It’s funny, but the second cup doesn’t come close to the taste and touch of the first splash of that hot, black liquid against the soft palate in my fasting mouth, first thing in the morning. I keep trying to recreate the sensation, but I never succeed.
It’s kind of like what I imagine drug and/or alcohol abusers go through after they’ve experienced their first high. They’re always looking for a repeat of that first grand feeling, but never find a sensation to match it, no matter how much substance they use.
It’s kind of like what I imagine religious people go through after they’ve experienced their first spiritual “high.” They keep searching for the same revelatory experience, a recreation of the same mind-blowing sensation, but never quite reach the epiphany of their first.
Not to belittle it all, but if we remember, in all three examples, that our experience is a chemical reaction in the brain – a neuron dance, as it were – we might retain a little better understanding of our feelings. Our feelings and experiences, even our memories, are chemical reactions: just as the stomach secretes enzymes, the brain secretes thought.
Right now, I’m trying to recreate that sensation, that grand feeling, that epiphany I felt during my first sexual experience. Ah, chemistry!
In “Of Human Bondage,” the author's surrogate, Philip Carey, "looked upon Christianity as a degrading bondage that must be cast away at any cost..." In "Summing Up," Maugham said, "I remain an agnostic."