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Thread: Magical, Beautiful Experiences

  1. #1
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Magical, Beautiful Experiences

    Yesterday, I was 400 feet below ground walking around in the largest cave system on our planet. With me were INFJ, some German tourists, and a young American Catholic priest whose hobby was exploring still uncharted parts of the cave and his father who was coming along to experience the cave for the first time with his son.

    The cave was amazing and beautiful. It wasn't very wet in most parts and there were brilliant white calcite formations on many of the walls which glowed with light reflected from the candles we were carrying. In many parts they also had gypsum deposits in the walls which shined and sparkled as they caught the dancing candle flames.

    It was breath-taking. Parts of the trip involved climbing through narrow stone passages. They were just wide enough to allow a person to squeeze through. Some of the sections were damp limestone and I ended up with weird cave mud all over my knees, boots and the back of my jacket. It was about 50 degrees F in almost all of the cave, so at least it was neither too cold nor too hot although it was very humid.

    There were two German children there, a young girl and a young boy. The young girl complained a lot of the time that we were going too quickly for her. She wanted to stand and stare at the rock formations and would sometimes lose herself in concentration gazing at some beautiful rock. The rest of our group would leave and then she would be startled as darkness enveloped her and she'd run after us. Also she clearly didn't understand English and her parents didn't translate for her, so she ignored most of the priest's tips about safe-caving.

    In one large rock chamber, the priest began singing a hymn in Ecclesiastical Latin. He had a beautiful voice and the sound reverberated in the chamber, layering upon itself making it sound like there was a whole choir present.

    It was a powerful experience. I imagine I'll remember it for the rest of my life.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

  2. #2
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    Very awesome. Where was this?
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  3. #3
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polemarch View Post
    Very awesome. Where was this?
    It's called Wind Cave. It's near Hill City, South Dakota. Right now I'm about sixty or so miles north of there kicking it outside Hickock's Hotel in Deadwood. I am a huge fan of the Black Hills. I was going to say a fan of South Dakota, but I really only like this 10% of it.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

  4. #4
    Pan_Sonic_000
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    I travelled to Japan back in 2010 and felt similarly, especially while in Kamakura. Seeing the 'Great Buddah' and other statues / iconography that symbolize ancient traditions was incredible.

    I think part of it is the sheer size of these objects that can't be conveyed in photographs - as well as the obvious talent and time that went into making them. But a larger part of it was the abstract awareness that I'm one small part of a much greater 'organism' comprised of culture, human life, sentience, etc. Not in a mystical way, just like "holy shit, there are places on the other side of the planet where people have lived for thousands of years, doing what humans do. 500 years ago, someone probably a lot like me stood right here and looked at this exact same object that I am currently looking at. We were probably superficially very different but fundamentally the same."

    I get the same experience when doing any sort of contemplation on the sheer size of the universe, except the awe has a thread of terror in it.

  5. #5
    <3 gator's Avatar
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    One thing that comes to mind is the Baptistry at Pisa. Because of the unique construction of the roof sounds can echo many times, so one person can sing three separate notes and have a chord hang in the air.

    There are a few videos of it on youtube but I don't think they totally capture the experience of being there.

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    chaotic neutral shitpost jigglypuff's Avatar
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    the black hole of loneliness while looking out over the hong kong skyline.

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    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Sitting in the trees
    Soaking in the sensation
    Seeing life and death
    I'm suspicious of people who say they'll die for a flag but won't wear a mask for their neighbor.

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Leaving a small town called Nitra under a black cloud of disgrace - just sitting in some Communist era bus station in the middle of nowhere wondering how it came to this.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    Formerly PiccoloNamek Lunar Delta's Avatar
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    I've had some experiences like this. One of the most magical I ever had was when I was going for a walk one day after having gotten extremely stoned. I was minding my own business doing some photography when I heard a meow behind me. I didn't even see this cat appear; he was just there. I turn around and bent over to pet him and he runs right up to me, jumps onto my back and just sits down on my shoulders like some kind of boa. And he's just meowing and meowing and meowing. He was an incredibly sweet and well-socialized cat and he just loved being petted. He stayed on my shoulders as I continued to walk. Eventually he jumped down and went on his way. I had never seen that cat before and have never seen him since even though I walk on that road ALL the time. I am almost convinced I was visited by some kind of angel or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by omnirook
    I like it cold - and raining. That keeps the public private - behind closed doors, where they belong!

  10. #10
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    I was standing on the porch, then living in the Kawarthas, surrounded by mostly green. Above me a starry, dark blue evening sky, fireflies yards away, and off on the distant horizon was a violent storm with incessant lightning, and the sun mostly obscured. It was completely silent then aside from a few birds chirping. I don't think I've seen anything like that since. As mundane as those details seem on their own, it seemed mystical in that moment.

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