Lindemann, Hannes - Alone at Sea - December 15th
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Alone at Sea – Hannes Lindemann
I passed a night of hell. Again I had no s1eep. I was afraid to throw out the sea anchor because in these heavy seas its line would threaten the rudder. I knew I must not lose it, but I also knew I simply had to have sleep. I must not overestimate my energy; I had to be fresh enough to stay on course. On the other hand, I could not afford to sleep even for an instant in that boiling sea. The problem looked quite different here at sea than it had on shore. At sea I could only stay awake for four days and nights; on shore, with short cat naps, I had managed it for longer stretches. And now I felt my eyes closing. I dozed, I dreamed, I became the prey of imaginings and hallucinations. And then I put my last energy into staying alert. I began to sing. Slowly, I ground out a tune, only to find that something in my body cut off my voice.
Then I counted, one, two, three, four ………. and suddenly I could not find the next number; it was lost; it was simply not there any more . . . I knew only one thing; the boat had to go into a garage; somewhere I had to shelter her and lie down beside her and sleep. . . .
The mizzen sail beat against my shoulders. A warning? I flashed the light onto the compass and found I was headed too far north.
I had the feeling that behind me stood a barn in whose lee the waves were flatter, while farther out on both sides, the sea still raged. As soon as I left the protected Iee, masses of water washed over the deck. Ah yes! The barn would protect me . . . stay in its lee . . . where it was calm, cal-me-r and then . . water . . I swam what was it?
The shock awakened me, I flashed the light onto the compass; too far south. I did not hear the breaker that swamped me, it was simply there. I bailed, I had to bail . . I must bail. Why wasn't I doing it?
I was invited on a hunt. A Negro servant called for me.
Lovely! I trusted him, he knew where we had to go. I sat comfortably in a kind of rickshaw. I saw big white lines ahead, and they worried me a little.
"Boy," I asked, "where are we going?"
"It is all right. We have to go through the surf," he answered, and as he spoke we plunged through. The deck was under water and came up again. I looked at the boy to the left. He wore black and snorted like a whale or horse, but he worked without talking back.
"Boy, where do you boys live?"
"In the west."
West! The word reminded me of something. I knew it, and then I remembered the compass. Again I was off course.
I looked at the boy on the left, but he had gone. A black horse rode there now, pushing the boat. Horses know the way home. I could rely on a horse . . . satisfied, I relaxed- then suddenly I seemed awake, slowly and instinctively I came to myself. But who was I? No answer. What was my name? No name. What was happening? West, west-and no more stayed with me. Again I remembered the compass.
The flashlight lit it up. Again, off course. Then a sound came into my consciousness, the sea still roared. I was cold, although sail and spray cover provided ample protection.
Then I clearly heard the voice of Mephisto: "I do not see your water lies." I looked for my black boy and black horse at port side. I saw only black outrigger. It must be more than a lifeless object. It had to have spirit and soul.
During the morning a real storm with winds of forty miles an hour had developed. I looked with disbelief into the face of the waves. "Such waves cannot exist," I thought.
The source of the experienceLindemann, Hannes
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
OverloadsLoneliness and isolation
Overwhelming fear and terror
Sleep deprivation, insomnia and mental exhaustion