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Observations placeholder

The story of Louis V.... as recorded by Mr. Bourru and Mr. Burot in Changements de la personnalité



Type of Spiritual Experience


thoracalgia - (medicine) pain in the thorax/chest

A description of the experience

The story of Louis V.... as recorded by Mr. Bourru and Mr. Burot in Changements de la personnalité

As quoted in Gabriel Delanne - Materials for use in the study of Reincarnation

The story of Louis V..., which I still take from Mr. Bourru and Mr. Burot, is a little long, I think it is useful to summarize it as follows:

Louis V... was a hysterical man who, because of a robbery, was imprisoned in the colony of Saint-Urbain. At this point, he was docile and intelligent. He is employed in agricultural work. After the emotion produced by the sight of a viper, he became paralyzed in his lower limbs.

When he was taken to Bonneval, his personality was open and friendly, his character was gentle and docile; he deeply regretted his past and said that in the future he would be more honest. He was taught the job of tailor.

One day, he was struck by a crisis that lasted fifty hours, after which he was no longer paralyzed. He has completely lost the memory of his displacement; he still thinks he is in Saint-Urbain and wants to work in the fields. He is no longer the same moral subject, he has become a quarrelsome, greedy thief, he responds impolitely. In 1881, he seems cured and leaves the asylum.

After a stay with his mother in Chartres, he was placed in Mâcon with a farm owner. Fallen ill, he was transported to the asylum in Saint-Georges, near Bourg (Ain). We can see that he is sometimes exalted, sometimes almost stupid and imbecile.

In 1883, he was believed to be cured and, with a savings account, he left Saint-Georges to return to his country.

He arrives in Paris for some reason. He was first admitted to Sainte-Anne and lastly to Bicêtre. On January 17, 1884, he had another very violent attack, which occurred again in the following days with an attack of thoracalgia and alternatives of paralysis and contractures on the left and right sides. On April 17, following a mild crisis, the contracture on the right side disappeared. He wakes up the next day and thinks it's January 26. During the last six months of 1884, V... did not present any new phenomena. His character is modified. He was gentle during the period of contracture; outside these periods, he is unruly, teasing and thieving.

On January 2, 1885, after a triggered sleepwalking scene, followed by an attack, he escaped from Bicêtre by stealing clothing and money.

After a few weeks in Paris, he enlisted in the marine infantry and arrived in Rochefort. In the barracks, he commits robberies, goes to war court. A dismissal was pronounced and on March 27 he entered the hospital. On the 30th, he had a contracture on his entire right side, which dissipated after two days, but he remained paralyzed and insensitive to the whole half of his body.

When this person was placed in the Rochefort hospital, he had insensitive paralysis on his right side and only knew the second part of his life from his stay in Bicêtre, and till his stay in Rochefort, where he is now. The action of metals and magnets was tried on him; by these means all previous pathological states could be brought back, and at the same time the memory of all concomitant psychic states could be awakened. It is in this way that the history of Louis V... was reconstructed in its entirety by these gentlemen who were unaware of its particularities, and the investigation in which they engaged made it possible to note the perfect authenticity of all the details provided by the subject in each of these states, whereas he lost the memory of them as soon as he returned to his current state.


Considered alone, the authors say, the sudden changes in physical state are already quite surprising. Transporting and, even better, making the sensitivity, motility, anaesthesia disappear at will throughout the body or in a specific part of the body, seems to be extraordinary.

This amazing change is not yet approaching the transformation that is taking place simultaneously and by the same agent in the field of consciousness. Earlier, the subject knew only a limited part of his existence; after an application of the magnet, he was transported to another period of his life with the tastes, habits, gaits he had then. Let the transfer be well conducted and free of any disability of movement or sensitivity; at the same time the brain is almost completely free, the book of life is completely open and can be easily read in all the sheets.

It is in this book that we had to browse to have a knowledge of the life of our patient that we absolutely ignored. There were many pages torn off; they had to be reconstructed.

It was sufficient to apply a magnet to the thighs to reveal such and such a physical state leading to one's own memory, but under no circumstances was it possible to reveal total memory, because in no case the absence of physical disorders was complete.

It remained to do the additional examination, act directly on the state of consciousness and see if the physical state would change in parallel.

To act on the psychological state, we had no other means than the suggestion, in the following form: V..., you're going to wake up in Bicêtre, Cabarnis room, on January 2, 1884. V.... obeys; at the end of the provoked somnambulism, the intelligence, the affective faculties are exactly the same as in the second state.

At the same time, he is paralyzed and insensitive on the entire left side of his body.

In another suggestion, he was ordered to be at Bonneval when he was a tailor. The obtained mental state is similar to that described in the fourth state, and simultaneously paralysis with contracture and insensitivity of the lower parts of the body has appeared.


The source of the experience

Delanne, Gabriel

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps