Type of Spiritual Experience
The following book contains a series of letters written for The Chicago Record-Herald during the winter of 1903-04. Ignore the prejudices in the following quote, which are fairly normal for their day, and concentrate on the information it provides on Indian epileptics….
The last paragraph is describing an out of body experience
A description of the experience
Modern India – William Eleroy Curtis 1903/4
The larger number of fakirs are merely religious tramps, worthless, useless impostors, living upon the fears and superstitions of the people and doing more harm than good. Others are without doubt earnest and sincere ascetics, who believe that they are promoting the welfare and happiness of their fellow men by depriving themselves of everything that is necessary to happiness, purifying their souls by privation and hardship and obtaining spiritual inspiration and light by continuous meditation and prayer. Many of these are fanatics, some are epileptics, some are insane
Many are clairvoyants and have the power of second sight. They hypnotize subjects and go into trances themselves, in which condition the soul is supposed to leave the body and visit the gods. Some of the metaphysical phenomena are remarkable and even startling. They cannot be explained. You have doubtless read of the wonderful fakir, Ram Lal, who appears in F. Marion Crawford's story of "Mr. Isaacs," and there is a good deal concerning this class of people in Rudyard Kipling's "Kim."
Among the higher class of fakirs are many extraordinary men, profound scholars, accomplished linguists and others whose knowledge of both the natural and the occult sciences is amazing. I was told by one of the highest officials of the Indian Empire of an extraordinary feat performed for his benefit by one of these fakirs, who in some mysterious way transferred himself several hundred miles in a single night over a country where there were no railroads, and never took the trouble to explain how his journey was accomplished
The source of the experienceHindu and yoga
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
SuppressionsContemplation and detachment