Stevenson, Robert Louis - On brownies and boggarts
Type of Spiritual Experience
Robert Louis Stevenson used to see ‘brownies’ - characters who helped him with his stories. He saw them in a deep meditative or ‘hypnagogic’ state. The technique he used was to lie in bed with his forearm perpendicular to the mattress. He would then drift into a state half way between waking and sleeping. If he fell asleep, his forearm would fall to the mattress and wake him up. Stevenson credited the brownies with coming up with the plot of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
If the communication is in words and sentences it is a bodied or disembodied soul. If the communication is symbolic, or uses words as puns, or is simply a ‘thought’ without words – an impression conveyed, communication is with a Spirit being , Spirit helper or Intelligence. Stevenson 'saw' the story unfold.
A description of the experience
Robert Louis Stevenson – A Chapter on dreams from Across the Plains
The more I think of it, the more I am moved to press upon the world my question.
Who are the Little People?
They are near connections of the dreamer’s beyond doubt; they share in his financial worries and have an eye to the bankbook … they have plainly learned like him to build the scheme of a considerable story and to arrange emotion in progressive order; only I think they have more talent; and one thing is beyond doubt, they can tell him a story piece by piece, like a serial and keep him all the while in ignorance of where they aim.
Who are they then? And who is the dreamer?