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Record Type: Review   ID: 450

Paul's Awakening: A Narrative on the Death of My Son

van Eeden, Frederick

 In this very personal work, a pioneer lucid dreamer who was actively involved in psychical research in the early 1900s and published reports in the Journal and Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, reviews the circumstances surrounding the death of his son Paul at age 24. The book is both a biography of and a memorial to his son. Van Eeden experienced the moment of his son's dying as "an act of will, a blithe surrender, a refining and purification and clarification of the spirit to the zenith of ecstasy—an enduring lucidity until all physical processes had virtually ceased, and then a glad slipping away, with a final loving and comforting sign to those remaining behind" (p. 7). Because of this experience, he felt he should henceforth not use such words as "death" and "dying," but refer only to "passing" or "passing over." It was apparent to those who observed Paul's passing that he had some kind of benevolent vision such that death was accompanied by a moment of ecstasy and exaltation. On the day of his passing his two younger siblings, walking in the woods, heard beautiful music in the sky. And for several days following, the author "went about as if in a trance. I felt like a happy lover. I had the subtle, indescribably sweet and inexpressibly tender perceptions of a man in love who knows his love is answered. This was unmistakable. I was permitted familiarity with a higher being" (p. 75). The book closes with some poems about the events and experiences that took place.
Publisher Information:Lancaster, U.K.: Momenta Publishing, 1984 (c1962). [Distributed by Hunter House.] 87p. 1 illus
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