Laubscher, B J F - Out of body from typhoid, fever and haemorrhage
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
B J Laubscher – Where Mystery dwells
We had brought out our favourite West Highland terriers from Scotland and I was enjoying myself playing with them on my lawn before going my rounds, when a young coloured man jumped off a foaming horse and implored me to come to his father whom he had left as dead. They lived in a coloured hamlet a few miles from the village.
I learned from him that his father had been sick for a few weeks and had the fever. He was being attended by my colleague who at that moment was away in the district on an urgent call. The patient apparently had collapsed as a result of a haemorrhage from the bowel. I surmised that it was a case of typhoid fever.
On arrival I found an emaciated body-almost skin and bone whose heart sounds fluttered faintly. He was unconscious and did not respond to touch or the spoken word. Even the difficulty of introducing a needle into the almost invisible and collapsed veins caused no physical reaction. Only the fluttering heart sounds told the tale that life was hanging on to a body by a tiny thread.
Saline and glucose were given into the vein and other cardiac stimulants. After some time the pulse became fuller, the beats slowed down a bit and the pulse felt more powerful. The breathing became less shallow and moved the chest wall which it had only done faintly before the saline and glucose flowed into the vein.
Then his eyelids fluttered and feebly opened as little slits through which he peeped at me. He sighed once or twice and the lids closed again. His pulse was now steadier and there were signs that no more blood was being passed.
I decided to return again that evening and left. I was busy as typhoid was quite prevalent at that time of the year. Late that afternoon I visited him again. He had taken nourishment and there was no further haemorrhage. The patient was eager to talk to me but I persuaded him to wait a day or two.
He continued to improve according to the messages which they sent me but he wanted to tell me something very important, though as I had handed the case over to my colleague I had to make arrangements to visit him again to hear what he so eagerly wanted to tell me. As I stopped my car in the shade of a tree his wife came hurriedly to meet me and somewhat excitedly told me that her husband wanted to send for the minister so that he could be present when he told me what had happened to him during the time that his body had been unconscious'
This story immediately aroused my interest and …. She told me that her husband had known of everything that had taken place during the time when I was finding it so very difficult to introduce a needle into his vein.
When I entered his room he was so excited that he wanted to sit up. He felt that his experience was absolute proof of his religion and that as an elder in the Mission Church he wanted to tell his minister and the whole congregation that there was no death of the spirit. I had some difficulty in restraining him, and feared a delirious excitement as a result of his toxic condition but he had to tell me in his expressive Afrikaans with the appropriate gestures.
He said that when I found his body unconscious, near dead or dying, he was wide awake and was never more alive in all his life.
It had all started by him beginning to feel light-headed and dizzy. He tried to look at his wife and children but they were blurred and then it felt as if he were floating or drifting; anyway the sensation was very pleasant. He felt as light as a feather and then he looked down and saw his miserable physical body lying on the bed. He said that he felt disgusted when he thought of the man he was in the days when he had handled a brown mule team, the pride of the Swartland.
He decided that he must have died and found himself floating on air out of the house. His motion was very much like what he had experienced in a fast train when it had seemed as if the train stood still and the telegraph poles were going past. He saw his son on horseback but he went ahead of him and he knew that his son was going to call Dr. Ritter but he gained the impression that the doctor was not at home.
How he knew these things he did not say. He then found himself at my house and saw me rolling a ball along the lawn which was chased by little white dogs. He had never seen dogs like those before but immediately recognized them as being of the same species as the white doggie on a whisky bottle.
Then he went back to look for his son Hendrik and saw how he was treating the poor horse in order to make it gallop faster. He shouted to Hendrik not to ride the horse in that manner but somehow he was not heard and made no impression on Hendrik.
He was sure that he was dead and wondered what would happen next.
He decided to visit his friends at Wolseley and straight away he went there. He tried to talk to them but they did not hear him.
In fact they seemed to walk right through him. He then decided to go to Ceres to visit people there but a strange power pulled him back to his home. There he saw me arriving.
He watched how I examined his heart and then hang a glass jar on a nail above his bed. He saw me tie a band round his arm and how I rubbed and rubbed the arm looking for a vein before putting a needle into his arm. He also noticed the perspiration on my forehead and face; I took my jacket off and hung it over a chair.
Then I connected a rubber-tube to the needle.
His wife came in with cloths soaked in brandy to place over his heart. He noticed my expression as I waved her away. He also knew that those brandy cloths would not bring him back. Why should he come back when he felt so well, so free and so exhilarated? He was sure that he had left his body for good but somehow he had a feeling that he was still attached to his body.
He was quite sure that he felt a queer throbbing as if a pulse were beating all through his new and invisible body and then his mind went blank. But before this happened he knew that I was trying to bring him back to his earth life and he did not want to return. When asked whether he did not think of his wife's grief and sorrow if he had left this world he answered that in reality he felt so fine that he did not give their earthly cares a thought. He however felt a sense of annoyance at my persistence to get the fluid into his body.
After his mind went blank he came to in his body and it felt as heavy as lead. All the power of buoyancy and freedom was gone. He was conscious of extreme exhaustion with hardly the power to breathe.
He tried to look at me to make sure that he was in his body but the memory of his experience of having been outside his body was something so real, so vivid and in such detail that he had no doubt that during that time he had been in a spiritual body.
When asked why as a religious man he had not immediately thought of heaven seeing that he thought he was dead he answered that such a thought never entered his mind. He was more interested in what other people were doing and especially in the amazing power of travelling wherever he wanted to be until some mysterious force pulled him back to his home and his old body.
……The one factor of importance which I was assured he was never told of by his son was my playing with my West Highland terriers. He described my rolling the tennis ball for them to chase; now by the time his son came to call me I had stopped throwing the ball and was in fact merely fondling my doggies. The rolling of the ball was therefore an incident which he had seen while in his astral state.