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Observations placeholder

Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections – Mr E. G. West, a Quaker, of Salcombe, Devon has a NDE



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections

Case No. 335 – Mr E. G. West, a Quaker, of Salcombe, Devon, now 77 years old, nearly died in May, 1903 when 19 years of age. At the time he was with his father in Saskatchewan, Canada. He sent an account to the present writer (in litt., Dec. 14, 1961).

I became unconscious and died (at least that was my impression) which for many years I kept to myself as I did not think that anyone would believe me, because this experience gave me such wonderful, strange impressions and feelings and more than dream-like emphasis of reality.

I had to wait fifty years to understand it so far as to realize that others, better able to describe than I, had had similar experiences. One could not possibly forget the reality of this experience, which caused in me the fear of death entirely to be removed. Please do not misunderstand me. I do not mean that during my life since I have never been afraid. That would be nonsense. No one who has seen what I have seen ... experience in two wars etc. [could say this]. But, though often terrified, I was never afraid of death as such.

I have perhaps more reason than Rupert Brooke and 'If death come, safest of all', for I survived. No one who has had such an experience as I am describing could be afraid of death.

Now I will endeavour to write down what happened to me.

Out of great pain, I emerged into painlessness, in an unbounded world of blissful happiness when the light was strong, lovely and remarkable - no dazzlement. ... Then came thoughts that I had died, 'passed over', and turned up here, thoughts of my mother at Swinton, near Manchester, drew me to where she was – no sensation of travel. I was just there back in our old house and there I saw my mother weeping and was sad, for I knew she was weeping because I had died.

My happiness was affected by her distress. I then came back to the log house and looked at my father who was also deeply distressed and blaming himself for not having looked after me better.

Now-I had a girl cousin in America whom I was looking forward to seeing and who had recently been visiting us in England. So, after all, there were three good reasons for coming back to earth again, but oh dear ! I was so happy there ! ... It appeared to me I must make the choice. I must go back. This was a spiritually painful process, almost as though standing on the edge of a deep, dark tunnel. I must dive in and swim out at the other end. Somehow it was accomplished.

But I could not talk about it. Everybody did everything they could to save my life. Much as I should have liked to, I could not find words to express my experience. ... I was completely ignorant except for a few isolated talks with John William Graham (a member of the psychical Research Society of Cambridge, who had told me of a case of dual personality, i.e. Sally Beauchamp).

It was not until about 1945 that I was put into contact with a book called Cosmic consciousness, by Dr R. M. Bucke, that the doors were re-opened, recollecting and understanding my experience. Then came F. W. H. Myers' Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death. Since then ignorance has been lifting and, having read your book, The Supreme Adventure, I am now a member of the Churches' Fellowship for Psychical Study ...

I am a lifelong member of the Society of-friends and I am reinforced in my Quakerism by these fundamental facts.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Extreme pain