Masters and Houston - A Medical student goes cave diving
Type of Spiritual Experience
The following vision could be describing the spiritual view of a real creature of the earth – an earthworm, a form of bacteria, a louse or wood lice, - or it could be symbolic, my inclination is to favour the symbolism of the ‘dive’ into the cavern.
There is a kind of irony to the description if it is exploring the subconscious, it is a pity the description did not include a description of S's beliefs
' the members of this society have constructed an elaborate religion, mythology etc. The religion has its priests [Masters and Houston?] and among the 'people' there are visionaries who claim to be able to see the sun while in their mystic states [S himself?]. But there is some debate as to whether these visionaries are charlatans, or possibly experience hallucinations'.
A description of the experience
The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience – Dr Robert Masters and Dr Jean Houston
Case Study 4; 40 year old editor, former medical student , LSD 250 micrograms
The world at the centre of the earth which the subject is imaging, he describes as cavernous and having a thick atmosphere of air ....................
The inhabitants are fishlike creatures who seem to swim or float through this atmosphere, although it is not watery. The inhabitants are aware of the subject's presence in their world, but ignore him and seem to be pretending he does not exist. Finally, however, one of the creatures communicates with him telepathically and agrees to be his guide. The creature is then immediately ostracised by his own people, who regard him as a traitor.
In the very remote past, S is told, the sun once reached this world when some great fissure opened in the earth. The fissure has long since closed, but around their glimpse of the sun the members of this society have constructed an elaborate religion, mythology etc. The religion has its priests and among the 'people' there are visionaries who claim to be able to see the sun while in their mystic states. But there is some debate as to whether these visionaries are charlatans, or possibly experience hallucinations.
The creatures of this world at the centre of the earth have fishlike faces with long snouts and porcupine like hairs extending outward from their cheeks. Their form suggests that originally they moved by spiralling through the earth or a much more solid substance than is now the case. And now with a softer atmosphere to move in, their bodies too have become soft. S adds that they resemble 'fishes with faces like possums, only their noses are still more pointed. Their shape is cylindrical and their skins silvery and shining. There is a kind of light although no source of light can be detected'