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Observations placeholder

Messing, Wolf - My pulse cannot be felt, my breathing ceases, and the beating of my heart is barely perceptible



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Wolf Messing –the true story of Russia’s greatest psychic – Tatiana Lungin

“Aside from thought reading," Messing continued, "I also possess the ability to place myself in a cataleptic state. Many of the great yogis have mastered this power, which I witnessed more than once in India. I developed this power early in childhood.  Remember, this power made it possible for me to earn my living in Berlin, where I was billed as the living corpse.

"Catalepsy is a state of total immobility in which the extremities and muscles become phenomenally rigid. When I enter into such a state, you can place the back of my head on the seat of one chair and my heels on another to create a kind of bridge. While I'm in that position, even a rather large person can sit on me - a person I probably couldn’t lift an inch off the ground under normal circumstances. But, while in the cataleptic state, I can support his weight easily and for an extended period of time. My pulse cannot be felt, my breathing ceases, and the beating of my heart is barely perceptible.

"Pavlov explained that such a state can be produced in some people through sudden shock, hysteria, or hypnosis. He believed it resulted when the brain's cerebral cortex switches off while the underlying branches of the neural-motor system remain active.

"I can enter into this state voluntarily, though only after a lengthy preparation. Sometimes it takes me several hours to mobilize my will. In recent years I’ve demonstrated this ability less and less, because I've been concentrating on my psychic performances. When I was much younger, though, catalepsy was an indispensible part of all my performances, especially during my European tours. But even in this field, I found tricksters demonstrating similar effects with the aid of all sorts of mechanical contrivances. Evidently, no sphere of human activity is free of fraud.

The source of the experience

Messing, Wolf

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps