On the way down to Boston, I flew from San Francisco to Salt Lake City. Then, I continued on another Delta flight to Boston. On the Salt Lake City to Boston flight I encountered a very meaningful experience. I had just finished eating the dinner that had been served to us, and had started to watch the movie [The Skulls], when, all of a sudden I experienced what one might identify as being a 'panic attack.' I had to break the close confines of where I was sitting [directly next to a window with two other occupied seats to my left]. To do so, I had to disturb the two other passengers as I had no option than to be free from the terrible feeling of claustrophobia! I don't ever recall succumbing to anything like that in the past, ever! Indeed, I have always thoroughly enjoyed flying and have always had good feelings about the experience.
Once out of my seat, I walked to the rear of the cabin only to find both lavatories occupied. So, I stood there quietly shifting into a more stable and familiar state and stage of consciousness. Truly, the feeling that had swept over me was almost indescribable. Suffice it to be said, IT WAS DREADFUL! Within a mere two minutes [if that long] a man, many years my junior, made his way to the rear of the plane and began telling the stewardesses and steward that he was having a heart attack. Almost instantly, I found the chap on the floor, he having collapsed at my feet. By virtue of where I was standing, it was easier for me [rather than the cabin attendants] to lift the man and put him into a position that would allow others to minister to his needs rather than leave him in the narrow isle like a bale of hay at my feet! So, having once moved him, I discovered myself blocked into the galley of the plane and I couldn't get out of that pinned in position to return to my seat.
The steward picked up a telephone and immediately notified the captain of the plane of what was transpiring in the rear galley, and then the steward made an announcement over the plane's p.a. system asking if a doctor or M.T.A. [medically trained assistant] might be on board. Well, of the over 300 passengers, not one medic surfaced [they're all busy on the ground making money]! The steward kept a cool head, as did the stewardesses, and he [the steward] left the rear galley to make his way forward to another galley to fetch an oxygen tank. Hearing the anxiety being expressed by the stewardesses, I importuned, saying, "I am a Christian Scientist. I have been trained to know how to help this man." A stewardess immediately responded, "Well, please do so!"
I knelt down next to the chap, and I heard him whisper, "I can't breathe." Then I heard Mind saying as me, "You never could! You live because God breathed His breath into you, but never did it become YOUR breath--it still belongs to God! So just relax and don't be afraid. Let God, Spirit, breathe you because already God, Life, is living you!"
Suddenly, a look of shock came across his face which just as quickly turned into tears. He began to tear up, and his eyes soon were flooded! I said, "You can get up now and return to your seat. You are well!" He did just that, after first having declined the use of the oxygen which the steward had fetched from the forward galley. He requested only a napkin to dry off his face and soak up his tears. After he had returned to his seat, the stewardesses asked me, "What did you say to him?" I responded, "If you really want to know, please get a copy of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, and read it slowly. It will thoroughly explain what it is that I said to him, and why what I said was so immediately effective."
When I returned to my seat shortly thereafter, [completely divested of even the memory of having experienced claustrophobia], what do you think I discovered? The chap with whom I had had the experience at the rear of the plane was seated directly behind me! That accounts for the 'panic attack' which swept over me like a bulldozer! It wasn't 'my' panic attack I had felt, but rather, the 'panic attack' being experienced by the chap seated directly behind me on the plane! I am reminded of, "The "still, small voice" of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe's remotest bound. The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, "as when a lion roareth." It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear" S&H 559.
Upon reflection, this experience brings to mind: "Disease is a thing of thought manifested on the body; and fear is the procurator of the thought which causes sickness and suffering. Remove this fear by the true sense that God is Love, --and that Love punishes nothing but sin,--and the patient can then look up to the loving God,--and know that He afflicteth not willingly the children of men, who are punished because of disobedience to His spiritual law. His law of Truth, when obeyed, removes every erroneous physical and mental state. The belief that matter can master Mind, and make you ill, is an error which Truth will destroy." Rud. 10.
Literally, I saw, "and the patient can then look up." I saw him look 'up' from where he was lying on the floor of the cabin, and I saw only the face of God looking up! No fearful or impaired man was there!