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Observations placeholder

Stead, William - part 09 - Passing the pillars of light



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


A description of the experience

I walked along the corridor and up the stairs with the greatest of care. The glue began to tingle my skin through the bag. I did not know how this could be, but once out of sight quickly pulled the bag out and transferred it to my pocket. Once in the dormitory the remaining substance was put under the bed for use when everyone was asleep. I waited until the night watchman checked our room, as he did most evenings at a certain time then began. Unfolding the bag, it appeared my entertainment would be short lived. Most of the glue had been used up in the toilets, still it should have been at least ten minutes worth. By that stage I could roughly guess the life span of the substance in a bag. There had been three previous occasions in which it had been used in bed. One of these concerned the hours of daylight. The second had been in similar circumstances to these, with a little glue left. The last involved a time in Scotland, which proved to be an eventful night. As before the texture of the bed changed shortly after beginning. This time it became more profound than the last, and I underwent a set of emotional experiences.

On the whole it was unlike me to enjoy sensations through the sense of touch, or to derive pleasure from my innermost self. Being British it is not the done thing to search, or express emotion. I like many other people have been brought up this way. It took me by surprise when this happened, but I did not resist and enjoyed feeling the sheets, bed and my body. It being an awakening to something I previously only had a partial awareness of. My perception was contained within this small area surrounding me, and under the circumstances wasn’t interested in anything else, until something caught my attention. When in bed at night if the sheets cover you, there is certain darkness that surrounds your environment. Whilst wallowing in my newfound sense of being, I looked into the obscurity and noticed it appeared different. Until that point I had not heard, or seen anything associated with my normal experiences. This caused a diversion in attentions away from the self, to my surroundings. At the time it caused a slight annoyance, as I would have been quite happy to use up the remainder of the glue, on nothing more than this experience. My surrounding darkness seemed to have depth to it. At first no features were visible to judge what I was looking at, but it was definitely different. It appeared as if I was in a large cave, which only had minimal light within. This being so did not allow any perspective to be aware of the boundaries.

I had by then given up on the self-indulgence and focussed my full attention on the new situation. The first change to this environment came in the manor of an instrumental tune, which was of a repetitive nature. It seemed to be coming from within the space. Shortly afterwards whilst this music was still playing, a silhouette shape of a man appeared before me. He had no features to his body, only yellow outline. The shape facing me turned around and began to run. My alter ego, which viewed this, began to follow at a set distance. This action took me away from the point of origin, and in doing so gave an awareness of the surroundings. The silhouette started running towards some pillars of light in the distance. He passed the first of these, and I followed shortly afterwards. It appeared similar to an obelisk of pure neon. The pillars put my environment into a more manageable perspective, although no end could be seen to this space, it did not matter. The mere fact of witnessing this from an internal position contained the important ingredient.

These pillars were large in comparison to my being, and in passing each one gave ample time to study them. They contained the primary colours, and were three-dimensional. The pureness appeared quite spectacular, almost unnatural. I must have passed six of these, and then everything began to fade. The glue in my bag had lost its potency, and shortly afterwards the normal darkness returned. Until now if I had been seeing anything whilst using glue, it was presented in such a way that it occupied my physical environment. By this I mean the visions superimposed on actual physical objects. At certain times I had glanced into their source, but had never been able to view a situation from inside this environment. What effectively happened tonight created a bridge over the threshold, and more importantly I recognised this was so.

The following morning I was called into Mr. Gibbons office, he being the headmaster to discuss my glue sniffing in the toilets. It had been the first time of causing any trouble in the home, and because of my previous dealings with people in authority I expected you shouldn't do this and that routine. Much to my surprise he approached the subject from a different objective. This was more like an informal chat, with the emphasis on why I used it. My answer if asked yesterday, would have been different from today. Saying little about the experience side, we just talked in generalisations. He did not pressure me in any way and the matter became left at that. I was impressed at his attitude, and found it on the whole a better response than normal. Even as we were speaking my thoughts revolved around the quickest possible way to get out and acquire some.


The source of the experience

Stead, William

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Inhaling volatiles and gases