This anomalous memory has lingered in my mind for years. I thought I was remembering a dream, since the margins are fuzzy, but, unlike a dream, the details persist and my mother has confirmed the facts; so I believe this happened when I was 4 or 5 years old.
It begins like a dream, arising from a mist, I try to wake up, I am groggy, anxious, and in some sort of hospital room, I hear voices, adults talking, I am being put on a table, made to sit up and lean forward, I am cold, my back is bare, hands hold me, I feel something cold, a needle is poked into my back. At that moment my perception shifts and I am looking down on the scene, from high above, I see everyone in the room, I see myself below, on the table, surrounded by people. I linger in that space for a timeless second or two.
The memory that follows is bright and crisp by comparison, sharp colors, smells, sounds, and the feel of my sheets; all vivid. I am wide awake, my sister and mother are coming into my room bringing in a new game, they are smiling and excited. Later that evening my father comes into the room and sits on the bed, he agrees to play the game which thrills me. It is a complicated game. a green plastic board with voodoos and a witch doctor, some sort of contraption that is triggered, I remember the metal pins that are part of the game's strategy...
[By the miracle of the internet I have located a description of the game! It is called "Voodoo Doll Game for Boys and Girls (1967)" ]
My father arranges for me to win dramatically just in time for supper. I am happy for the attention but still confused about what occurred the night before.
When I was a teenager these memories resurfaced and I recounted the hospital scene to my mother who remembered the incident. She said that I had a high fever and they could not wake me up so the pediatrician met us at the hospital. The doctors suspected meningitis and preformed a spinal tap, which was negative, so I must have had a bad flu.
In my forties, while sitting in meditation, the whole incident came back to me clearly, and it finally dawned on me that, for those few delirious moments in the exam room, I had experienced the world from a point of view outside my body.
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