Sunday, January 16, 2011


A long time ago, in 1861, a fellow named Fitzhugh Ludlow wrote these words about something that I experience today, and have since I was young; synesthesia. Here he is referring to his experience of some years earlier, after eating a chunk of hasheesh. But, as I have learned, you don't need to get chemically altered to experience this sort of stuff. Truly, the creek near your house can speak to you. Music can be seen. Colors tasted. Human feelings can be seen.

The variety of Human mind and perception is to marvel at. We are small creatures living on a dust mote in the Cosmos, but Mind is vast. This old guy's description of his own experience is just splendid in its Victorian manner.

Anyhow, if you're curious, seek out more of this guy. He was Mark Twain's confidant, and a noted American literary figure for a brief time. He did leave behind a treasure of information from the vanguard of ideas.


"The soul is sometimes plainly perceived to be but one in its own sensorium, while the body is understood to be all that so variously modifies impressions as to make them in the one instance smell, in another taste, another sight, and thus on, ad finem. Thus the hasheesh-eater knows what it is to be burned by salt fire, to smell colors, to see sounds, and, much more frequently, to see feelings."


  1. For more, including links to his writing…

  2. And, more… my good friend's biography of this cat.

  3. Then, here in Ludlow's own words, one of the most precise descriptions of the spiritual malady of addiction, to booze or any other substance or fascination. This was writ in 1868. The good doctor who scribed his opinion that more or less mirrored Ludlow's in the Book of AA… he wrote in 1934. Now, today, almost century after medicine and society has yet to catch up to the brutal but obvious facts of the matter, and what the solution is.