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Observations placeholder

Gibier, Dr Paul - Psychism Analysis of Things Existing - A young woman, of Jewish origin, who could perceive via her feet and the top of her head



Type of Spiritual Experience


We think her consciousness had transferred to her Higher spirit and that she was thus effectively 'out of body'

A description of the experience

PSYCHISM Analysis of Things Existing ESSAYS BY PAUL GIBIER, M. D. Director of the New York Pasteur Institute.

It was not our intention to give preponderance to our own experiments, yet we cannot refrain from mentioning one made in Paris in April, 1887, which we repeated on various occasions with marked success, notably at a special meeting of a club at which about forty friends of the author, physicians, engineers, literary and other learned men, principally skeptics, were present. The author was a member of the club, and it might be mentioned that his experiments followed a lecture by M. Yves Guyot, ex-Secretary of State for Public Works, who discoursed on the suppression of "octroi" (City Custom duties). A relation of the experiment was published in a provincial paper, for which it was written by one of the witnesses (Eclaireur du Berry, published at Issoudun (Indre), number of April 28th, 1887).

The subject experimented with was a young woman, of Jewish origin, about twenty years of age. Once asleep and in an intermediary state of abmaterialization, which was neither lethargy nor speaking ecstasis, but rather that which professional magnetizers call lucid somnambulism, we placed a roll of cotton over each of her eyes, and then a large thick napkin was folded and bound over the eyes and around the head.

The first time we tried this experiment, some thirteen years ago, we were considerably astonished at its success, for at that time, we must confess, we were not possessed with the knowledge which a long series of experiments, and longer course of serious studies, have since given us in this matter.

We took from our library the first book falling under our hand, and opened it over the subject's head, the cover uppermost. Without knowing at what page it had opened, we held the printed matter at perhaps a couple of centimetres above the head of the hypno-magnetized young woman.

We then ordered the subject to read the first line of the page that was to her left ; after a moment's waiting, she exclaimed: "Ah, yes; I see. Wait a moment." Then she continued: "L'identite ramene encore a I'unite, car si Tame. . . . " She stopped and then said again: "I cannot read more. It is enough; it tires me." We acceded to her inclination, without insisting further, and turning to the book (it was a volume on philosophy) found that the first line, minus two words, had been correctly seen and read by the abmaterialized sleeper.

[When we say it had been seen, we mean, rather, perceived. One of our subjects in analyzing this phenomenon (we have taught her to remember, which causes her to be far more interested in our experiments) states as follows: "When I see with the top of my head, there is something like an indistinct red light, which lightens up things without changing their color. I can see you plainly with my interforehead or the anterior part of the upper portion of my body. Your eyes look as if they were made of fire. When I read with my hands the light is not so red." Much might be said in analyzing this magnificent phenomenon which has revealed many other interesting things to us.]

After tracing with chalk upon the floor a word or name the hypnotized subject, with eyes closely bandaged, could be brought in from an adjoining room, and as soon as her feet — she had on her shoes— covered the written section she would pause and unhesitatingly read without mistake, invariably adding the following appropriate reflections: "How badly it is written. It is upside down" (and she would turn around), or else: "Why, it is So and So's name, with a line drawn under it !" When she was conducted to (with bandaged eyes, as mentioned above) and placed over the word written on the floor, she was made to approach backward. Her head, she held in a somewhat forced extension, in order to convince her witnesses that it was utterly impossible for her to see, even had her bandages been imperfectly adjusted or removed. We might report a great many more facts as interesting as these, but one must limit oneself to the allotted line and keep within the prescribed boundary. We wished only to demonstrate that the sensus internum could at a given time and under given conditions enter directly in relation with the external world without resorting to the ways to which it is constrained — in ordinary life.

Does this not at once lead us to admit the existence of an intelligence independent of the matter which serves it for its manifestations of the commaterial state?

The source of the experience

Gibier, Dr Paul

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