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Lullin, Charles - Oliver Sacks - Expanding carriages and the visitors who weren't there

Identifier

001346

Type of Spiritual Experience

Vision
Hallucination

Number of hallucinations: 1

Background

A description of the experience

Oliver Sacks – Hallucinations

In February 1758, strange objects had begun to float into his field of vision. It started with something that resembled a blue handkerchief, with a small yellow circle in each corner. 

The handkerchief followed the movement of his eyes: whether he was looking at a wall, his bed, or a tapestry, the handkerchief blocked out all the ordinary objects in his room.

Lullin was perfectly lucid and at no time did he believe that there really was a blue handkerchief floating around. . . .

One day in August two granddaughters came to see him.  Lullin was sitting in his armchair opposite the mantelpiece, and his visitors were to his right. From the left, two young men appeared. They were wearing magnificent cloaks, red and grey, and their hats were trimmed with silver.

 "What handsome gentlemen you've brought with you! Why didn't you tell me they were coming?" But the young ladies swore that they saw no one. Like the handkerchief, the images of the two men dissolved within a few moments. They were followed by many more imaginary visitors in the next few weeks, all of them women; they were beautifully coifed and several of them had a small box on their head. . . .

Somewhat later Lullin was standing at the window when he saw a carriage approaching. It came to a halt at his neighbour's house and, as he watched in amazement, the carriage grew bigger and bigger until it was level with the eaves of the house some thirty feet from the ground, with everything perfectly in proportion. . . .

Lullin was amazed by the variety of images he saw: one time it was a swarm of specks that suddenly turned into a flight of pigeons, another time a group of dancing butterflies. Once he saw a rotating wheel floating in the air, the kind you saw in dockside cranes.

The source of the experience

Lullin, Charles

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References