Dr. Garth C's Experience
I had just gone to bed and my head had scarcely touched the pillow when I suddenly left my body. I had been physically lying down but on leaving my body I was in a sitting position, as though on a chair, with my arms raised vertically so that my hands faced each other on either side of my head. I was whisked through one wall of the bedroom up through the roof into upper space, at great speed, way up into the stratosphere. I felt amazingly light. The speed was unbelievable. Then I was looking down at the planet Earth and it appeared like an onion with multiple layers all transparent so that I could see through them all simultaneously. Everything that had ever happened in history was still going on, at various levels: great migrations, historic battles, wars, catastrophes, land movements, changing contours, people rousing each other to various causes. Everything was going on simultaneously down through the multiple layers of the transparent globe!
Suddenly I was in a great void! (But with an appearance of it being outer space). Suspended at about one hundred yards away from me was a man, just his head and shoulders or upper half of his body, sideways on to me, staring into the infinite space. I got the impression that he might be my father who had died a couple of years ago, but it was a side profile only. Then suddenly I was being brought rapidly down to Earth and arrived at the ruins of an ancient city. It comprised ruined buildings and a sand-strewn landscape in which lay hundreds of pieces of bronze, all of identical shape. I bent down to look at them more closely and discovered that they were little models of Pharaohs, all broken into fragments, the pieces held together by sand. I picked up one and it fell into fragments. Then suddenly I was whisked up into the stratosphere again, then down into another city, which I knew was a German one. I was at the foot of a statue of a man, and on the plinth of the statue were the words: Immanuel Kant, Germ! (a Philosopher, and then two dates, being the year of his birth and death).
these as though they were important and then suddenly I was speeding up into the
stratosphere again and then down into my home and suddenly back into my body
without any physical shock. But the first thing I noticed was how coarse my body
was, how labored everything sounded. I could hear my blood coursing through my
veins, sluggishly. My lungs and breathing sounded like laboring bellows. I was
aware of how 'thick' everything seemed to be and of how amazingly light, highly
attenuated, had been my 'vibrations' whilst out of the body. I felt gross now,
and conscious of being cloddish and opaque.
But I was also very excited. I felt that this had not been a dream but a very real experience. I rushed into the lounge where my wife was reading a book and I told her about the experience. She suggested that I consult an encyclopedia and check out the birth date and date of death of Kant, which I hurried to do. I remembered them clearly from the out-of-body experience. But !
When I found the entry for Kant in the encyclopedia, the dates were quite different from those I remembered. I felt absolute shock, and complete disillusionment. I began to doubt whether the experience had been anything other than a dream, in which anything can happen.
The next day I told my Master's thesis supervisor of the experience and asked him what he thought it 'meant'. He asked me what I thought it meant. I said, 'Well, it was all an illusion.'
'What else could it possibly mean?' he asked. At the time I attached no importance to this conversation. My thesis was related to epistemology: the theory of knowledge. I had had a mental block and for several weeks I had made no progress with the thesis. But from the day after the experience, I found myself pushed continuously towards the semiologists, particularly French semioticisms and moving back through them to their sources, notably through Hegel and eventually ending up with Kant. I was particularly focused on the sources of our knowledge and ended up with the main thrust of the thesis being concerned with the illusory nature of knowledge.
I later regarded the experience as having been in the nature of spiritual help or spiritual direction.
Although when, a few years later, I came to write my doctoral thesis, I had no out-of-body experience but the thesis was concerned with hidden codes in Chaucer. Solving these codes, which were embedded in two particular works of Chaucer, was a very time-consuming exercise but in each instance of solving any one code, I was assisted by the 'spirit' of Geoffrey Chaucer himself, who appeared to me in lucid dreams, telling me off for wrong hypotheses, correcting me, drawing the answers diagrammatically on a black-board, presenting himself as in a portrait I recognized by the 14th-century painter Hoccleve, the only image of Chaucer I had retained in mind. My thesis completely over-turned established Chaucerian scholarship and is revolutionary and will form the text of a book I hope to publish in two years' time. The appearance of Chaucer is not, to my mind, a ghostly apparition but a helpful manifestation of my belief that because time and space do not exist as barriers in reality!
Both Chaucer and I can, if I wish, share the same conceptual consciousness, both be receptive to the existence of Platonic Forms and hence both be capable of expressing the same cosmic truths. The 'dreams' were one of seven kinds of dreams it is possible to have, according to medieval dream theorists. I realize that this is somewhat off topic, but it is interesting that both my theses were assisted by abnormal psychological or spiritual experiences.
Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience: No
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
At the time of the experience, was there an associated life threatening event? No
What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? High conscious
Was the experience dream like in any way? The first experience was too vivid and motile for a dream, so I thought.
The second set of experiences were dreams.
Did you experience a separation of consciousness from your body? Uncertain
Describe your appearance or form apart from your body: I was certainly not "in" my body, because I re-entered it and noticed the comparative difference in vibratory sensation for several minutes after re-entry.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was completely relaxed, exhilarated, curious or inquisitive, amazed, then afterwards shocked and disillusioned, self-doubting.
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? A swishing sound that seemed to me to be my moving rapidly through the air, because it stopped when I reached altitudes in which there is no air.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? No
Did you see a light? No
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes
Describe: I thought he might possibly be my father, whom I had imagined at that time would probably be in purgatory as he was an agnostic! But it didn't seem like purgatory; it was like being in a cloudless sky with empty space all around for infinite distance.
Did you experience a review of past events in your life? No
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? Yes
Describe: My perception of the statue of Kant's apparent dates of birth and death were in fact proven to have deceived me, so although the perception itself might have been a valid one, the information perceived was not.
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? Yes
Describe: The multi-layered planet
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes
Describe: All history and possibly the contemporaneous and future events on Earth were happening simultaneously.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? No
Describe: I was reminded of the final paragraph one sings in the Psalms: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
Did you become aware of future events? Uncertain
Were you involved in or aware of a decision to return to the body? No
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? Uncertain
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes
Describe: I had my belief in the possibility of out-of-the-body-experience confirmed.
Has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices etc.? Career choices? No effect.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes
Interest by my wife. Skepticism or indifference by my thesis supervisor.
Considerable interest by some of my clients. None has expressed disbelief. I don't believe anyone has been at all influenced by my experience.
What emotions did you experience following your experience? Disillusionment at first but later a re-interpretation of the 'meaning' of the experience as a spiritual guidance or direction.
What was the best and worst part of your experience?
The lightness of being, was the best part: the speed and the highly attenuated spiritual vibration of my 'being'. The worst part was seeing the man in the stratosphere, completely alone, desolate and appearing to be there for eternity. That was the feeling I had. I later wondered whether this was a pre-vision of my own future spiritual state, so I felt somewhat apprehensive.
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? No. It has made me more accepting of the dualism of body and soul and more aware of ways in which I might be corrupting my soul, hence more self-conscious and aware of a necessity to keep myself spiritually sensitive.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes
Describe: Not so much as a consequence of my own experience but more the result of other people's recorded out-of-body or ND experiences which I have recently read. I have a desire now to compensate for my inadequacies and neglect of other people and to try to acquire some spiritual credit in the balance.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? No
Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes