The writers of the Icelandic Sagas considered it the acme of skill in poetry to “hit you in the eye”. I propose that this is common to all art and literature with cult followings among deep thals, and for a specific reason.
The saying itself is an illustration of the concept. It means to land a strike with such skill and accuracy that no further demonstration is required. In The Lord of the Rings, for example, Legolas would consistently demonstrate his extraordinary marksmanship by shooting orcs through the eye. The way this is used by creative thals is to bring coherence to the entire masterpiece in a single moment, as a sublime revelation of some great truth. Here is a good example, courtesy Tex:
I remember reading to the end of CRIME AND PUNISHMENT and thinking it was an ordeal. Published originally in serial form, you’d expect the author would have a hard time keep the plot on track for a proper climax. When I got to the last scene I decided every single page had been worth it. You could see the rich tapestry of Dostoyevsky’s ideas had held the book together from the first sentence to the final word. There was a writer for you.
Kafka Was A Hack
If you need a more accessible example, think of a song that you like so much it feels like a religious experience to listen to it. Does it have one of these climactic moments? Maybe a hook or a bridge or a solo that you anticipate so strongly that the rest of the song feels sublime by mere association? I bet it does. Every moment up until then was a foundation that made that moment possible, and yet the moment itself casts a new light on the rest of the music. It’s like removing a linchpin in your brain, after which everything seems to “fall into place” all on its own.
I believe this is because it simulates the “Aha!” moment, when stimulation levels across the brain simultaneously go all-red. It is like experiencing a moment of genius, when one is pondering a mystery and the answer appears within the mind in a single moment, revealed in all its glory. I’ve never learned to pick locks, but I’d imagine it is similar when you hear the click and the slight relaxation of torque that says every tumbler is in place. This sensation lasts for a second or two, is very pleasant (although it can also be painful sometimes), and probably is analogous to sexual climax.
After this follows the exposition period, which is a sort of reflection on all the memories and experiences that now fit into the new paradigm that were previously floating freely and disconnected in the unconscious occipital. These memories pass through the conscious mind, one-by-one, and we experience little “aha” moments as we recognize how they each fit into the bigger picture. Rather than feeling sublime, this part of the experience would be well-described as euphoric, and corresponds to the all-yellow state of parallel stimulation.
Rereading Dostoevsky would stimulate an all-blue state, which subjectively feels like a combination of nostalgia and competence. It is the “flow state” sought by athletes and PUAs. Occasional flashes of all-yellow exposition may occur for the more retarded thals among us, who previously didn’t have the eidetic memory required to assimilate all of the little details in the first exposition period. This is why, sometimes, a really difficult book or song is experienced as better and better each time we experience it. For example, it took me four readings of Watchmen to realize that the “Tales of the Black Freighter” side stories were about Adrian Veidt’s dreams, as someone already helpfully explained here. Before that, I’d just had a vague sense that something “bigger” was going on behind the scenes. But now I understand Watchmen in a way I never had before, as an exposition of Nietzsche, and I can see why it’s quite properly described as a masterpiece.
I believe this sensation of something “bigger” and the compulsion to feel our way around the edges until we find the secret which unlocks the greater truth, and resolves the mystery, is the common experience of people higher in associative horizon than intelligence, hence the personality traits of Charlton’s psychoticism.