The Fountain of Hyacinth
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
I, Baphomet 666, wishing to prove the strength of my will and the degree of my
courage have poisoned myself for the last two years and have succeeded finally
in reaching a degree of intoxication such that withdrawal of the drugs (heroin
& cocaine) produce a terrible attack of the “Storm Fiend”. The acute symptoms
arise suddenly, usually on waking up from a nap. They remind me of the “For
God’s sake turn it off” feeling of having an electric current passing through
one, and of the “Super-structure” of the Baltoro Glacier. The psychology is
very complex and curious: I think a detailed record of my attempt at breaking
the habit will be interesting and useful.
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 1922
3:40 P.M. Left Paris for Fontainbleau. Put up at Au Cadran Bleu. Walked before
dinner. No alcohol. Heroin & Cocaine at odd times till 8 P.M. Difficult to
sleet. [N.B. Part of my plan in coming here is to dig up the bitter memories
which have been killing me. I was so happy and hopeful here two years ago;
and now my little Poupe(ace)e has been dead over a year and her little
brother never came to birth; and my manhood in part is crushed]
1 1/2 tablets — Slept till 9:30. Cafe Croissant. Struggled hard to get up but
relapsed and slept till after 11. Delightful dreams.
12. Walked (lunch on warm milk) till about 3:30. Very tired. A nap. The breath
of the forest hit me like a club, the moment I left the town. I felt cured of
everything. I broke into a series of storms of sobbing; great relief.
4 P.M. “Storm-fiend” possessed me with terrible and unendurable violence.
4:4 A big sniff of heroin. Instant relief but very palsied. The residual
symptoms abated slowly and I was normal, nearly, at 4:17. From then I got
worse again slowly.
4:30 Small dose of heroin
4:40 ” ” “
5:15 Medium ” ‘
5:30 Big dose. I am not suffering. The excesses are that I want to be very fit
to write this record though I have practically finished for the present, and
that I may as well take plenty before curfew at 7, so as to make it less
difficult to do without it till Reveille at 1 PM tomorrow.
I may find it wise to limit the number of doses during the “Open Season” or
to make it illegal to take a dose at all unless the “Storm-fiend” is actually
on the job.
My general idea is to increase the Close Season daily by a space of one or
two hours thus automatically limiting the Open Season and reaching a point
when a whole physiological cycle of 24 hours. That, in my theory, would be
the critical point of the cure.
6:12 PM. It seems to be no effort at all to stop cocaine right away; one
returns to it from the moral impulse to “get going.” This impulse appears to
depend on external circumstances. Accidental necessities to be at one’s best.
(I am now, by the way, slightly intoxicated – by the 5 doses of the last 2
hours. I am combating my excess of hunger for the drug by Strychnine, doses
of 2 mgs – and by eating. The most important part of the treatment is to keep
the mind distracted. The attacks of hunger seem to be partly caused by the
mental obsession and prove transient of the attention is attracted in any way.
I propose to deal with the most distressing symptoms which I have explained
hitherto, viz., inability to sleep at the proper hours (with tendency to
over-do sleep in the daytime) on the following principles.
1. Use of the IX’ formula.
2. Hard physical exercise every day with a walk of at least half an hour
3. Hydrotherapy if to be procured. In any case, hot bath with eau-de-cologne
rub on retiring. Cold ditto on waking.
4. Alcohol on retiring.
5. Soporific in full dose as well unless asleep within 30 minutes of lying
My plan for tomorrow is this:
Forced wakening at 8:30. Breakfast. Bath. Walk. Lunch in forest. No heroin
till 1 PM. Doses at pleasure till curfew at 6 PM.
6:30. Medium dose Heroin. This was a real indulgence in the worst sense of the
word. It has occurred very frequently that I have taken a dose for reasons at
present utterly unfathomable. (This is a confession indeed, for me, who
claims to be the foremost living psychologist!) There is not the slightest
discomfort to be removed, or the faintest wish to reach some still superior
state. It is an absolutely perverse impulse. I can only compare it with
similar obfuscation — phenomena common enough in the matter of sex. Part of
the explanation may be that I feel (rather there is a physiological instinct
in the animal) an absurd sense of injury. An indignant assertion that it has
a natural right to be active and pleasantly divorced(?) for a certain
proportion of the 24 hours.
6:45. Small dose. Taken partly to prove to myself that I was not alarmed by the
reflection above set down.
I note certain pathological points.
1. Increased secretions, especially mucous, indicate the physical need of the
2. Slight tendency to manifest the bronchitis which introduced me to heroin.
3. I think my eyesight to be degenerated wholly since I began the experiment.
Occultist, however, will not admit this; they claim that I am “doing as
well as can be expected” or even a little better.
4. There has been a constantly increasing indifference to matters of ordinary
health, cleanliness and vanity. I seem hardly to know what the state of
affairs is, as to defecation, etc.`
5. There are numerous very alarming mental symptoms, but all really reduce to
one only, the feeling that nothing is worth while. It is a sort of
“philosophical laziness” rather like Falstaff’s deafness “a scary
6:55 PM Medium dose. Excuse, a perverted sense of duty. The clock had struck 7.
There are several audible clocks in the town and I wanted to assert my right
to take a last dose between the competing chimes.
I am now “nice drunk” as Alostrael would say. The day had been one of
anguish. Poupee peeped from every alley in the forest. I think of her now
without the least tendency to emotion of any kind at all; it is even hard to
remember that I ever regretted her for an instant.
7:7 PM An extraordinary incident has occurred. I had put a “choice cigar” in my
mouth as the safest place intending to smoke it after dinner. In my mental
absorption, I lit it, discovering the fact only now when it is half smoked.
This sounds an absurd trifle; but it reveals a condition as serious as an
actor’s who should unconsciously declaim “to be or not to be” in a scene or
so too early. I am economising these cigars as I cannot renew the supply in
I am now not only “nice drunk” but “very drunk”, not far short of “bloody
drunk”. My eyes are swimming, my senses singing: I feel “floppy” and I
radiate beatitude of the most beatific blessedness. My middle name is
Benedict; they call me Felix for short. Instead of Bildred and his friends, I
am surrounded by my cronies, Sat, Chit and Ananda. I am enjoying a formless
ecstasy, unsurpassed by anything in my experience. Yes: the day has been a
success. I never drank a better bottle of nectar. It is all to the good that
I can put no name to my rejoicing.
10:10 PM. The dinner, all unpleasing as was the menu, proved excellent. I had a
glass of Noirs, perfect; and a Vieux Marc ditto. I went to No. 4 & No. 6 to
look for a female primate. The best of the banal bunch was a short, sturdy
creature called Paulette. I hardly feel justified in robbing Pierrete to pay
her! I drank a Vieux Marc and a Cointreau — I feel wonderfully well and
deliciously tired: I am not even annoyed at the rain. I shall not be sorry to
go out and get soaked to the skin and skip about in the slimy slush of the
sodden forest. I am terribly sleep and have nothing on my mind. Except this:
my ambition to make this record “read well” may persuade my animal to
simulate all sorts of unnecessary tortures! Shame! I thought I had overcome
that last infirmity of noble mind! Well, let me go to sleep over the
“Bourgeois gentilhomme. I seem, by the way, to be the total antithesis of M.
Jourdain. A am noble, poor, and totally disillusioned on all points. I have
even ceased to protest against the fact that every step in evolution is
inseparable from spasms of stupid agony: and I don’t “want” anything. My will
is at last — so it seems — free from all lust of result.
10:26. I compose myself to Moli(acg)ere.
1:00 A.M. 1/2 tablet dichlenel(?) and a glass of wine. My Moli(acg)ere became
illegible within 10 minutes. Yet I am awake still, bar a doubtful half-nap of
a few minutes.
The mechanism of my insomnia is extremely interesting.
Tonight conditions for sleeping were all advisable. The bed is comfortable;
my fatigue is great; and normal in all respects. My body is entirely at east
and my mind far from preoccupation. I cannot recall having any thoughts of
any special kind, such as worries, contemplations, plans. There has been no
“train of thought”. What happens is this: I feel myself sinking into sleep
and am at the same instant impelled to some slight physical movement,
actually to seek a more comfortable position, or to scratch. The action is
sufficient to remove me from the frontier of sleep. If I refuse to yield to
the physical impulse it passes off; but when I again feel the sensation of
approaching the Gates, it seems, not necessarily or even usually in the same
shape but with increased intensity.
1:20 AM. Feeling my mental activity to have become very great. I take a second
1/2 tablet of Dial(?). This episode must have recurred dozens of times in the
2 1/2 hours of insomnia. The only identifiable thought, by the way, in that
period is the wish to observe and record the phenomena in question.
1:25. I return to Moli(acg)ere.
[afterthought — Despite the conditions, I feel very much rested, perhaps
more so that if I had slept deeply throughout and been awakened accident.
While writing these last entries I have felt a curious wish to confide the
secret of this whole experiment to T–E– on his arrival in the forest. I
must think out why this should be.
9:12 A.M. slept all night after only 3 or 4 repetitions of the torture called
Vigilium; and that despite a beginning of an asthma attack which is “my
animal’s” way of asking for cocaine — Heroin which stops my bronchitis at
once does not touch my asthma — leaves it worse than before if anything.
I feel fully rested, mind & body; lazy indeed but without irritation or
fatigue. And I feel no temptation to take heroin in order to acquire strength
enough to get up. Things could hardly seem more favorable but of course they
may be the prelude to all sorts of horrors–
12:00. Awake at last after several relapses.
3:00. Very dull damp and depressing. Crawled up the Roches D’Avon (?) — no
enthusiasm, no vigor, no courage.
I note that the important part of the treatment is to increase the period of
abstinence and as heroin postpones sleep the best plan would be to be very
—- about curfew and allow a little latitude to Reveille.
3:5. Small sniff
3:44. Big do. (N.B. This is my “bad day” as to cocaine and the weather, etc.,
etc., — all combine to depress me.
4:18. Medium sniff.
4:27. Symptoms so far unsatisfactory. There is a dull malaise, combined lack of
any interest in anything and the knowledge that cocaine would put me right at
once. Cocaine is barred altogether of course. The reason is this: The hunger
for it is strictly moral and a man ought to be able to master his moral
passions — Physical torture, on the other hand, simply throws the moral
apparatus out of gear; one cannot blamed for committing suicide or doing any
other foolish act when the pain is so strong as to prevent the manifestation
of the Will altogether.
I was slightly enthusiastic, by the way, during my whole walk today — but I
felt no temptation to take any cocaine on that score. I am tempted strongly
now, though, for I resent the tedium of my state. I want to smoke, eat, read,
write, drink and sleep all at once; and I cannot settle to any one of these
with the least enjoyment. The feeling resembles that of subconscious worry.
But I am unable to worry about anything. My affairs, Leah, old memories,
nothing seems to matter. I want to be able to get into some positive state of
mind, no odds on what subject, and I can’t. Only cocaine could help me and I
won’t take it.
4:59. Medium dose. My feeling is that the safest course is to arrange a mild
jag; sufficient to overcome my general lassitude, which is beginning to make
me open to violent suggestion to throw the whole cure overboard.
5:15. Heavy with sleep and on the verge of a “nice drunk”.
5:28 Small. I did not want this dose, but I want to take 7 in the 3 hours so as
not to diminish the ration too quickly. I want to take 6 doses tomorrow for
prudence’s sake and yet to take one less than on the previous day. If I took
6 today and 6 tomorrow, I might feel that I was failing to make progress;
while tomorrow it might well be that 5 were not enough to carry me over till
5:49. Small — Routine — no impulse.
Programme for tomorrow
Reveille not before 2 PM.
Curfew 5 PM.
In case of early sleep or waking — which may the Gods grant – I force myself
to walk to Melon(?) or at least to Bois-le-Rio —
10:40 P.M. Before dinner I went to Thibault to get a small commonplace printing
job done. The ignorance, stupidity and obstinacy of the specialist nearly
drove me insane. At dinner I was dropping with sleep, an absolute agony of
desire. Coffee and 2 Vieux Marcs revived me and I took my walk in perfectly
normal circumstances not in the least intoxicated but feeling as I used to in
1896 on a bright May morning in a new suit strolling Trinity Street.
I then went to the Cafe and had 3 Mandarins (I do not mean that I committed a
felony on the persons of three Chinamen of high official rank!). I practiced
billiards. I have not touched a cue for two years, or been in good form for
8. I was amazed to find myself doing better than I have ever done in my life.
All classes of stroke seemed equally easy. I was not trying particularly to
do my best yet I ran off a break of 22 from a leave of no remarkable promise.
Astounding! At this moment I feel quite normal and not a day over thirty!
I wish to note (before I forget it) that one of the nuisances connected with
the legends current as to the effects of drug-taking is that one is apt to
attribute any and every unpleasant symptom to addiction or abstinence. Just
as the man who fell downstairs while reading George Eliot and broke his leg
jumped to the conclusion that the fracture of the femur was due to the fall,
so I, after a bad night and a weary walk in wet weather, wonder whether my
asthma, depression and other unpleasant phenomena are due to a) lack of
cocaine b) too much cocaine c) too much heroin d) too little heroin e) my
Freudian attitude toward drugs f)my reaction against said attitude g) etc.
The fundamental trouble about drugs is then that they tend to obsess me, just
as in the days of Christianity people always referred anything that happened
to the prophecies in Daniel, Matthew XXIV, or the Apocalypse!
These considerations, however, have this effect at least: that I am no longer
in the least anxious about my alleged addition, my imminent insomnia, or
anything else. There is yet, I regret to say, one super-subtle whisper: “Is
not your freedom from apprehension a `devise of the Devil’ to induce you to
disdain your manifold precautions and to go on the loose in order to show
your superiority to the whole situation?”
Just so: This is a case for putting into practice by old rule — “When in
doubt, stick to the letter of your resolution and never mind the spirit.” I
may be free from all danger of being enslaved by drugs; I may be making
myself absurd by going on with my “cure” but I shall keep my rules for the
sake of keeping them — without lust of result.
11:11 P.M. Well, that’s off my chest. (I wish the phlegm was!). I shall need
some ——– till I happen to go to sleep — Goodnight everybody!
I slept at once, woke at 3 for a few minutes, woke back up at 5:15, slept
again till nearly 12. There has been a lot of violent sweating. I am now very
slack still, despite the length of the rest.
2:10. Medium. Had been feeling very badly, chilled, empty etc. some relief —
2:24 P.M. Big. This put me at ease but I was aware of an absurd wish to let
myself go. The wish had no rational basis, positive or negative — it seemed
principally due to the spirit of revolt against restriction.
2:25. T— E— not at station — I began the walk along the crest back to
4:00 ” No need but I don’t want to risk the loss of prestige involved in
having to go back on my programme.
4:21. I now feel in first class shape all round. I walk briskly, blithely and
have a ridiculous feeling I must be “looking my best”–
4:55 Big — The result of this dose was (apparently) that I was suddenly
overcome with somnolence. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I must lie down.
5:00 No: the feeling passes off to some extent.
Reveille — 1:30 PM
Curfew — 4 PM
Doses — 5
I know that I am not diminishing very rapidly. But I have organized and
restricted the business. Last night’s natural sleep was a big stride! I find
the mirror justifies my impression that I am looking like an exceptionally
handsome winner of the Diamond Sculls, whose love is returned by the
loveliest lady alive —
6:15. I’m not quite “nice drunk”. This is as it should be. A few more nights
like last night ought to clear up the worst of the nervous exhaustion. N.B.
The cigar episode of Wednesday repeated itself!
8:38 After dinner walk cut short by a very severe fit of shivering — the
worst I have had since malarial ——— was my long suit. I refuse to admit
that a little heroin would put me right.
10:50. Slept instantly but woke about 10:30 with fierce thirst, skin dry and
11:58. Nearly asleep — sweating heavily.
7:00 A.M. Woke fresh & fit though very uncomfortable the bed and my sheet being
drenched with sweat! had no idea — despite much experience of malaria in
such places as Rangoon that such quantities of perspiration could be produced
by so small a person! The quality offers no prospect of my betting a contract
12:00. I slept off and on all morning while my sheet dried on the radiator.
1 & 1:34. Big- A tremendous relief, though I can hardly say from what! It seems
as if my symptoms were becoming uniform. I have had dyspepsia, fever,
bronchitis, asthma, rheumatic pains, tendency to headache, etc. The trouble
is that if it were not for knowing about heroin I should have accepted any
one of these as the natural lot of mankind and treated it accordingly. As it
is, I suspect “suppression” to be at the root of anything abnormal.
2 & 2:01. Medium. Heavy rain: it would be stupid to go out walking as I have
not a Barberry or a change of clothes and in view of two nights of violent
fever. Yet I suspect myself of exaggerating the rain as an excuse for
relaxing my regime. This is all absurdly over-honest; the good point is the
proof that I am taking the cure seriously, the bad one that it shows a
tendency to scare. But in a case of this port it is an error on the right
side to be slow to make excuses.
2:34. This is true, although at first sight silly; that all unpleasant
symptoms, diverse as they may be, depart unceremoniously on the arrival of
Heroin. The converse proposition (is it converse, obverse, contrapositive or
what? My logic is rusty) thus appears tenable: that the symptoms arise from a
single cause, the withdrawal of the drug. Why then do I not get more symptoms
still? Obviously enough: the action of the heroin is to prevent one’s natural
tendencies to illness from manifesting. I can well understand (in this light)
the claim made for opium that addicts are practically immune from most types
of disease. If, then, one could be sure of not abusing such drugs, it might
be a tenable thesis that their use prolongs life (Excuse me if I distrust the
above remarks! May not such thoughts be the scouts of my soul’s enemies?! I
might easily change my plan of campaign, aiming to limit my doses instead of
suppressing them. The next step would be to employ ———- to enlarge the
limit, or at least to become careless so that I slid back into the way of
taking dose whenever I felt like it.
I think it very important for humanity to set down all these subtleties; it
has never been properly done either by an artist or a psychologist. I am not
sorry that I undertook the experiment. These mental analyses have analogies
in other departments. They will be extremely useful to the young Yogi, for
2 & 2:53. Medium. I must make a point of analyzing the precise motives that
operate the actual decision at any moment as to when and how much I take. I
observe, by the way, that the above entry is accompanied by a moral collapse.
Such analysis strikes me as damnable difficult; and I instinctively cry out
for a stenographer to save me the trouble of writing and a dose of cocaine to
brace me up to the intellectual fatigue.
2:58. I see one difficulty about this `cure’ which reminds me of Russell and
his `zigazgginess’. Suppose I succeed in —— moral tone. I am liable to
discover it to be my “duty” to spurn this campaign as selfish and trivial and
to sacrifice myself to humanity (or something pompous and piggish of the
kind) by going off to establish the Law aided by adequate doses. I can think
of about a million artful arguments of this kind. The sole rebuttal is — as
in learning concentration of any sort — to stick to the letter of the law
without lust of result. I must emphasize this danger to the utmost; I have
seen too often in the past how one can become obsessed by some ordered mass
of ideas which are utterly irrefutable and yet are the flimsiest falsehoods
when once they are set aside. The moral quality required to do so is Resolute
Stupidity; it is his possession of this that has made the Englishman master
of the world. It is the infiltration of the poison of intelligence that is
reducing him to a national rabbit. Tommy Adkins is immeasurably superior to a
Chink — like Confucius; if not, by what right does Brittania rule the waves?
I have made one gigantic stride toward recovery. I have regained my belief in
myself as a World Force. Despite the general indifference to things at large
which still leaves me without magnetism, I am genuinely interested in this
record and think it will prove one of the most important documents offered to
3:26. I am calculating the best way to use my last two doses. I feel no need of
anything. As on previous days at this stage; and the reason in taking them is
as before. Yet I am haunted by the anguish of further diminution — I think:
Hadn’t I better take two big doses as late as possible, so as to suffer less
before Reveille tomorrow? As against this: hadn’t I better advance the time
and diminish the amounts, so as to force myself to fight through as much
suffering as possible — get used to it, like eels to being skinned? For as I
have hitherto managed to keep strictly to my programme, I am getting to feel
confident that my pride will help me out in a pinch.
The final argument is this: let me be careful not to be overcareful. There is
danger in attaching too much importance to the matter. On the other hand, no
danger is so great as over-confidence; if I get careless, good-night! The
bottom of the business is the dear old occult bottom — to work without lust
of result. One must act with all the ardor and integrity possible; yet with
indifference, as if one had no interest in the upshot.
3 & 3:38. Medium. I took this dose with very marked reluctance. I am tempted to
stop brutally. “To hell with the beastly stuff” is my reaction.
I am quite uncertain whether to regard this attitude as a symptom of moral
convalescence or as a subtly false attempt of the subconscious craving to
trick me into rashness. It is certainly wise to repudiate both claims and to
maintain the letter of the Law.
While wring this, I observe a powerful undertow of craving. The effect of the
dose seems to have been to make me eager to continue the drug with
enthusiasm. [This effect, by the way, is exceptionally well reached when
taking cocaine.] Now what may one deduce from this? Is it that the stimulus,
consciously resented, is subconsciously demanded?
It seems that the gain in power, the return towards the normal, gives one
confidence in one’s mastery of oneself? In other words, is one ———-
there is a marked confusion of thought in my mind on this point. I feel
acutely that I am not expressing myself well and that I am not clear about
what I wish to express. This suggests that I must be “drilling near the
nerve” of some complex. My mind is simply bewildered. I don’t know how to
formulate my question properly. I am aware of a sort of shame or
embarrassment. I seems as if my mind wanted to evade the analysis and take
refuge in deliberate obfuscation. This is, of course, what regularly happens
to the average man whenever confronted by any moral problem. He thinks with
confused consternation on such subjects as religion, morality and disease
because his fear of what might happen to him is so vast and so vague — this
inhibition has been responsible for all the (ignorance?) which has disgraced
the history of the race.
3:58. Medium. The final dose was taken with a certain anguish which I instantly
recognized as saying “all very well for today! but what about tomorrow when
the limit is 4 doses?” This sounds absurd as 3 doses have so far put me all
right. But I am thinking of the question of cumulative counter poisoning, and
I feel a passionate impulse to break down at this very moment, to “go on the
bust, regardless” — Yet the thought of taking another dose is repugnant. The
last has not made me feel any better; it has simply dizzied me and fulled me
with querulous impatience. It has stopped raining, I think; I will go out and
if too wet, try what a Mandarin and an hour with a cue will do for me.
4:14. Just a note before going out — I am not nearly “nice drunk” I am glad to
say — But I am tremendously encouraged by the thought that this record will
be a model which may serve men to work out their own mastery of “habits”
without compulsion or assistance.
5:40. It was too wet to walk. I call to witness the umbrellas of the
indigenous. I went book-buying and proof inspecting; in the shop I nearly
collapsed. Fresh air restored me. I went billiard playing and Mandarin
drinking. My billiards was again admirably astonishing. I was then overcome
by sleepiness; decided to go home & lie down. I had a violent impulse to
vomit; but after a ——— I felt perfectly well again and the somnolence
resumed its sway.
5:55. It is worthy of remark that my regiment seems to have restored my “drug-
virginity” so called by writers on the subject. The fact is that most of the
fixed ideas about drugs are superstitious. I have long observed this fact
with regard to a great many. But the more I learn, the danger is the rubble-
heap of accepted statements. For instance, with ether, hashish, mescal,
opium-smoking and morphine, I find no tendency to habit whatever. More still,
I am unable to force myself to use these drugs at all, except on the rarest
occasions. Yet I have nothing but the most pleasant and profitable
experiences in connection with them. With heroin & cocaine, on the contrary,
I have not much to thank them for; and there has been a good deal of
annoyance connected with them. Yet it is for these and these only that I
hanker. I begin to have a grave suspicion that there is a masochistic complex
at the bottom of all this: “a will to suffer”, integral with the sense of
“sin” which accounts for the popularity of humiliating creeds such as
Christianity in all its forms among degenerate races — (I include such
infantile wish-fulfillment phantasm reactions as “Christian Science’ among
those morbid phenomenon.
6:30 I have been noticing in myself a tendency to irritability and
suspiciousness. It is not very acute or very persistent; but it is
sufficient to be evidence of a state of mind exceptionally foreign to my
assertion — acquired habit of thought. It has appeared by fits and starts
during some months.
6:44. Programme for Sunday.
Reveille 1:00 PM
Curfew 3:00 PM
As adjuncts: strychnine appears of great use physically. I think I will try
emphasizing this in the two or 3 hours before Reveille. Alcohol is a decided
moral aid; but I suspect it of lessening physiological resistance unless one
is careful to restrict it scope to assisting appetite and digestion or
promoting sleep. I am somewhat astonished to notice how prolonged by lethargy
is. The impulse is to be alarmed; but Nature knows best. This is Her way,
presumably, of replenishing the resistance.
7:00. A curious incident took place before dinner. After leaving my room, I
thought of my supply of cocaine — was it safe? I went back, assured myself
of its integrity — and that of the servants thereof — and put it back with
elaborate precautions against a grain of it reaching my anatomy. I now wonder
whether this action was dictated by the subconscious wish to take some.
8:8. I dined slowly on light food in great moderation and was instantly
impelled to violent and voluminous vomiting. Painless, almost pleasant. It
leaves me, like the previous entry — doubtful as to whether this, too, is
not a “device of the demon. Yet there is ample explanation elsewhere — I was
reading the life of Lord Russell of Killoween by R. Barry O’Brien. Perhaps
this sickness has saved my life.
8:50. I feel as if another shivering fit were about due, so I get to bed and
take 3 gr. Quinine.
9:50. The shivering was avoided. I feel generally washed out, neither tired,
sleepy, hungry nor anything else. My thoughts are similarly colorless. For
instance, I wonder, without interest, whether I might die before morning.
11:36. I now feel quiet and comfortable but rather bored.
1:11 AM Throat congested, stomach irritated, sleep coy; will take 1/2 tablet
dialcura(?) 11:53 (?) a second 1/2 tablet then sleep till nearly 9 and dozes
Suffering acutely from dyspepsia, eyes watering, yawning, lassitude, etc. I
suppose this is the cumulative trouble: I have arrears of my daily ration to
make up. I must admit a very strong temptation to break my rules not by
artifice but by sheer weariness of the struggle. Shouldn’t be surprised if
today was a severe test of the treatment. If I break down, it is obvious I
need alien aid. It upsets and weakens me that I have no news of 31-666-31.
1+ 1:1 PM. Lunch and strychnine helped out but I was glad when Reveille came.
2+ 1:21. Big. I didn’t really want this but I’m “hopping mad clear through”
today about nothing. I had no letters. It is now cold weather. I am upset
about all sorts of things and I can’t put names to them. I expect a brisk
walk would put me in good condition.
1:50. Feeling particularly well after a short stroll. Returned for my sweater
as it is very cold.
4:44 Back from a really good long fast walk. Feeling very much better. By a
curious paradox I want to break the regimen so as to make better best!
However, I made certain considerations as follows: Having been busy reducing
the doses, I have not been able to extend the intervals. I wanted to advance
the hour of curfew so as to avoid heroin insomnia. But I may not go on the
other track. I will maintain curfew at 3 and make Reveille later.
e.g. [moon] Reveille 1:30 — 3 doses[mars] 2:40 — 2 doses [mercury] 3:0 1 dose.
It is no plan of my plan to drop from one dose to none until I have reached
the interval of 48 hours. The only permissible alternative to making my one-
dose days 25 hours long is this: to replace the heroin on alternate days by
cocaine. The objection to the whole scheme is this; that the hour of taking
the dose always approaches bedtime while it is most desirable (on the
contrary) for it to be as early as possible. Suppose, however, I extend the
two-dose period in this way: 1 dose on waking, the other at 3:00 PM and
extend the interval by advancing curfew to 2, 1, noon, and reducing to one
dose when the times coincide. This scheme has the advantage of changing the
physiological cycle which compensates (I think) for the temporary reduction
of the interval which it is desired to extend.
5:00 I may observe that I am recovering to a great extent my normal healthy
interest in ordinary affairs and also that I am not in the least suspicious
as to my motives in making the above entry. I feel, in fact, quite
considerable confidence in myself — for the first time — Indeed, I should
have little hesitation for my own sake in going on the loose entirely: I
refrain from doing so because it would apparently —— my record.
8:42. Dined rather well; feel all right, bar a tendency to indigestion. But I
observe that my virile reaction to various matters is renewed like the
Eagle’s and a pretty nasty tempered Eagle at that. I find myself wanting an
“eye for an eye” from certain people.
11:20. Heroin was (note from S. Roberts–he has either been drinking because
his handwriting begins to sprawl also he does not record taking anything)
originally prescribed for my bronchitis. It stops an attack in a few seconds.
Now I have spent this evening fighting the aforesaid malady with compresses
and pastilles, obtaining practically no relief.
Am I morally justified in resorting to heroin out of business hours? If it
were a moral question the problem would be pertinent; but it is not: I am
making a purely scientific experiment with no moral implications soever;
there is therefore no difficulty whatever in deciding to abstain. I mention
this as an example of the astounding simplifications effected by referring
all questions of conduct to the Law of Thelema.
There is nevertheless a `critical temperature’: I should take the heroin if
not to do so would spoil the record in any case: for example, if the spasms
of coughing increased so as to endanger life. The use of drugs in such an
extremity would indeed form a pertinent episode in the experiment.
12:20 AM I am making a regular St. Patrick’s Night of it. Throat trouble with
phlegm standing like the Old Guard and fever, insomnia, etc. on top; my mind
surging with phantasms of projects of various sorts — persistent, but
without alacrity or ability to hold my interest. There is no definite drug
hunger; but I suspect my quite indefinable symptoms to be in reality so many
“legal arguments” of the body, too cunning to complain frankly what it wants.
1:11 AM. Nothing for it but a Dialcuria(?) once more.
2 AM. One spasm follows another each ending in complete exhaustion. I have
tried inhaling eau de cologne: no good. I will make one last stand at Fort
2:31. Useless sacrifice of human life. Retire on second line. Ils me passeront
1+ Relief very slight.
2+ 2:36. Medium — almost calm.
3+ 2:45. Medium
I could almost certainly have cut short the attack with less trouble if I had
not let it go so far. I am “all in” from exhaustion, every muscle aching from
the strain — breath still quick and laboured — traces of phlegm still in
3:7. Practically “all better” though frightfully tired. A noticeable phenomena
is a keen ambition to write a play in French verse! (Suggested, probably, by
picking up my pocket Tartuffe).
3:18. I shall consider myself provisionally as having “borrowed” the three
doses due today and pay them back if practicable by total abstention till
Tuesday 2:30 PM. I thing also I shall go to Paris on Tuesday and ask Dr. E—
G—– how best to combat these emergency attacks; it should be worth while
now that I know more or less what to expect.
5:2. Awoke with access of spasms more violent than before. As soon as I get
respite enough to control my muscles at all.
4+ Med. I have been asleep dreaming voluptuously and planning various projects
in my puppet show.
5+ 5:11 Med. Also I have been sweating violently.
6+ 5:23. Still in the woods.
9:00 AM. Woke very succinctly, my chest still raw and distressed, but a voice
in my ears, clear as ever came to me in my life and apropos of nothing:
Now the Yi had indicated this before and I had found excuses to dodge it. I
don’t like the idea even now since fully awake. But I have cleared up the
Fontainbleau formula about Poupe(ace)e, I think, with Mark Twain’s story “The
Fine Loom of Life” (?) and NOTJZJP means (twitching my mantle blue?) “Weep no
more, gentle shepherd, weep no more.” offers the best possible conditions for
the rest of my cure, including the IX’ — XI’ remedy and is in all ways
rationally indicated. With my habitual prudence, ask Thelema for an oracle. I
bet VIII I.53. The applicability of the passage may or may not be discernible
by those who are not initiates of the VI’ of O.T.O. It may involve my death,
as “an enchantment to unbind the bound.”
9:36. I am a little calmer now I am sitting up in bed. By the way, I had a
strong “hunch” last night to play a libel action against Arnold Bennett for
the “Paris Nights” reference worked out in a friendly spirit to gain
publicity. On this point Thelema says CCXXX I.50 end of verse. Doubtful: the
suggestion seems to be no to let Bennett know what is going on.
Mad with Leah for not having written. Went out about 10 and started for
forest before 11. Shored away from golf course. Exhausted by night’s
struggle; much residual cough and soreness as well as fatigue. A fine day and
a fresh, cool invigorating wind; but I could hardly drag one leg after the
other — I make no apology for
7+ 1:04 PM. Medium.
8+ 1:21 PM “
9+ 1:36 PM “
10+ 1:58 PM Small. Crawled in, still weak, about 2:30 PM.
11+ 3:22 PM Wire and letters from Leah.
3:40. eyes keep closing with sleep.
5:00 PM. A nap, interrupted by a fool bell and the waking hideous with a
bronchial clinch. I have so shame in going for it at once with old friend
cocaine — partly as a change from the heroin and partly because it seems
possible that it will touch the spot better. The first small sniff does
indeed seem to clear the matter up remarkable; but I will go and see if the
chemist can find me some balm in Gilead.
1.2+ Two small cocaines. Note that in all this business there has not been the
slightest conscious “hunger and thirst for mightiness sake” but sheer
physical distress and believe me kid I know my ——– from my elbow by this
The two little cocaine sniffs have removed the lump from my chest and throat
for the first time in 15 hours or so. The sinister circumstance is that this
is “just a week today since my Coco went away and its all up with poor Tommy
now!” I shall put the case before Cros fully and meanwhile run along and ask
the chemist if he can suggest some patent pulmonary purgative and promise me
a purple plenitude of serene slumber, stainless of bronchial trouble, immune
from the perfidious and frustrating pangs of intercostal inhibition, of
respiratory reluctances. the bane of bronchial burdens, the curse of my
cantankerous(?) chest, (and please observe how instantly the cocaine settles
itself in my style. The last few phrases, redundant rubbish — flagged.
Normally, I should have diagnosed that another dose was due, and loaded some
more alliterations and parenthesis on my ——- back!)
5:24. I do take a third; but that is only to complete the exodus to Boulevard
Reulet(?) from the impasse inferno. (Note – corrections and cross corrections
— the rest is illegible) —
3+ 5:28. The Third Coco
Interesting to note that just 23 years ago — early in ’99 I was saving Allen
Bennett from his cycle of asthma, opium, morphine, cocaine, chloroform,
exhaustion, asthma — recurring, (it took from 1 to 2 months to make the
round trip) by sending him out to Ceylon. Perhaps I made some good Karma when
I saved my master’s life (at the risk of my own as it happened) perhaps some
one I never thought of may be on the way to save mine.
4+ 5:35. To cap the pyramid.
8:38 PM. I had a long delightful talk with a charming little chemist, bought
some iodine to paint my chest and some ether in case of a bad night, played a
little billiards, read some more Nordmann, drank some hot milk, ate a small
piece of bread, wrote Nordmann and P.S. to plead my sanity — and took
several 5+ more sniffs of cocaine and one of heroin! I did this dire deed
quite deliberately. I seemed not worth while to (?) my “fall from grace” but
to treat the situation frankly, get myself into a state of mind and body such
that I could look at it from the outside. Attempts to alternate the
assassination and trammel up his consequences would have been pitiful,
inviting insincerity. My plan is to begin again tomorrow, with the week’s
experience to guide me as to what is wise. It is clear, for instance, that I
can cut out the cocaine completely without fear of being distressed and that
I can start with a two hour spell of 4 doses of heroin; having this
advantage, too, that I can make Reveille my time of waking which well ensure
I am quite satisfied with strychnine to avert collapse and to control
craving. I am confident of my ability to adjust the hours of “indulgence”
cleverly enough to keep the “Storm-fiend” from the door. I can rely on
quinine in case of fever. My one weak spot is the original emphysema —
asthma — bronchitis; and I must find a sure fortress against their ferocity,
which was solely responsible for the present “regrettable incident.” E —-
G —- will probably be able to help there; and I dare say my own iodine and
other defenses may turn out impregnable. I am quite contented with my week’s
work and proud that all moral attacks were detected and defeated. My sole
uneasiness is as to whether the severe physical assault had not a Freudian
basis. To that suggestion I reply with some conviction that fever and
vomiting were natural effects of the general strain ( as I have seen often in
past years) and that last night may well be set down to my imbecile conduct
in sitting on a damp log in an incipient drizzle after a long cold walk in a
heavy sweater to watch thirty “mudded oafs”.
I blame myself, however, for carelessness in (a) observing my physiological
state in several obvious ways (b) keeping the rules of hygiene and therapy,
even those formally laid down in this record (c) forcing myself to follow the
prescribed course when unwise, e.g. getting up and going out with a fever on
I am pleased with the frankness and conscientiousness of this record; I think
it full and free from all self-deception, stupidity, or cowardice. I think it
accesses justly the dangers, difficulties, and determination which apply to
the case. I feel that it has helped me and will help others to audit
accounts; and I am sure that the week’s teaching shows a good profit, judged
either by the figures themselves or by my demeanor and appearance.
Unfortunately there are no figures for the week previous but my memory is
quite clear that I have been taking heroin continuously fro many weeks; three
or four doses to help me get up and others practically all day at short
intervals. As to cocaine, I must have had at least two or three prolonged
bouts of it every week, plus a few “hairs of the dog” on most of the “off
days”. Most of my mental and moral powers were seriously affected in various
ways while I was almost wholly dependent on them for physical energy, in
particular for sexual force, which only appeared after unusual excesses,
complicated by abnormal indulgence in alcohol. My creative life had become
spasmodic and factitious — I could not even take interest in any kind of
work; what I did was forced, feeble and ill sustained, dependent on drastic
drugging even at that. I could not even face the task of dictating important
letters and shrank from contact with business of all kinds. I could take no
pleasure even in eating or drinking except when more savagely spurred by the
stimulants that usual. I had become incapable of all human reaction, from
love and self respect to hatred and self preservation. I avoided washing,
dressing, shaving, as much as possible. I was unable to count money properly,
to inspect bills and so on; everything bored me. I could not even feel alarm
at obviously serious symptoms. My memory, though reliable, was very dull. I
refused to make any efforts.
It strikes me as astonishing that so complete a cachexia as this should not
have been accompanied by the slightest psychical disturbance! I had no traces
of hallucination or persecution-mania, no tendency to duplicity or
concealment, no delusions or defects of judgment; not one (in short) of the
classical psychoses which occur normally in cases far less grave in other
ways than mine. This is especially strange in view of the fact that I had
been subjected to extreme mental worry of many kinds for many months and that
I had lost entirely the faculty of sleep which ensued only on (a) extreme
exhaustion, say after fifteen hours of painting and dictation, followed by
perhaps 6 hours sexual frenzy (b) hypnotics such as vernol. reinforced by
desperate determination to sleep or (c) heroic doses of strong alcoholic
drinks, absinthe, brandy, or hot rum.
Yet I have not even had so much as one unpleasant dream. The only suspicious
symptom has been occasional feelings of irritation, disproportionate to the
exciting cause, and of undue anxiety to avoid allusions to subjects liable to
annoy me. That I should have been able to get back so nearly to normal good
health — on all planes — in a single week: this seems to me almost
miraculous by the sombre standards of the text books on drug neuroses.
10:40 PM. The above entry is a fair example of what I can do when thoroughly
drunk on a mixture of heroin and cocaine. But it should be compared with a
similar effort last month. Tonight I am clear, calm; not too verbose,
redundant, detailed or frenetic. The basis of the entry is mental and moral
health. I write what I want to write, without excitement or effort. The drugs
merely inhibit my inhibitions. On previous occasions, one may observe on
insane intensity, an impatient fury. There is a delirious outburst and I am
enraged at my slowness and my lack of mastery. Tonight there is none of this.
I fell myself in full control of my faculties. Also there is no impulse to
appeal to the drugs to “drive like the devil”. I no longer crave to push on
from one piece of work to another. Before, I have “speeded up” Pegasus though
I have had no idea where I want to go. The result has been that I have often
spent a furious night with the Hounds of Hell, hunting some horrible hyena in
the dark across sterile sands; I have finished the work for the sake of which
I started drugging myself and gone on with some quite useless stuff like
“Limericks” or some shapeless, idealess ranting ruins of obscure and obscene
turgidity. Mine inmost identity says: To worship me take wine and strange
drugs whereof I will tell my prophet and be drunk thereof:” it is lawful to
do this, for to worship Him is to make him manifest, and so to fill the world
with Truth and Beauty. But I have erred in going to far; the worship has
become forced and fallen into fanatical frenzy which blasphemes Him. He bids
us also to “exceed by delicacy” to “drink by the eight and ninety rules of
art”; but I have exceeded by depravity and drunk by the three hundred and
ninety three rules of the toper. He gives his guarantee that this wine, these
drugs, will not harm me; but the condition is obviously that expressed above.
I must justify Him (and myself) by making myself unchallengable master of
these “means of grace”. I must be as capable of using them, and as confident
in my capacity, as an engineer is of handling high explosives; and every
piece of work undertaken with the aid of these tools, must prove by its
perfection that his precepts and his promises are wrought by Righteousness
and tested by Truth.
In the past, despite my errors and excesses, these Orgia have brought me
beyond all previous human attainments and I must not fear to follow the flag
and fight the good fight with all my might. But I must not get an arrow in my
eye, like Harold of Hastings, and so lose control of my English that they
break out of their lines, drunken with victory, fall into disorder, and
perish beneath the lances of the invaders.
For the present, then, I must pursue my plan of suppressing the use of drugs
altogether. That duly done, I must lay down those “eight and ninety rules of
art” and keep them. I must be able to use heroin and cocaine as adequately
and masterly as Rembrandt used his paints. One should not swear a nocturne
with Rose Madder because one likes the colour!
In practice, then, I go to bed instead of continuing this persistent prating.
11:53 PM. So yes proclaim altogether! (I will NOT disgrace this record by
giving it the title “Hero versus Heroin”).
12:01AM I have painted my chest and throat with iodine. The last of the phlegm
seems to have come away. I don’t expect to sleep soon with all this stuff in
me, in spite of last night’s struggle and the shortness of the final sleep.
But my programme for the day is this:
on waking: Caf(ace)e and croissant
the first even hour: Reveille
Two hours later: Curfew
Four doses of heroin. No cocaine.
In case of physical trouble, treat symptoms as they arise without narcotics.
Walk in forest if fine.
(Provided money arrives)
4:26 to Paris
Dine with Laverne (?)
Look for partner for IX’: on no account have anything to do with 31-666-31
unless the magnetic conditions are totally reversed. Use partner aforesaid
when found. Sleep early: wake early and repeat Tuesday’s programme: but 1 1/2
hours heroin in 3 doses.
Thursday ditto but 1 hour & 2 doses.
Friday ditto but 1 dose on waking.
Saturday ditto but 1 hour after waking.
Sunday ditto but 2 hours after waking.
Monday ditto but 3 hours after waking.
1+ 12:30 PM
2+ 1:00 PM Medium
3+ 1 (No entry)
4:44 PM. Vos(?) Paris. It has been a hard day. Chest never really free, moral
confusion, etc. Damp and dull. Had to use one or two extra heroin. Letter
form Algiers (?) Camille is there. What about journey? Last night I had
excited visions of your Epinal without reference to Camille, vague phantasms
of a marriage (suggested by seeing one yesterday) and playing chess (next two
11:30 PM. Lea left last night for London. Awake till after 6 AM. Then deep
sleep (after much Nortyl) till 2 PM when Boucier(?) woke me with difficulty.
Heroin and a little cocaine. Vomited just before dinner. This whole period
since my return to Paris can be summarized “From Bad to Worse”. Lea is a
violent spiritual poison to me. We love deeply and truly, we sympathize, we
do all we can to help each other; but we act on each other like cancer. It’s
the formula of the independent growth in one flesh. Already I feel a new man;
I have even the direct sensation that I am “cured”. I wrote to Dr. Edward
Cros last night telling him the whole story and asked him to call and fix a
sanatorium for me where I can direct my own treatment. To submit to medical
treatment would be to destroy my whole theory and blaspheme the Gods whose
chosen minister I am!
I have been morally paralyzed by Leah’s presence. I will now begin a new
diary describing the completion of my mastery of myself in the matter of
heroin and cocaine.
2:10 AM Sleep still coy. (The rest of this short entry is incomprehensible and
2:30 Impressed upon me strongly that I must “go to Epinol” i.e. by ——-
March 8 (in pencil)
3:21 AM. heard from —- and ——— A foul means of filth from a Detroit
garbage-can. Evening with Aimee.
4:50 PM Couldn’t sleep till after 6 AM. Woke now.
9:30 PM. Bright and lively till 8:30 then weighted down with weariness. Will take Nortyl till I sleep. Must call on Edward Cros at 2:30 PM tomorrow.
Saw Cros (Method: Nortyl, slept till 1:30 AM. Took more Nortyl and was
picked(?) up at 11 AM.) He prescribes luminal and Dicome – les – Bains (air)
near Geneva. Dr. Bornums(?) I feel better already!
In back of book in A.C.’s hand:
February 12, 1922 Paris
This is the last will and testament of me Edward Alexander Crowley. I revoke
all previous wills. I give and bequeath the whole of my property to Leah
Hirsig (of New York, N.Y. U.S.A. and Cefal(acg)u, Sicily) and I appoint her
my sole executrix.
signed: Edwd. Alex. Crowley
A note on flyleaf says: “In case I die before getting this will duly
executed, get two people who were in Paris on the date to sign as witnesses,
after finding out from a lawyer — without explaining the circumstances —
exactly how it should by done.
Copyright (c) Ordo Templi Orientis
Fairfax, CA 94930
(415) 454-5176 —- messages only.
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