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The detection of aura around sentient beings is second nature to Dyrrhn; a feeling rather than a vibration, it is raw unfiltered emotion. Even though my worldly appearance is not as you would expect, I possess the ability to ‘see’ invisible emanations generating from organic minds. To put this into some kind of perspective for you huminals, it appears similar to a swirling miasma onto which are superimposed colours that relay conscious thought. With much of humankind, I sense nothing but dark black, almost like a total eclipse of the sun onto which weak golden flecks of isolated self-awareness are superimposed. In others, radiant sparks and light displays communicate what I suppose, to you, could be described as pain, joy, sadness or happiness, but to me, transmit a whole world of sense and meaning.

The aura of the one who brought me here was night black and speckled with small yet powerful incandescent sparks of dominant reds flecked with gold, the colours that would most closely resemble pain in the limited visual spectrum of the huminal. He was what some might classify as cruel, but his real condition, to all intents and purposes, was a complete lack of empathy for other beings whose existence was not considered as essential as his own. It was obvious too that he was wholly frustrated by his limited existence. To me, he was simply the Angry Man.

Dyrrhn allows me and others of my kind an impression of thought. And, since I was brought to this field and the beatings stopped, the ability became stronger. I put on weight; my hair grew back and the skin diseases that were slowly eating away at my physical body became almost extinct. With the gentle care and vigorous brushing I received, my coat became glossy and thick like it never was before.

Although I do not want to appear presumptive, I had thought that perhaps now is the time for introductions. My physical appearance, one of the better designs of The Grand, is what huminals might refer to as a donkey. My new home, where this archive commences, was a field outside a small village in southern Spain. For some time now, I have shared the field with Mary, a young and scatter-brained horse. My huminals, Juana and Philip, decided to allow Mary, then nothing more than a bouncy young foal, to come into the field after I arrived, and it took me some time to stabilise her mind. As with all horses, Mary is highly strung and her aura doesn’t extend to much more than considering what there is to eat and drink and when time ripens, it will turn to the fulfilment of the demands of reproduction.

Obviously, there are many differences between my kind and huminals, but one of the principal and obvious differences is that the huminal aura has been severely limited by the construction of evolutionary boundaries that has led the principal organ of their body: the brain, down a separate path of development. On the primordial planet, all organic life commenced within the melting pot of The Grand and, through Dyrrhn, all shared direct communication. Eons passed and, as huminals began to walk upright, communicate and organise themselves into social groupings and, later, marauding hoards seeking to dominate, their brains, home of the consciousness, became inexorably separated from Dyrrhn.

Most of them retreated into temporal bodies and, whilst huminal societies grew and expanded, consuming the natural world, individuals not only became more and more remote from each other but also from the world around them.

My kind, guardians of Dyrrhn, on the other hand, didn’t develop manipulative digits with which to mould our surroundings, and so we walked another path of evolution. This, as is well known, is a fortuitous process but in our case, moulded and engineered by The Grand, we have retained a direct link with Dyrrhn. Through us, Dyrrhn has been developed to a point where some amongst my species become the possessors of abilities that are undreamed of by humankind and, for the most part, go undetected by huminals. From our privileged position of generally being ignored, we developed a world view that is as many-faceted as it is colourful and endless. The meaning of our lives does not concern us because we know intuitively what it is. Indeed, we aren’t concerned that our worldly bodies will come to an end because of the awareness that time is only an abstract concept and age affects our essence very little; it is an integral part of Dyrrhn, timeless and a central part of existence.

Huminals, with their current state of awareness, seek to understand the world around them but their imagination only allows them to arrive as far as that mystic concept known as the consciousness, a spark of awareness that has, for them at least, become isolated in a chamber as surely as if it were positioned immovably inside a block of glass and sealed in a locked and guarded room hidden deep in the bowels of the earth. So, evolution has ensured that huminals have lost the ability to move beyond the shell of self (of course, there are exceptions to this general rule), and the ability of the consciousness to connect with Dyrrhn, something that all organic beings possess at birth, has long been lost. Early on in huminal evolution, Dyrrhn evaporated into the hazy mist of perception as the artificial constraints of a culture that has been far removed from the natural world became conditioned into the delicacy of the neural network.

The seed remains though. Inert and ungerminated deep in the lost valleys the cerebrum huminals are more than aware that consciousness is an enigmatic facet that all possess but that none can define. No-one knows from where it comes or where it goes to after exhaustion of the earthly body. From my wanderings, I understand that they explain it as a series of electrical impulses that, somehow, generates an entity that takes on individuality. But, in those same terms, many questions remain, including the big ones such as: what is it? At what point in the development of the human embryo does it become an integral part of an autonomous being? What makes each consciousness unique? And, perhaps most importantly: what happens to it when the worldly body dies?

Because, unique each consciousness is, and each is as concrete as it is indestructible. Each, and this is true of all organic matter, is also a small part of Dyrrhn.