Rimbaud, Arthur - She didn't return and he 'cried more than all the world’s children'
Type of Spiritual Experience
This is a very special example. Rimbaud took drugs and did all sorts of other things to provoke spiritual experience, but on this occasion he was knackered, utterly knackered, or if you prefer totally exhausted and he meets a spirit helper.
A description of the experience
Arthur Rimbaud – from Rimbaud Complete [translated by Wyatt Mason]
This time, it’s the Woman I saw in the city, and to whom I spoke, and who speaks to me.
I was in a lightless room. I was told she was there; and I saw her in my bed, all for me, lightlessly! I was very emotional, not least because this was happening in my family home; and so an unease took hold of me! I was dressed in rags, while she, clearly a woman of the world who was giving herself to me; she had to leave! With a nameless unease, I took her, letting her fall off the bed, nearly naked; and in my unspeakable weakness, I fell upon her and dragged us through the dark rugs! The family lamp reddened the neighbouring rooms one after the next. And then the woman disappeared. I shed more tears than God could ever have asked.
I went out into the endless city. O fatigue! Drowning in the deaf night and in the flight of joy. It was like a winter night, with snow that would snuff out the world once and for all. Friends to whom I cried out where is she responded falsely. I went to the windows where she stands each night; I ran to the buried garden. I was cast out. I cried endlessly, because of all this. Finally, I went down into a place filled with dust, and sitting on some sort of frame, I let my body cry itself dry of every tear – Nonetheless, any exhaustion returned over and over.
I understood that she had gone back to her daily life; and that this kind turn and the possibility of its recurrence was now more distant than a star. She didn’t return, and never will, this Adorable who paid me a visit – something I never could have foreseen. Unquestionably, this time I cried more than all the world’s children