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Observations placeholder

Beausobre, Iulia de - goes to Samarkand



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Woman who could not die – Iulia de Beausobre

During the day-time, when my cell is filled with grey-green twilight, I live in a world of weaving light, shot through with flashes of an entirely new comprehension.

After every such flash the heart within the emaciated form on the camp-bed begins to pound loudly and I become aware that two eyeballs are burning almost intolerably and that a swollen throat hurts. Then, just before returning again into the weaving light (which is more restful even than utter darkness could be), I comprehend my body and its pain in an entirely new way, and it is with a song of supreme serenity that I rise into Light.

When the glare of the electric bulb is turned on, the scorching pain of my eyelids is too acute and I cannot rise up into the Light of Peace.

Then I slip away into "Samarkand”.

My eyes, worried by physical pain, conjure up images more vivid than any reality could be. Soon those images become more than visual, I breathe the air of snow-capped hills, I touch the petals of desert tulips, I hear the call of mountain eagles. I am living in Samarkand.

A Samarkand more beautiful by far than the one we lived in during the year of our exile. And I am living there a life intricately interwoven with that of a Nicolay more care-free and altogether happier and younger than the Nicolay I know. Our relationship is open to infinite variations and gradually acquires the tone of a legend.

Every now and then I am dragged out of this fabulous Eastern fairyland to be taken before an examining officer or two. The questions they put are sometimes trifling, sometimes indiscreet, sometimes humorous.

Occasionally I realise that they could be disturbing or amazing if I were not beyond being either amazed or disturbed.

It is only when I am in the presence of an examiner that I become sufficiently impressed by my actual physical surroundings to be quite conscious of them.

And this existence, formed of three interwoven lives, goes on for what appears to be ages. I think of it as a long plait of hair. One strand is golden, and is made of the weaving luminous Peace where I live during the time which would otherwise be twilight to me and is day-time to people who are not living in cells like mine.

The second strand is silver, and shines with the reflected witchery of fairyland and legend. The third is dead-white, the colour of the bones of small animals ploughed up in the soft brown earth of a field. This strand is the least real of the three. Yet it is the one that holds the other two together and has caused them to shine so brightly. But it is ugIy, and when you taste it you find it bitter.

As time drops away into the past, the actual living of this last strand becomes ever more unreal to me.

The source of the experience

Beausobre, Iulia de

Concepts, symbols and science items





Science Items

Activities and commonsteps