Fairies and Goblins



With a single dimension, we can define a point on a line. With a second, we can locate it on a surface. A third dimension allows us to place our point in a space with volume. That’s as far as we can go with the three classical dimensions of space. But it’s not the same thing to be in a certain place today as it would be to be in the same place tomorrow or at some other time. If we want to meet someone somewhere we have to decide on both the place and time of the meeting. What’s more, if instead of some terrestrial reference, we take our reference from the coordinates of our solar system, or those that pass through the centre of our galaxy, places we consider the same will, in reality, correspond to different points in space at different times. Therefore, time represents a fourth dimension. The fifth dimension is more difficult to explain. Many people share the idea that people have a spiritual dimension. This is said to be a dimension that transcends time and space and is related with the field of emotions and feelings.

Depending on the contents of our hearts, we can connect in different ways or on different levels with this mysterious dimension of the spirit. To set this thinking on a more scientific footing, we could talk of the psychological or mental aspects, which have a certain analogy with what is normally understood as a person’s spiritual dimension. In this way, for example, a group of people can happen to meet in some place, but if their interests, emotions and feelings have nothing in common, it will be very difficult to establish any interaction among them beyond merely utilitarian and superficial communication. Likewise, our similarity to those who are already beyond the veil can allow us to establish connections which, even if we’re not aware of it, are very similar to that which we call “literary inspiration”.

Similarity most of all of emotions and feelings, but similarities of ideology, culture, bloodline, providential mission and education level are all important too. This is why the spiritualist groups that proliferated in Europe at the end of the 19th century, like the Catalan Federació Espirita del Vallès (Vallès Spiritualist Federation) founded by Miquel Vives, put a lot of work on the education of their members, with the intention of being able to attract to their seances the spirits of the deceased they were trying to invoke.

Especially in our time, the multitudinous population of the spiritual world is eager to find opportunities to communicate with us. It’s probable that the inspiration of artists in general, and authors in particular is just one of the methods they can use. But to adjust the dials on our radios to the correct frequency requires certain conditions, beyond the simple spiritual sensitivity that we all have to a greater or lesser extent. And who can deny that, when faced with a blank page, it’s always a great help for someone to come whispering ideas into your ear, even if you can’t know for certain whether it’s a motherly light fairy, a whimsical muse or a mischievous wood goblin.

Translated from Catalan by Robert O. King