Some people are an enigma. They can do things no one can, and even debunkers can’t deny their abilities.

But as we remember many people from the past who did great things in sport or war, we don’t remember the people who told us something about the powers of mind over matter that could be in any of us, if we only knew the secret how to make those powers work for us.

One of those exceptional people was Mirin Dajo, or rather, Arnold Henskes, a man born in 1912 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Philip Coppens wrote a lengthy article about him, of which I will quote later.But most of my information comes from the Dutch ‘Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie’ from november 1946..

Nol‘ Henskes wanted to be an artist. He was good in drawing, and he had many paranormal experiences as a child: visions of people who died long before his time. Sometimes in a state of somnambulism he painted their faces, without remembering any of it when he woke up.

But the crucial moment came in 1945. Arnold was 33 when he realised he was invulnerable. Of course no one believed him, so Arnold decided to show himself and others that it was true. He gave up his job and went to Amsterdam. There he invited people in a pub to stab him.

They did.

And Arnold, who changed his name for stage purposes in Mirin Dajo (‘wonderful’ in Esperanto), survived. Even better: he didn’t even bleed. His wounds closed and there didn’t remain a single scar.

His invulnerability drew the attention of medical docters and parapsychologists.

Because his public was in the habit of fainting during his demonstrations, it was decided that Dajo would only perform in small circles of scientists. Dajo himself dictated what he wanted to be done to him. He was a willing subject, and saw the scientific importance of what he could do. In november 1946 he was submerged for 12 hours in a bath, after being stabbed with multiple florets and eating glas. His abilities were so unusual that psychologists tried what they might to prove his abnormality, low intelligence and mental aberations. Non of it worked. Mirin Dajo was a normal man with a strange and unexplicable gift. And even if he had been mad as a hatter, that wouldn’t have disproved anything.

That he subjected himself to so many trials of unsympathetic scientists had one reason: he felt himself to be a messenger; living evidence that mind is stronger than matter. In fact he was searching all his life for the reason why things were reveiled to him, and what was expected of him to make the world a better place.

In a letter to the well known Dutch parapsychologist Prof W.H.C. Tenhaeff (1894-1981) Dajo wrote:

“Because of a sudden awareness of the abilities I discovered in myself, I am able to do things, under controled circumstances that have been impossible until now. My experiments are more of a mental than of a physical nature, and my demonstrations can’t harm me in any way as long as I follow my own intuition.”

Felix Ortt, another Dutch writer and philosopher who was very influential until his death in the Fifties, had long talks with Dajo. His conclusion was “that psychic elements were at work here, the same that are responsible for unexplained miracle healings and the mysterious things some holy men all over the world can do. This is a field that needs a lot of open minded research. This is a purely spiritual phenomenon, and the way to explain it is not through classical psychology. Dajo receives advice from spirits, which he calls the ‘Highest Spiritual Leadership’. He talks with those powers as if he is talking through the telephone. It is certain that he enjoys protection from a powerful intelligence, and as long as he does what they tell him to do, he and his helpers are safe.”

The following is what Philip Coppens wrote in a lengthy article on internet:

Today, Dajo is ill-remembered, if only because he was a rather localised phenomenon, contained to the Netherlands and Switzerland, for little more than two years, almost sixty years ago. Still, in 1947, headlines read that he was “like a second Messiah!” One person who witnessed one of his performances reported: “Mirin Dajo stands silently in the middle of the room, bare to the waist. In the twinkling of an eye an assistant steps behind him and rams the blade with full force in the back of his body, in the latitude of his kidney. Deathly silence. Open-mouthed, students and doctors of medicine examine the Dutchman. No doubt: an 80 centimetre long foil is stuck in his naked waist and juts out on his front side with more than a handbreadth! Over and above that no single drop of blood flows. They had never seen something similar before…” Like Geller was tested by physicists, Dajo was repeatedly tested by doctors, if only because they were required to give him the necessary permits to perform. A Swiss doctor, Hans Naegeli-Osjord, hearing of Dajo’s alleged talent, invited him on May 31, 1947 to the Zurich Cantonal hospital, where doctor Naegeli-Osjord himself, doctor Werner Brunner, the chief of surgery at the hospital, and a number of other doctors, students and journalists would test him. As usual, Dajo stripped to the waist, was pierced by a rapier through the heart, lung and kidneys, and did not bleed or feel anything. Dajo was then asked to allow an x-ray to be taken with the rapier still in place. He agreed, though the doctors wondered how they would transport him to the x-ray theatre, as a stretcher was obviously ill-suited to transport a man whose upper body had a rapier through it. Not to worry, Dajo said, he could walk to the x-ray theatre with the foil still in place. The result of the x-ray undeniably showed that Dajo was pierced through several vital organs, yet without any ill effect or internal damage. Of course, it could just be that with the rapier still inside, little trauma had been caused and that massive internal bleeding would commence once the steel blade was withdrawn. The doctors prepared for this likelihood. But when the steel blade was withdrawn, it became once again apparent that only the smallest of traces remained visible on the skin, with no blood and only a minimal amount of body fluid running out of the openings. The tiny wounds were cleansed, but Dajo and his assistant knew that even if they were not cleaned, no infection would occur.

Dajo’s friend and helper was Jan D. de Groot, who wrote a book about the wonderman: ‘De onkwetsbare profeet’ (The invulnerable Prophet). He witnessed some total disappearances of his friend, due to the fact that Mirin Dajo could change the density of his body at will. At least, that was how he explained it himself.

Everyone around him believed that Dajo had an assignment to change the world. But as it happens, it was not to be. His assignment was cancelled from wherever such assignments come from. After three years and about 500 perforations through his body the last experiment was in Switserland. Dajo swallowed a steal needle, as the voices told him to do. The doctors should than remove the needle without anaesthetics. The surgeon refused.

Ten days after the operation Dajo went to bed. His friend Jan de Groot thought he was having an out of body episode. On 26 May 1948 Mirin Dajo was declared dead. Autopsy reveiled he had a ruptured aorta, which shouldn’t have happened.

But Dajo had predicted the outcome long before he went to Switserland. He knew when he departed that he would not see his homeland again.

Maybe such exceptional people are brought among us to see if we are far enough evolved yet, Coppens suggests. We failed the test. It’s clear we are still not ready.

There are several YouTubes on Mirin Dajo, and a book in Dutch and another in German (with pictures) (also English text)