Diary of the Plague Year: Day 8 24 March 2020: more from The Black Notebook; Aldous Huxley

“Everything seen by those who visit the mind’s antipodes is brilliantly illuminated and seems to shine from within. All colours are intensified to a pitch far beyond anything seen in the normal state and at the same time the mind’s capacity for recognising fine distinctions of tone and hue is notably heightened … At the antipodes of the mind, we are more or less completely free of language, outside the systems of conceptual thought. Consequently our perception of visionary objects possesses all the freshness, all the naked intensity, of experiences which have never been verbalised, never assimilated to lifeless abstractions. Their colour (that hallmark of giveness) shines forth in a brilliance which seems to us preternatural, because in fact it is entirely natural – entirely natural in the sense of being entirely unsophisticated by language or the scientific, philosophical and utilitarian notions, by means of which we ordinarily re-create the given world in our own drearily human image.”

Heaven and Hell
Aldous Huxley