Gautier, Theophile - Le Hachiche
Type of Spiritual Experience
The hasheesh they used also had a bit of opium in it
A description of the experience
Theophile Gautier – Le Hachiche
I was perfectly calm all through dinner, even while noticing that my companion’s eyes had begun to strangely shine as they changed in colour to a remarkable turquoise blue. I was still in perfect possession of my senses. I went to sit on the divan, there to await the ecstasy amidst the comfort of Moroccan pillows.
Soon after, I fell into a state of heavy lethargy. My body seemed to dissolve until it became completely transparent. There was the hashish, glimmering with emerald fire inside my chest. My eyelashes lengthened immeasurably and wrapped, like gold threads, around a small ivory spindle which then began to spin with astonishing speed.
Shimmering cascades of multi-coloured gemstones, arabesques and flowers presented themselves in endless succession, in effects which I can only compare to those of a kaleidoscope. I could still see my friends, but they were now transfigured, having assumed the forms of plants and beasts; here an ibis pensively standing on one foot, there an ostrich flapping wings so bizarrely that I could not help but collapse with laughter in my corner. And, that I might more thoroughly participate in the festival, I launched my pillows into the air, catching each as it fell with the skill of a juggler.