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Type of Spiritual Experience


On the night of January 12th 1924, Sir William Barrett’s wife – a doctor – told her husband of a case she had attended.  She had been called to deliver the child of a lady called Doris, and although her baby was born in a safe condition, Doris herself was dying………

A description of the experience

Suddenly she looked eagerly towards one part of the room, a radiant smile illuminating her whole countenance. 

 ‘Oh lovely, lovely’ she said.  I asked ‘What is lovely?’

 ‘What I see’ she replied in low, intense, tones.

 ‘What do you see?’

 ‘Lovely brightness – wonderful beings’

 It is difficult to describe the sense of reality conveyed by her intense absorption in the vision.  Then – seeming to focus her attention more intently on one place for a moment – she exclaimed, almost with a kind of cry

 ‘Why, it’s father!  Oh, he’s so glad I’m coming; he is so glad.  It would be perfect if only W [her husband] would come too’

 Her baby was brought for her to see.  She looked at it with interest and then said.

 ‘Do you think I ought to stay for baby’s sake?’

 Then turning towards the vision again, she said ‘I can’t – I can’t stay; if you could see what I do, you would know I can’t stay’..

 She turned to her husband, who had come in and said ‘You won’t let baby go to anyone who won’t love him, will you’.  Then she gently pushed him to one side, saying, ‘Let me see the lovely brightness’

 She spoke to her father, saying ‘I am coming’ turning at the same time to look at me, saying ‘Oh he is so near’.

 On looking at the same place again, she said with a rather puzzled expression ‘He has Vida with him’ turning again to me saying ‘Vida is with him’ [Vida, her sister, had died three weeks before]

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps







Sir William Barrett – Death bed visions 1926