Michaux, Henri - The Great Ordeals of the Mind
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
from The Great Ordeals of the Mind
For a long time now I had wanted to take cannabis indica at high altitude and then go look at a mountainous skyline. That's why I had come to this place. To see if it would have any effect on me and which. A few days went by. Finally I took the substance, one coveted at other moments. Time passed. Nothing. I can feel no change. The mountans in front of me look exactly the same..... night came..
Dismayed, my journey a failure, alone on the wide terrace beyond my room with nothing to look at in front of me, not knowing what to do, I remained there, crushed. At last, before going back inside I raised my head. A black sky stretched out everywhere full of stars. I sank into it. It was extraordinary. Instantaneously stripped of everything as one is stripped of an overcoat, I was entering space. I was shot into it, I was rushed into it, I was flowing into it. Violently sucked up by it without resistance.
An utterly unsuspected wonder.. why had I never experienced it before? After the first moment of surprise it seemed so natural to be swept away into space. ....
As if torn away from earth, feeling myself swept invincibly upward, carried off farther and farther by some marvelous invisible levitation, into a space that did not end, that could not end, that was incommensurable to me, that was pulling me more and more towards it, I was soaring higher and higher, sucked up inexplicably, with no chance of ever getting there. Obviously. Besides, getting where?
It could have been horrible. It was radiant.
Everything static, finished, solid was over and done with. Nothing left of all that, or almost nothing. Stripped down, I was careering along, propelled, stripped of possessions and attributes, stripped even of all recourse to the earth, dislodged from all sense of space, an unimaginable stripping down that seemed almost absolute, so incapable was I of finding something that had not been taken away from me.
No doubt about it, up to then I had not seen, not really seen the sky. I had resisted it, looking at it from the other side - from the terrestrial solid opposite side.
This time the shore had collapsed and I was plunging. Vertiginously I was plunging upward.
I was there in the sky. At last we were in contact.
And I kept on looking at it, if you can apply the word looking to an abyss you're thrown into, an abyss from which nothing separates you any longer..
The unity of the starry sky had suddenly disappeared, unmasking its bottomless depths. It deepened endlessly...
I was ailing in a sort of nausea that had become a delight, swaying under the far off moving stars which sometimes seemed like the lights of ships you see at night pitching and rolling on rough seas, but here, lights of galactic ships navigating the ocean of boundlessness. The ocean was in all directions, it alone mattered.