Seeing with closed eyes - in the state of somnambulism, things happen differently
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Flammarion, C., Carroll, L, - Death and its mystery:
170 hypnotic sleep
When I have happened to put educated, or partly educated, persons into a state of hypnotic sleep, I have always heard them complain of the poverty of the language to express their sensations, and make use of the expression 'to know' 'to be quite sure" of what they were telling me, without being able to find words expressive enough for their ideas.
Whatever may be the sort of sensation which the most simple class of men designate by the expression "see' when in a state of somnambulism, I believe that the phenomena of our vision when in a natural state can give us only a slight idea of it. Our vision is nothing but a sensation which we procure from external objects. It is by the path of the nerves that all our sensations come to us; and of all our nerves only that which we call the optic can, by its construction, procure for us the sensation of sight. All external objects, none the less, present themselves equally to the other nerves; but unless there is immediate contact, they produce no effect whatever.
If, therefore, in the state of somnambulism, things happen differently; if the somnambulist, although his eyes are tightly closed, walks, avoids the objects with which he meets, reads, writes, and, in short, does all he can and even more than he can in his natural state, he certainly must be able to seer-not by the optic nerve, as it is concealed, but by means of other nerves which have become so sensitive that they bring to his soul a sensation absolutely similar to that of vision. How does this vision operate? What are the nerves which procure it in this singular state? This I do not venture to determine; but quite certainly the phenomenon exists, as without it the somnambulists would not see.
And I do not believe that any one will be able to deny them this faculty.