Type of Spiritual Experience
What you see is what you need. What you see is what you are being presented in allegorical form – in symbolic form.
William Burroughs used heroin and murdered his wife whilst drunk. He felt himself to be 'possessed by evil spirits', but he wasn't possessed by them, he had created them, they were his.
Burroughs knew nothing of symbolism or of the realm he was entering. His objective was to try to obtain visions of light and life and self regeneration – in the end all he obtained were visions of dissolution and horror. The visions suited the man.
As Daniel Pinchbeck said “the infinite murmuring vista of urban sleaze and cheap kicks and blank death that Burroughs discovered on yage was probably not the vision he wanted. But it was the vision he needed”.
A description of the experience
“the Composite City where all human potentials are spread out in a vast silent market – the city is visited by epidemics of violence and the untended dead are eaten by vultures in the street” and “larval beings before my eyes in a blue haze, each one giving an obscene, mocking squawk”