Ludlow, Fitz Hugh - Centaurs and Lapithe
Type of Spiritual Experience
One is almost tempted to surmise that some of the mythological creatures were ‘software’ designs that never made it to ‘physical reality’ – never became ‘hardware.
The Lapiths are found in Greek mythology. They were an Aeolian tribe and like the Myrmidons and other Thessalian tribes, were pre-Hellenic in origin. The genealogies make them a kindred people with the Centaurs. Lapithes and Centaurus were the twin sons of the god Apollo and the nymph Stilbe.
Cyathus is a genus of fungi in the Nidulariaceae, a family collectively known as the bird's nest fungi. They are given this name since they resemble tiny bird's nests filled with "eggs", structures large enough to have been mistaken in the past for seeds. The symbolism here should be obvious.
A description of the experience
The Hasheesh Eater – Fitz Hugh Ludlow
The temple doors opened noiselessly before me, but it was no scene of sublimity which thus broke in upon my eyes. I stood in a large apartment, which resembled the Senate chamber at Washington more than anything else to which I can compare it. Its roof was vaulted, and at the side opposite the entrance the floor rose in a dais surmounted by a large arm chair.
The body of the house was occupied by similar chairs disposed in arcs; the heavy panelling of the walls was adorned with grotesque frescoes of every imaginable bird, beast, and monster, which, by some hidden law of life and motion, were forever changing, like the figures of a kaleidoscope.
Now the walls bristled with hippogriffs; now from wainscot to ceiling, toucans and maccataws swung and nodded from their perches amid emerald palms; now Centaurs and Lapithe clashed in ferocious tumult, while crater and cyathus were crushed beneath ringing hoof and heel.