IN GEDENKEN AN E. H. - VIDEO
In Memory of Erlendur Haraldsson - Video
Interview London, 2017 / Robert Fleischer, Exomagazin / Musiktitel: Musical Aramaic rendition
of the Our Father that moved the pope in Georgia / Links siehe Videobeschreibung YouTube
Texts by Erlendur Haraldsson
His mystical experience
When I was around 15, I became like reborn to myself, and became aware of some inner reality that was also mysteriously external, and so immensely greater than anything I had experienced or been aware of before. It started suddenly in heavy rain during the middle of the day, near some banks of pebbles on the seashore that lit up as the sun suddenly shone and reflected on them. Then I had the experience of being filled with light that was immensely delightful and beyond words. After a while this faded away but a vivid trace of it remained with me forever after and would sometimes – especially in my youth – sweep over me again. After that there was never a doubt that there existed a superior/supernatural reality that was sometimes closer and sometimes further away from my normal self. Somehow the two were connected, but how?
Copenhagen - two odd incidents
In Copenhagen two odd incidents happened that I particularly remember. I rented a room at a home of two women in Öster Farimagsgade. They ran a sowing and repair shop in the apartment on the first floor, which overlooked the street. The room, which they rented me, faced the back garden, as did the kitchen. In front of my room was a small corridor. Late one evening I heard someone walking in the corridor and kitchen and felt certain that it was the women. The noise lasted for a while so I opened the door, intending to greet them. As it opened, suddenly there was silence: the lights were off and no one was to be seen. I thought it was strange but I closed the door and didn’t give it a second thought.
Later that night, again, I heard footsteps. I listened for a while, opened the door, and again everything was silent. The light in the corridor was still switched off and no one was to be seen. This was strange.
I slept on a sofa in the room and in front of it was a chair on which I placed small things. I had a bicycle that I stored outside, but, when I wasn’t using it, I removed the front light and usually kept it on the chair. That evening I fell asleep quickly as I usually did but, after a short while, I woke up quite suddenly, feeling very uncomfortable because I was completely blinded by a bright light, which shone directly into my eyes. It took me a few seconds to get my bearings and to realize what had happened. I had been lying on my side with my face turned toward the chair, which was next to my head. For some reason the bicycle light had turned itself on and was shining directly into my eyes. Never, before or since, had the light switched on unless I had purposely switched it on. What was stranger still was that the light had moved and was facing toward me, illuminating my face. I never did I get a natural explanation of what occurred in that house, but it felt as if it was something ghostlike.
Later I rented another room with an elderly lady. One night after I had turned off the lights, I saw a man, dressed in black, who opened the door and looked into the room. I sensed a clear picture of his face. That happened a few times and always in the same way. It was as if the man was looking at me and was curious about me.
At the time I didn’t do anything about it. In hindsight, by not inquiring about it I missed an opportunity to find out whether any past events, such as a death, lay behind my experience. A few years later that incident would have been a reason for me to get some information from the old lady. I would have liked to have seen a photograph of her husband or ask her about former inhabitants of my room.
Let us first take a look at the accounts where there is more than one witness to the incident. First we have an example from a lawyer who was widely known in Iceland.
Nationally renowned lawyer
It was just after graduation in 1939. I was coming home from a dance. I had not tasted a drop of alcohol. It was about four o'clock in the morning and full light as we were in the middle of summer. I was walking over a bare hill on my way home from town. Then there comes a woman towards me, kind of stooping, with a shawl over her head. And I do not pay any attention to her but as she passes me I say "Good morning" or something like that. She did not say anything. Then I notice that she has changed her course and follows me a bit behind. I got slightly uneasy about this, and found it odd. When I stopped, she stopped also. I started saying my prayers in my mind to calm myself. When I came close to home she disappears. I lived in a house on the compound of a psychiatric hospital where my father worked. I go up to my room. My brother Agnar wakes up and says half asleep, "What is this old woman doing here? Why is this old woman with you?" And I tell him not to speak such nonsense but to continue sleeping, although I knew what he meant. I did not see the woman at that time but my brother appeared to see her when he woke up. I go out to get me some coffee. When I return to my room, Agnar gets up again and says, "Why has this woman come back?" And I tell him not to act like that, that there is no woman in here, that he is confused and should go to sleep.
At lunch the following day I say to my brother, "What nonsense was this last night? You thought you saw a woman in our bedroom." "Yes," he said, "I felt as though an old woman came with you into the room." Then our father became attentive and said to me "Did you see something last night?" I told him that I had seen this woman. "That is strange," he said, "around three o'clock this morning old Vigga died." What I had seen fit her description perfectly.
The brother of the informant, said he remembered the incident. Asked whether he had seen the woman he replied, “I saw the outlines of some woman... but not clearly...
when I woke up I saw a woman come in with him. She was a patient and always locked inside I think, if that was her”. Here two witnesses perceive the same person at a similar moment in time though not at the exact same time.