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Observations placeholder

Messing, Wolf - Self induced trance - The psychiatrist announced she couldn't feel his pulse



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

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

In December, 1963, a select group at the Central House of Writers in Moscow invited Wolf to perform [his] demonstrations ….. Catalepsy was of greater interest as a scientific experiment than purely as entertainment.

A little over one hundred people attended the experiment.

Medical personnel, including Professor Sergeev, director of the Institute of Brain Research, were present. It was on behalf of Professor Sergeev that Messing had agreed to the demonstration.  Several journalists also attended. Wolf was given the respect of a physician demonstrating an extremely complex operation for his students.

The proceedings contained an element of danger and uncertainty, so it was agreed in advance that a physician, a young psychiatrist, would attend to revive Messing if the rest faltered.

After the long cessation, and at the age of sixty-four, Messing didn’t completely trust his powers. Dr. Lydia Pakhomova had on hand standard medical paraphernalia - caffeine, strofantin, oxygen, and so forth. She was also capable of performing emergency heart massage.

Wolf walked out on stage, folded his hands on his chest Eastern style, and made a low bow. He announced that he couldn't guarantee success since so many years had gone by since he last entered catalepsy, and apologized in advance for any possible failure.

After standing silently for several minutes, he froze as if sunk in deep thought. He stood this way for seven to ten minutes, but his heart and life functions were operating normally. After thirty or forty more minutes, however, it became clear that Messing was in a deep trance. He seemed to become a sculptured image of himself.

The psychiatrist announced she couldn't feel his pulse. Her assistant placed two chairs on stage facing each other, and some men placed Messing's cataleptic body on top of the chairs: his heels rested on one, the back of his head rested on the other.

It wasn't a pleasant sight, I'd have to say, but science, like art requires sacrifices. The body was perfectly rigid; it could have been a wooden figure.

The heaviest man climbed on a chair and sat on Messing’s stomach. Even under this pressure his body did not sag. The psychiatrist injected the muscles of Messing's neck with a large hypodermic needle filled with antiseptic solution. The subject did not react, and not a drop of blood resulted from the jab.

Professor Sergeev then invited a member of the audience to come on stage and ask Messing a question.

At the time, political passions raged over a Soviet-Chinese border dispute, and someone asked Messing if tensions would escalate into a military confrontation, perhaps of a global scale.

He repeated the same question several times, but Messing remained silent. Someone suggested it might be possible to receive a written answer from him if a pad was placed on his stomach and a pen in his hand. The question was asked again.

In a jerky, robot like movement, Messing raised his hand and wrote: "There will be peace!"

With that flourish, the session ended. After a few medical ministrations, Messing returned to the real world. Clearly, the session drained him.

The source of the experience

Messing, Wolf

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items


Activities and commonsteps