Ludlow, Fitz Hugh - Celestial music
Type of Spiritual Experience
Backgroundseemingly a progression of types of experience
A description of the experience
The Hasheesh Eater – Fitz Hugh Ludlow
…wandering down the still avenue below those grand arboreal arches went glorious bards, whose snowy beards fell on their breasts beneath countenances of ineffable benignity and nobleness.
They were all clad in flowing robes, like God’s high priests, and each one held in his hand a lyre of unearthly workmanship. Presently one stops midway down a shady walk, and baring his right arm, begins a prelude. While his celestial chords were trembling up into their sublime fullness, another strikes his strings and now they blend upon my ravished ear in such a symphony as was never heard elsewhere, and I shall never hear again out of the Great Presence.
A moment more, and three are playing in harmony; now the fourth joins the glorious rapture of his music to their own, and in the completeness of the chord my soul is swallowed up. I can bear no more.
But yes, I am sustained, for suddenly the whole throng break forth in a chorus, upon whose wings I am lifted out of the riven walls of sense, and music and spirit thrill in immediate communion. Forever rid of the intervention of pulsing air and vibrating nerve, my soul dilates with the swell of that transcendent harmony, and interprets from it arcana of a meaning which words can never tell.
I am borne aloft upon the glory of sound. I float in a trance among the burning choir of the seraphim. But, as I am melting through the purification of that sublime ecstasy into oneness with the Deity himself, one by one those pealing lyres faint away, and as the last throb dies down along the measureless ether, visionless arms swiftly as lightning carry me far into the profound, and set me down before another portal. Its leaves, like the first, are of spotless marble, but ungemmed with wheeling eyes of a burning colour