Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research – volume viii pg 180
Dr Wiltse of Skiddy, Kansas lay ill with typhoid and subnormal temperature and pulse, felt himself to be dying, and said goodbye to his family and friends.
He managed to straighten his legs and arrange his arms over his breast, and sank into utter unconsciousness. Dr S H Raynes, the only physician present, said that he passed four hours without pulse or perceptible heart beat. He was thought to be dead and the church bell tolled.
The doctor, however, thought he could perceive occasionally a very slight gasp; he thrust a needle into the flesh but got no response. The percipient, however, says that at last he again came into a state of conscious existence and found he was still in the body, ‘but the body and I no longer had any interests in common’.
He seemed to be getting out of his body, rocking to and fro and breaking connection with the body’s tissues. He seemed to feel and hear the snapping of innumerable small cords and then, he says ‘I began slowly to retreat form the feet, towards the head, as a rubber cord shortens’. Presently he felt he was in the head and then emerging through the sutures of the skull. ‘I recollect distinctly’ he continues ‘how I appeared to myself something like a jellyfish as regards colour and form. As I emerged I saw two ladies sitting at my head. I measured the distances between the head of my cot and the knees of the lady opposite the head and concluded there was room for me to stand, but felt considerable embarrassment as I reflected that I was about to emerge naked before her….
As I emerged from the head I floated up and down and laterally like a soap bubble attached to the bowl of a pipe until I at last broke loose from the body and fell lightly to the floor, where I slowly rose and expanded in to the full stature of a man. I seemed to be translucent, of a bluish cast and perfectly naked.
The percipient fled towards the door, but when he got there, found himself suddenly clothed, and his elbow came in contact with one of the two men standing in the doorway (they were actually there) and to his surprise went through him without encountering any resistance. He tried to attract the attention of his friends but without success, so he walked out of the door and into the street. He says ‘I never saw that street more distinctly than I saw it then. I took note of the redness of the soil and of the washes the rain had made (there had been heavy rain and the roads were marked by rain washes). He then noticed that he was attached by means of a small cord, like a spider’s web, to his body in the house, the cord coming from his shoulders.
He then seemed to be propelled, as if by a pair of hands, and found himself on a roadway, while below him was a scene of mountain and forest which looked very like local scenery. After various experiences he came to rocks blocking the road which he tried to climb round. But at this moment a black cloud descended on him; and he opened his eyes to find himself on his sick-bed