Observations placeholder

Louise and Mr Romer’s daughter go out of body to the moon

Identifier

024340

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Dr William Sargant was born in Highgate, London, in 1907 and educated at Leys School and St John's College, Cambridge.  Up to 1972 he was Physician in Charge of the Department of Psychological Medicine at St Thomas's Hospital, London. He was Associate Secretary of the World Psychiatric Association and on the staff of the Maudsley Hospital, London for many years, He was also Registrar of the Royal Medico-Psychological Association, Rockefeller Fellow at Harvard University and Visiting Professor at Duke University. He was also the author of Battle for the Mind, and The Unquiet Mind.

A description of the experience

The Mind Possessed  - Dr William Sargant

Quite early on, subjects in hypnotic trance not only experienced the phenomenon of possession by demons, or by God or the Devil, but, as today, also travelled through space on tremendous imaginary journeys. 'Mesmeric space exploration' was all the rage even in the early 1800s. In November 1813, we read of a girl of fifteen, daughter of a Mr Romer, seized with convulsive attacks, followed by catalepsy:

Ultimately she became somnambulic, prescribed for her own ailments and those of her father and other persons, rejecting all other medical treatment than her own. Romer frequently asserts that she displayed in the trance knowledge which she could not possibly have acquired from normal sources . .. further, she was conducted, sometimes by a deceased relative, but more frequently by the spirit of a still-living companion, one Louise, to the moon.

But, alas! her description of her first voyage reveals a conception of the solar system scarcely more adequate than that of the Blessed Damosel, watching 'from the gold bar of Heaven'. . . . It was night when she left the earth - 5.30 on a January afternoon - and continued night, apparently, as she voyaged to the moon, for she describes how that luminary, at one point, showed forty times larger, but there is no mention of the sun. However, she enjoyed a unique astronomical experience. She watched the sun rise over the lunar mountains, basked in his rays for a whole lunar day witnessed his setting, and returned to the earth in time for supper.

Miss Romer was probably not aware that in the ordinary course of nature about a fortnight would elapse between the rising and the setting of the sun on our satellite.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Atonia

Symbols

Science Items

Atonia

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Epilepsy

Commonsteps

References