Editor’s Introduction

As described in the Editor’s Introduction to experience 00055, this anonymous scientist will shortly receive her Ph.D. in linguistics. She already edits an academic journal, has published one book in her field, and was CEO as well as primary software designer for a small computer company, as well as having had a term of employment with a major government research agency. Like many scientists who have submitted accounts to TASTE, she is very concerned with preserving her anonymity because of possible negative repercussions in her academic and professional life.

This is the second of three experiences she has submitted (she has had others and may submit them later) and involves both an altered state of consciousness and apparent clairvoyance.

Awareness Of A Train

I took the train from Boston to Philadelphia, and felt very happy looking out at the world. All things pleased me and seemed to me blessed. At one point I felt drowsy, so I stretched out a bit across two seats, and put my head on some books. The motion of the train and allowing myself to rest was very pleasant.

I felt at some point that I had nodded off, and then at some moment I became aware that I was in a state that was neither waking or sleeping, and that I had been in that state for what seemed to me 4-5 seconds. In this state, although my eyes were closed, I was completely aware in detail of the train car I was in and its contents. But I was aware in a different way than if I had simply been lying awake with my eyes closed. I was aware of the train car with my mind and not with my perceptions – sight, sound… And yet I was completely aware of it, not as a concept or a memory!

You might say I knew the train car. And this awareness was melded somehow with the awareness of everything else in my mind. That is, my awareness of the train car was of exactly the same order as my awareness of the rest of my contents of my mind. That is, the usual sense I have of something being insideme (my mind) and outside me (the things in the world that I perceive) was dissolved, and there was no longer any such distinction. This seemed to me to result in a state of mind that was neither sleeping nor waking.

The instant I became aware that I was in such a state, I snapped out of it and converted to an ordinary waking state with my eyes closed. This state was a very good state, not because I felt any particular emotions. What I experienced was on a level of fact, and there was no evaluation like that implied in emotions, good or bad. But exactly in the absence of what I would call emotion was something much “better,” more “joyful” than the best positive emotion.

Contributor’s Comments on the Experience

A little later someone took a blanket out of a bag. I had known a blanket of that description was in that bag, and somehow remembered it. This was the first time I felt really clearly that I had been clairvoyant.

That significantly altered my world view. I thought I’d always kept the possibility open before then – in good scientific manner not judging what I had no evidence for – but when it actually happened, I realized that I hadn’t really believed it possible. I had at the age of 13 once felt the death of my Grandmother. It was quite unexpected, and I didn’t know what had happened, only that I felt a severe disruption relative to my Grandmother. When I came home from school, I learned she had died. That was strange. But this experience was somehow stronger.