Henry Swift (real name) received his PhD degree in Experimental Physics from the University of Iowa in 1943. He worked for the government (Civil Service GS15 Research Scientist) and industry for 30 years supervising research and development of devices for military use, and has two publications in Physical Review, as well as many classified reports and papers. This experience occurred around 1970. I find it particularly interesting, as some of my own psychological work has convinced me that we all tend to live in abstractions and simulations of reality rather than having much touch with the sensory present. With attention training one can learn to live more in the present and so become more sensorially perceptive in a way that people sometimes think you are “psychic” – as discussed in my Waking Upand my Living the Mindful Life books. Pain forced Professor Swift into the present, with a similar effect.
The Here And Now
I had a history of stomach troubles. I discovered this time that when my thoughts turned toward the events of the past weekend, I GOT A Pain IN MY STOMACH. ALSO WHEN MY THOUGHTS TURNED TO THE FUTURE, MY PAIN RETURNED. This kept me on the razor’s edge of the here and now, lasting for 3 or four days. I went to a weekly group meeting led by a psychologist that was a regular thing. The psychologist started working with another man there, and it became evident to me that he was on the wrong track. I said something then and the psychologist said,” Well Henry you see something I MISSED”. In other words, it seemed as if I could read the minds of others during this period.
During these experiences I felt elevated and especially alert. Eventually the phenomena stopped and life returned to normal.
Contributor’s Comments on the Experience
No comments, except that it didn’t affect my work that I was aware of at the time. It was however, a series of experiences. The others were typical “peak experiences” of Maslow’s description.