The story is told of a young chemist who, one evening, accidentally ingested a droplet of an unknown fluid from one of his test tubes, the leftovers of a past experiment.
Within minutes his mind went reeling and he was subjected to not only the wildest hallucinations, but also what he felt were world-altering insights into the nature of the universe.
The next day, after the drug had worn off, he tried to describe his experience to his colleagues and friends, but could not find the words to do it justice. Everyone he spoke to shrugged it off as a particularly vivid dream and went about their daily chores.
Frustrated, the next evening he placed a larger drop on his tongue, intentionally this time, and entered into a mental state beyond his imagining; he seemed to grasp, with no effort on his part, the very nature of existence. He not only saw God, he realized that he was and always had been part of God. He understood holistically and simultaneously every scientific axiom and principle — including ones that had not yet been discovered — as all being aspects of a single unified theorem of the cosmos, a theorem which he could inspect at his leisure, as if he were holding it in his hand.
But the next morning, once again, he could not remember the specifics of his insights, and his attempts to recount his breakthrough fell on deaf ears; his fellow scientists could not make heads nor tails of what he was saying, and his friends remained unmoved at his futile ramblings about God and the universe.
The young chemist was convinced down to the deepest recesses of his soul that he was perceiving a new level of reality, and vowed to record his new awareness and bring it to the world, thereby ushering in a glorious new age for humanity. So on the third night he locked himself in his lab with a large notebook and his favorite pen, and pledged to write down all his insights as they occurred.
He took another drop. His mind expanded. And he started writing.
It was glorious! His visions and realizations were even deeper than those of the previous night, but this time around he was able to describe it all in real time as it was happening. His pen flew across the page, words tumbling from him like a waterfall, delineating in lush detail everything he saw and grasped. He laughed in ecstasy with each new brilliancy, and sobbed in gratitude that he was able to preserve it forever and thereby change mankind for the better.
When he woke up the following morning, he once again had forgotten the details of his experience, but this time it would not be lost. He leapt up and found his notebook on his desk. Heart pounding, so excited that he was short of breath, he opened the cover and began to read.
But the first page was blank.
As was the second.
Frantically, he began flipping through the pages: they were all blank, until he got to the very last page. There, in his own distinctive handwriting, but so small and cramped that he could barely read it, was the only sentence he had written all night:
The stench in here is terrible.