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Sometimes, there are just some thoughts you have that feels like there’s something to it. I guess that’s just part of being an INTJ – your internal intuition just kind of calls to you sometimes.
As I surfed the web today thinking about personal growth, this article on near death experiences really popped out at me: http://www.seekeronline.org/journals/y2008/dec08.htm. I’d always thought that you can’t experience death unless you cross over this barrier of no return; hence, anyone who has experienced it do not live to tell the tale. Yet, here are all these people, telling their tales, so maybe there’s something wrong with that logic
The book The Power Of Now, seems to spark some interesting ideas on the issue (this is based on the first 15 pages or so, since this is all the Amazon preview allows and I can’t find an ebook anywhere and it’ll be a while before the physical book gets to me). The author was in a state of depression until he one day thought along the lines of “I don’t like myself like this”. He then proceeded to realize that the “I” and the “myself” are two different entities. “I” is the actual him, the observer, while “myself” consists of the actual body, including the mind and thoughts that come along with it.
This does appear to be quite true based on my own experience. I have always been able to observe myself as I think, run, or cry. Even while my mind holds angry thoughts at things, another part of me just sits and quietly observes that, as if watching a movie. It doesn’t really judge or react, it just watches.
Which brings us to interesting point #1: If the actual you and the body you inhibit are separate, and the exact point at which you can leave the body is in a very near death state (but seems like one where you can actually come back to “life” from), then with technology, it seems like we can experience this longer. So 100 years from now, maybe someone can be in this “dead” state for an hour or two, instead of 5 minutes, and then be brought back to life again.
In fact, if technology can reverse some cell damage, etc., maybe you can actually induce this state. What actually happens in the cases of those near death people? They probably weren’t breathing, their hearts stopped pumping blood, and the cells just sat around in their own juices for a while. So it seems like if we just deliver an electric shock to the heart, stop it for maybe 5 minutes or so, there’ll be a decent chance that your body is “dead” enough to easily leave it and explore for a bit. Then reshock our heart (hopefully this part will work), and you’ll once again be alive. In 1000 years or so, maybe this 5 minutes will be more like 60 minutes, and the chance of damage to your body would be .00001%.
This could actually be a way to travel, or maybe it’ll be some very in depth spiritual journey. After all, if at some point, you can spend half your time alive in a “dead” state, freely doing out of body things, it kind of starts blurring the lines between being dead and alive. It’ll also be extremely interesting to see just how this “spiritual” world interacts with the “real” one. It seems obvious that you are connected to this particular physical body, but why this one, and how? Can you also connect to other physical items? If you can be “dead” at will for 60 minutes, there’s quite a bit of room for experimentation
Of course, if the body and the “observer” is truly separate, then who says that you have to die to separate yourself from the body anyway? What exactly would be the force that is gluing you to this particular body? Some people say, absolutely nothing, and supposedly, out of body experiences have happened. It’s certainly easy to doubt the validity of the claims, because we have not been through the same things. However, it also seems hard to disprove. How do you relate to the experience of a person who says he left his body, when you haven’t had the same experience?
It does seem like something worth looking into some (although, maybe not too much as it does take effort to be alive, and you’ll 100% find out about this when you die; so it might be best to just kind of enjoy life while it lasts. I guess, unless you’re an engineer who kind of gets his kicks hacking things ).
Also, it makes one wonder: what exactly happened before birth? How exactly did this “observer” get intermingled with this body? And why can’t we remember anything before being born?
Maybe, just maybe, we always were. The memory is actually part of the body you are inhabiting. To the “observer”, maybe time has no meaning, and it has no memory. Our current body started perceiving the time and having these memories after it came into existence. It’s kind of like we always were, and then the body added a new dimension of experience, complete with senses, thoughts, feelings. It’s got a lot of stuff going on, and we just kind of forgot that we are also this spiritual being.
It kind of reminds me of this Star Trek episode Demon and Course Oblivion where the crew of a ship got duplicated by some materials on a foreign planet. The materials then took shape and thought that they were the crew. This just kind of forgot who they were, and started to go on the mission of the crew. It was only when they started dying that they realized, hey, this crew member I think I am isn’t actually who I am.
Who am I? I guess I’ll find out!
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