OBJECTIVITY AND OBEs EGYPT 2010
I have edited my last post on the existence of consciousness outside the physical body. I have removed the brief descriptions of personal experiences and promised to write more about them later. My partner in life, my sweetheart Jacqui, who supports me in everything I do, and, perhaps even more importantly, is a very sharp editor and critic of everything I write, pointed out that the mention in the post of personal experiences as part of proof that consciousness can and does exist outside of living bodies was too superficial. She suggested that, even though I mentioned that I had verified of some of the information obtained, some readers, especially scientists, would dismiss personal experiences as subjective, and thus of no scientific value. Realizing that her criticism is valid, I will expand on the subject of objectivity in relation to personal experiences in this post.
In the previous post, I characterized science as the effort to understand reality beyond what is revealed by the physical sense organs, by developing equipment like telescopes and microscopes, to extend the range of the physical senses. I observed that for the past two or three centuries, science in general, and physics in particular, has been primarily the study of the ‘out-there’, the ‘other-than-self’.
Before quantum experiments revealed - as physicist John Wheeler (a student of Einstein’s) put it: “There is a strange sense in which this is a participatory universe”, the objects of study were considered to be totally separate from the consciousness of the observer. In spite of this ‘quantum weirdness’ suggested by experiments in quantum mechanics, most mainstream physicists still consider the separation of the observer and the observed to be the definition of objectivity. The brain, capable of constructing images representing out-there reality from incoming streams of energy, is also capable of constructing images by mixing and altering remembered images in ways that may or may not be representative of reality. These images are called imagination.
In trying to understand the nature of reality, care must be taken to distinguish between the real and the imaginary. Everyone, the scientist included, has an internal conceptual working model of reality of his or her own, built up from experience and memory. To some extent, depending on how grounded in reality our individual models are, we each live in a world of our own. But, if we are trying to build an accurate scientific model of reality, a model capable of predicting real events, it is desirable to have as complete a knowledge of reality, as possible. However, no physical brain has infinite capacity, so we generally fall short of such certainty, and indeed, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and Gӧdel’s incompleteness theorems tell us that our knowledge of reality will always be uncertain and incomplete to some extent. It is the responsibility of science to push the boundaries of knowledge as far as possible, while being as objective as possible. I pointed out in my book “Transcendental Physics” first published in 1997, that objectivity needs to be redefined. In addition to outer objectivity, we need to define the requirements of an ‘inner’ objectivity that can be used to evaluate personal experiences. This is critically important in the study of quantum phenomena and consciousness.
Out-of-body (OBE) and near-death (NDE) experiences, if real, become powerful evidence that the belief that consciousness arises solely as an epiphenomenal function of the physical brain is wrong, and that the current scientific understanding of consciousness is, at best, very incomplete. Recognition of this incompleteness opens the door to the consideration that consciousness may exist in forms currently unknown or unrecognized by mainstream science.
So how do we define objectivity in a way that allows us to examine profoundly personal experiences like the trance states of religious mystics, and the OBEs and NDEs experienced by ordinary people, to determine whether or not they are real? Until a few serious studies of OBEs and NDEs began to appear, most people having such experiences refrained from discussing them for fear of being branded a liar or a crazy, psychotic person. Even now, many scientists believe NDEs are hallucinations produced by the brain when a person believes he or she is dying, in a desperate effort to cling to life, and they consider other OBEs reported by yogis, shamans and religious mystics as dreams, hallucinations, or self-indulgent fantasies.
If you are an individual who has had, or thinks you have had real experiences of being consciously aware out of your physical body, I believe it is important that you try to develop reliable inner objectivity criteria to avoid getting lost in imagination and fantasy. This may even be crucial to maintaining sanity. In the previous post, I suggested that there are at least three types of OBE experiences:
1. Involuntary, under life-threatening or very stressful circumstances
2. Spontaneous, under normal relaxed conditions
3. Intentional, i.e. invoked by drugs, specific methods or rituals, e.g., religious, yogic, shamanistic, or other mystical practices
According to many people who believe they have OBEs, i.e. real excursions of consciousness outside the body, they may be distinguished from dreams, hallucinations and fantasies in a combination of several ways: They may exhibit brighter and more vivid colors than the images of everyday surroundings rendered by the physical senses, they are generally reported to be more coherent than most dreams, and sometimes the experience changes the OBEer’s view of reality and life in general. But, even if you believe you have OBEs, and can establish inner-objectivity criteria of your own that convince you that they are real, science must consider them to be subjective if no one else witnessed them. And, as subjective experiences, they have no scientific value. If, however, they produce phenomena observed by others, or information that is confirmed, or repeatable, measurable results under controlled conditions, they must be accepted as having scientific value just like any observations with the same level of control and confirmation.
A number of books, at least 30 or 40, have been written by people claiming life-altering OBE experiences, ranging from seeing deceased loved ones to having guided tours of the universe! I am not going to discuss or attempt to evaluate any of these here. My intent is simply to present evidence that I am personally aware of through direct investigation and experience.
In general, most scientists, especially physicists, have spent their lives investigating ‘out-there’, objective reality, and avoiding discussing any ‘inner’, subjective experiences like the plague, because even suggesting that such experiences are real can destroy careers. I have personally known two physicists who were brave (or perhaps foolish) enough to investigate paranormal phenomena during their academic careers, and they were ostracized by the scientific community for their efforts. Scientists who have successfully studied and reported on paranormal phenomena as part of their careers are most often trained in psychology, sociology or anthropology, not the so-called ‘hard sciences’.
During my lifetime, the mainstream scientific paradigm has become increasingly materialistic, making any serious attempt to raise the study of OBE phenomena to a credible science more and more difficult. Evidence of the direct involvement of consciousness in quantum and relativistic experiments is labeled as “weird’ by mainstream scientists. The handful of physicists who have followed up on such evidence are considered as misguided, and their results are viewed as suspect, and they have great difficulty in getting their work published if they use words like ‘non-physical’ extra-sensory, psychic, or paranormal. And the words spirit and God are strictly taboo.
I believe that in spite of the institutionalized political-correctness barriers to scientific exploration of OBEs, the truth will eventually emerge, and I am hopeful that this presentation will contribute to that goal. It is in that spirit that I present the following account of a personal experience.
In 2010 I was in Egypt with a Young Living Essential Oils group to participate in the filming of a documentary about frankincense. A few minutes before four o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, February 27th, I hiked up the hill from the Sphinx to the Museum housing Khufu’s Solar Boat, the boat said to be built for the purpose of carrying the Pharaoh Khufu to the afterlife. This is a large cedar-wood boat constructed at or before the time of Khufu’s death in 2566 BC, at least 4576 years ago. Unfortunately, they were closing the museum as we arrived and would not let us enter. But we had special permission to enter the Great Pyramid, so we proceeded to the entrance on the north side of the pyramid.
I was feeling great, and in good spirits as we prepared to enter the Great Pyramid. I had no feeling of expectancy, and was fully in the moment, inspecting the huge stone blocks of the pyramid, noticing what appeared to be two or three large black birds flying around the apex of the Great Pyramid, and enjoying the camaraderie of the group. We entered the pyramid through a rough-walled tunnel, known as the Robber’s Tunnel, blasted through the ancient masonry about 820 AD. I remember thinking as we entered that it was a shame that the Great Pyramid had been violated in this way.
I was in a group of about twenty-five people entering the Pyramid. Another group of about the same size, had gone up the Grand Gallery to the King’s Chamber ahead of us. Our group took the lower, nearly horizontal passage to the Queen’s Chamber. The passage was a little over three feet high, with a step down near the end. When I entered the chamber, it was nearly filled by the group, so I crossed the room and stood in the corner opposite the entryway. Shortly after the lights went out, someone started chanting “OM”, and soon it sounded as if everyone had joined in. The effect was very peaceful and uplifting. It was pitch black and I think I had my eyes closed most of the time, but a few seconds before the lights came back on, I looked up to see a ball of light coming straight at me from a point near the ceiling in the opposite side of the chamber. The ball of light was white, about the size of volleyball, with five smaller lights spinning around it.
The ball of light struck me on the forehead, but there was no feeling of impact. Instead, I immediately experienced extreme vertigo. It was as if I could feel the spinning of the Earth on its axis, rushing through space in a spiral around the Sun, as the Sun moves through the Milky-Way Galaxy, and the Galaxy spins its way through the universe. There was no up or down, only the sensation of an accelerating whirling motion. I remember thinking: “I can’t stand up!” and someone on either side of me grabbed my arms to keep me from falling to the stone floor. We struggled to the low passageway, and about halfway along it, I became violently ill, threw up and left the body.
I had the sensation of moving in and out my body several times, as our tour guide and one of his men literally carried me out of the Pyramid. I remember thanking them in Arabic. They placed my body on the stone blocks just outside the “Robber’s Entrance” and several Young Living healers began working on me. I threw up several more times. What was unusual about this, was what happened between the episodes of violent regurgitation.
When the ball of light struck me and the world went spinning and spiraling out of control, I began to see lights, hear sounds and see symbols and faces. When the spinning got too intense to bear, I left the body. While out of the body, I felt no spinning, no vertigo, and the lights, sounds, symbols and faces became clearer. When I turned back toward my body, I began to experience extreme vertigo again, increasing to the point that I was forced to throw up again. Each time I threw up, I was propelled out of the body again. While out of the body, I experienced a series of vivid visions which I described in writing as soon as I was able, trying to record the experience as clearly as I could. What follows here is a copy of some of what I wrote:
The first images were of an infant being dipped into the clear groundwater of a well in the Lower Chamber of the pyramid. Next came a stream of faces, laughing, shouting torrents of words, neither English nor Arabic. Then symbols, long scrolls of hieroglyphs, containing the sun, hawks or eagles with spread wings, small birds, and strangely enough, snails, scenes of someone teaching, someone learning, images of arrows, thin wooden shafts with sharp metal points, chariot wheels, bright sunny days, forays into the countryside that was surprisingly lush and green, much more humid and tropical than today’s Egypt. Among the voices, I heard the words “amun”, “aten-ka”, and “k-met”, over and over.
After this vision, I returned to the body, recognized that I was lying on the stone just outside the “Robber’s Entrance” with several people, including a nurse and a doctor, working over me. I was drenched with sweat. They poured water on me and tried to get me to drink water and electrolytes. I felt that I was in good hands and that everything would be OK. But my head began to spin again, and I threw up violently and left the body again.
This time, I saw a procession to the King’s Chamber, which I only perceived dimly. At the end of the ceremony, I suddenly saw the Great Pyramid from above. The first thing that struck me was that there were no buses in the parking area. Then I saw that the Pyramid was covered with smooth white stone shining in the sun. When I opened my eyes again, the world was still spinning. An Austrian friend, a member of the group, handed me some dried Japanese seaweed which I managed to eat. It seemed to help.
I vaguely remember being carried down the side of the Pyramid and across the flat area to the bus. Two members of the Young Living entourage, the doctor and the nurse, accompanied me from the Pyramid to my room in the Cascade Hotel. Their attention and support were very much appreciated. During the bus ride to the hotel, every time I closed my eyes, I felt increasing vertigo and saw a stream of faces and symbols. At the hotel, they helped me into a golf-cart and whisked me to my room, where they deposited me on the bed. I still could not stand or walk on my own.
The next day I felt fine. I woke at 5:30 am, skipped breakfast and packed for the trip from Cairo to Amman Jordan. During the entire day, however, I ate nothing and every time I closed my eyes, I began to see the faces and symbols again. At first, I thought that I might be able to understand what had happened to me by focusing on the faces and symbols. However, when I tried to do that, the vertigo began to return, threatening to cause the violent reaction I did not care to experience on the bus or plane! I was careful to keep my eyes open the rest of the trip to Jordan and the rest of the day! By the end of the day, I had decided that I had probably experienced a hallucination. I had eaten some seafood in a restaurant in Giza about two or three hours before we went into the pyramid. Perhaps the whole experience was brought on by tainted food and the closed quarters of the Queen’s Chamber.
Every time I threw up and left the body I experienced unusual sights and sounds. The episodes described here are only two of five experienced in Giza, and I have not included an additional episode experienced in Petra the next day. I wrote all of them down after returning home, and plan to include them in my autobiography, tentatively titled “The Search for Certainty”.
In the hotel in Petra, the two friends who had grabbed me by the arms to keep me from falling head first onto the stone floor in the Queen’s chamber, asked how I was feeling. I felt fine, but a shock went through me when one of them asked: “Did you see that light?” Both of them had seen the same ball of light I saw! It turned out that several others had seen it also. That, in my opinion, changes everything.
Was this the experience of memories of a past life in Egypt? Or had I somehow picked up remnant energies lingering in the stone of the ancient structure? Could it have been “ancestral” memory in my DNA triggered by being physically inside the pyramid? If so, why me? It certainly wasn’t something I wanted. I was violently ill, and none of it was a pleasant experience. For this reason, I classify it as an involuntary OBE, type 1 of the 3 types listed above. Could it still have been a hallucination? Imagination? The fact that the flash of light was seen by others, proves that at least that part of it was real. As a scientist, however, I have to consider all logical explanations. I am inclined to think, based on my memory of the experience, that it was a real OBE, but I have no indisputable scientific evidence to prove that; so the reader may draw his or her own conclusions.
This is by no means the only experience I have had suggesting the reality of consciousness outside the physical body. I have had numerous experiences from the time I was a small child up until the present time that, especially when considered together, strongly suggest that there are real OBEs. I have written about several of them, published some of them, and may publish an analysis of them all at some point. I have been hesitant to openly reveal such experiences as long as I wish to be respected as a scientist, for reasons noted above. I am doing so now only because I think it is time for science to drop its materialistic philosophical bias and stop rejecting evidence of a reality that is far greater than matter and energy interacting in space and time.
The new scientific paradigm introduced by Neppe and Close is a comprehensive paradigm that includes a mathematical treatment of consciousness as part of a multi-dimensional model of our self-referential, participatory, infinite universe. Unfortunately, even after we have published a number of peer-reviewed books and papers with solid mathematics and empirical evidence, there have been a few (apparently threatened and angered by new ideas that are counter to their own) who have denounced our work. Fortunately, is has only been a few.
Perhaps, we have finally learned from the history of modern science, with the persecution of early scientists like Pythagoras, Copernicus and Galileo, that it is wrong, not to mention completely unscientific, to ignore data and information simply because it doesn’t fit one’s belief system and/or the current paradigm. If a paradigm isn’t open to potential falsification, it isn’t actually science at all, it is a belief system.
We look forward to a new era of the new science of TDVP, objectively investigating both the physical part and the pervasive non-physical part of the universe, as well as the mathematics of their interaction. It appears that the part of reality that science has been willing to investigate so far, is only the tip of the iceberg of reality.