Leaving the Vessel: When Souls Take Flight
A Simple Procedure
Many stories of out-of-body experiences and astral projection have come my way over the years, but not many were as compelling as the one you are about to read. The source for this account is Mary West, whose son Jacob plays host to a soul that cannot be contained.
The first incident occurred during a routine tonsillectomy when Jacob was thirteen. He would later tell his parents that he remembered saying goodbye to them as he was wheeled out of his room and into surgery. He was afraid, but he was making every effort to hide this fact from his mom and dad.
Once in the operating room, Jacob recalled someone, presumably the anesthesiologist, explaining the procedure to him. He remembered a mask being placed over his face as he lay flat on the table.
Observing the Surgery From Above
Almost immediately, Jacob began observing the proceedings from someplace above the heads of the medical staff. He said that he could see the doctor and all of the assistants as they performed his tonsillectomy. Jacob related that he could also hear music playing as the surgery was being performed.
The boy listened as the medical team talked among themselves. He remembered his doctor saying that he had a room full of patients that he needed to attend to. Jacob would later tell his parents that he was upset with the doctor for worrying about that in the middle of his surgery.
Jacob was fully aware that he was the person lying on the operating table. He recognized his body as he floated overhead. He said that he had felt no pain or fear, but rather a sense of well-being and peace as he observed the activity from above.
Exploring the Rest of the Hospital
After a while, Jacob decided to explore the rest of the hospital. He made his way to the waiting room where he found his parents. His father was leafing through a magazine while his mother sat in a chair sipping on a cup of coffee.
Jacob said that he could sense how worried his mother was and tried to speak to her. He reassured her that everything would be alright, but it was obvious that she could neither hear nor see him.
The next thing that Jacob remembered after seeing his parents was being jolted awake by the sound of someone calling his name. The surgery was over and he was now in the recovery room. The traveling had come to an abrupt end.
Jacob would later relate what he had experienced to his parents who didn't know what to make of his story. They seemed to want to believe him, but the whole scenario seemed preposterous. Jacob eventually gave up on trying to convince them that his experiences had been real. He knew the truth, even if no one believed him.
Ten years would go by with little mention of Jacob's out-of-body experience. He had told several of his friends over the years who seemed to take the story in stride; otherwise, he seldom thought about it. That is, until it happened again.
When Jacob was twenty-three, he was the passenger in a car driven by his college roommate when they were blindsided by another vehicle at a busy intersection. Both Jacob and his friend were seriously injured in the crash when the other car ran a stop sign and smashed into the passenger side of their car, trapping both of them inside.
Jacob and his friend, as well as the other driver, were rushed to a local hospital by ambulance. All three underwent surgery for their various injuries. Jacob, who was critically injured, suffered severe trauma as a result of the impact which had occurred on his side of the car.
Another Surgery Seen From Above
He was in and out of consciousness following the accident and had little memory of the ride to the hospital. Jacob recalled being wheeled into surgery at some point. He said that he was aware of a flurry of activity as he watched medical personnel cutting away his clothing and hooking him up to IVs.
Jacob remembered that a time came when all of the frenzied activity came to a sudden halt. Everything seemed to calm down as he found himself, for the second time in his short life, floating above the chaos. He could see his mangled body lying on the operating table. It was similar to when he had observed his tonsillectomy, except that this time the sheets and medical staff were soaked in blood.
Again, Jacob could hear the doctors and nurses talking to each other. They were saying that it would be a miracle if he pulled through. Oddly, he wasn't bothered by their comments. Somehow, Jacob had known that he would be just fine. The familiar peacefulness that he had experienced during his surgery years earlier once again washed over him.
As he watched the medical team that was working frantically to save his life, Jacob's thoughts turned to his parents. He attempted to leave the room and search the hospital, as he had done before, but could not find an exit.
Waking Up Again
Jacob remained floating near the ceiling throughout his surgery. He only realized that he had returned to his body when he woke up in a private room. He had almost no recollection of the accident, but remembered every detail of the procedures that had brought him back from the brink of death.
This time, when he shared his story with his parents, he gave such minute details that his mother agreed that he had experienced a miracle. Jacob's father was not as forthcoming, but he didn't deny the possibility.
When all was said and done, Jacob had suffered a broken arm, broken leg, crushed hip, a punctured lung and several broken ribs. He had also sustained numerous lacerations and bruises. Still, he had lived to tell the tale.
Why Did He Leave His Body?
Jacob couldn't explain how or why he left his body during the two occasions in his life that he was under anesthesia. Whether or not it was the heavy sedation that had allowed his soul to leave his body is up for debate. It is also possible that he had experienced some sort of reaction to the drugs that were administered that may have caused him to imagine the scenarios. The question is: Could this happen twice?
Jacob, for one, had no doubt as to what had occurred on both occasions. He knew that his soul had left his body and allowed him to roam freely even as his physical form was being traumatized. Jacob is, by all accounts, a free spirit in more ways than one.
In a Child's Mind
Melinda Roth grew up in a house filled with turmoil. Her parents were constantly at odds, which took a toll on the little girl in more ways than one. As an adult, Melinda began having flashbacks from her childhood that she now believes were memories of times when her wandering soul had left her body behind.
When Melinda first messaged me with her story, I was a bit hesitant to include it in my writings. Suppressed memories can be misinterpreted, which was cause for concern. After communicating with Melinda for several days, she convinced me that her experiences were something more than mere childhood fantasies.
A Vivid Dreamer
Melinda says that she has always been someone who was prone to vivid dreams. She could recall many times when she would travel, in her sleep, to places that she had never been during her waking hours. The dreams were so detailed that she would excitedly tell her mother about the amazing people she had encountered, even going so far as to describe the clothing that they had worn.
At times, she would describe the languages that they had spoken as being different from anything she had ever heard before. The little girl would even repeat some of the words to her mother who recognized many of them as being those spoken in some European countries.
It was conceivable that the child had heard the words on television or in a movie, but unlikely since she had begun telling her mother these stories before the age of four when she was not yet fluent in English. Also, her mother would recall that Melinda had spoken whole sentences in what she knew from her high school days was perfect French.
Melinda was a grown woman when she began to have waking visions of herself as a child floating over rooftops of houses she had never seen before. She would find herself in places with road signs written in unfamiliar languages. Even though she was clearly out of place in her surroundings, she felt completely at ease as she made her way through small villages and large cities alike, her feet never touching the ground.
There were also times when Melinda would see herself as a child, lying in bed at the house in which she had been raised. She would watch silently from someplace above the bed as the younger version of herself tossed and turned underneath the covers.
Melinda also had memories of hearing her parents arguing well into the night. She couldn't remember a time when they had gotten along with each other and the situation only worsened over the years. Bedtime was something that she had always looked forward to since it was the only time she could truly escape from the constant bickering of the adults in her life. It was her time of escape and she used it wisely.
Reclaimed Memories of a Wandering Soul
Over the years, Melinda reclaimed numerous memories of times when she believes that her soul left her body. She almost always ended up in a land far removed from her usual surroundings. Most of the time, she hovered overhead and no one seemed to be aware of her presence.
There were instances, however, when Melinda is certain that she walked among the residents of some of the cities that her soul visited. Even though she can't recall anyone speaking directly to her, she could clearly hear them talking to one and other. She isn't sure whether or not anyone could see her, but she sensed that they knew she was there.
Melinda is not sure how many out-of-body experiences she had over the years, but she thinks that they were a regular occurrence. As she matured, the incidents seemed to lessen, eventually stopping altogether. She can't recall one instance of soul travel after she reached her mid-teens.
Was It Real?
Is it possible that Melinda, as a child, was so traumatized by the discourse in her home that she created a fantasy world in which to lose herself when she closed her eyes at night? Perhaps her dreams of escaping an unhappy home led her to believe that she had somehow made that escape a reality.
Whatever the explanation, Melinda believes that her soul allowed her to visit places in her dreams that she would never see at any other time. Her travels were a great source of comfort to her and she had felt at home in these foreign settings. Perhaps a child, trapped in a situation they are unable to change, can find solace on the wings of a spirit that cannot be chained.