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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, December 23, 1906, Image 25

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1906-12-23/ed-1/seq-25/

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An Astral Christmas
FOR over a twelve
month I have ben
awaiting an oppar
tunity to jo before
the American Chap
ter of the Paris Society of
Metapsychics to lay before
them the somewhat interest
ing details of an experience
which befell me during the
Christinas holidays of last
It was the iii^ht of De
eyml»er i*. 1905. that I re
lired ■• the early hour of
tigl ' o'clock, resolved to
gather in the necessary rest
;md_ strength to go ' fully
equipped on the day follow
ing into the Christmas shop
ping fray. Ordinarily 1 buy
my I •■-•• is presents for
my numerous family in August preceding the great
est festival of the year, as it is an economy in
time, money, and strength to do this. But in
August. 1005. however. 1 found myself bo busy
»vith other things thai 1 neglected the usual Christ
inas work, and became bo confirmed in the habit
<■? putting it off '■■•■■ day to day that, before I
knew it, mid December was uj»oii me, and the
Christmas crop still unharvested.
Sleep came to me almost immediately, Bleep the
more refreshing because ii was deep, peaceful; and
utterly dreamless: and it lasted for nigh unto
twelve hours, for the chick on my mantelpiece was
striking the hour of eight a. v. when consciousness
'"< treat Heavens!" I muttered, as the lateness
ef the hour dawned upon me — 1 had expected to
list .■ seven and to be breakfasting by this — "I
shall tin i myself in the rear ranks of the mob if I
don't hurry. It's me for a hurried bath, a quick
shave, and a lightning change costume."
I started to jump out of bed, when a horrid
realization of a most singular fact swept over me.
1 had] not ting to get out of bed with! The plain
and simple facts are that, in someway or other,
while I slept, my body had got up. either of itself
•■ with the aid of some agency at that moment
unknown to me. and departed, leaving l>ehind it
nothing but myself — that is to say. my spiritual self,
ray intrinsic me. if I may so put it — and there I lay.
a stark and staring consciousness with no semblance
whatever of a corporeal garment to cover me.
i shall never forget the awful sense of horror that
swept over me at that moment of discovery. To
lie a disembodied spirit was bad enough, but what
chilled my senses most deeply to the marrow was
the apprehension ••: what had become of what I may
tall my externals. Where was my corporeal self?
And — dreadful thought! — had it gone out upon the
public highway dad only in the pink silk pajamas
111 which it had been arrayed when I retired the
night la-fore? Visions of my treasured self being
arrested for appearing upon the streets in .such
neglige" tortured me. The fear that the cold of win
ter was even now penetrating the bones that had
been mine was almost prostrating. The notions
that flitted through my consciousness were unbear
able to such a degree* that 1 think I should have
I Had Nothing to Get Out M Bci With!
lost my wits likewise, had I not a moment or so
later taken in the fact, from a cursory survey of the
RKMn, that the pajamas were still there, neatly
folded across the chair, and my other clothing mas
gone. Evidently 1 had had the presence of mind
to dress myself lief ore Koing out, or at least the
squatter who had eloped with my personality had
dune .-»>, and the relief was enormous.
The sense of ease following this discovery was
not prolonged, however. It wure away almost as
quickly, indeed, as it had come before the awful
questionings of my mind as to the main fact — my
lxxly was gone! Where was it? Who had it ? To
what good or evil pur{>oses was it being devoted at
this moment? Would it ever be returned to me,
and. i; so, in what condition?
Spurred on by such reflections, I made the effort
to pet myself, or rather what was left of me, into
action, and was overjoyed to find at the first im
pulse to move about that, freed from the weight of
my material frame. 1 was able to project myself
hither and yon at will. You may Ik? sure that from
the moment <>f this discovery 1 was all over the
house indulging in a systematic search for myself.
Not a nook or a cranny in the whole establishment
revealed so much as a hair of me. and all my in
quiries of servants failed to elicit any response, for
the simple reason that they had neither visual nor
psychic apprehension of my presence.
1 discovered one or two things from their chance
observations on things in general, concerning the
estimation in which I was held by the ladies of the
kitchen and the laundry, that were not particularly
Battering to me, either as a man of intellect or gen
erosity; but inasmuch as they have no immediate
l>earing upon my story. 1 shall not set then: down
here in detail. It suffices to say that later on. when
all was well with me again, they received notice to
quit, with instructions not to stand upon the order
of g"ing hut t<> go at once, Christmas or no Christ
Not finding my l>ody in any part of the house,
I next re- >lved to extend the search to the accus
tomed haunts of my daily life. I projected myself
to the office of my brokers Barkley,
W.iln-r- & Higgins. but there was nothing
in anywise resembling me hanging anx
iously over their tickers, or seeking a
tip in the private office from the private
secretary of the head of the firm. I in
sinuated my consciousness into the sub
terranean precincts of the Cafe* DeJarin,
suspecting that possibly my material
sell under a new control, afraid to trust
itself at breakfast with the family, might
have stopped therein for a tup of coffee
and a matutinal chop, but I was again
disappointed. I wasn't there.
Next I sped v; 1 town to the office of
'" Ti.e Salmagundi Magazine." a periodical
h pays for accepted material on pub
lication, and from which, judging from
the number of accepted manuscripts o\
■ :■: ■ ■ i:i i* possession, my great-grand-
Iren « ill some day derive a consider
able income, provided the concern does
I . into the hands of a receiver in the
interim. I had latterly been a frequent
\: :' r to its editor, in a vain elfort to
se ire an agreement by which my ma
terial should be held not longer than
thirty-seven years — especially the timely
stuff— and it occurred to me that |>os
stbly mere force of habit might have
tarried me there externally, and again
w.i- 1 doomed todisaj pointment. Every
body was out except the office boy, who
V..1- -i' - :'.^ r in the <■■ lr • -r's chair with his
• " :i t: c desk, reading ami rejecting
• • .V ;'..■:. rnient of my
:■ like in \ servants, not having
ap- i nature, was wholly ungetatable
in my then forlorn incor
poreal condition, and was as
oblivious to my presence as
though he was indeed an
editor, and I was an un
known genius with a manu
script message for mankind,
which I was willing to sell
at the rate of a cent a hun
dred words.
A cold chill came over me
as 1 thought of another pos
sibility. What if, i:r.f>elled
by some dishonest streak in
the new spirit thai now
occupied my earthly tene
ment, I had gone to the
bank, ascertained my bal
ance, and drawn it all nut
for the gratification of its
Spendthrift desires? I real
ized, as I thought it all
over, that it was only my senses — my good
senses— thai alone had, from time to time, re
strained m; pi ysieal self from doing that sane
thing, and it was with an overwhelming apprehen
sion <-! impending nun that 1 sped v> the hank.
It was relief immeasurable that 1 discovered, as
my consciousness hovered over the l«»>kkeeper's
shoulder, that my ninety-eight dollars and fourteen
cents was still there, intact, with no recently writ
ten outstanding checks to blot it out past redemp
tion. I visited the club, and with the same result:
[ was not and had not Keen there. Thus I ex
hausted the possibilities of the morning. All that
was left was the chance that I might tind myself at
a vaudeville matinee aft it lunch.
Meanu hile, realizing that nothing was to be gained
by further worry, and making up my mind, as is
my habit, to make the l>est of my difficulties, I
turned i<< the enjoyment of my new found estate;
and I must confess it was considerable.
Relieved (■: the weight of my material self. I
floated about the town like a sun mote freed from
the mass oi earth pressing dust. Wherever in my con
sciousness I wished to be, by the mere exercise of my
will to be there, there 1 was. In certain ways it was
exhilarating. I:' 1 chose to roam through the ether,
high above the world of sordid things. I had only
to will myself above the clouds, to attain to heights
immeasurable. 1 bounded over the Flatiron build
ing with the ease oi a chamois surmounting an
Alpine ir.ig. I leaped, with the elasticity of a wiz
ird rubber ball, from the arrow of Diana on the
Madison Square tower to the topmost point of
Frinit \"s steeple < >ver two miles away. I fluttered like
t will- ' the-wisp from one end of the subway to
the other, as careless of the thundering expresses,
the blundering locals, ami dread third rail, as though
these things had no tangible reality whatsoever.
1 bearded the 1i ■ »ti in his Central lark den, and
pen hed my consciousness on the hood of an exees
iively speed\ !::>'t>>r car with no fear of consequences
—in short, I let myself go. and indulged myself in
>uch innocent pranks as <>nlv a disembodied spirit
■ould possibly permit itself with entire safety. There
ivere do impenetrable places. Every door in town
K*as open to me; no seclusion, however well pro
tected, was proof against my will to penetrate it
It was indeed a joyous sensation, and. !><.->r of all.
My Self Fell Sprawling on the Floor.

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