extropians: PSI: Skeptics Opinions Needed.

PSI: Skeptics Opinions Needed.

4 Aug 1999 16:18:37 -0700

I'm going on record now (and risking my humble reputation) by admitting that I've had several experiences which I have yet to explain within current scientific knowledge. This may be due not to any 'paranormal' phenomena, but my own ignorance of science itself. I'm *not* claiming nor do I wish to be labeled a psychic. Quite the opposite. Instead, I'm urging the more skeptically and scientifically inclined list members to scrutinize me report and offer their opionions.

During my life, I have had numerous experience that could be labeled as clairvoyant, out-of-body-travel, and telepathy. However, these may not be accurate terms if what I experienced was instead an elaborate set of hallucinations. Therefore I have included below only those experiences I have yet been unable to rule out with that explanation.

Case 1: (Summer '87)

I had a dream in which I woke up only to realize that I was still dreaming. This 'lucid' dream became exhilarating. Since I often fly in my dreams I decided to start flying around the room. In this dream my room was dark, but there was still some ligh from the sun which had recently set. The dream felt unusually real. I continued to fly around the room and attempted to fly through the roof. It worked. Soon I was flying about 100 feet above my apartment complex. I flew to the other side of the complex. In the sky their was a crescent moon and Venus shining brightly. I started to smell something on a BBQ. I flew down and heard a conversation of the BBQ'ers that sounded like Arabic. It all seemed very real. Suddenly I awoke on my bed. This time I really did awaken. I ran to my roommate Don and told him of this incredibly vivid dream I just had. I asked him to follow me outside. It was indeed late dusk. Venus and the crescent moon were in the sky. I told my friend that if my dream was right there should be two Arabic guys cooking at the other side of the complex. So we both ran to the other side only to find the two Arabic guys cooking chicken at a the BBQ.

Case 2: (spring '95)

Another lucid dream. I was flying around again although this time I was not in any place familiar. The scenery was beautiful - lots of rolling grassy hills with colorful flowers everywhere. It was sunny and balmy.. I flew over the plains of grass and flowers with exhilaration. I couldn't believe how real everything seemed. The smells were completely vivid and real. I saw a tree in the distance. It was immense. I flew up to it and I saw my friend Nathan sitting underneath it. He was sleeping. I tried very hard to awaken him. After a moment, his eyes began to open and he was delighted to see me hovering above him. I asked him to come with me and he fell asleep again. The dream ends. A few moments later I woke up. My friend Nathan had stayed the night and was sleeping on the couch. When he woke I started to tell him my dream, when I got to the tree part, he said "wait a second, this describes my dream. In my dream I was hanging out under this huge tree also surrounded by lots of flowers. I saw a bunch of birds in the sky. I focused on one bird and it kept getting bigger and closer. Then I realized it was you! I couldn't believe it. You laughed at me and told me to fly with you. That's the last thing I remember". When he finished his description, I broke down in tears. I was overwhelmed that somebody else experienced the same dream. A dream in which we both shared.

Despite these two experiences I remain skeptical, but open to the possibility that psi phenomena may still exist and eventually be explained within a scientific framework. Because of the highly spontaneous nature of my experiences there is no way I could reproduce them. If I could, I would every single night just to experience the hedonistic qualities alone. But of course, without reproducibility we don't have science. I may still be a skeptic but I cannot deny my own experiences and their validation by other observers.


Paul Hughes