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Bodily Elongation

Thurston quoted a sister Margherita Cortonesi:

"On one occasion, among others, when [Sister Veronica] being in a trance state was reciting her Office alternately with some invisible being, she was observed gradually to stretch out until the length of her throat seemed to be out of all proportion in such a way that she was altogether much taller than usual. We, noticing this strange occurrence, looked to see if she was raised from the ground, but this, so far as our eyes could tell, was not the case. So, to make sure, we took a yard-measure and measured her height, and afterwards when she had come to herself we measured her again, and she was at least a span (ten inches or more) shorter. This we have seen with our own eyes, all of us nuns who were in the chapel."

In 1629, a Donna Hortenzia Ghini stated under oath that:

"Sister Lisabetta Pancrazi, formerly a nun in the same convent, told me that on one occasion, seeing that the said Sister Veronica when in ecstasy seemed taller than in her normal state, took a yard-measure and measured her height, and that after the said Sister Veronica came to herself she measured her again with the said yard-measure, and she found that she was half an arm's length shorter."

Among other religious who allegedly exhibited elongation, the Capuchiness Abbess Costante Maria Castreca was said to have grown a considerable height from the ground during a religious ecstasy; the Venerable Domenica dal Paradiso grew taller in trance, according to her spiritual director and confidants. Because such phenomena were not thought to be marks of holiness, they were noted simply because they were unusual.

I include such phenomena in this discussion because they indicate the body's responsiveness to altered states of mind. When consciousness is released from some of its ordinary constraints, whether in ecstasies or dissociated states, ligaments and muscles are sometimes liberated too.

From the book "Future of the Body "

Future of the Body
by Michael Murphy

"An impressively researched, authoritative, and absolutely mind-boggling survey. Even a casual dipping into his text, which will no doubt become a primary source for future mind-body investigation, will reveal a world of inspiring wonders." - Kirkus Review

"Murphy has accomplished an extraordinary feat in categorizing and synthesizing findings from more than 10,000 studies and reports which collectively provide evidence for the possibility of human transformation, and which may presage the next phase of human evolution." - Noetic Sciences Review