[A] friend of [Orwell's], while living in the Far East, smoked several pipes of opium every night, and every night a single phrase rang in his ear, which contained the whole secret of the universe; but in his euphoria he could not be bothered to write it down and by the morning it was gone. One night he managed to jot down the magic phrase after all, and in the morning he read: 'The banana is big, but its skin is even bigger."
Sunday, November 25, 2007
In Drinkers of Infinity, Essays 1955-1967, the extremely weird Arthur Koestler recounts his experiences with psilocybin mushrooms in the early 60s and the false insights that often occurred under their influence. In this vein he mentions a story he says George Orwell told him about the similar effect of another drug: