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There were giants on the Earth in olden days, and Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. Is it accurate to dismiss these accounts as fantasy or allegory?

Years ago in my freight-hopping days, I climbed into an open boxcar on a rural siding out in the middle of nowhere and was surprised to see a very old man sitting in a dark corner. We got to talking, and he told me that the perception of time passing was just an artifact of consciousness, and that everything was indeed happening at once.

He said that the ancient Essenes had learned to control time through conscious will, enabling them to live very long - though not quite immortal - lives, and that their descendants, modern Essenes, still walked the earth, blending in with us due to not wanting to call attention to themselves. He said it was impossible for ordinary humans to distinguish a modern Essene, but that cats, with their amplified sensory abilities, could tell almost immediately.

Apparently cats don’t like Essenes very much and the attitude is reciprocated, so an Essene will immediately leave the room upon seeing a cat in it. He further stated that the modern Essenes were hunting him down in order to kill him to suppress this secret, but that he (and I) were “pretty safe” out here on the rails.

Slightly creeped out, I selected another boxcar to spend the night in, in hopes a train would come by the next day, hook up to the cars on the siding and take me somewhere interesting. An hour or two after midnight, I heard a rumble as a passenger train was approaching rapidly on the main track. I watched out the open boxcar door, through a light rain, as the windows and scenes on the passenger train flashed by, and I heard a loud thump as something thrown from the moving train struck the outside of my boxcar. The next morning, I got out of the car to stretch my legs and found what had made the thump. It was the body of a cat with a broken neck.

I never saw the old man again.