The Pent Umbrage of the Tempy, Part V
You’ve had a simultaneously obscure and vivid experience—it felt like a breakthrough of some sort. Something which you could never quite put your finger on had been bothering you, annoying you, agitating you—and then somehow, without knowing what you were doing, you had put your finger on it, you had scratched at the annoyance, put an end to it, and unmistakably knew you now felt better.
That’s the only thing you do know—that some vague irritant in the shadows of your field of consciousness had been, without ever becoming fully conscious, removed, AND, not only was the irritant removed, (and thus the field of consciousness cleansed), but also there’s a feeling of renewal, strengthening, change and conviction in the tonus of your entire being.
There’s nothing uncertain to you about what you have claimed—that you felt an irritation “in your mind” AND that now you don’t and feel much, much better. But there is uncertainty about what precisely has happened…What was causing the irritation? What happened to make the irritation go away? What if the irritation was imaginary? What if the feeling it went away was imaginary? What if you had imaginarily cleaned away an imaginary irritant? What if the feeling of relief now is imaginary? In the mind, the imaginary can be felt, but you know to believe that in reality these feelings are more than imaginary could have serious and dangerous consequences. How do you know you are not making this blunder?
You’ve made it before…You were carried away in a most serious and destructive enthusiasm fourteen years ago….You’ve never forgotten that…In comparison to the horrible consequences of this burst of enthusiasm, your blasé fourteen following years had not seemed half bad. There had been a sense of refuge and sanctuary in these years…A respite….From life and from madness? You've recovered a feeling of life--have you also revived your dangerous madness?