Collections of Mystical Experiences
W. Winslow Hall, MD (London:
The C.W. Daniel Co., 1926)
Hall gathered descriptions of mystical experiences out
of his own interest. He authored three books on the
topic: Hebrew Illumination: A Study in Essential
Religion, Observed Illuminates, and Recorded
In this book, he presents
a total of 21 cases arrayed in an "ascending ladder
of illuminative experience."
Case 1. Male,
age not listed
Subject has a profound
dream showing the meaning of all things to be "bad
Case 2. Male,
Subject sees an image while
sleeping of an amazing woman; "
I did not
feel material love for her but my whole being was pulsing
with sheer adoration and worship of her." Memory
of this dream provides the subject a feeling that all
of the world is beautiful and the cares of life light.
The effects lasted two or three days.
Case 3. Female,
Subject was at home trimming
sewing, suddenly, there came over her a sense of glory
and joy and trust and love. The memory of it has been
the strength of her life ever since.
Case 4. Male,
Subject walking between
railroad stations, traveling up a hill gradually becomes
conscious of intense elation, and of direct awareness
of God. The most vivid impression is of the extraordinary
brilliance of the surrounding country. This experience
lasted about three hours. A sense of rapture is still
possible, the subject reports. This is triggered by
"the passage of an express train, or occasionally,
at some lofty thought; of course, good poetry has this
Case 5. Male,
age 20, 22, 24, 27, 28, and 30
Subject experiences six
episodes. Episode one occurs while watching the sun
set. "Everything seemed to breathe of a Divine
Love and of an ineffable tenderness showered again and
again on an ungrateful world."
The next episode took place
as the subject was walking along a lake shore with his
new wife. "
I was ecstatically in love; and
every little wave, as it broke at my feet, seemed to
burst into music
and there was a happy twinkle
on the sea, smiling with me (and not at me, in a kind
of satiric way, as the Mona Lisa does). All nature seemed
in tune with my gladness.."
Episode three occurs when
after reading a prayer in the woods. Suddenly, everything
seemed so beautiful.
Episode four occurs when
the subject and a nurse hear the cry of a new-born child.
Actually, the child is born six hours later.
Episode five occurs when
the subject feels the presence of his deceased wife:
"I don't think it was ever an objective bodily
presence near me. I don't think it was ever an objective
bodily presence, but, none the less, so real, and so
evident, that often, involuntarily, I would make the
movements of enfolding her in my arms."
Episode six occurs when
the subject is out for a walk on a cloudy and rainy
day. He claims that the weather matched his mood, a
cross between gloom and anger. Then he notices a bit
of sunlight lighting an edge of a cloud. He reports
this vision lifted his spirits.
That Seem To Be Illuminative and of Rising Noetic
Case 1. Female,
age not listed
Subject experiences "the
curious sense of intense being, with a total forgetfulness
of personality;" "a curious, vivid sense of
being, as part of a whole;" "one is not conscious
of oneself as a human being, only as a sentient part
Case 2. Male,
Experiences a ten day period
of sudden "intense aliveness" after a breakthrough
from a depressive feeling.
Case 3. Male,
When walking in the woods
subject finds himself in an elevated state of mind,
lost count of time, and had a sense of a spiritual presence.
Case 4. Male,
a very remarkable baptism of the Holy Spirit. This soul-satisfying
experience was preceded...by a season of prolonged prayer...Next
morning I was walking in to business, and, as it was
raining when I left home, I put up my umbrella. Apparently
it left off raining almost immediately; but when I got
into town, after what was usually a twenty minutes'
walk, I became aware that people were staring at me,
and I found myself with my umbrella still up, although
the sun was shining and the pavement dry. I had been
quite oblivious to all that was going on around me.
During that walk the fountains of the great deep in
my soul had been broken up. It seemed as though Christ
himself, filled my soul, and flooded it with love, joy,
peace, longsuffering, gentleness, etc."
Case 5. Female, age 39
"...I spent a certain
summer day in a forest. I was alone. The sky was pearly
grey, illuminatred with unshed sunlight which pulsated
in the air around. I had been reading Wordsworth's Ode
on the Intimations of Immortality. Then, and there,
I became aware of the Oneness of all Being. I felt,
and realized, that the trees around me---the sky---I
myself---all things animate and inanimate---lived, and
moved, and had our being, in It. Before, this had been
a concept. Now, it was realized, and known."
from this book will be added soon.
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