Lindemann, Hannes - Long distance kayaking
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Explorers of the Infinite – Maria Coffey
On October 20th, 1956, he set off from Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. His craft was a Klepper folding kayak, seventeen feet long and thirty six inches wide, with a plywood frame, a canvas and rubber hull, built in air tubes, an outrigger for buoyancy and a sailing rig. He couldn't lie flat in the boat, and unless he was becalmed, he had to steer constantly with the foot pedals.
After the first 24 hours he wrote in his diary 'The torture has started'. To endure it, he began his autosuggestions, and meditated to keep his pulse rate slow. To ease the cramp in his legs and buttocks, he spent 15 minutes each day focusing his thoughts on those parts of his body and visualising warm blood flowing through them.
Thirty six days passed. He was catching fish and eating them raw – the flesh for food, the blood for liquid. A freighter appeared, and came alongside him. A young officer called down from the bridge, asking Lindemann if he wanted food, and inviting him aboard for a rest. Don't take any assistance. He turned down both offers.
Forty days into the trip, a series of big storms moved in. After hours of struggling against the strong winds and walls of water hitting him broadside, his hallucinations began. Waves talked to him. A black servant pulled him along a road in a rickshaw. His outrigger was an African with whom he had long conversations. Horses galloped by. He had the sensation of his boat going backwards.
During this period he survived by 'concentration on nothing – becoming one with nature, being able to neither see nor hear, not even knowing my name, though knowing I must have one.... I felt enormously happy and content as though I were in another world in which I had no discomfort sitting, where I no longer heard the incessant howling of the wind and knew nothing of my desperate situation’.
The source of the experienceLindemann, Hannes
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
Overwhelming fear and terror
Sleep deprivation, insomnia and mental exhaustion