Dr. Robert Davis, What Peak Experiences Reveal About Consciousness |419|


To which. surely there can be no end. This reminds me of the notion that any form of inquiry serves only to help us realise how little we do know. I suppose we are obliged, mostly, to doubt what we think, rather than what is and what others think. It is so easy, as the materialists constantly remind us, to think that being skeptical is about doubting what others say is so, while being comfortable that our POV is correct or superior. Doubting another is not skepticism. Doubting oneself is.

This is pertinent when we think about God in the sense of atheism. We can doubt that a conception of God (that we formulate) is correct, but we cannot 'prove' God does not exist. Thus we encounter (peak) experiences in which the experiencer affirms the existence of the divine - but, thus far, no peak experience that ecstatically affirms the non-existence of the divine. The old mystics affirmed that the divine was beyond conception and description - but not beyond knowing some hint of it. The perpetuation of doubt is the antidote to the conceit, or delusion, that we are 'right' in believing any characterisation of what is real or true is more than mere opinion (and probably wrong in any case).

We are guided by tantalising hints and scents of truth - to seek it in much the way we orientate ourselves to North. The orientation is necessary for our journey and doubt is what helps us find the course we must take. In perpetuating doubt we are opening ourselves to the sensitivity of both intellectual and moral direction. But we are doubting only our own certainty.
I recently heard something similar from eckhart tolle (paraphrasing) "don't let the attraction/illusion of knowing unseat you from the present moment"
Obviously OBEs and psychedelics factor in heavily. But also events like being shot at for the first time.
I once experienced this in a dream! I only remember the instant, I was staring at the gun and I knew he was going to use it. It wasn't too many years ago, so I started thinking about the NDE, then I felt myself somehow contract to a point..... and I woke up next to my partner in our bed! I didn't tell her what had happened!

Take something like being shot at.
In an instant I split into two different personalities and then, a third.
It was literally like two totally different people were inhabiting my body and talking in my head at the same time.
I have been in similar situations in the military and combat. One particular instance we were attacked - while our commanding officer was out of the AO. It was within hours after I had assumed Command Duty Officer. My person split in two - my physical body was standing there and then there was also another me - standing next to myself. My new disembodied me, knew exactly what to do - and I started whispering into the body which was also me - what needed to be done.

It happened again when my son was born, and was stuck in the birth canal with his oxygen collapsing.

Happened again when my father suffered a heart attack while were on vacation together...
I know a woman (who I’ve never known to be prone to lying) who says that once her husband was outside working on the outside of his barn. I forget what the object was but it was substantially heavy and it fell from the top of the barn onto his head. He immediately split from his body and watched from above the barn as his body rapidly walked completely once around the barn and then hit the ground. When he hit the ground he was “back in body.”

I also know one other woman who got into a fairly serious car accident where she sustained moderate injuries. Right before the accident happened she claims that she left her body and watched the accident from above.

They’re just typical women with no big interest in this consciousness thing. No reason to make it up.

There’s something about trauma. It gives children paranormal/supernatural abilities sometimes, and an inordinate amount of good mediums suffered trauma or abuse during childhood.

And a largely inordinate number of individuals who claim past lives died a traumatic death during their past life. This was one of the points of all of Dr Stevenson’s great research. In many of these cases Stevenson was able to confirm the past life’s identity and mode of death and did so in a way which virtually counts out fraud.
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These tales of separation at times of intense stress are powerful and well recorded. There's something called the 3rd man effect. In moments of intense drama and danger we can enter altered stated of consciousness and do stuff our 'normal' self would never do. I wouldn't necessarily call them 'peak experiences' but they certainly mimic the peak experience sensation in important respects.

Back in the mid 1990s I was driving along a winding road in a very hilly area in a work car having a great time pushing it - not fast in any serious way but fast for the conditions. As I came to a crest of a hill I shifted consciousness with a bit of surprise (I mean I actually felt the shift) - until I saw a car in my lane as some unbelievable idiot was attempting to overtake a slow moving heavily laden truck. In a normal world this was an guaranteed head on. But I arrived primed and flicked left (please remember this is Australia) at around 100 kph, took the car onto the verge (scrubby) and back onto the road without missing a beat. The normal me was screaming WTF, WTF!. The abnormal me figured I couldn't let normal me back in control any time soon. I think I drove for around 30 mins before I dared let normal me back in control. I got quite drunk that evening.

Back when I was 17 I was on a bush walk in Tasmania that went kinda wrong in a lot of ways. I was with a party of maybe 14 people - most of whom were way my senior. It had been raining from day 1 and we were now day 3 on our way out. A creek we had crossed was now up over 6 feet as a raging torrent poured into the Franklin River. To get out we had to cross the creek and the only way across was a fallen log (very movie, I know). We had to get to call for aid for a companion who was injured and who we had left with 2 supports back up the ridge. We had no ropes. The log was maybe 2.5 feet wide.

This is going to sound strange (and it still freaks me out). I ferried I don't know how many packs across and helped an equal number of people - but it was a lot. I repeatedly exposed myself to certain death if I had slipped on this wet log. The next stage of the return was to cross the Franklin River in a flying fox cage. That scared the crap out of me. I had plainly gone into a completely altered state of consciousness in crossing the log repeatedly.

We got out, organised aid and then I went back in with one proper adult with supplies. This happened at the Easter break. When I got home I did not go back to school straight away. I spent a day at home in the lounge trembling with shock. For years after, when I recalled what I did I felt sick with the realisation I had exposed myself to such peril. I had tried rock climbing. I don't do heights. I don't do wet slippery logs over boiling raging torrents of water. Normal me might crap myself doing it once. But repeatedly? No way!

Some people thought I was a hero that day. I don't. I confess to doing it. But it wasn't 'me' who did it.