"Attila, the Hun, is sweeping down upon Rome with his hordes," he said. "You are with them. Tell me what you see."
For a moment, nothing happened; then before our very eyes, the young man's features seemed to undergo a change. His nose grew beak-shaped, while his forehead acquired a backward slant. His pale faee became ruddy, and his eyes changed from brown to grey-green. Suddenly he flung out his arms; and there burst from his lips a torrent of sounds of which Mortimer and I could make nothing except that they bore a strong resemblance to the old Teutonic languages.
Mortimer let this continue for a moment or so before he recalled the boy from his trance. To my surprise, young Bennet was, upon awakening, quite his usual self without any trace of Hun feature. He spoke, however, with a feeling of weariness.
"Now," I said when Mortimer and I were alone, "would you mind telling me what it is all about?"
He smiled. "Time," he began, "is of two kinds; mental and physical. Of these, mental is the real; physical the unreal; or, we might say, the instrument used to measure the real. And its measurement is gauged by intensity, not length."
"You mean—?" I asked, not sure that I followed him correctly.
"That real time is measured by the intensity with which we live it," he answered. "Thus a minute of mental time may, by the standards devised by man, be three hours deep, because we have lived it intensely; while an eon of mental time may embrace but half a day physically for reverse reasons."
"'A thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past and, as a watch in the night,'" I murmured.
"Exactly," he said, "except that in mental time there is neither past nor future, but only a continuous present. Mental time, as I remarked a while ago, is an infinite circle with materiality a line running tangent to it. The point of tangency interprets it to the physical senses, and so creates what we call physical time. Since a line can be tangent to a circle at only one point, our physical existence is single. If it were possible, as some day it may be, to make the line bisect the circle, we shall lead two existences simultaneously.
"I have proven, as you saw in the case of Bennet just now, that the point of tangency between the time circle and the materiality line can be changed by hypnotic suggestion. An entirely satisfactory experiment, you must admit; and yet," he became suddenly dejected, "as far as the world is concerned, it proves absolutely nothing."
"Why not?" I asked. "Couldn't others witness such a demonstration as well as I?"
"And deem it a very nice proof of reincarnation," he shrugged. "No, Claybridge, it won't do. There is but one proof the world would consider; the transfer of a man's consciousness to the future.""Cannot that be done?" I queried.