On my way to the kitchen, I passed by my Dad’s old bookcase. I rarely acknowledge this particular bookcase because since he was an aviation engineer, it mostly consists of old aviation mechanics books for antique airplanes. Which might as well be written in ancient Greek because I don’t understand any of them.
Even still, I happened to walk past when a bland, nondescript grey book caught my eye. It was shorter than the ones next to it and missing its cover. I might have kept walking, but I’ve learned to pay attention when moments like these happen. When something pulls you from thought and for a second everything but your curiosity vanishes.
I pulled the book from the shelf for a closer look. Thumbs and fingers from previous readers wore and smudged its canvas edges. The pages are yellowing from old age, though still in good condition. Its weathered spine bestows a golden embossed title that reads, “The Boy Who Saw True”. The only other words on the exterior are the publishing company, Neville Spearman. No accompanying author name. (Also, I can find little to no information about Neville Spearman publishing other than they were in London and printed a handful of books a long time ago.)
With no summary of its contents, I opened to the first few pages. There’s no author mentioned on the title page either. Though it does say Cyril Scott wrote the introduction, afterword, and notes.
Cyril Scott lived between 1879 and 1970. He’s mostly remembered as an English composer, writer, poet, and occultist. His work includes over 400 musical compositions and around 20 books and pamphlets about natural health and various occult topics.
The copyright page shows the first edition was published in 1953, this one was published in 1961. Still, no author listed.
Flipping to the short introduction, Scott immediately begins by trying to convey seriousness about the book’s contents. He states he had several requests to write introductions for various authors, many of whom asked him to lie and say the authors themselves were “reincarnations of various eminent personages”, which he reportedly refused to do — with the exception of The Boy Who Saw True.
The Boy Who Saw True
The book itself is supposedly a true diary of a young boy who grows up during the Victorian era in northern England. Except he’s no ordinary young lad, he’s a Clairvoyant. Though, he doesn’t initially realize he can see things other people can’t.
In the intro, Scott states,
“The following details supplied by the diarist’s widow should now be stated. Before his death, his wife persuaded him to let the diary be published. But he made certain stipulations. It was not to be printed till several years after his death, and some names were to be altered…
…he refused to let any more high-sounding [title] be used than the one this bares; nor was the author’s identity to be mentioned.
No wonder the author’s name was missing. Now my curiosity was flying! Needless to say, I devoured the book and sure enough, you never learn the boy’s name. By the writing style and voice that emerges, I’d guess it begins when he’s maybe 8 to 10 years old. The first entry begins January 1, 1885, and goes until October 1887.
There’s a sense of universal childish innocence and questioning in the way the boy tries to navigate his world. One divided between the shared reality of the people around him and the spirits, fairies, auras, and astral projections only he could see. His nativity and strict social culture prevent him from realizing no one else shares his gifts. As a result, he’s often confused by people’s reactions to him. There’s humor in his honesty and views of the world which point out things that still relate today.
Throughout the pages, his mom sets him up with a tutor who becomes his mentor. Someone who believes him when he speaks of what he sees and helps him not just with school, but with life. The child introduces you to various guides and spirits he meets, including his ghostly grandfather who parents him better than his own.
These entities vary in form, but together they teach him about the ways of the universe. They provide reasonable explanations for some of life’s biggest mysteries like, why humans don’t know what happens after death. Though there are still some questions left unanswered, such as does God exist?
Spoiler Alert: There’s no closure at the end. The entries stop haphazardly, and it hurts like a friend who leaves with no warning or goodbye.
Is it True?
All parties involved with the book, from what I can find, claim it’s true. Scott goes into great detail attempting to explain how the book came to be and stresses his transparency is honest. Surprisingly, there’s little I’ve found on the internet that provides any more information other than what the book itself states, and Cyril Scott’s insistent sincerity.
It’s possible it’s all fiction, I suppose we’ll never really know. Just add it to the list of Life’s mysteries. Still, while reading it, you can’t help but wonder at the possibility.
Consider the following two excerpts from the book:
“To be explicit, I happen to be a so-called Anglo-Indian, and I am communicating with you while out of my body which is asleep, thousands of miles away from here […] I have learnt to do work on this plane in my astral body while my physical body is asleep. Your young companion has the same power, and I often meet him over here. But neither he nor I remember it when we return to our bodies in the morning […] without training, the astral body does not impress the physical brain with memory of its experiences.”
If true, would this help explain the mysteries of sleep? Perhaps Rapid Eye Movement sleep (REM sleep or REMS) is our brain filtering through astral and physical memories. It’s already believed REM sleep is when our brain filters our memories to decide what to keep and what to discard.
Another interesting tidbit to consider is our brain function slows way down during deep sleep. Perhaps it’s because we’re not occupying it during the time. Crazy I know, but is it?
“…although your men of science are putting forward a truth as far as [evolution] goes, it is only a half-truth as they understand and expound it. They are pre-occupied with the evolution of Form, and overlook the much more important evolution of Life. They maintain that the form is actually responsible for the life or consciousness. Thus they say that a man has more consciousness and more intelligence than a frog because he has a more complex and refined organism; the form being the cause and the consciousness the effect. […]
[…] Life can exist entirely independent of form, the latter is merely responsible for the partiuclar manifestation of life within a given form; in other words, the question is not one of kind, but of degree. For instance, if the sun’s light shines through a piece of smoked glass, its vibrations are impeded, and it appears to be dim. But if it shines through a piece of clear glass, it appears in all its brightness. Yet it is the same sun through whatever glass it shines, and the glass itself, or color of the glass, does not create the sunlight in the first place, for the sun exists apart from any media its rays may happen to penetrate. As with light, so with life.
Everything around us, from the room you’re sitting in, to the device you’re reading this on, originated as an idea first — before coming into physical form. Why should Life be any different?
There’s still so much we don’t know about Life or even ourselves. We live in a world of unimaginable knowledge yet we don’t know how much we don’t know. We must stay curious and open to new possibilities. Truth is fluid and possibilities are endless.
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