Pelley, William Dudley - Seven Minutes in Eternity With Their Aftermath 07
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
“Seven Minutes in Eternity ” With Their Aftermath By William Dudley Pelley
MY first dramatic physical reaction — omitting several supernatural perceptions that might make the readers of The American Magazine believe I am trying to convert them to some strange phase of occultism — was a sudden change in the physical components of my body. I discovered that miraculously I had lost my “nerves”. . . .
Ever since childhood I had lived under such a tremendous nervous tension that it had kept me underweight, put lines in my face and an edge on my voice, shattered me psychologically, so that opposition of any kind infuriated me and made me want to crash through it like an army tank flattening out a breastworks. Attacks of nervous indigestion were so common that I no longer gave them thought. The tobacco I consumed had its basis in this gnawing desire to anesthetize this nervousness.
Suddenly this had departed.
I was peaceful inside.
I picked up my faithful old corncob and lighted it to meditate on what weird transfiguration I had undergone. Halfway through smoking it, it began to taste “queer”. I laid it aside and didn’t smoke it for the rest of that night. Next day in my office I took a package of cigarettes from my desk in mere force of habit. About to apply a light to one of them, I heard a voice say as gently as any worried mother might caution a careless son , “Bill, give up your cigarettes!”
And even before it had occured to me that no one was present in the flesh to thus address me audibly, I answered: “All right!” and tossed the package in the nearby waste-basket. I went all that day without smoking. Next morning again I reached for my tobacco tin across on my desk to load up my corncob. It was knocked from my hands with a slap that tossed it upward in the air and deposited it bottom upward at my feet with the tobacco spilled out. No cautioning this time. But I knew!
The same strange prohibition seemed to shut down for a time on coffee, tea, alcohol and meats.
I endured not the slightest distress to give these items up. They simply ceased to exist for me. And inversely a strange new sensation began to manifest itself in my muscles and organs.
I had the glorious feeling of physical detachment from the handicaps of bodily matter. No form of bodily exertion seemed to take energy that I need consciously supply. I had always been slightly stoop-shouldered. Without any unusual exercise my spine straightened of itself, so to speak, and my shoulders started broadening. My chest began to acquire the measurements of the trained athlete and in corresponding manner my waist grew small.
Without exercise, I repeat, my arms began to show the supple, sizable biceps of the practiced swimmer — and the rest of my body developed in proportion.
Along with this physical phenomena went the unexplainable faculty to withstand fatigue either active or sedentary. If I wearied myself by tremendous labour, it was the healthy weariness of boyhood that overtook me. On the other hand, I could sit at my typewriter twelve hours at a stretch if necessary with hardly a muscle protesting such inactivity.
With this alteration came a different feeling toward those around me. I discovered that I couldn’t fight with people anymore and that I was making friends.
A queer statement this. Yet people were going out of their way to perform services for me, to counsel me, to seek my society, to make me one with themselves. I think this amazed me more than the strangeness of my new physical rebirth.
And yet deep down underneath it all . . . well, I understood. That understanding, I aver, has been growing within me every day and hour since, comprising naturally many things that I am restrained from offering in a magazine that is read by all classes of people at all stages of mental, moral and spiritual development. Still there are conclusions and equations I may draw that have a universality of application.