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A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS
helpless as a drugged man, but with this difference, that I am
perfectly conscious of my physical surroundings, I feel that my mind
is being propelled inwards, irresistibly and powerfully drawn by
some magnetic force within.
What have you done to me, O deodar!
All thoughts are stilled like a lamp in a windless place. My
mind is as^quiet as the still ravine below me.
I can neither shut nor open my half-closed eyelids, nor exert
myself sufficiently to get out of this half-trance, nor do I wish to do
that, so pleasurable is the sensation.
It is a serene and beautiful experience, an ecstatic reverie so
intense as really to be indescribable. I discover anew that our
existence is embosomed in divinity. All words merely hint, suggest*
touch the fringe of its garment. To describe accurately one must
wri$e like a scientist and analyse exhaustively; the analytic scientific
process merely converts the glowing fire of beauty into dismal
ashes; yet perhaps even the ashes may be welcome in a world where
such ethereal beauty is remote and rare.
Within the circle of inward quiescence, my happiness is made
perfect and complete.
How long I remain thus I do not properly know, although I
know it is less than half an hour. The Overself, alas, takes its egress
from the mind as well as its ingress. Only the superman can stay for
ever within its sublime grasp. I rise, reluctant.
It is the end. I creep over the cliff-side and cautiously descend to
the trunk of the deodar, clinging with both hands to stones and
roots. I strip a tiny piece of bark and climb back to the top. It shall
be my souvenir, my lingering remembrance of the silent dominion
A last look at the sanctuary, set in its panorama of soaring peaks
and silent valleys, and I turn my heel.
At the bungalow I find the coolie-porters awaiting me, the
baggage ready to be loaded on their backs. Also a strong-limbed
grey horse, with wide bulging forehead, large knees and hocks, and
a fine sheen on its coat. There is nothing else For which to wait.
I mount into the saddle, fix my feet into the stirrups, pick up the
reins and start off on the journey among the mountains to my new