It’s the birthday of poet and playwright W. B. Yeats, born 1865 in Dublin, Ireland.
Two things about him I had not known:
His aunt gave him a copy of Esoteric Buddhism about Eastern mystical philosophy, and Yeats especially loved its idea that the world of matter was an illusion.
At 20, he and a group of friends formed the Dublin Hermetic Society, in order to conduct experiments into the nature of ghosts and psychic powers. He continued throughout his life to consult with mediums and to experiment with automatic writing and séances.
"Now that my ladder’s gone
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.”