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While John Michell has a brief break from this page,another living legend will be taking his place. Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and the author of The Sense of Being Stared at: And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (Hutchinson, 17.99)
His website is Jonathan Cainer

Archive for Thursday 19th February 2004 - Unexplained Powers: Children out of their bodies by Rupert Sheldrake

Every week I ask readers for information and I am very grateful for the feedback I have been getting, excellent in quality and quantity. I read all the letters and emails myself, and my colleague Pam Smart puts them on to my database, where they are a great help in my research.

At the end of January I asked for stories about out of the body experiences, and received dozens of fascinating accounts. About half the people who wrote to me said these had first happened in childhood. When Helen, in Bristol, was eight, she says, "I slipped out of my body and floated up to the ceiling where I could then look down at the room. I used to be very scared that I would just float away through the ceiling". Her father used to sit with her holding her hand to reassure her that she was anchored to her bed. Other parents were less understanding. When she was ten, Jeanie used to go out of her body when she was playing the piano and sit on top of it watching herself! Her mother was very dismissive when she told her.

Yvonne was abused as a child, and says, "I often had out of the body experiences to get away from what was happening. I can remember the particular place on the ceiling where I went."

Many people had lucid dreams as children, dreams in which they knew they were dreaming, in which they could fly wherever they wanted in a way that "felt good", was "thrilling" or "truly ecstatic." I myself had many flying dreams as a child. I loved the feeling of freedom they gave me. I suspect many children fly in their dreams, whether lucid or not. Most lose this ability as they grow up, but some people can still fly as adults.

Those of us who are parents can help our children by letting them talk to us about their experiences out of the body, or about their flying dreams. I plan to write about adults' out of the body experiences another week.

Rupert Sheldrake would like to hear from readers who have "travelled" out of the body or in lucid dreams and saw what was really happening in places they visited. Email Rupert Sheldrake's researcher, with subject heading: Rupert Sheldrake. Rupert's website:

Rupert Sheldrake

John Michell would love to hear about your experience of any unusual or unexplained phenomena.
If you have a favourite mystery subject - from spontaneous human combustion to ancient Celtic ritual sites, write to John, suggesting a theme. And if you have any answers or theories about the mysteries John will be highlighting, he would particularly like to hear from you.

Email mystery@cainer.comwith subject heading: John Michell
Please note, we regret that due to time restrictions personal replies may not be available.

John Michell is a prolific author. Below are just two of John's books which might interest you:

The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena
John Michell and Bob Rickard - A fascinating collection. Look up anything from urban legends to recorded unexplained phenomena - to the existance of ghosts. All presented in an organised, easy to follow manner, in related categories. A complete index and accompanying pictures with each entry. Excellent reference - excellent read.
Who Wrote Shakespeare?
Was the most famous poet and writer of all time a fraud and a plagiarist? Was Shakespeare the "upstart crow" described by Greene as strutting in borrowed feathers, or Jonson's "Poet-Ape" who patched plays together from others' work? John Michell's witty investigation of the theories and claims reads like a series of detective stories. By the end of the book even the most faithful disciples of the Bard will find themselves asking, "Who Wrote Shakespeare?"

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