Swimming after a BIG breakfast
Type of Spiritual Experience
I had great difficulty in classifying this observation, it might be better termed temporary annihilation!
A description of the experience
The example that follows is of my husband, who suffered a bout of Transient Global Amnesia on holiday.
He had been snorkelling in a group [luckily] just after a very large breakfast. The water was cold, he had no wet suit and because he hated snorkels he had a tendency to hold his breath and use the mask rather than breath through the mouthpiece, so I'm afraid it was almost inevitable that hypoxia would hit him. He was found by the crew of the boat we were on, sitting on the beach totally unable to remember where he was, why he was there and what had happened. He was understandably very distressed
I was found [I had been bird watching] and rushed back to tend to him. There was a doctor on board who thought he might have suffered from a mild stroke, so everything was geared towards this eventuality. I undressed him and got him into some warm clothes and kept on talking to him to get him to recall what had happened .
He knew me and mentally clung onto me. He cried a lot. He was able to speak, which meant that the likelihood of a stroke was not as great as we had feared, but still he could recall nothing, the crew, the people on board, nothing.
In the end a helicopter was summoned and both of us were taken to a hospital [a military hospital as this was the nearest one!] and he was given oxygen and later on, when he had rested, a brain scan. This confirmed he had not had a stroke, so for the doctors present it was a mystery. By the second day he was more cheerful, by the fourth day I was able to take him to a hotel, then hire a car and get us both to the town where our boat was due to dock with all our luggage. A long drive over unmade roads in a hire car. Very exciting. It was only on our return that the diagnosis was made of what he had suffered.
Where is the spiritual experience in all of this?
At the time of all this happening he had an underwater camera with him round his neck. This camera showed that it happened at a point where he was swimming some way out from shore, not far from the group, but on the other hand not within shouting distance. Furthermore, it looked from the photos as though his head had been underwater at the time.
His memory and hence his will had ceased to act.
But something got him to shore, sat him on the beach and also ensured he swam, kept his head above water, did not drown and sat waiting for help. He had no outside help in any of this.
It was absolutely not his will, because his will had gone, given up control.
And my only conclusion was that it had to be his composer – his 'guardian angel' if you prefer took over and saved him.
Looking at other cases of both TGA and also people under hypnosis, for example, even when 'they' forget and have no recollection of a period in their lives, there is a ‘something’ that always does. Milton Erickson, the famous hypnotherapist called this 'something' the unconscious, but this unconscious acts as an alternative will, an alternative source of direction and it appears to act in our best interests too
The Seminars, Workshops and Lectures of Milton Erickson – Milton Erickson
You can go into a .. trance and you can handle things as effectively as if you were in the ordinary waking state. Thus you can send a good autohypnotic subject downtown into the thickest of traffic jams and he can drive with absolute safety once he understands that he can meet any contingency.
And this has been proved. The neurologist who saw my husband [no treatment needed only explanations], told us the story of the man in the van who was delivering a piano. He had been driving along the A1, when TGA struck, just as he got to a roundabout.
And what he did was go round and round and round that roundabout until some observant motorist noticed that this van had been going round and round and round for a very long time and called the police, who stopped the van and realised the man was not at all well, called an ambulance and got him to hospital. It took 4 days for him to remember anything. I have no idea what happened to the piano.
What is rather intriguing about both cases is that the composer clearly has access to learnt function – driving and swimming are both learnt not acquired at birth, so the composer has taken over direction where the will has relinquished control.