Editor’s Introduction

This anonymous scientist  is trained in Biochemistry and Medicinal Chemistry, and has had a varied career, including working as a research chemist. His experience occurred on a merchant ship he was working on at the age of 27. He modestly describes his accomplishments as only a minor literature citation or two.

His ending conclusion, in spite of his experience, that “…one shouldn’t be so open minded that one’s brain falls out!” shows a nice balance between openness and criticalness.

Beings of Light

As part of my checkered career, I worked on merchant ships for a few years in the late 1970’s. In a pacific voyage I worked deck and was on the 8-12 watch. After leaving Hong Kong, I was sitting at my desk writing in my journal when suddenly the stateroom and everything else simply disappeared – I was a disincarnated being in a sea of white light.

At some point some bright colors coalesced into what I can only describe as a being of light – it kept changing it’s shape in a very organic way, the beams of light that made up it’s structure looking like laser beams of incredible beauty. At some point I think I realized it was conscious, but as soon as the thought process started, it precipitated further questions like “where am I”… instantly I was back in my stateroom and a knock on my door announced I was late for my watch.

The odd thing is my vision was still partly in the other space – It was as if I was “tripping”, but I’d taken no psychedelics and I didn’t feel stoned – just very peaceful and full of wonder. It wasn’t anything I could talk about, so I just kept working as if nothing happened. By the next day I was back to normal. Nothing like it has ever happened to me before or since, and though I tried many entheogens over the years, this experience really beat them all. I feel that this may have been a preview of part of the death process – if so, there’s nothing to fear on that account.

Contributor’s Comments on the Experience

I’ve always felt attracted to spiritual matters, and have meditated and tried to keep an open mind. This experience made me feel that consciousness can be independent of the physical body.

Perhaps it has made me feel more that science must be moral in the sense that it should be applied to enhancing life, not making more instruments of death. But I’ve always felt that way, and as I get older I just feel more that everything has it’s place, and perhaps even the arms merchants have a role in God’s plan… who am I to say?

As far as my everyday work goes, perhaps the experience made me more open minded, but as the saying goes, one shouldn’t be so open minded that one’s brain falls out!