November 03, 2007

From Debra Hurt:

Re: “Out of body” research attacks philosophical questions (Aug. 24): I don’t understand why “scientists” would believe that “simulating” an out of body experience is equivalent to “having” an out of body experience. There are many ways in which our senses trick us into beliefs about the physical world that are mistaken. Imagine sitting on a train when the train next to you leaves the station and for an instant (or longer) you believe that it is your train that is moving.

I fell into the practice of leaving my body at the age of seven to avoid an abusive teacher. I suppose an argument could be made for disassociation from trauma, but that doesn’t explain my being able to relate the events taking place in the kindergarten where my sister was. I felt the process of rising up from my body and floating through the air into the hallway. Perhaps it was illusion, but I had no prior knowledge of of such phenomena; it simply arose spontaneously. So if it was illusion, does that mean that we have an inherent mechanism that creates such experiences on demand? It seems to me that spending time on these types of questions using scientific means is like a fourth grader from Omaha trying to read an orignal Goethe text. Wrong language, wrong level...


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