By Robert St. John
In the study of a subject such as Afference and Efference it is necessary to understand what symbols are. Anything that has no physical existence and yet has a fundamental influence in our life has to be defined in terms of the form of a symbol, a work or design which represents this state. All through religious doctrines these symbols exist, in science they are used in the place of long explanations which occur so frequently in their work. The symbol is a form of shorthand for the explanation of a non-physical state such as occurs in religion.
The name “Afference” is a symbol of the principle of life, of which we are aware in our daily existence. We are conscious of being alive but find no ability to explain what this element may be. In religious doctrine it is explained by the word “God”: but in Metamorphosis we use the word Afference. Another form of symbols is in the words Yin and Yang. But the words God, Afference, and Yin & Yang have differences in their meaning and therefore are not interchangeable; one symbol does not necessarily mean the same as the other.
In this work I make no attempt to explain the words God or Yin and Yang; but the word Afference is fundamental to this work as an explanation of the non-physical influences on our lives. The word used as an expression of the counterpart to Afference is Efference. Afference is a word-symbol for the non-physical element and the word Efference for the physical element. Get used to these two symbols as they are the fundamental principle of Metamorphosis; Afference and Efference are the life and the substances of our existence in the terms of Metamorphosis.