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Observations placeholder

Misery of a poor man



Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication

Number of hallucinations: 1


A description of the experience

Flammarion, C., Carroll, L, (1922) Death and its mystery: before death, proofs of the existence of the soul, London T.Fisher Unwin, Ltd

I found that, at the time, I was the only guest in the hotel, and while I waited for my tea I settled myself comfortably in a big armchair before a cheerful fire. I was not yet dark enough to Iight the gas, nor light enough to read, I turned my back on the window and thought of nothing in particular. I was in a state of passive tranquillity, when all at once I lost the sense of where I was. Instead of the wall and the pictures that were hung on it, I saw before me the front of my house in London; my wife was standing on the doorstep and speaking to a workman who held a big broom in his hands.

My wife seemed much distressed, and I felt an instant certainty that the man was in a wretched condition of poverty. I did not hear their conversation, but something told me that the unfortunate man was asking my wife to help him. At this moment the servant brought the tea and the vision vanished. The impression made on me by this vision was so profound, I was so convinced that I had seen something real, that after I had finished my tea I wrote my wife to tell her what had just happened to me and to beg her to find out about this man and to help him as much as possible.

Now, this is what had taken place in London. A young boy had come and knocked at the door of our house. He had spoken to the servant and had offered for a penny to sweep the snow that covered the sidewalk and the house doorstep. While the boy was talking, a poor devil in tatters came up, who said: "I beg you to give me the preference. This child will probably spend for candy the penny you give him, while I need it to buy bread. I have a wife and four children, all ill; there is nothing to eat, no fire" etc.

The servant begged the man to wait while she went to tell my wife, who came to speak to the unfortunate fellow. He repeated that he had been ill, that all his family was in the most wretched poverty, but that before appealing to public charity he wished to try to find some sort of work.

It was this scene which I had beheld at the very moment when it came to pass. It had been transmitted to me, probably through the impression which the misery of this poor man had made on my wife’s mind.

There is the end of the story. My wife promised the man that she would go to his home in the evening and see what she could do.

She found he had told the truth. My wife gave what she could in food, clothes, money, and fuel. It is useless to add that my letter which reached her Monday morning caused her the greatest surprise. A few days later I saw the man himself; he was exactly the one I had seen in my vision. Later he found a position as milkman and has distributed milk in our quarter for at least two years.

David Fraser Harris

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Extreme emotion
Extreme unhappiness





Flammarion, C., Carroll, L, (1922) Death and its mystery: before death, proofs of the existence of the soul, London T.Fisher Unwin, Ltd