Report of a Near Death Experience from 124 years ago.
The inhabitants of the Spirit World are always there for us, when it is our time to go, or whenever we need assistance, just as we are there for them if they need our attention or assistance, as is shown in the following two cases from the past.
It is generally believed that Near Death Experiences first came to be studied in the 1970s when Raymond Moody published his research into the subject, and IANDS came into being. But near death and spiritual experiences are as old as humankind, and here is the report of one from a doctor back in 1889, 124 years ago.
A doctor’s Near Death Experience from over 124 years ago, and a spirit communication in 1838, ten years before the Fox sisters first heard raps from the murdered tinker.
Dr. Wiltse was suffering from typhoid fever, and had a subnormal temperature and pulse. Thinking he was about to die, he said goodbye to his family and friends, giving them advice and consoling them as best he could until he became drowsy, his voice weakened and soon became comatose. Although in this state, he was still conscious, and upon recovery was later able to give the following account of his ordeal.
“I bade adieu to family and friends, giving such advice and consolation to each and all as I deemed best, conversed upon the proofs pro and con of immortality, and called upon each and all to take testimony for themselves by watching the action of my mind, in the bodily state in which they saw me, and finally, as my pupils fell open, and vision began to fail, and my voice to weaken, feeling a sense of drowsiness come over me, with a strong effort, I straightened my stiffened legs, got my arms over the breast, and clasped the fast stiffening fingers, and soon sank into utter unconsciousness.
I passed about four hours in all without pulse or perceptible heartbeat, as I am informed by Dr. S.H. Raynes, who was the only physician present. During a portion of this time several of the bystanders thought I was dead, and such a report being carried outside, the village church bell was tolled. Dr. Raynes informs me, however, that by bringing his eyes close to my face, he could perceive an occasional short gasp, so very light as to be barely perceptible, and that he was upon the point, several times, of saying, “He is dead,” when a gasp would occur in time to check him.
He thrust a needle deep into the flesh at different point from the feet to the hips, but got no response. Although I was pulseless about four hours, this state of apparent death lasted only about half-an-hour.
I lost, I believe, all power of thought or knowledge of existence in absolute unconsciousness. I came again into a sense of conscious existence and discovered that I was still in the body, but the body and I had no longer any interests in common. I looked in astonishment and joy for the first time upon myself – the me, the real Ego, while the “not me” closed it upon all sides like a sepulchre of clay.
With all the interests of a physician I beheld the wonders of my bodily anatomy
intimately interwoven with which, even tissue for tissue, was I, the living soul of that dead body. I learned that the epidermis was the outside boundary of the ultimate tissues, so to speak, of the soul. I realized my condition and reasoned calmly thus: “I have died, as men term death, and yet I am as much a man as ever. I am about to get out of the body.”
I watched the interesting process of the separation of soul and body. By some power, apparently not my own, the Ego was rocked to and fro, laterally, as a cradle is rocked, by which process its connection with the tissues of the body was broken up. After a little time the lateral motion ceased, and along the soles of the feet beginning at the toes, passing rapidly to the heels, I felt and heard, as it seemed, the snapping of innumerable small cords. When this was accomplished I began slowly to retreat from the feet, toward the head, as a rubber cord shortens. I remember reaching the hips and saying to myself: “Now, there is no life below the hips.”
I can recall no memory of passing through the abdomen and chest, but recollect distinctly when my whole self was collected into the head, when I reflected thus: “I am all in the head now, and I shall soon be free.” I passed around the brain as if I were hollow, compressing it and its membranes, slightly, on all sides, toward the centre and peeped out between the sutures of the skull, emerging like the flattened edges of a bag of membranes. I recollect distinctly how I appeared to myself something like a jelly-fish as regards colour and form. As I emerged, I saw two ladies sitting at my head. I measured the distance 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, but comforted myself with the thought that in all probability she could not see me with her bodily eyes, as I was a spirit.
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 into the full stature of a man. I seemed to be translucent, of a bluish cast and perfectly naked. With a painful sense of embarrassment I fled toward the partially opened door to escape the eyes of the two ladies whom I was facing as well as others who I knew were about me, but upon reaching the door I found myself clothed, and satisfied upon the point I turned and faced the company. As I turned, my left elbow came in contact with the arm of one of two gentlemen who were standing in the door. To my surprise, his arm passed through mine without apparent resistance, the severed parts closing again without pain, as air reunites. I looked quickly up at his face to see if he had noticed the contact, but he gave me no sign, only stood and gazed toward the couch I had just left. I directed my gaze in the direction of his, and saw my own dead body. It was lying just as I had taken so much pains to place it, partially upon the right side, the feet close together and the hands clasped across the breast. I was surprised at the paleness of the face. I had not looked in a glass for some days and had imagined that I was not as pale as most very sick people are. I congratulated myself upon the decency with which I had composed the body and thought my friends would have little trouble on that score.
I saw a number of persons sitting and standing about the body, and particularly noticed two women apparently kneeling by my left side, and I knew that they were weeping. I have since learned that they were my wife and sister, but I had no conception of individuality. Wife, sister or friend were as one to me. I did not remember any conditions of relationship. I could distinguish their sex, but nothing further.
I now attempted to gain the attention of the people with the object of comforting them as well as assuring them of their own immortality. I bowed to them playfully and saluted with my right hand. I passed about among them also, but found that they gave me no heed. Then the situation struck me as humorous and I laughed outright.
“They certainly must have heard that,” I thought, but it seemed otherwise, for not one lifted their eyes from my body. It did not once occur to me to speak and I concluded the matter by saying to myself: “They see only with the eyes of the body. They cannot see spirits. They are watching what they think is I, but they are mistaken. That is not I. This is I and I am as much alive as ever.”
I turned and passed out at the open door, inclining my head and watching where I set my feet as I stepped down on to the porch.
I crossed the porch, descended the steps, walked down the path and into the street. There I stopped and looked about me. 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. I took a rather pathetic look about me, like one who is about to leave his home for a long time. Then I discovered that I had become larger than I was in earth life and congratulated myself thereupon. I was somewhat smaller in the body than I just liked to be, but in the next life, I thought, I am to be as I desired.
“How well I feel,” I thought. “Only a few minutes ago I was horribly sick and distressed. Then came that change, called death, which I have so much dreaded. It is past now, and here am I still a man, alive and thinking, yes, thinking as clearly as ever, and how well I feel; I shall never be sick again. I have no more to die.”
And in sheer exuberance of spirits I danced a figure, then turned about and looked back in at the open door, where I could see the head of my body in a line with me. I discovered then a small cord, like a spider’s web, running from my shoulders back to my body and attaching to it at the base of the neck in front.
I started walking down the street, and had walked but a few steps when I again lost my consciousness, and when I again awoke found myself in the air, where I was upheld by a pair of hands, which I could feel pressing lightly against my sides. The owner of the hands, if they had one, was behind me, and shoving me through the air at a swift but a pleasant rate of speed. By the time I fairly realized the situation I was pitched away and floated easily down a few feet, alighting gently upon the beginning of a narrow, but well-built roadway, inclined upward at an angle of something less than 45 degrees.
I looked up and could see sky and clouds above me at the usual height. I looked down and saw the tops of green trees and thought; “It is as far down to the tree tops as it is high to the clouds.” I then walked up the roadway for what seemed to be about 20 minutes.
Suddenly I saw at some distance ahead of me three prodigious rocks blocking the road, at which sight I stopped, wondering why so fair a road should be thus blockaded, and while I considered what I was to do, a great and dark cloud, which I compared to a cubic acre in size, stood over my head. Quickly it became filled with living, moving bolts of fire, which darted hither and thither through the cloud. They were not extinguished by contact with the cloud. I could see them as one sees fish in deep water.
I was aware of a presence, which I could not see, but which I knew was entering into the cloud from the southern side. The presence did not seem, to my mind, as a form, because it filled the cloud like some vast intelligence Then from the right side and from the left of the cloud a tongue of black vapour shot forth and rested lightly upon either side of my head, and as they touched me thoughts not my own entered into my brain.
These, I said, are his thoughts and not mine; they might be in Greek or Hebrew for all power I have over them. But how kindly am I addressed in my mother tongue that so I may understand all his will.
Yet, although the language was English, it was so eminently above my power to reproduce that my rendition of it is far short of the original. The following is as near as I can render it:
“This is the road to the eternal world. Yonder rocks are the boundary between the two worlds and the two lives. Once you pass them, you can no more return into the body. If your work is complete on earth, you may pass beyond the rocks. If, however, upon consideration you conclude that is not done, you can return into the body.”
The thoughts ceased and the cloud passed away, moving slowly toward the mountain in the east. I turned and watched it for some time, when suddenly, and without having felt myself moved, I stood close to and in front of the three rocks. I was seized with a strong curiosity then to look into the next world.
There were four entrances, one very dark, at the left between the wall of black rock and the left hand one of the three rocks, a low archway between the left hand and the middle rock, and a similar one between that and the right hand rock, and a very narrow pathway running around the right hand rock at the edge of the roadway.
I was tempted to cross the boundary line. I hesitated and reasoned thus: “I have died once and if I go back, soon or late, I must die again. If I stay some one else will do my work, and so the end will be as well and as surely accomplished, and shall I die again? I will not, but now that I am so near I will cross the line and stay.” So determining, I moved cautiously along the rocks.
I reached the exact centre. Here, like Caesar at the Rubicon, I halted and parleyed with conscience. It seemed like taking a good deal of responsibility, but I determined to do it, and advanced the left foot across the line. As I did so, a small, densely black cloud appeared in front of me and advanced toward my face. I knew that I was to be stopped. I felt the power to move or to think leaving me. My hands fell powerless at my side, my head dropped forward, the cloud touched my face and I knew no more.
Without previous thought and without apparent effort on my part, my eyes opened. I looked at my hands and then at the little white cot upon which I was lying, and realizing that I was in the body, in astonishment and disappointment, I exclaimed: “What in the world has happened to me ? Must I die again ?”
I was extremely weak, but strong enough to relate the above experience despite all injunctions to be quiet. I made a rapid and good recovery and I write this just eight weeks from “the day I died,” as some of my neighbours speak of it.
There are plenty of witnesses to the truth of the above statements, in so far as my physical condition was concerned. Also to the fact that just as I described conditions about my body and in the room, so they actually were. I must, therefore, have seen things by some means [“out of the body” or “remote viewing”]..
Dr. Wiltse, of Skiddy, Kansas, U.S.A. Summer, 1889.
Published in the St. Louis Medical and Surgical Journal, November, 1889, and in the Mid-Continental Review, February, 1890, and quoted in “Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death” by Frederic W.H. Myers, 1903, reprinted by University Books Inc., N.Y, 1960.
Frederic Myers himself returned from the Spirit World, after his death in 1901, to give accounts of what lies beyond death, through the mediumship of Kenneth Richmond (unpublished scripts, 1916 – 1917, edited by Elizabeth Gaythorpe for the College of Psychic Studies) and Geraldine Cummins (The Road to Immortality, 1932. recently reprinted 1984 by Pilgrims Books Services, Norwich, U.K.)
Conscience delayed her passing into the Spirit World
Raps and other phenomena caused by so-called dead spirits, and apparitions of recently deceased relatives have also been experienced throughout human history. Here is a short account of apparitions occurring in 1838 in Perth, Scotland, ten years before the murdered tinker made his presence known to the Fox sisters in Hydesville, N.Y. in 1848.
Anne Simpson, a Presbyterian woman came to see the Catholic priest, Rev.. Charles M’Kay, as she was worried about a recently deceased woman named Maloy appearing to her for several nights running, urging her to go and see the priest, who would pay a certain sum of money, three shillings and ten pence, which she, the deceased, owed to a person not specified.
The priest reported in a letter to the Countess of Shrewsbury, Oct 21st, 1842,
“I made inquiry, and found that a woman of that name had died, who had acted as washerwoman and followed the regiment. Following up the inquiry I found a grocer with whom she had dealt, and on asking him if a female named Maloy owed him anything, he turned up his books, and told me she did owe him three and tenpence. I paid the sum. Subsequently the Presbyterian woman came to me, saying that she was no more troubled (by the spirit).“
This just shows how spirits retain their conscience on passing over, and if there is unfinished business, may remain earthbound until they find means of putting things right. Hence our Rescue Circles are doing good work, in this respect.
[Account given in “Anatomy of Sleep” page 462, by Dr. Binns, and quoted in Myers’s “Human Personality,” 1903.]
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