Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research – volume xviii pg 308
Mr A had lost his left eye as the result of an operation for glaucoma and the sight of the right eye was defective, the central part of the visual field being obscured as if by mist…..
In April 1900, Mr A walking on a country road, saw on his left, a new rubble wall brightly illuminated by the sun, and to his amazement he saw it perfectly distinctly. He could see every separate stone and the mortar joints surrounding it, the smooth faces of the water-worn boulders and the texture of stones broken to form a face.
In particular he was struck with the frequent recurrence of broken granite stones, in which he could distinctly see the hornblende, the felspar and the quartz and mica reflecting the sun’s rays. Indeed, he thought he had never been able to see a wall so minutely before while passing it. He did seem to be passing it quite in a natural way, but presently coming to a part of the road where he knew there was no wall, but only an iron railing on a low parapet, and finding the wall still there and no railing visible, it occurred to him that he might see this wall just as well if he shut his eyes altogether, and on doing so he found this to be the case; the wall was still there, with the sun shining on it brightly as ever.
Later on the wall disappeared and a variety of other images succeeded it. These all showed two characteristics, brightness (amounting almost to luminosity) and distinctness – not the slightest trace of a haze affecting the natural sight being observable. A favourite image was that of a surface decorated with groups of flowers. The minutest details were distinctly seen. These hallucinations ceased after several days.
About a year later, however, they recurred, this rime showing the complete human form. Then he saw as distinctly as he had ever seen anything in his life the figure of a female walking so closely in front of him, that he could scarcely avoid treading on her skirt.
The skirt was of red cloth with groups of white lines – a broad line with two very thin lines on each side of it – crossing each other at frequent intervals, as in a tartan, and over this was a black silk jacket or short cloak. The dress was beautifully illuminated with sunlight and moved naturally in response to the motion of the figure, while the light silk jacket was occasionally lifted as if by the breeze’
Mr A realised that the figure was hallucinatory when told by his companion that no one was there. On crossing to the shady side of the street, Mr A still saw the figure with the sun still shining on it. These hallucinations appeared to occupy the visual field of the left eye, which was missing