Ludlow, Fitz Hugh - Caves
Type of Spiritual Experience
It may not be immediately apparent from the description, but he heard music too.
A description of the experience
The Hasheesh Eater – Fitz Hugh Ludlow
Suddenly, at a far distance, three intense luminous points stood on the triple wall of darkness, and through each of them shot twin attenuated rays of magic light and music.
Without being able to perceive anything of my immediate surroundings, I still felt that I was noiselessly drifting towards those radiant and vocal points. With every moment they grew larger, the light and the harmony came clearer, and before long I could distinguish plainly three colossal arches rising from the bosom of a waveless water. The mid arch towered highest; the two on either side were equal to each other.
Presently I beheld that they formed the portals of an enormous cavern, whose dome rose above me into such sublimity that its cope was hidden from my eyes in wreaths of cloud.
On each side of me ran a wall of gnarled and rugged rock, from whose jutting points, as high as the eye could reach, depended stalactites of every imagined form and tinge of beauty, while below me, in the semblance of an ebon pavement, from the reflection of its overshadowing crags, lay a level lake, whose exquisite transparency wanted but the smile of the sun to make it glow like a floor of adamant.
On this lake I lay in a little boat divinely carved from pearl after the similitude of Triton’s shelly shallop; its rudder and its oarage were my own unconscious will, and without the labours of especial volition, I floated as I list with a furrowless keel swiftly toward the central giant arch.
With every moment that brought me nearer to my exit, the harmony that poured through it developed into a grander volume and an intenser beauty.
And now I passed out.