Friday, August 10, 2007

On meditation as an alternative to opium, part 1

I remember my first visit to an opium den. I felt as though I had stumbled upon some sort of vestibule between life and death. It was like an ancient catacombs, but instead of horrific skeletons reminding one of the posthumous worms that eat our worldly flesh, there were dreamers in sweet repose, breathing deeply, as though inhaling the soul of the blessed goddess Beauty herself. And Beauty's handmaidens were in abundance, here, in this den of holy fools, with oriental rugs and ornamental pipes aplenty. The proprietor smiled warmly as I entered, as though welcoming me to paradise. Instantly I felt at ease before I even took my first puff. But afterwards... well, one cannot remember bliss, let alone find the words to describe it.

And so it begun. I thought I had drunk the milk of paradise. Aestheticism-as-a-Woman moaned in my ear and I swore to marry her come dawning. And I did... I did... I smoked more while awing wide-eyed at the sunrise. But the honeyed moon of the first night and morning would not stay forever sweet. The moon is--after all--a rock, with craters and all. The marriage went sour.

Opium, you see, has the effect that it makes one agonizingly constipated. And the more constipated I became, the more I craved the drug; eventually, opium became less an escape into beauty than it was a relief from the pangs of strained defecation. Ask any chemist and he will tell you that it is no accident that opium and immodium share a suffix.

Oh how silly of me... I shall mention here to my North American readers that a "chemist" here in England is what you would call a "pharmacist." Inevitably you ask, what do we call chemists? Well... personally, I don't, because they are such a bore :)

Damnit my flow has been disrupted! I shall hopefully recover the thread tomorrow and speak to you of my recent attempts at meditation. The dogs want to be let out and the servants are god-knows-where.

Adieu fare reader—mon semblable,—mon frère!

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