Aeon Magazine

It’s been a while since I added a new science fiction magazine and I’ve found a new one – Aeon from the U.K.

Like someone is there

Ineffable encounters and moments of ego-transcendence can be quite matter-of-fact. What’s really going on?

Ken MacLeod 28 September 2012

Two-Travellers-by-Jack-YeatsJack Butler Yeats The Two Travellers© Estate of Jack B Yeats. All rights reserved, DACS 2012here are two kinds of experience, both of which have happened to me several times, and I can’t explain either of them. In fact, I could make up any number of explanations for them on the spot: they may be mysterious but they’re not mystical, and they don’t make me suspect for a moment that anything inexplicable is going on. But I’ve never actually come across an explanation of them, or even an account by someone else of having had them. I’ve described them as best I could as minor incidents in novels, and I’ve hardly ever heard anyone say they knew just what I was talking about.

The first kind dates from my late childhood and early teens. It hasn’t happened since. Until the age of 10 I lived on the Isle of Lewis and that’s where it first took place. I may have been eight or nine at the time. On hot, sunny afternoons — which were rare — I would go exploring up a narrow glen near our house. Its sides were rocky and steep: two cliffs, face to face. On its floor a single-track road ran alongside a small river. I’d do daft, dangerous things like walking along a water pipe that crossed the burn beside an ancient stone bridge, or clambering from boulder to boulder. And now and again, I climbed up the side of the glen to sit on the lip of a rock step near the top, commanding the roads with an imaginary machine-gun.

On at least one, maybe more, of these adventures I became intensely aware of something that rang from the silence, sunlight, solitude, and rock. I can only describe it as a sense of some enormous presence. It was everywhere, like the shimmer of the heat in the air. Maybe I was frightened at first but that passed, and it became something that was just there, like the light.

A tale of dual awareness?

Read the rest here.

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