"I have devoted myself to transcendental medicine for the last twenty years. I have heard myself called quack and charlatan and impostor, but all the while I knew I was on the right path. Five years ago I reached the goal, and since then every day has been a preparation for what we shall do tonight." "I should like to believe it is all true." Clarke knit his brows, and looked doubtfully at Dr. Raymond. "Are you perfectly sure, Raymond, that your theory is not a phantasmagoria---a splendid vision, certainly, but a mere vision after all?" Dr. Raymond stopped in his walk and turned sharply. He was a middle-aged man, gaunt and thin, of a pale yellow complexion, but as he answered Clarke and faced him, there was a flush on his cheek. "Look about you, Clarke. You see the mountain, and hill following after hill, as wave on wave, you see the woods and orchard, the fields of ripe corn, and the meadows reaching to the reed-beds by the river. You see me standing here beside you, and hear my voice; but I tell you that all these things---yes, from that star that has just shone out in the sky to the solid ground beneath our feet---I say that all these are but dreams and shadows; the shadows that hide the real world from our eyes. There is a real world, but it is beyond this glamour and this vision, beyond these 'chases in Arras, dreams in a career, ' beyond them all as beyond a veil. I do not know whether any human being has ever lifted that veil; but I do know, Clarke, that you and I shall see it lifted this very night from before another's eyes. You may think this all strange nonsense; it may be strange, but it is true, and the ancients knew what lifting the veil means. They called it seeing the god Pan." - Taken from "The Great God Pan" written by Arthur Machen
Arthur Machen (1863-1947) was a Welsh mystic and author. Born Arthur Llewellyn Jones, he was raised in Monmouthshire in a prominent family of clergymen. He developed an early interest in alchemy and other occult matters, and obtained a classical education at Hereford Cathedral School. He moved to London, where he failed to gain admittance to medical school and soon focused on his literary interests. Working as a tutor, he wrote in the evening and published his first poem, "Eleusinia," in 1881. A novel, The Anatomy of Tobacco (1884), soon followed, launching his career as a professional writer. Machen made a name for himself as a frequent contributor to London literary magazines and achieved his first major success with the 1894 novella The Great God Pan. Following his wife's death from cancer in 1899, he briefly joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and began conducting research on Celtic Christianity, the legend of the Holy Grail, and the stories of King Arthur. In 1922, after a decade of working as a journalist for the Evening News, he published The Secret Glory--a story of the Grail--to popular and critical acclaim. This marked the highpoint of his career as a pioneering author of fantasy, horror, and supernatural fiction whose work has been admired and praised by William Butler Yeats, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Stephen King.