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Oliver Sacks - Contact with guardian angel



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


There is something very sad about the following – what a wasted chance.  With a more understanding set of doctors and parents, he might have been able to use the experience and recontact his ‘angel’ – probably his Higher spirit.  He was actually very lucky to get this had he but known……

A description of the experience

Oliver Sacks – Hallucinations

My colleague Dr. B., a psychotherapist, related the following story to me, about a ten-year-old boy who woke one morning "to find a woman dressed in blue hovering at the foot of his bed, surrounded by radiant light":

She introduced herself as his "guardian angel," speaking in a soft, gentle voice. The child was terrified, and turned on the light beside his bed, expecting the image to disappear. The woman remained suspended in the air, however, and he ran from the room, awakening his parents.

His parents framed the experience as a dream, trying to reassure the child. He was unconvinced, unable to make sense of the event. His family had no religious background, and he found the image of the angel alien.

He began to experience a pervasive sense of dread and developed insomnia, fearful that he would awaken to find the woman again. His parents and teachers described him as agitated and distracted, and he increasingly withdrew from relationships with peers and activities.

His parents called their paediatrician, who referred the child for psychiatric evaluations and psvchotherapy.  The child had no prior history of problems in functioning, sleep disorder, or physical illness, and he appeared to be well adjusted.

He made effective use of therapeutic consultations, where he continued to... make: sense of what had happened, coming to understand the event as a type of hallucination that commonly occurs following arousal from sleep.

The source of the experience

Sacks, Oliver

Concepts, symbols and science items


Spirit helper



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Being a child