Thus the pleasurable world of the mid-to-late 1950’s comesnalive for me as I remember such things as the parties givennby my friend McColl Pringle in his family’s old house onnSouth Battery in Charleston, in 1957. I can envision thencrowds of friends who danced in the ballroom, the color ofnthe girls’ evening dresses, and the sound of rock-and-roll innits first phase — songs such as “Behind the Green Door,” tonwhich I danced with my wife.nThis recollection — this private world — is much morenthan a fleeting memory. I recall .the whole world innassociation with a period and a group of friends. The dancesnthat I see with my mind’s eye, the feeling of beingntransported into a vanished era, are part of a world that existsnin rich detail and variety — parties on Louis Green’s yacht innCharieston Harbor, a day at Billy Coleman’s country placenon Wadmalaw Island, Sunday afternoon gatherings at Bobnand Mary Hagerty’s Sullivan Island place with its antiquenprivate railroad car under a shed, an evening harbor trip innAussie Smythe’s Boston whaler. This seemingly lost worldnisn’t lost at all — it can be retrieved and relived as a privatenworld of the mind.nThe smallest, most remote causal connection can opennthe mind to a private worid often submerged under thenexigencies of the real-life public world. The retrieval isnoccasioned by a bar of music, a taste of food or drink, a linenin a book — the number of keys is myriad. One maynrecognize such keys as music associated with certain eventsnor people, but the mind is full of many types of keys. Onencannot begin to fathom the complexity of the triggernmechanism that prompts thoughts, recollections, and mentalnconstructions. David Plante, writing of such triggers in annarticle in the New Yorker, has said, “I am drawn to objects ofnhistory. I love having on my desk, on shelves, in drawers sonthat I come across them unexpectedly, the handle of annamphora, a rusty key, a shell casing — stilled moments butnmoments that if they were put into motion by proper studynwould expand into years, decades, centuries.” In othernwords, these objects unlock his private worlds.nWe can create private worids in a vast number of areas.nWe can bring alive in our mind the world of Stonehenge, ofnthe Great Depression, the Italian Renaissance, or thenantebellum American South. Obviously, the knowledge wenacquire in life, our reading and historical speculation, helpsnus to develop a transcendence that is manifested in thenacquisition of extraordinary private worlds. But even thenman or woman with little knowledge of other historical erasnand types of human existence can open private worids thatnhe or she has a lifetime to explore.nGreat writers are explorers of the private universe. Onenthinks of Henry Thdreau at Walden Pond. His time in thatnisolated spot enabled him to develop his unique perspectivenand idiom. From ancient times to the modern era — fromnSt. Augustine to Santayana — there have been writers whondiscover new worlds to explore in the human mind. Innreading them, we realize that there is much more to realitynthan the utilitarian comprehends. Indeed, as we penetratenthe inner life of the mind, we may conclude that knowledgenof private worlds is one of the greatest discoveries in life, asnwhen we encounter writers who truly wake us to anotherndimension of meaning. Stephen Jay Gould once said ofnlistening to a great German scholar, “I sat spellbound asn28/CHRONICLESnnnwave after wave of expanded meaning cascaded over me.”nJames Webb, the novelist and former Navy secretary,nreminds us that the duty of a writer is “to study humannnature, to study the human condition.” He says that “Thenorientation for introspection is the chief benefit for writing.”nPainters as well as writers create and explore privatenworids of the mind, no one more so than HieronymusnBosch. The 16th-century master compels attention today, asnhe did in his own time, with his bizarre and terrifyingnmasterpieces. His chilling visions are of demons, monsters,nand unspeakable cruelties. His world is a world of horriblenpunishments. This vision was drawn from medieval folklore,nwith the rat as a symbol of filth and the mussel shell ofninfidelity being familiar to the people of his time. Hisnart — his interior world — was in keeping with an era ofnviolence, disorder, pestilence, and pessimism.nAs one enters the private worids of the mind — whatnProfessor Peter Heidtman of Ohio University once referrednto as “the metaphorically vast inner region” — one maynbecome a somewhat lonely explorer. One may even become,nas one critic has said of Loren Eiseley, “a solitarynfugitive from the 20th century,” from its worst manifestations,nat any rate — the time pressures, the homogenizationnof culture, the hectic quality of existence, and the trivializationnof so much of life. These facts of modern life contributento the breakdown of loyalties, bonds, allegiances, and thensense of community essential to a civilized existence. Hencenthe desire on the part of many thoughtful people for anmeasure of isolation, or at least quiet.nFor most people, our private worlds do not constitute anplace to hole up; they are instead a kind of bountynprovided by our mental existence. They are enriching andnproof of the spaciousness of our total being. They representnwhat Eiseley called the “enormous extension of vision ofnwhich life is capable.” Our dreams enable us to project ourninnermost concerns and attitudes into half-factual, halffictionalnworids, composites that provide clues to our deepestnfeelings and intuition. We learn from these private worlds,nfrom these mental constructions and remembrances of thencomplexity of existence and of the extraordinarily numerousnpoints of reference in life. We hear voices and imaginensituations that we would not heed or come across in thenworkaday world of nonimaginative contacts.nTo be sure, the private world of the mind can overtakenconsciousness so that there is a serious disconnection withnthe real worid. Such is the worid of the psychotic ornnear-psychotic individual. Others, who are almost overwhelmednby private worlds of the mind, may continue to livenin a normal community but may experience visions andnfears that gravely impair their lives. The autistic child lives innsuch a private worid, a world sealed off from the real one; henhas great difficulty breaking out of it and communicating ornshowing affection.nWhether there is a subterranean domain of ancestralnmemories that we draw on in our private worlds is a questionnthat has engaged great thinkers for many years. The work ofnCarl Jung deals with what he describes as the archetypes of ancollective unconscious. And Dr. Alexis Carrel, the greatnmedical scientist, wrote in Man, The Unknown in 1935 thatncertain activities of consciousness seem to travel over spacen