'It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream'.—Edgar Allan Poe
It was the extraordinary year 1868, when I had met the mystifying illusionist Monsieur François LaFontaine in Paris, France, after one of his distinguishable performances at the prestigious Théatre de la Porte Saint-Martin.
I had expressed my profound admiration and appreciation, for his brilliance and intellect as a bona fide doyen.
He was fully perceptive of my immediate presence and name as an established writer worldwide.
He invited me to join him in the green-room afterwards, so that we could converse about the fascinating concept of what he simply called cognitive vision.
Once inside the room we sat down, as he started to speak about this interesting concept of his that he wished to share with me at length and privately, with such meritorious eloquence and inference.
I then remained attentive, as I had descried the serious nature in his pensive eyes.
He commanded with his words, such an imposing dominion and aperçu, as I witnessed the inquisitive mind that he possessed of an eclectic genius.
I was not certain, when I had first perceived his sensory powers of persuasion and illusion, but his overpowering influence was verily captivating and laudable.
His elementary parlance was not a circumlocution, but impeccable and inspiring.
As I heard Monsieur Lafontaine, I pondered for countless years, about the contemplation of seeing the future; and many times I had been disconcerted by my sentient awareness, and the growing cacoethes that became implacable and irresistible.
I had resisted the once impetuous temptation to be dauntless in my provisory endeavour to elucidate that consideration of predicting the future in public.
However, the days of apprehension manifested in the continuous urge to answer my questions and seek the vehicle of that contingency.
I was restless, and my desire was to effectuate that consideration, as a loyal exponent of this theory.
Although I was a neophyte in the matter of time prediction and mutable composition I had been animated, by the curious phenomenon of illusionism.
This was sufficient for me to search for Monsieur Lafontaine, who could proficiently attain that actuality.
Therefore, my reservation and attention were directed towards the ambiguous and peirastic vision of the future and my possible fate.
This nascent sentiment in me was present in my drawn obsession to reveal the truth of that vraisemblance, as I heard him.
An esoteric truth that lingers in our conscience constantly and sadly misconstrued, as a paralogism and prolixity to discept.
He professed to me that the chilling account he was to disclose knowingly was not a probability incompossible or implausible to conceive, if we allowed the active mind to enable its extensive depth of creativity and power of sentience and concentration to develop.
The mind is frangible, when we are susceptible.
It was his idiosyncrasy and amour propre that I had perceived indubitably that actuated his prescient and presumable apperception.
His cerebral prowess defied the Dionysian nature and vagaries of the conventional and subaltern thoughts of humans that were always protean and paltry.
His perspicacious dominion on the subject began to arrest my consequential fascination very impigrously, as I became his pursuivant.
Thus, the following account is an explicit narrative, and the gorgonising words related are those veraciously purveyed and spoken by Monsieur LaFontaine, with such accurate authenticity and purview.
There were indeed no other individuals present nearby to experience or confute the unbelievable experiment that ended afterwards in his inexplicable disappearance—or could make the actual corroboration of this unusual occurrence.
His splendid narrative began magnificently, with the opening revelation that elaborated this exceptional concept of cognitive vision verbatim.
'The mere capacity of the brain to transmit dynamic thoughts that are invariable and efficacious is exceedingly correlative, with the function of the cognate subjects of psychology and phrenology. Hence, the foundation of our brain demonstrates the propensity to adhere to a visionary state of mind, through our hypermnesia that permits us to envision the pre-existing and contrarious world that opens the door of the illimitable thoughts, unto a sempiternal journey of supraliminal protension. The empowerment of our mind is indelible, when it pervades the serious introspection of the psyche of man volitiently, and is not interpreted as psychosomatic. Cognitive vision is a vision I shall attempt to expatiate the purport and presupposition of its rendition. It consists of the principal and farraginous elements indicative of the interface of human psychology that are existential and manifest. Perception, creativity, attention, and memory, are the miscellaneous components cogent to attaining, such a meaningful enlightenment. You will question the principles we ascribe quotidianly, with persistency and nimiety. Knowledge is acquired through facts, ideas, concepts and meanings that are incipient and intrinsic to the telic evolution of the psyche of the Homo sapiens. The hierarchy of this mechanism is triggered, by the effects of stimulation conscious or unconscious. This is not the fruitless furtherance of an involute phenakism or clever legerdemain. There is a clock near, and if you can sir, adjust your pocket watch accordingly'.
He then paused and continued, 'I confess that I do not know, when this indelible fixture in my brain began to manifest in the noesis that was developing, within an intractable leviathan that encompassed me at gradual degrees of irregular intervals and involution. Though I am not a scientist and only a mere illusionist, I express my admission as an advocate to this process that with frequency and sudden expectancy, I doubted my sanity and presumed my thoughts to be a pattern of a mind non compos mentis. Perhaps this assertion is interpreted as a non sequitur, but I shall convince you of the powers of cognitive vision. Now, if I may ask you to stare at the pendulum that sways as a visual trope, and allow your inchoate thoughts to pervade into your cognition willingly and ably. Allow your mind to be hypnotised and not non-plused, by the thoughts and words I convey, as if you were personally experiencing this experiment. Now, that you are hypnotised, take a deep breath, and then imagine a nonpareil world that presently is latent materialising before you. Permit the vision to transcend the boundary of your conscience and separation of your somatic and psychological capacity. Seek this parallel universe found in the core of your brain. Thence, it will manifest into a vivid reality and abandon the invisible portal of surreality forever possibly. It no longer will be a viduous and ambiguous preconception or sophistry, but zetetic.
The strange vision I describe manifested in earnest, upon an ordinary midday, when I was practising this mental exertion privately. Therefore, as a subjective illusionist I was always challenging my percipient mind mentally. After I consciously had indulged in the process of constant meditation and concentration, I was capable of expanding my random thoughts and convert them, into valid concrete actions. I had pondered the approximation of the existing and potential realm of the immediate future and its vast and illimitable boundary, as I divagated. I found myself slowly submerged in the deep thoughts that were representative of my actual imagination, as I began to drift into a hypothetical state of mind. I had questioned whether or not my brain was not being circumvented by an opium dream or an active hallucination. The plausible definition of what I was then experimenting was new and revealing, with a variable presence that engulfed me in an unremitting trance that absorbed my faculties gradually. My engaged consciousness was starting to diverge deliberately, from the omniscient omphalos that was always present and congruent.
The unique sounds from my circumference began to deafen in an absolute quietude that had sequestered my attention, as my physical body soon became motionless and stiff. I could not feel the frame of my physical totality, as my mind had long controlled my instinctive movements completely. My breathing was modulated and eventually reduced to the necessary respiration to survive, as a human. The rhythm of the constant beating of my heart as well was scarcely heard then. I did not hear the tick-tock of the clock or watch. I was now mesmerised, by the control of my wielding brain. All my senses had interacted and were extremely cognisant of this occurrence. Moreover, I had lost the notion of my previous concurrent reality. An abstract and unproven theory had converged within an unfamiliar horizon demonstrating a viable antinomy. The fear of dying of death or astray in madness was no longer a concern, since my mind was absent of this pertinence. I was now beyond the portal of this world, as I saw total darkness in the beginning, and heard a heavy ringing in my head, while I perceived at intervals, the presence of heteroclite entities that were truly indescribable and unclear.
I heard nothing until the sound of voices vaguely I listened attentively, as they spoke incoherently. The ringing in my head grew with such intensity, while I had languished in this voluntary stupor. The endless seconds and minutes transpired and became hours that enveloped, with the plenary darkness present. My ability to distinguish the truth was unsettled and distracted, by the mental process I had initiated with instant success. However, the peril of my decease was probable and less conducive to my uncertain action. Thus, I had continued with the experiment as keen senses were increased and activated, by the tinnient sound. Therefore, it was afterwards, through the dreary murk I had traversed that a sudden light radiated intensively. I could not decipher the true origin of the light, as it scintillated bright. Then the unrecognisable voices were starting to be intelligible and the language I understood plainly. The surreal moments were occupied, with the reservation of the consequence of my action. Afterwards, I saw the futuristic guise of a man speaking to me dressed in peculiar clothing, I could not quite acknowledge. For a very brief instant, I feared my death, and damage to my brain'.
He kept on speaking, until he grabbed my shoulder tautly. Suddenly, I awoke from my deep trance sweating and shaking. But what I saw next would surprise me, and at the same time confound me. I saw at first, a lugubrious amorphic shadowy figure of a man standing before me, as he was grabbing my shoulder. His voice began to be muffled, and he disappeared swiftly into the air of our world. Was he a phantom of the theatre or was he a man from the future? Had I seen with the naked eye, a transitory glimpse of the future I had vaticinated? I noticed that the clock had changed the hour, the theatre was no longer a theatre, but an abandoned museum, with wax figures and few books on the racks torn from the covers and pages. From my vantage point, I could see that there was an old newspaper that had the date. It was anachronistic and the year was 1968. It was a soupçon of the future and evidence of a clear manifestation. But that was not the only shocking revelation that was unexpected and sudden. There was a calendar intact nearby, with the year 2168 engraved in the top front of the calendar, and there was more that I would witness. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to peruse the books on the racks, or seek other items within the museum. For a short period of time, I was in the future. I had triumphed over the convoluted core of the brain.
Verily, through my unequivocal admission I disclose, amidst the pleasure of such wondrous prospects of delight in the future I saw as well, the terrible and horrible façade of the future. You see, I was anxious to know what existed, beyond the interior of this abandoned museum. Thereby, my elevated curiosity had compelled me to satisfy my inquisitiveness with immediacy. When I had stepped outside to glance at the world, I was shock to see the abject ruin and complete destruction that I had observed, with utter dismay and stupefaction. The sky was totally dark and contaminated, with a Plutonian shade of caliginosity, as the clouds were nothing more than unstable cumuli of convection. I did not know if it was day or night, and I had presumed it to be night-time. However, I did not see any stars in the signifer sphere. The land was barren and desolate, as I saw nothing but dilapidated buildings and wreckage circumjacent. My compulsion had compelled me to explore more this fascinating world of dystopia I had discovered. Thereafter, I walked cautiously unto one of the uninhabited buildings that had remained partially intact. When I entered the building, I found a colossal and inordinate object standing in the middle of the building. I was not certain of what the abnormal contrivance represented, or what its function was. It appeared to be an enormous automaton of some nature constructed, and I had proceeded to investigate, but as I got closer, I noticed that it had a gadget that resembled a green button to press.
I then pressed the button, and the unusual machine began to operate itself, as if it was indeed an automaton. A large wheel made of solid bolts of steel had begun to spin, and activate the machine as it rotated in a circular manner at degrees. I heard the loud sound of rust and the rotation of the wheel, as the bolts had pressed against its rough surface. Indeed, it was a magnificent piece of absolute machinery. It had a huge clock in the centre which had the year 2168. Apparently, it was a machine that recorded the history of time. Unknown to me, the loud noise had attracted the attention of a stranger. I heard the sound of an individual approaching and I hid behind a pillar. Afterwards, I had seen a shadowy figure of a strange being that resembled a man from afar, reaching and standing before the automaton. But as I got closer and closer, I could plainly see his guise at last. He was a hideous mutant of deformity, who was half-man and half-monster. His massive head protruded over his body, as I could see a huge incision that allowed me to see his brain. His skin was covered with rashes and tumours caused by an abnormal growth of tissue, like a lurid ronyon.
The phenotypic effect of his mutation was discernible, as well was the morphogenesis of his teratoid creation and malediction. I was not certain how the changing of the structure of his gene had resulted in this variant form of abnormality. This being I could only fathom, with such ghastly apprehension. Although he had a prestriction, he sensed me standing there behind a pillar alone, and headed towards me with urgency and depravity. I ran outside as fast as I could. Soon, the puffy clouds had begun to drop acid rain on the earth. I was extremely fortunate to sense the arrivance of the ominous tempest, and scurried back inside the museum, as I stared at the deleterious rain that fell. I locked the door tightly, hoping that the horrendous mutant would not enter or reach me; yet, the acid raindrops had covered his grotesque skin full of such unsightliness and abhorrence. His skin started to peel off, as he was reduced quickly into exiguous particles of dust. There was no wind, no lightning that stirred abruptly. The only visual remain of the storm was the implacable darkness that enveloped the whole landscape. The inscrutable vision I had witnessed of this occurrence would cause me to be affrighted; but thrilled with the variable elements and indeterminate sequences of the future that I perceived at that moment as well. My stay was interrupted, by my physical limitation and capacity and I had returned to this world, with no tergiversation.
But, upon the following night I had attempted the intricate experiment and consecution thoroughly again, as I sought to repeat the sequence of events of the previous experience, with ultimate success and a bit of mnemonics. I knew and was cognisant of the capacity and vis of the brain to achieve this contingency and goal. Once more, I exerted my mind through the method of exploration and concentration equipollently. Even though I was the best illusionist in Paris, still I did not assume to know what was veritably my imposing and undefined limitation and exaptation. I have travelled and performed much in this world, and had reached the quatervois, but this phenomenon of cognitive vision was engrossing my percipience daily tremendously. I had many placards of my name engraved in such fine letters before, but I would never forget the placard I had seen, when I was afresh, in the unfamiliar surroundings of the future. How can I efface that incredible and revealing vision I had witnessed, with my keen eyes? It is impossible to explain in its entirety that, which I saw with scepsis. Therefore, I shall proceed with the essential part of my narration, without needless interruption.
That night my intention and aspiration were to progress with the experiment, and comprehend even more the corroboration that could be deduced in the end. After profound thought and meditation, I reached the portal of the future that was again exposed to my malleable vision. Through the darkness I had seen the scintilla of the coruscated light, as the blurry images of beings appeared through the entoptic film of my pupils. Soon they became clear to see and speculate, as I stood within the streets of Paris. The language of the individuals was the demotic idiom of that society. I could see people of the bourgeois walking in the boulevard, with their peculiar garments and footwear that were extremely foreign and antipodal to me. What arrested my perception was the fact that the persons walking were revealing in their attire. The vehicles that passed were no longer slow carriages, instead rapid bolts of energy. There were boundless mechanical devices of contrivances all around me. The year was 2068, as I had picked up a recent newspaper to read it.
But the placard I escried upon one of the tall edifices nearby had displayed, (Come and see the wonders of art and magic of Monsieur Pierre Lafontaine on display, at the Théatre de la Porte Saint-Martin.) Immediately I reached the theatre, dressed in my Victorian clothing that was not conspicuous to the persons who walked. You see, they could not see me, for I was invisible in my xenization. I would soon discover that Pierre Lafontaine was my descendant of the future. Yes, he was directly related to me. I felt a frisson and was shocked, by the revelation and occurrence, as my mind was absorbed totally in a foudroyant disbelief. I had yearned to communicate with him, but I could not. And what was more chilling and compelling was that he was the mysterious futuristic stranger, who visited me before. He was inside the theatre rehearsing, as the clock in the theatre struck. What was miraculous and unbelievable to me was that he as well was attempting to communicate in bouts, but in the past. The coincidence was a striking and fascinating stimulus that I could not forget so facilely. All that I had attempted in this intrinsic and experimental experience had concluded, in complete and undeniable success. Anon the duration abated, as my body could not withstand the powerful drama that was unfolding so deeply and forcedly, with such monumental effort'.
After the hypnosis had concluded I asked Monsieur Lafontaine, when I awoke from my Morphean trance of mollification gradually and opened my eyes. 'I must know one thing from you, when and where is the point of no return that encroaches, Monsieur Lafontaine? Your unbelievable words of a precept have compelled me to know, and it necessitates my pressing intrigue. This convincing fascination that dispels the irrefragable and invincible sensation I have felt since the very beginning, with your predicative resolution and deportment'.
He replied as he looked into my eyes at first extemporaneously, then equanimously. 'Truly I do not know, for it is presently inextricable. But there is one thing I can verify that what I saw was an essomenic vision attainable and empiricutic, and not axiomatic. Many may interpret my vision of eccentricity, as an ultracrepidarian invention and have a certain recrudescence of doubt. You see, the concept of life is associated with death, and the trammels of gloom haunt the Puritan minds of our veritable society, as an endemic part of humanity. Therefore, the probative pith of this truth is found, within the peremptory belief that binds us to our reality. Whether it is for religion to dictate the protreptic thoughts of mankind, it is not for me to deem judgment gratuitously and remonstrate against, with a nugatory hauteur; but if we allowed for this introductive vision of seeing and predicting the future to expand and perpetuate amongst the throng of naysayers who are sophronised, this concept will fade into the lore of our oblivious memory and be gnomic forever. It would be better to acknowledge that the point of no return reveals itself, when and where within the vision, we notice its capacity. The chrysostomatic narrative I have given you is the abnormal reality I have experienced momentarily in my vision. Once more I reiterate, this is no discretionary ruse or necessary casuistry. In this experience I must confess that the boundary of the present and the future I witnessed has filled me with fantastic excitement and horror. Consequently, my death will be determined an odd occurrence and my body consigned to an empty tomb or urn, but you who have heard my account will know otherwise. Now, I fear my time in this existing world has come to an end, but I shall return one day to visit you. Just as the mysterious man of the future appeared to me—so shall I return to you, and when the clock strikes the hour of my return, a blurry and shadowy vision of a figure will manifest into me. First, you will hear the sound of the wind, then my voice on a recording will be transmitted. You will know it is me, who is calling you at that moment. Your pocket watch will stop for a few seconds, as you do not hear the sound of the watch or see the hands moving. Do not be frightened that nothing will be wrong with your pocket watch, or that you are going mad. I shall not haunt you instead, I shall serve as proof that cognitive vision is real. Afterwards, the hands of your pocket watch will turn backwards, until it stops to a complete halt'.
It was time for his final act of an irrevocable illusion, but this was no trick or human deception employed afterwards.
It was no conjectural ploy of mere illusion of his successful performances—or a gross perissology.
Once more, he told me to close my eyes and think about the mysterious man of the future in quiescence.
Thus, I did what he asked—but when I opened them I perceived a protean intonation, as his manful voice began to fade.
I saw then that his body was disappearing. He soon vanished into the air, as the futuristic man emerged dressed in the peculiar clothing Monsieur LaFontaine had described before.
It was a transient stay, and I walked towards him to touch him, as he looked at me standing.
He had vanished too into the air, with no vestige left behind.
Subsequently, I heard the vibratory sound of the clock.
Gone was the great illusionist Monsieur François LaFontaine.
His final act of éclat no one except me witnessed.
For years I have attempted to understand what occurred with Monsieur LaFontaine, as I walk vagariously.
Hitherto, I cannot explicate this occurrence, through mere words of definition.
But I am extremely sanguine, and one day I shall discover the durable mode to predict the future, or even remain there forever in this incredible ubiety, through my thoughts.
I shall not abdicate that thrilling possibility or prospection. Ipse facto, the future awaits us.