Saint-Saens - Requiem
Type of spiritual experience
This is a fascinating observation. The description is from a letter by Camille Saint-Saens sent to his friend Camille Flammarion.
There are two sets of observations - one man is dying and thinking of his friend, Saint Saens receives the thoughts of his friend via inter composer communication, but the grief it engenders at the sure knowledge that something is wrong inspires this wonderful piece of music.
A description of the experience
While I was rereading your last volume for the nth, time, a recollection awakened in my memory, and I shall not wait until to-morrow to tell you of it.
It was in January, 1871, on the last day of the war. I was at the front lines, at Arcueil-Cachan. We had just dined upon an excellent horse, of which we had made a good meat broth, and had gathered a great many dandelions, the roots of which, at that time of the year, are fully developed; in a word, a dinner that had satisfied us all, and we were on that day as gay as we could be in such circumstances.
Suddenly I heard, running through my head the musical dirge of melancholy chords which I have since made the beginning of my Requiem. I felt in the depths of my being the presentiment that a misfortune was happening to me.
A profound anguish overwhelmed me.
It was at that very moment that Henri Regnault had been killed; I was bound to him by the closest friendship. The news of his death caused me such grief that I fell ill and was obliged to stay in bed for three days.
I experienced, therefore, the reality of telepathy before the word was invented. How right you are in thinking that established science does not know the human being, and that we have everything to learn !
Yours with all my heart,