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Daumal, Rene - A Fundamental experiment - Part 5



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

A Fundamental Experiment – Rene Daumal [translated by Roger Shattuck – 1987]

If I continued thus to try to enclose my certainty in any sequence of logical categories, I should be reduced to the same absurd expressions: in the category of casuality, for example, cause and effect perpetually blending into one another and separating from one another, passing from one pole to the other because of the disequilibrium produced in their substantial identity by the infinitesimal hole which I am.

I have said enough to make it clear that the certainty of which I speak is in equal degrees mathematical, experimental, and emotional: a mathematical certainty-or rather mathematico-logical-as one can understand indirectly in the conceptual description I have just attempted and which can be abstractly stated as follows: the identity of the existence and of the non-existence of the infinite in the infinite ; an experimental certainty, not only because it is based on direct vision (that would be observation and not necessarily experimentation), not only because the experiment can be repeated at any time, but because I ceaselessly tested the certainty in my struggle to 'follow the movement' that rejected me, a struggle in which I could only repeat the little chant I had found as my sole response; an emotional certainty because in the whole affair-the core of the experiment lies here-it is I who am at stake:

I saw my own nothingness face to face, or rather my perpetual annihilation, total but not absolute annihilation : a mathematician will understand me when I describe it as 'asymptote'.

The source of the experience

Daumal, René

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Inhaling volatiles and gases