PERSONAL IMMORTALITY [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR, —In connexion
with your intensely interesting series on " Personal Immortality," and the certainty felt by many people that the body is but the tabernacle of the spirit, some of your readers may be interested to hear of a strange, quite recent, experience of my own. There had been sickness in the house, and I had gone to bed one night in rather an anxious mood, for my husband, whose room is next to mine, was alone for the first time without a nurse. He could have summoned me instantly by a connecting electric bell—yet I was a little restless. Towards morning I looked at my watch, listened, and thought I would go in to see him if I heard him cough. But all was quiet, and I fell asleep again. When I woke I was standing just inside the doorway of what I thought to be his room, but, even as I thought it, the room was filled with a bright light, and I found I was standing just within the door of my own bedroom, looking at myself in bed. I saw myself clearly, the outline under the clothes and the head upon the pillow, and I shall never forget the feeling of utter amazement which swept over me, as I stood staring at myself, registering the scene in my memory. What particularly struck me was a curious folding-back of the eiderdown at the foot of the bed. I do not know how long I stood there before beginning to move towards myself, but as I advanced I seemed to fall asleep again, and the next time I woke I was back in my own flesh. The memory of what had occurred was sharp and clear; and I had the oddest feeling of resentment at the fact that I had experienced anything so uncanny ! But, when my annoyance had passed, I knew that I had had a beautiful and a wonderful experience. I had been " out of the body" with my full personality, living and intensely aware, and with my husband's illness paramount in my thoughts.
Some people might say I had only dreamed, but I knew it had been a real very intense experience. Only one thing puzzled me—and that was the curious way in which the eiderdown was turned back at the foot of the bed. I did not see how it could have fallen into that kind of fold. A night or two afterwards, however, I had pushed it a little way down, as I always do, and I glanced towards the bottom of the bed, to see that the slight thrust had folded up the supple padded silk exactly as I had seen it, as. I stood by the door. That tiny corroboration took away my last lingering doubt—if I could really say I had had any doubt. I knew that I had stood there, a little apart, yet a living person, and had looked upon my own mortality.—I am, Sir, &c.,