Arlindo Batista

London, UK

After an eventful day at the park with our children, Stacey and I went to bed around 12:30 am. I’d had a glass of milk and a couple of chocolate digestive biscuits before going to bed. I was so tired that it didn’t take me long to fall asleep. I woke up at 3.50 am to use the bathroom. My sleep inertia symptoms were strong and it felt like the perfect opportunity for an out-of-body excursion. I lay down feeling like a dead weight and just relaxed. Soon I entered a familiar state of clarity and the hissing pulsation returned. I remember thinking that perhaps the “pineal engine” had ignited and was revving up to a rollercoaster of rushing sounds. What followed was a sensation of detachment from everything, but I was still conscious of lying in bed without visibility.

Suddenly, I could hear voices as though a radio had been switched on in my head. I couldn’t understand what they said, but somehow the audio focused on a particular female voice which spoke as though it were delivering a lecture (M.R.: no separation). The subject-matter appeared to be consciousness itself, and a sentence stuck out to me: “The ‘I’ is the center of consciousness; therefore we are all centers of consciousness.” The voice then proceeded to divulge a deep secret about reality that made me experience an epiphany, and yet I don’t recall what was said. The voice turned into a whisper and was drowned out by orchestral music and clapping. This was followed by a vibrational surge, and subsequently I appeared to have separated from my body solely by willing myself out.

Vision was hazy, but I could distinguish my bedroom environment (M.R.: no deepening). I shifted in midair into the hallway and towards the mirror on the wall, which looked grey and absolutely non-reflective. I glided through it as I wished to see Marge, Stacey’s deceased grandmother. What is unusual about what followed is that I was not traveling through a dark void as is typical when I plunge into the hallway mirror. Instead, I was zooming past treetops, rooftops, roads and vehicles. When I came to a halt, I saw that I was at ground level, skittering through an alley littered with rubbish in broad daylight. The colors of the environment were dull and I tried to make them brighter with my mind, but to no avail. Involuntarily, I teleported to another setting.

Initially, it was hard for me to see where I was because I kept laterally zapping from surface to surface, unable to fixate on a particular location. I managed to slow down my movement near the ceiling of what looked like a large bathroom. I saw a little girl, who appeared to be eight or nine years of age, in a tub full of dirty water, and her groggy face was barely sticking out. I could see her swallowing water and lots of hairs until her head was completely immersed. A scowling man entered the room. He was tall, stocky, and his hair was short, dark and spiky. Wide-eyed and in a frenzy, this character drowned the child by pressing her head further down using a plunger. Neither characters took any notice of my presence. The intensity of the experience was alarming and I was literally in fight-or-flight mode as I witnessed that crime.

My perspective changed galvanically and I appeared to be in the tub now. The room was the same but the lighting was different. The same scowling man came in and proceeded towards me. In a reflex action, I ascended to the ceiling and, when I looked down, I observed a naked boy in the tub, screaming in sheer horror. Mercilessly, the man drowned the boy, and, as he did so, he blamed the child for what was happening to him and accused him of being the reason why he was a monster. He growled and shook the boy underwater. The child’s efforts to break free were futile. I moved about the room uncontrollably as I attempted to see what else was going on.

I regained physical awareness in sleep paralysis, hoping that what I had experienced was imagined. My head hissed again. I heard more voices in my head as though they were engaged in dialogues with classical music intervals. I separated again, but this time, into a dark void. I wished to see Marge and felt hands gripping me on either side and leading me somewhere. I saw light ahead and found myself in a crisp environment. Sharp colors defined a surreal scenery composed of what appeared to be Roman ruins in a forest. I set out to look for Marge there but encountered a bald black man instead. I asked him who he was and he told me his name was either Simão or João Figo. We spoke in Portuguese. I asked him where we were and he told me that we were in the same place all the time. The conversation then became more vague and dreamlike. At times I had the impression that he could say what I was thinking and vice versa. It was as if we were somehow connected. I was unsure whether I could at times control his speech, or if the fact that I was thinking what he said at times was coincidental.

As I regained physical awareness, I heard mild showers in my head and my body felt cold. It was 7:30 am.

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