Not a "felt presence," or audible directives, but written message
Five or six years ago I read The Third Man Factor. I found it fascinating and terrifying, but at its conclusion I couldn't help thinking of this quote from a children's book (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader): "'In our world,' said Eustace, 'a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.' 'Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.'" Today I am finishing up The Angel Effect and it seems like Geiger is stating just such a both/and explanation: the neurological explanations for these experiences are "what they are made of," not "what they are." I am admittedly a religious person (an adult convert to Catholicism) who is nonetheless somewhat cynical and skeptical by nature.
In between reading both books I became seriously ill and had several very strange experiences of my own, only one of which I will mention right now. I became very ill after a tick bite, and was eventually diagnosed with several infections, all of which affect the central nervous system. At the worst of this - around Halloween of 2017 - I was in a constant state of half-delirium from severe sleep deprivation (due to myoclonic seizures) and just from having several significant CNS infections. I had been only partially diagnosed at that point, and was taking a couple of (ineffective) antibiotics and an antimalarial. My husband did not and does not believe in chronic vector borne disease, and was convinced my symptoms were largely due to side effects of the medications. I was experiencing living hell and in no condition to argue with him and with no will to keep living, despite having two young children. In fact I constantly prayed for a swift death if no help or healing were to come. I knew if I stopped the antimalarial in particular I would become much worse, and likely die, but it was tempting.
The night before Halloween a big storm was forecasted for our (rural) area. I was weakly filling up bottles of water in case of loss of power, and the odd thought occurred to me that I should turn the outside porch light on "in case anyone needed to see it in the storm." We never leave outdoor lights on, unless expecting company, which we certainly were not that night. I sort of shook it off and told myself that it made no sense, chalking it up to my semi-delirium, but strangely I couldn't bring myself to actually shut the light off. Later I remembered an old folk belief; leaving the doors of a house open on All Hallow's Eve "to let the dead pass through."
The storm outside and inside my brain raged all night (symptoms are always worse at night) and in the morning I eventually made my way downstairs and opened up Messenger on an iPad. The last person I'd messaged was one of my sisters, but in the blue reply - as if I had written it, except I hadn't - was this: "I safe just keep like taking your medicine." Just like that, in broken grammar. It was bizarre and unnerving. I don't know how a Facebook glitch could produce a message so pertinent to my situation.
I've since, for whatever reason, come to think it was a message from my cousin who had passed away a couple years earlier. Over a decade ago, my uncle, an NYPD police officer with severe PTSD, committed suicide. A few years later his youngest, my cousin, died of a suspicious heroin "overdose" on Father's Day. Why exactly I've come to think she left the message to keep on - "keep like taking your medication" - I can't quite articulate.
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Many people have encountered a sense of an unseen companion helping them, lending support or sharing wisdom. If you've had a Third Man encounter and want to share it with others, you're invited to post the experience here.