Friday, January 9, 2009


Nowadays, the Ren Cen is GM's headquarters. But from what I can tell of their Web site, the pool is still there, on the food court level. So is the Burger King I was standing in front of. I don't know why that feels like some kind of vindication. One of the things that disturbed me about my experience was that I could see. I mean, not just anything, but specific things, in a coherent whole. The entirety of the environment my body was in, in relation to the reality I had just left by passing out. I have pretty coherent narrative dreams in full color (I can even taste things I eat in dreams), but they are not mistakable for reality. I say this to emphasize that my experience involved sight perception in the kind of repeatable detail that even I don't get in my dreams.

How is that possible, if you don't have eyes? How do you perceive anything when you aren't a physical being? I've poked around over the years to figure out what it meant, and came up with several stories, confirmed by medical folks, of people like Al Sullivan. OOBE. It looks silly. I know Michael Schermer thinks I hallucinated it: he groups it with aliens and angels (I find this insulting, but I understand why he sees it this way). But his logic is a bit off: sure, you can create this sensation in the brain with Persinger's helmet, but then, you can hallucinate music, does that mean music doesn't exist? All it proves is that the brain can mimic the experience, not that the experience doesn't also exist.

I don't think this means that the soul is real, or that we can exist outside our bodies for long, or that this is what happens when we die. I'm neutral on that aspect: skeptical, maybe. (Not even spooked that as I typed that last sentence, my browser crashed. Good thing Blogger autosaves). I'm not convinced of any of it, in fact. All I know is what happened to me, and to Al Sullivan.


  1. I've had some experiences that were not explainable within the limits of science's present understanding, but I have hope that they one day will be.

    I think there are airwaves we don't know about yet. Something like that.

  2. I had a friend who was a theoretical physicist in NM who believed our physical bodies were manifest string vibrations created by the eternal energy that is our real selves. I don't know that I'd go that far.

  3. We're an emanation? I love it. I like the Buddhist concept of dependent arising, but that doesn't quite explain these little extra-personal experiences.


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