    The old ways survive with the people who remain.  They are too set in their way.  They will not allow the modern world to intrude on what they know.

 Ogden:    You have an infuriating habit of speaking in riddles.  How can I speak sickening platitudes when a mother buries her child because she dies of influenza?  Hannah says that I have aged since we have been there for these past three years.

Harrison:    Religion can be a force for good if it used persuasively and its tenets are not abused.  Your anxieties for your parishioners, Ned, are natural.  What is to say that they will escape this poverty by education?  What happens, say in a century’s time, when the descendants of these people no longer wishes to think?  What happens to the mind when it has nothing to do and it withdraws within itself?  There will be boredom of the like that you have never seen.  There is change about to take place because faith will be challenged in a way that you or I will never comprehend.  The Church will suffer grievously and, for all your good intentions, there will be less of a stranglehold on people who no longer need to worship God.  I have sometimes thought that it would be better for man to believe in God in his own way than be taught what to think and accept forgiveness for any wrongdoing that he has done.

Ogden:    That is heresy, Charles.  Man cannot deny the Almighty. We have a gardener at the vicarage.  He comes from the village twice a week.  Sometimes he brings his son, Thomas.  He is a bright child and quite inquisitive.  His questions, though innocent, would try even you. I saw him sketching outside on the windowsill one afternoon while I was in my study.  I was amazed as   I saw him draw a cabinet, with different shelves, and he was sketching images in them. Naturally, I was intrigued. I went outside.  He said that he had drawn a picture of all the strange creatures in the world and his family.  These miniatures were so life like.  I saw his mother, brothers, sisters, and grandparents who were long dead. Then, with some kind of foreboding, I asked about the faint outlines of the lion that he drew in the first box.  He said that it was God and that was how he appeared in the garden.  I looked up, Charles.  The rays of the sun played havoc with my eyes at first.  Certainly, I felt tired. I also knew that I saw the rays forming into the body of a lion, with its fine mane, fiery eyes, as it gambolled across the lawn.  Thomas’s last words to me were that you could see anything if you looked hard enough. The strangest thing was when I looked at the drawing once more there were no figures on   the shelves.  The cabinet of curiosities had disappeared.

Harrison:    Children have always seen what an adult cannot. Thomas sounds a remarkable chap.

Ogden:    Oh, he is.  Man undoubtedly believes that he is capable of his own salvation without God, but where does that leave us when he believes that he is free to do as he wishes and cannot be punished? God is never in this equation.

Harrison:   Meister Eckhart most certainly thought this.  The incident with Thomas should finally convince you, Ned.  God is many things.  His is not just a composition of faces; his power is translucent.  The echoes of creation take many forms for the person who sees.  The various belief systems reflect this.  That is why he is seen as one and many.  Love is the manifestation of self that is not self. Anyone may sense this aura because it is the means by which he is seen.

Ogden:    There is no definition, Charles, for what you just said. The hidden world has simply no bearing on disease and wants that is all pervading.  Divine love and divine wisdom would be anathema to people if they understood.

Harrison:   Objectivity and subjectivity.  How can one exist without the other? Love proceeded the era of Divine Wisdom.  This is the hidden catalyst that prevents enlightenment.  Lucifer is incapable of thinking anything beside wisdom.  Love does not exist for him because he is oblivious to the world that is above him.

Ogden:    This is just dualism in another form.

Harrison:    Yes.  How can this offer a definition of evil, Ned? We could argue until we are blue in the face. One could use every philosophical argument and still flounder.  One and one is two, so we should proceed from there.  The manifestation of light is countered by darkness.  God is only known to himself.  The ancients understood this.  Thomas saw through the eyes of a child.  Where do you go to if you cannot have one without the other?  Does not the face that stares back at you from the mirror each morning reflect the grand design?

Ogden:   I can see that there is little point in arguing with you when you are like this.

Harrison:    We have not been arguing.  We have been having a friendly discourse.  I feel much better for it.

Ogden:    These hidden worlds, who would understand?  I have read as much as you, Charles, and find the ideal of cause and effect having an influence on how we interact with our daily lives unworkable.  The world that we live in                                                                                   is for the present.  What is to say that some catastrophe will not end it?

Harrison:   There are only certain dimensions that are visible to the eye and ear.  That marvellous allegory of Genesis should be acquired reading for the discerning Christian.

Ogden:     There are many people who believe in the story of the creation and Adam and Eve.

Harrison:    I have always seen it, Ned, as an awakening of man’s consciousness.

Ogden:   You say some hurtful things.

Harrison:     Neanderthal man died out less than twenty thousand years ago.  This raises questions as to whether man has always been alone.  I just find this subject so fascinating.  You believe that you have a clear answer and it leads to another closed avenue.  The only thing that we can be certain of is the gates of regeneration will always be. The three-fold nature of man is reflected in that as he begins his journey.

Ogden:    The circle of the world is the iris of the eye that sees everything.  Blavatsky may be listening to us converse.

Harrison:    Many have tried, but it was to no avail.

Ogden:     Why is it that this woman is afforded such celebrity when most of what she writes is incomprehensible drivel?  Many people are eager for an understanding of the universe. What she does is bring theologies into the realms of fantasy.  Does anyone believe, or care whether Atlantis existed or not.  Facts are the basis of research. The problem becomes worse when the                              different leaders of theosophy appear.

Harrison:    There is always parity before the eventual forgetting of any belief system.  The information is useful amongst the chapters of her books if you know what you are looking for.  She is deluded on much, especially Lemuria and the self-generating properties of humanity.  I was intrigued by her hypothesis of the origin of IAO as an earlier name for Jehovah.  Bishop Usher’s declaration that the world began in 4004BC is nonsense.  The discrepancies between myth and fact are all too apparent: there is the problem of the dinosaurs discovered all over the world.  Why are they not in the Bible?  The lessons of the Bible will be attacked years from now and there will not be much that can be done to stop this.  Once more, I will say that this must occur for man’s progressive thoughts if he is to be reconciled to his divine origins.

Ogden:   There are many who would disagree with you.  I hope that I will never live to see the time when the teachings of the Church of England are not held in the highest respect.  We would be despised if we forgo the beliefs of Christ that have determined our national character.

 Harrison:   The brain suffers temporarily when there is a lack of sunlight, Ned.  The nature of the universe, as I just told you, only becomes cognizant after many aeons when there is tranquillity between the divide of humanity and the other sphere.  Black magic, not the occult practices, has always existed.  Good and evil are just that because they are understood in different ways.  Blavatsky is a chameleon.  She has never been what she claimed to be.  Her words, if they were ever her own, challenge the orthodoxy of the established viewpoint and will continually try to poison the mind of man by telling him that he has been misled throughout the centuries in the pursuit of the ultimate knowledge. She does not know of what she speaks, Ned.  I really do admire her in her own peculiar way.  I will counter her arguments in later lectures.  The malign spirits that attended her have forever been the bane of humanity.  They act as leeches and do not vacate their host until death has occurred.

Ogden:    Did she ever meet Bulwer- Lytton, Charles?

Harrison:   I have heard that mentioned.  There is no evidence to confirm or deny that or many other things that she has claimed to have done.

Ogden:    She should be satisfied that she has had the freedom to do what she did.

Harrison:   Freedom is another illusion. Democracy is the greatest flaw that ever befell man. Dissent is always stopped before it takes a foothold.   What we speak of is obscured on purpose. There will come a time when there will be no need for secrecy.  That time is not upon us. All we can do is warn of the danger that is present and will make its presence felt.  Our Church is emblematic of the power that Britain has succeeded with her Empire.

Ogden:   I do not know where I am with you on occasions, Charles.  You call yourself a practitioner of the occult, yet you profess to be High Church.  Is it little wonder that the Anglican Church is so indifferent to the doctrines of the Roman Catholics who will not tolerate dissent?

Harrison:    Sometimes I like butter on my toast in the morning. Do you not find it particularly amusing that our age of peace started with Waterloo and will continue for a good few decades yet?

Ogden:    You are hinting at something when you are like this.  You have proved so much to me when I could not see the obvious.  You must have thought me extremely naïve.

Harrison:   That shows how little you understand me, Ned.  Our conversation may have already taken place and that is why I am now speaking to you.  The invisible worlds are of anger and joy.  Whatever takes place on the spiritual plane is reflected in some way to man.  To understand this is to see the light of creation in his thoughts that may take any reality or form.  You should know that education is normally the barrier to being party to what the mystics and seers perceive.  The souls cannot be sullied in their patterns if they are to be set free.

Ogden:    Then you do believe in reincarnation?

Harrison:    I neither believe nor disbelieve.  If you have true belief, you will comprehend the eternal struggle of the Father as the word was made into flesh and incarnated into any forms to foretell that this aeon will not last.  Those souls, once unencumbered, will be free to seek the sanctuary of the rapture where they will lose their raiment of putrefying flesh.  The end will see the spirit no longer tainted by the stigma of a rebirth, as he becomes part of the greater whole that has always remained.  Hundreds of thousands of people were butchered in Europe because they thought like this.  However incompatible a system is, it should never be used as a pretext for mass slaughter.  Philosophical arguments aside, theosophy is just a pale imitation of   what has gone before and will come again before the century is not quite dead.  Decency and fullness is what the sun and the cross represents, Ned.  Your little friend drew it in one of his cabinets.  A child sees the world differently.  You were overflowing with enthusiasm when you spoke of him earlier.  I just simply garnered the information.

Ogden:    You do not have to explain yourself.  I was going to say something else about a curious tale young Thomas told me.

Harrison:    This has aggrieved you.

Ogden:   In more ways than I imagined.  I have had everything I believed questioned because there was no pattern to what the boy told me.  I have searched, for many years, toiling in libraries, for an indication of what is unknown and I do not interpret it to suit my own means.

Harrison:   You would never do that, Ned.  You are the most assiduous scholar we have.  Evidence is what we have sought in a way to prove the doubters.  You and I know that is difficult, if impossible, to achieve because all eventualities are covered and an educated man, who should know better, will realize their positions are untenable if the veil is weakened.

Ogden:    I always believed you when you told me that evidence suggests a possible cause.

Harrison:    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.  You can always read too much into something until it becomes plausible.  This lad, Thomas, has   brought doubt to your mind.

Ogden:   It was the gentleness in his eyes that confounded me. He stood in the doorway to my study; I was not aware of his presence.  The corner of his mouth would turn up into a smile and I would find myself so full of joy.  He told me that he had been drawing out in the sun.  Hannah said he looked thirsty and told him to ask me for a drink of lemonade.  He held the drawing to his chest and told me that he had been drawing a picture of my father planting potatoes in his field.  I was intrigued by this.  How could he have known that my father was a farmer?  I asked him if I might have a look.  He showed it to me.  I was astounded by the detail.  There was a farmhouse in the distance, smoke coming from the chimney, and I could see the cows in the other field.  In the centre of the picture, a man, his back obviously troubling him, was planting potatoes.  There was a little boy by his side, his features were indistinct, and who was making holes with a mandrel stick so my father could put the potatoes in.  I knew it could not be me because father had labourers in to do the planting in later years.  I could not understand who the boy in the picture was.  He looked like me, yet he was not me. He said that the little boy was telling his father of a dream he had.  He was playing by the brook the previous day and the children who were standing on the water wanted him to come and play with them.  He went and had a wondrous time.  There were so many apples to eat that the boy would not eat them as his new friends wanted him to.  The time came for him to go and his friends gave him magical money that had strange writing upon it.  The last item was a smock coat that was to be burnt and the ashes scattered upon the farmland so the crops would grow bigger than they ever had.  He said the boy had burnt the coat the previous morning and had scattered the ashes where he was now planting the   potatoes.  His father laughed, telling him that they would have to wait until next year to see if the dream came true. The little boy was going to tell him that he had been there, and that he intended going back after he had finished planting the potatoes.

Harrison:    Thomas told you the boy was your brother.  Did he tell you his name?

Ogden:    Richard.  As far as I knew, there had only been Edie, my sister, and me.  Edie was still living on the farm with her family.  My mother, by then in her early seventies, was living with them. My father had died of consumption many years previously.  She told me, after much hesitation, that I had a brother called Richard and that he had drowned in the pond by the brook that was filled in.  What I find puzzling is that she did not ask me how I knew, Charles.  The story Thomas said is truthful.  He was a lovely little boy, she said, always laughing, reading, and helpful around the farm.  Neither of my parents could understand why he went to the brook that day.  He could not swim and my father filled it in almost immediately after the funeral. They never got over his death and did not want us to know, as we growing up, about Richard and his death. The unnerving thing she told me was that, when the weather was foul, the other smallholdings suffered with poor crops.  Theirs, on the other hand, seemed to thrive and were bigger than their friends were.  How could Thomas have known of this?

Harrison:    Then you believed him?

Ogden:    How could I not?  I would like to be as innocent again as Thomas is.   I must go now, Charles.  My seat may be taken.

Harrison:   Children will never deceive us, Ned. 

Ogden:     I denied the truth after I watched him leave with his father.  This rare gift will desert him, as he grows older. The innocence will be replaced by a brutal cynicism.  When he turned back to wave, I saw his eyes.  They were no longer a child’s eyes.  His will was different.  It was merged with God, so Thomas’s will was not his own as he saw what had come before.  He probably would not have remembered what he had told me if I questioned him the following day.                

Harrison:    To be in your position with the boy is something I would be intrigued with.

 Ogden:    I will do all that I can to see that he is protected. I would hate for his innocence to be a fleeting memory, as he grows older.

Harrison:    You have become over-wrought. We have digressed from our main objective. I saw you staring at the palm- prints that appeared on the table.

Ogden:    I believe I did see something unusual.

Harrison:    This is part of what I will speak of much later. Neither of us are what we seem. I will obviously court unfavourable publicity, but this is what I have planned for. My aims are for enlightenment, not severe criticism. What occurs here, over the next few hours, will be of little consequence to the people who do not see.

 Ogden:   Your motives are duplicitous and you understand that all too well.  

Harrison:   Our aims are similar. That is why I have offered my guidance. You were never afraid of the practicalities.  I could say many curious things and you would not disbelieve.

Ogden:    That is because they are always true. Your truth does not sit comfortably with the established ethos.

Harrison:    My views are never distasteful. There has never been much difference between belief systems. The change of thought has continually taken place and people are unaware of it until it is much too late. Foreknowledge is never misconstrued. Our age will naturally end; Great Britain will be grievously weakened.

Ogden:   Will this be the new spiritual awakening?

Harrison:   You will only know that within the next thirty years. There will be no light because the darkness has never been dispersed. An idea is unleashed that will cause suffering because humanity has been prepared for it.

Ogden:   Surely, this could be avoided? A national identity does not determine what a people believe. This could never happen in Britain with the instruments of power that we have to keep the state in check.

Harrison:    You are quite right. Islands have never been as temperamental as the continent has. We, the models of decaying flesh, are supposed to be in harmony with this level of existence. That is how consciousness develops, man becoming his individual self.

Ogden:   No spiritual reform can be authoritarian.

Harrison:    What of Cromwell?  Suppression can take many forms before it appears as something else that is the exact nature. Is the individual responsible for what has occurred?

Ogden:    Of course, he is.

Harrison:   There you are mistaken. There have been dualistic beliefs and they are strengthened when an atrocity happens.  The evil that has always been prevalent will never cease. Man’s individuality becomes neutered. His spirit and soul will never escape. It is quite simple, Ned. The symbolism of the forbidden is there for those who have the understanding. Legends have a way of coming into their own. A new creed will never flounder when there are variations. The universe divides, remaining a tantalizing riddle. The madness has affected multitudes who try to use the healing power. Their consciousness will be plagued because it misunderstands what it perceives. Fear is turned against the aspirant and their minds are turned inwards. Truth and honesty is what marks your individuality. There is no fallibility.

Ogden:     Of whom do you speak?

Harrison:    Science will destroy the basis of biblical theology. The hidden pictures within its text will prove that I am correct in my assumptions.  Pilate said, “What is truth?” The fool washed his hands when he should not have. He saw the purity standing before him, defiled by man’s bestiality. The Bible is the next facet of man as he escapes from his darkness. There will be forgetfulness, I fear.

Ogden:   That will never occur, Charles. Christianity has infused every aspect of life. There should be no recusant’s paradise.

Harrison:     Enlightenment dissipates when the century turns.

Ogden:    Do you believe that the disciples were mistaken when Christ said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father?”

Harrison:   You should keep your voice down.  I believe what you just said. Materialism has been our bane.  The reality and illusion you just mentioned is a good example. Sometimes, when something is unseen, it can destroy the mind. The disciples were perturbed by his reappearance and knew they could not comprehend his simulacrum. The hidden emanation is what all long to witness, Ned. These people will only succeed to a certain degree.

Ogden:    Why would man meddle? I only recognized Conan Doyle from your list.

Harrison:   Doyle will suffer more than most. The coming war will see to that, Ned. He believes that he sees tiny sprites with gossamer wings floating in a girl’s retina. The photographs could be more than five. After the slaughter on the fields of France, families will seek solace with those who believe they communicate with spirits. Doyle will be their defender and it will destroy his reputation for prudence. (Pauses). Aleister Crowley, on the other hand, seeks debasement of both sexes. Believing himself to be bitten by a Brazilian wandering spider, he hovers near death. These men are important because of their weaknesses and the vision they will see beyond the veil. Their anguish will have been felt by others. I do not know if they will ever be the same once they awaken from the despair they create for themselves. Crowley is still a callow youth who will cause no end of problems. Doyle has always been plagued by the fear of failure and a restlessness that will be never be conquered. My only wish is that the acquaintance they have made with the inner light will not be too traumatic for them.

 

Harrison’s voice slowly fades out.

 

 

(The End)

 

 

Views: 267

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of National Theatre Wales Community to add comments!

Join National Theatre Wales Community

image block identification

© 2022   Created by National Theatre Wales.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service