Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Linda Irving [extract from full case history]
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
Life between Life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher
I hate my house, this house that could have been, should have been, our house. This empty house that should have been full. Sometimes I hate Carlos and my children for leaving, especially Katarina, who had had a choice in the matter. But it's easier to hate that which remains.
I hate the dark, empty house. And I hate myself. The more time I spend in the house, the more like it I become. How I crave light!
But the window that leads onto the street below sheds no light at all, only another horrifying glimpse of human blindness. Another parade for yet another leader. The leaders keep changing and each one leads in darkness, and the soldiers out there in the street all follow in blindness. Why don't they understand that this leader will take them to the same death as all the others? I would change it if I could. But what am I? Dark, empty, hopeless Maria. I too, should join them in that street of despair. I cannot bear the darkness any longer. . .
In Dr Whitton's office, the recall of Maria's memories had been so vivid that it was as if Linda were staring through Maria's eyes. She remained motionless for some time looking at the second-floor window that overlooked the noisy street.
Then she was aware of a shaft of light that began just beyond the open shutters and beguiled by its brilliance, she walked towards the window, towards the light. The street rushed up to meet her and she felt its numbing impact followed by the wheels of a horse-drawn carriage crushing her chest. But she was also aware, from a higher perspective, of her body sprawled across the cobbles, pinned between a criss-cross of wheel spokes.
How inconsequential was this mortal husk now that the blinding light was forcing her attention upwards, away from the street. The street didn't matter. She had walked into the light, a light more lustrous and dazzling than the sun yet devoid of any sensation of heat. This absorbing brightness exuded peace and serenity and, utterly relaxed, she basked in its benevolence.
There was also the impression of being enclosed in a tunnel or tube or cocoon. Words were quite unequal to the task of describing the magnificent environment through which she was drawn at incredible speed . . .
'Who are you?' asked Dr Whitton. Linda wasn't sure.
Confusedly the names Maria and Linda both came to mind and yet neither seemed particularly appropriate.
'Where are you?' All that seemed to matter was the brightness and the serenity and Dr Whitton's voice sounded so irrelevant, so extraneous that, although wanting to reply, Linda felt no compunction to answer. It was all she could do to assimilate the wondrous atmospherics of this landscape without terrain as, slowly, she began to establish her whereabouts . . . Linda's diary for February 5, 1984, tells more:
What was this place? I needed time to adjust. Eventually some of the shock of my transition wore off and I began to be conscious of emotions. The sadness was so intense I wanted to cry. There was nothing else to do. Tears welled up, but there was that voice again . . . I told Dr Whitton that Maria's suffering was unfair. It was as if I were defending myself, but I had to justify Maria and her last act. Maria hadn't thought about an afterlife. Yet it made sense that I should still be conscious after the death of the body. This was where I was. This was what was. It was beautiful, marvellous. I didn't want to leave.
When Linda returned to the interlife during her next sesasion, she ws intent on learning more about Maria’s pain. Her diary entry for March 6th 1984 reports:
Looking at Maria from the vantage point of the inter-life I saw that she was selfish, caring only for her own welfare and her own need of love and companionship. I saw also that she had blocked herself from meeting these needs. She was not so much mourning the death of Carlos and her two sons but, instead, was grieving at her own loss. After the death of Carlos, she could have turned her grief to positive account by using it to deepen her empathy and strengthen the bonds with her children. But she refused to allow any light to enter her life and made only feeble efforts to overcome her grief and be a loving mother. The deaths of her two sons were less of a loss to her than a confirmation of the pain instigated by Carlos' death. By focusing even more on that pain, she undermined her relationship with her daughter, Katarina. Maria's selfishness is apparent in her reaction to Katarina's marriage - she felt no joy for her daughter, only more sadness and desolation for herself.
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
Observation contributed by: Rosie Rock-Evans