Smith, Huston - Cleansing the doors of perception
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Huston Smith - Cleansing the doors of perception: The religious significance of entheogenic plants and chemicals.
Plotinus’s emanation theory, and its more detailed Vedantic counterpart, had hitherto been only conceptual theories for me. Now I was seeing them, with their descending bands spread out before me.
I found myself amused, thinking how duped historians of philosophy had been in crediting the originators of such worldviews with being speculative geniuses.
Had they had experiences such as mine ([later I discovered] that they had...) they need have been no more than hack reporters. But beyond accounting for the origin of these philosophies, my experience supported their truth.
As in Plato’s myth of the cave, what I was now seeing struck me with the force of the sun, in comparison with which everyday experience reveals only flickering shadows in a dim cavern. How could these layers upon layers, these worlds within worlds, these paradoxes…be put into words? I realized how utterly impossible it would be for me to describe such things tomorrow …