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Observations placeholder

Stead, William - part 02 - Standing waves and the helper who told him to stop sniffing glue



Type of Spiritual Experience

Out of time

Number of hallucinations: 1


"I have written a story about glue sniffing and out of body experiences, which is an account of the various sensations during a four-year period in my life. .... This story is for those of you who are interested in understanding the sequences, which caused the change to take place. I believe the knowledge of one person’s experiences should contribute to greater understanding in our quest for information. These are some highlights from my early experiences with glue sniffing. I have focused in on the more important events during my early involvements. It should give the reader an understanding into the events as they happened. The section concerns the first use of solvents"

[Erowid Warning: Our understanding of the literature is that there is no such thing as safe use of volatile solvents, aerosols and other street inhalants : their psychoactive effects are inseparable from nerve and organ damage. We have chosen to include these reports to help document the real world use of inhalants, but their inclusion is not intended to imply that they are anything but dangerous.]

A description of the experience

I was feeling very tired due to the lack of sleep. The only conciliation being the shops was now open after the holidays. I went to the beach and fell asleep until opening time. This morning proved a little better than previous days. There appeared slight warmth in the air that made a pleasant change. I bought some crisps and sweets with the money found in the phone box, and then went to the department store for my first glue of the New Year. Returning to my spot began what developed into the most interesting experience to date. Sitting on the concrete steps it started of in the normal way by hearing different sounds. Looking out towards the sea I became aware of an object coming from very far away.

This phenomenon operated outside my line of vision, it being located to the left and could be sensed travelling at great speed. It enabled a first involvement in comprehending a presence beyond my physical boundaries. I had a basic understanding of its shape, which became clearer in recognition the nearer it came. Feeling in a relaxed frame of mind, it did not warrant a great deal of attention just then. The object now came within the landscape of my vision. This is located to the hills about five miles away. It changed direction to head towards the beach. I felt its every move in detail. My perceptions were still concerned with the sights in my line of vision that is watching the waves lap on the shore. The tide was out during the morning, making each break a gentle movement. As I watched this, one of the waves came in and stood still in time.

I became totally amazed, and my first reaction was to stand up and look at this. Trying to get up from my seated position proved impossible, with my whole body becoming a motionless object. These two actions happened within a few seconds of each other. The only part of my anatomy still able to function was the eyes, which looked on in concern towards a situation outside the realms of my understanding. The presence was now almost at my location and slowed right down just before reaching me. The next unusual occurrence-taking place involved the sand at my feet climbing onto my shoes. This continued rising upwards over my trousers, whilst the body was incapable of doing anything. I am not the sort of person who panics in the face of difficult situations, but this proved a bit hair raising. It all happened very quickly and I was unable just then, to judge the situation logically.

The presence came and stopped behind me on the pathway beyond the wall. I still could not move and everything took place as before. My situation did not require turning around to see what directed all of these actions, as it became possible to judge its shape and outline in perfect clarity. This was a representation of Jesus Christ on the cross. The sand now almost reached my thighs, when a voice spoke from behind. It asked me to give up using glue. As the last utterance from this statement was heard, my right arm became free from whatever restriction held it. I said yes throwing the bag to the ground. The figure started going backwards on the same course it had come, whilst the sand returned towards the beach. The last event to be noticed involved a resumption of the waves hitting the shoreline.

When all of the altercations returned to normal, my body became free. Standing up and looking around me, I thought what a strange experience that was. Without any distractions, it became possible to consider the serious of events taken place. It did not seem right looking at the situation more from a clinical point of view. The stationary wave appeared to be superimposed on the sea line. This presented only a fraction of difference between the vision and reality. At the time it did not allow any clear study, because the serious of events overtook my normal inquisitiveness. The sand climbing up my legs also looked different to that on the beach. Going over to the bag of glue picked it up and started again, because I was curious to see what would happen. From my seated position after the fumes took effect the same set of events came into play once again, only quicker this time.

Without any distractions it became apparent the stationery wave had nothing to do with tidal movements, this being a clever use of distance, for underneath the normal waves were on their last point of breaking, before returning back to the sea. It seemed strange to behold, for it altered an accepted concept in vision. My body went back to being motionless, that is apart from the right arm, which remained free. I could sense the J.C. vision coming towards me only at a higher speed. His presence did not have the same feeling as the first time. As he neared, the sand came back as before. It seemed a let down in its own way, a poor imitation of the first. Repeating the same question I replied yes without emotion in my voice. Then stood up when permitted. I began to feel unhappy with myself. This being nothing to do with the glue sniffing, it was as if all the recent misfortunes became focuses on that point in time. Realising my life had changed, perhaps forever without any clear recognisable future I walked along the beach thinking about what to do, and did not come up with any answers.


The source of the experience

Stead, William

Concepts, symbols and science items


Spirit helper


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Inhaling volatiles and gases



from EROWID experience vaults