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Observations placeholder

Heywood, Rosalind - The Infinite Hive - I heard you unlock the front door and come upstairs and go into the kitchen



Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication

Number of hallucinations: 2


A description of the experience

Rosalind Heywood – The Infinite Hive

I did the experiment, one I had never thought of before, on the spur of the moment. I had gone to a dinner to hear a hypnotist describe his method of work, but as soon as he began I felt pretty sure that most of the audience, including myself, already knew what he was going to say.

The light was dim, my armchair soft, and the speaker's gentle murmur about relaxation extremely soothing.

'Could anything,' I thought ,'be more conducive to dissociation. How can I use it?'

Then came an idea: 'I'll go and visit my husband mentally.'

It seemed an ideal occasion, for he had said he was tired and would go to bed after dinner and look at the Ballet Rambert on television; so I knew where to picture myself. Also, if he did get anything, I could use the programme to check the time.

Having made my plan I blotted out my surroundings, pictured myself in my husband's room and said to him mentally, 'Frank, I'm here, I'm here with you. Do you see me?' Then I looked at my watch. The time was three minutes to ten.

I could hardly wait to see if he would mention my visit, but when I got home, alas, he was almost asleep and only answered my persistent inquiries as to how he had passed the evening by patient but definitely bored grunts. However, I was so much afraid that if he had had any impression about me he would have forgotten it in the morning - I knew he would not have thought it particularly interesting - that the ferret got the better of wifely devotion and I cruelly woke him up to say that I had tried to visit him and had hoped he would mention it first.

'Well, you seem to have succeeded, 'he said resignedly, ‘for I heard you unlock the front door and come upstairs and go into the kitchen. I thumped three times as I thought you'd like to see the end of the Ballet, but you took no notice. I was surprised and thumped again, but as you apparently didn't want to come up, I left it at that.' (My husband's room is over the kitchen and three thumps on the floor are his usual summons to me, 'Come quickly.' Hence his surprise when I did not.)

'What time was that?' I asked.

'Just before the ten o'clock news.'

It was not until I began to write this chapter that I saw a plausible reason why, if that was a case of ESP, he should have heard rather than seen me. During the eleven years we had been in our house both our sons and I had often dined out without him, but it was a family joke that, however softly we crept in, we always woke him up. That, we told him, made us feel horribly guilty. On this occasion he insisted that, as usual, he had clearly heard the sounds of my return, turning the key in the lock, walking upstairs, going into the kitchen and so on.

(I always do this when I come in, to tidy up and lay the breakfast.) And once one has thought of it, it seems natural that his impression of my return, even if it was telepathic, would emerge as an auditory hallucination of the way I normally do so, rather than as a visual one, which would not make sense to him if he had not heard me come in.

The source of the experience

Heywood, Rosalind

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps