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Lindbergh, Charles - Going out of body



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly the Atlantic alone, describes his sensations after eighteen hours' continuous flying:

from The Spirit of Saint Louis - Charles Lindbergh

After periods of crisis and many hours of fatigue, mind and body may become disunited until at times they seem completely different elements, as though the body were only a home with which the mind has been associated but by no means bound. Consciousness grows independent of the ordinary senses. You see without assistance from the eyes, over distances beyond the visual horizon. There are moments when existence appears independent even of the mind. The importance of physical desire and immediate surroundings is submersed in the apprehension of universal values.

For unmeasurable periods I seem divorced from my body, as though I were an awareness spreading out through space, over the earth and into the heavens, unhampered by time or substance, free from the gravitation that binds men to heavy human problems of the world. My body requires no attention. It is not hungry. It's neither warm nor cold. It's resigned to being left undisturbed. Why have I troubled to bring it here?

I might better have left it back at Long Island or St. Louis, while this weightless element that has lived within it flashes through the skies and views the plane.

This essential consciousness needs no body for its travels. It needs no plane, no engine, no instruments, only the release from flesh which the circumstances which I have gone through make possible.

Then what am I - the body substance which I can see with my eyes and feel with my hands? Or am I this realization, this greater understanding which dwells within it, yet expands through the universe outside, a part of all existence . . . ?

It seems I'm made up of three elements, each partly dependent and partly independent of the others. There’s my body, which knows definitely that what it wants most in the world is sleep. There's my mind, constantly making decisions that my body refuses to comply with, but which itself is weakening resolution. And there's something else, which seems to become stronger instead of weaker with fatigue, an element of spirit, a directive force that has stepped out from the background and taken control over both mind and body. It seems to guard them as a wise father guards his children, letting them venture to the point of danger, then calling them back, guiding with a firm but tolerant hand.

The source of the experience

Lindbergh, Charles

Concepts, symbols and science items


Higher spirit


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps