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Requesting rational explanation concerning "spiritual" experience....

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posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 02:05 AM
I literally have no idea where this thread belongs, but I am interested in the views of ATS members concerning my “experience” with something that doesn’t conform to my sane and rational view of life.

I am an atheist, and I do not normally entertain the idea of anything spiritual. So that is the position I am coming from here.

I have died a couple of times in my life (bad heart), and I am sure my number may be up again soon. I don’t believe in the afterlife, in fact I am firmly opposed to religion as well. But I have had one experience that I can’t seem to come to grips with, even years after it happened, and I want your opinion on it.

About 7-8 years ago I found myself in a hospital ER with a doctor telling me I might not be alive in the next couple of hours. Obviously, my brain kicked into overdrive and at first panic set in. I didn’t know who to call, what to do…etc. I ended up calling my good friend, asking him to send his dad to my bedside straight away. His dad is the most religious person I have ever met, and being a stubborn atheist I have no idea why I wanted him by my side. Maybe it is true there are no atheists in foxholes, lol. Anyway, he walked in the room just as my wife was going down the hall for a bathroom break and a cup of coffee (I insisted, she had not left my side for hours). My friend’s dad came in, we exchanged pleasantries and he asked if I wanted him to read my last rites. I said hell no, I’m not planning on going anywhere. I instead asked him if he could “do what he does” and dig me out of this hole I was in.

He said a prayer over me. The most detailed and specific prayer I can remember. It wasn’t like that “now I lay me down to sleep” crap, but more like he was having a conversation with someone about saving my life. I listened intently, and as his prayer progressed I felt more and more at ease. By the end of his prayer I felt tingly all over and no longer scared of anything.

Ken then left the room as someone leaned in and said his son just got there. Alone for a second, but still feeling all tingly the atheist in me took over and I was able to rationalize my current physical feeling as nothing more than mind over body type stuff (maybe the mental comfort of his prayer had a placebo effect on me, etc).
Then something happened that rocked my entire understanding of life, the universe and everything. It wasn’t a big thing, nothing mind blowing or anything….but my wife came back into the room and the first thing she said (and this is burned into my mind) “Wow, do you feel that? I feel all tingly inside. Whatever, I think you’re going to be all right”. And all right I was, lol. She later said when she got back into the room she also felt comforted and not worried or stressed. The fact that the “placebo” feelings I was having were confirmed by my wife just walking into the room and stating how she felt blew me away. She too is an atheist, so she would not have anticipated anything like this based on a belief system.

O.K. What the hell happened that I can use to rationally explain this experience? Look up my post history, I’m not an out there nut job at all. This happened, plain and simple. The only thing is I know there must be a rational explanation for it. Help me find it.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 02:17 AM
How about the guy accessed whatever power was out there, and you got healed?
Don't feel bad, I have had it happen to me and I know several people with the same experience.
An interesting note, was that you said all fear went away.
From what I gather, fear is what stops this energy from flowing.
Understand, I'm not a church goer at all, I might actually be anti church.
That doesn't make me anti God, cause I've seen way to much stuff like that happen.
You sound like an anti hypocrite atheist. I don't believe in God because the people who do, don't live it.
Remember these same people eat the food and drink the water we do, but we haven't stopped using that stuff.

You might be interested in the stuff Jenny Bees been posting on her threads. Its a real eye opener.
Here's the site link she has (read the 5 page study notes first)

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 02:26 AM
It was probably an anomaly in the gravitational field causing you to teleport into an alternate dimension where prayers do work but then you teleported back when that anomaly ended. Or both of you were delusional and together caused a placebo effect somehow.

That's my attempt at giving a skeptical, rational explanation.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 02:31 AM
That's quite a story. It's wonderful you came out of it ok.

Rational dismissal: Your friend's dad and your wife were in on it together and wanted to soothe you in what they thought were your last moments.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 02:37 AM
reply to post by IgnoreTheFacts

The simplest rational explanation is that the prayer had a psychological effect of comfort for you. It is possible that your wife knew the prayer had just taken place and wanted to increase the positive effect. She might have seen a look of comfort on your face and felt her own tension about your situation release.

That's the thing with prayer, it brings about what I like to call the "warm and fuzzy" feelings. Back when I was a Christian if I was really depressed I would pray and eventually get this warm feeling of peace and comfort like all was right with the world. All it is is psychology, the power of the mind. It is the same thing that makes the placebo effect work, our minds are indeed powerful things and our thoughts can dictate chemicals in the mind.

This is why even for atheists I would recommend meditation - nothing religious or "spiritual" is necessary to get all the same psychological benefits that come with prayer/meditation.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 02:52 AM
Problem one...your an atheist. Athesim allows for no openness for alternative explanations.

therefore, by athiest standards, you are nuts and she was lying, or you are lying and she is nuts...

but lets get beyond that silliness and address the possibilities verses the quick dismissal. You suggest there is a mind over matter possibility...think yourself better. I wonder if such abilities (I don't dismiss that) could work through your own energy field around your body and kick it into overdrive..prayer being one of potentially many catalists....this may have ionized the air in your locality, giving others a tingly sensation also...

now, the interesting bit is, if you can accept this as remotely plausable, you also have accepted your will can exist outside of your body....and if thats the case...well, you just accepted its possible there are "ghosts" and that something may be able to exist of yourself once the body has passed on...

which graduates you from athiest religion to agnostic ponderings and being open (yet skeptical) to possibilities we have yet to truely measure.

I have a few fairly profound ghost stories...and I was an athiest for many many years after the facts...its always those niggling occasions you simply cant get over that eventually break you down over time and open you up to possibilities...

will say however there will be no satisfactory answer that comes forward overall even after simply go from it was probably nothing, to holy crap, it could be a million different things.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 03:42 AM
There is really no way, from within the ideology that you subscribe to, to explain that experience. Your wife had the exact same experience you were having without you telling her that you were having that experience, or even having any experience at all. It doesn't make any sense that she would have talked to ken outside of the room because if ken truly believed in the power of prayer, as you know he did, telling here to "dupe" you would be in direct conflict with that belief of his. Furthermore there was no way of him knowing what experience you were having.

There is only one explanation for that experience and for someone in your position it creates more questions than it does answers. The only explanation is that prayer actually has some tangible effect. And, that it not only effected you but the entire area that it took place in. The explanation is that there is something outside of your self that has a direct effect on your emotional and mental status.

I think you need to realize that dogmatic adherence to a set of ideas, even "rational" ones prevents you from finding reality. If you cannot truly question an idea and hold it to the furnace of reason. If you can't give other idea's a fair trial against it can you ever really know that it's true, or do you just accept it... blindly... because it's "rational". And if that's the case are you really any different from a fanatic christian?

edit on 18-9-2010 by renegadeloser because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 04:53 AM
You felt it your wife felt it
The mind can think what it likes.
A person can think and believe whatever they like
It is the body that recognizes it and knows what it knows
So what was it ?
Well if I could put it in a bottle and sell it I would make a fortune

It goes by name of “ LOVE “
and yes! it is described as a warm, tingling, nurturing, soft timeless moment… kind of feeling
and yes! this stuff can move mountains and cure the sick.
The body knows ….the mind only thinks it knows
Believe nothing and do not believe in believing nothing
For believing in nothing is still believing

Simply find the truth in your own experience.

Thank you for sharing this ...your own experience.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 05:23 AM

The first part of the story is a nice illustration that placebo is not necessarily a matter of belief that the sugar pill will "work," but rather, at least sometimes, maybe a sense that what can be done has been done. Thank you for posting that.

There was nothing hypocritical about what you did in calling in the friend. From your description of what took place, it sounds as if this person is practiced in attending the seriously ill. Like all human beings, he will have learned something from his experiences.

You called someone whose experience was rationally related to your current circumstances. Well played. How he chooses to articulate what he has learned is irrelevant to its salience.

The second part of your story simply shows that your wife was paying attention to her surroundings. When she left the room, you had been panicky and unfocused. When she returned, you were calm and socially engaged. She noticed the difference, and correctly inferred that it was a change for the better.

Senasations are uncontroversially contagious. You want somebody to yawn, then yawn. You want somebody to fell itchy, then scratch yourself. You want somebody to calm down, then calm down yourself.

No magic there. You calmed down, and she calmed down.

In both cases, yours and your wife's, the tingly sensations could simply have been ordinary real sensations, such as the sudden distension of your voluntary musculature as the crisis passed.

That two people who share their lives might hit upon the same description ("tingly") of similar private sensations is unremarkable. Indeed, given the circumstances, it would beggar belief if you didn't each feel something. That you, partners in life, hit upon the same word for what you felt would still be unremarkable, even if you had felt entirely different senssations.

Hope that is helpful to your thinking about this incident. S&F, of course.

edit on 18-9-2010 by eight bits because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 06:26 AM
Having been a professional patient for many many years, I can say that we are all inextricably linked to the "source" of all things. Still can not call it God or Jesus, Buddha, Abraham or anything else. What a mystery.

There was one time I was placed in a coma for nearly a month. I had remembered an experience (while in the coma) that would require an entire post. I considered myself agnostic/atheist. Not anymore.

Glad you are back to good health. But unfortunately, I can not answer your question. Star and flag of course.

Somewhere deep inside me is a laughter box reserved for atheists. I just can't believe anymore in a simple life and death scenario. We all come from thought and are part of that thought that created all things.

Wish you the best. You were fortunate to have someone give you the prayers and the support you needed. You lived for a reason.

edit on 18-9-2010 by brilab45 because: Edited for punctuation errors.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 07:21 AM
It doesn't really sound like a spiritual experience since it sounds like you just felt comforted? It depends I suppose to what degree you were but other than that, not much can be said. The guy saying the prayer must have had an impact. I hope emotion isn't being misconstrued as something spiritual.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 07:37 AM

Originally posted by IgnoreTheFacts wife came back into the room and the first thing she said (and this is burned into my mind) “Wow, do you feel that? I feel all tingly inside. Whatever, I think you’re going to be all right”. And all right I was, lol. She later said when she got back into the room she also felt comforted and not worried or stressed. The fact that the “placebo” feelings I was having were confirmed by my wife just walking into the room and stating how she felt blew me away. She too is an atheist, so she would not have anticipated anything like this based on a belief system.

I'm afraid 'rational can't cut it, ITF.

As a man married to the same woman for 40 years, I can attest to the frequent instances of non-verbal communication at a distance and also the unfathomable of being able to 'read' mood when we are seperated.

We also find that we are often thinking of the same identical issues even if they are not foremost in our day to day lives.

There is something that passes unseen and unbidden between those who are closest to us. Whether that can be called 'spiritual' or not is debatable unless it involves a deceased person. This is a fascination of my own, in that I still feel connected to my mother who passed away 32 years ago.

Great topic, btw.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 07:44 AM
reply to post by IgnoreTheFacts

The power of prayer, there has been quite a few studies on this subject, experiments that have been performed even down to microorganisms... here's just one link... I myself have faith and have never doubted the power of prayer.

The results of the study are not surprising to those of us who believe in the power of prayer. The patients who had received prayer as a part of the study were healthier than those who had not. The prayed for group had less need of having CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) performed and less need for the use of mechanical ventilators. They had a diminished necessity for diuretics and antibiotics, less occurrences of pulmonary edema, and fewer deaths. Taking all factors into consideration, these results can only be attributed to the power of prayer.

In another experiment two bottles of spring water were purchased. One container was used as a control, receiving no prayer; a group prayed for the second. The water was then used on pans of corn seeds layered in cotton, with one pan receiving the prayer water and the other receiving the control water. The pan receiving the prayer water sprouted a day earlier than seeds in the other pan. The prayer seeds had a higher germination and growth rate. The experiment was repeated with the same result each time.

Scientific Research on the Power of Prayer

These studies have shown conclusive evidence of the power of prayer. Time after time the outcomes of these tests have shown the reality of the force of a higher being and our ability to communicate with Him.

We have also learned from viewing the results of these studies that the expectations we have while praying factor into the outcome of our prayers. Though the faithful will always believe that there need not be any physical evidence of the power and effects of prayer, science has come a long way toward showing just that-prayer is real, and it works.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 08:11 AM
Well, truth is stranger than fiction..

There have been countless cases of completely "rational" people, not interested in the subject at all, experiencing OBE's. Some of them report stories of meeting dead relatives, experiencing a "light" of some kind. The time completely disappears, etc..

The key is to get to understand what happens when we die. Science can explain it by physical terms, by brainwaves etc, but it cannot explain how we experience it. Just like science can explain that colors are different frequencies, but that doesn't shed any light on the experience itself and how i.e. red looks to us.

Religion is completely wrong way to approach this. If we want to understand these things, we need to let go of everything we think we know about the spiritual nature of ourselves.

Maybe we continue to develop, on another plane, maybe we born again, maybe we return to the main soul.. who knows. I could only speculate that where all this happens (another dimension), the physical laws as we know them, don't apply. But these are just pretty far out theories.

edit on 18/9/2010 by Tryptych because: added some content.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 10:58 PM
As much as an atheist might not like the idea, if God exists, and the perception that most people of faith have of him (whether Christian, Jew, Hindu, whatever,) is correct, he sometimes directly responds to direct prayer or projection, then the most rational explanation is that God touched you at that moment.

If God doesn't exist, or you demand that he not exist, there are other reasons for what you felt, as exemplified by other posters in this thread. However, I truly believe that God reveals himself to those who are open to seeing his presence, and at that moment, by asking for this man of faith to be with you, you fractionally opened yourself to God and he was there for you.

What you do with that, or whether you are able to set your doubts aside for a moment and contemplate whether you may have encountered something beyond yourself, that's between you and God.

posted on Sep, 19 2010 @ 12:29 AM
So you want to know if the Prayer really was doing something and yet you tell us you rebounded from a supposed "death sentence" prognosis.

Did you get dropped on your head as a baby too? Seriously, you need to reexamine your life and begin to allow prayer into your life because the next time you will not return. Simple as that, you are going to die and you get to choose if you want "nothingless" or if you want "eternal life". You will be granted your wish!

posted on Sep, 19 2010 @ 01:36 AM
reply to post by Greensage

What a mean spirited post. Give the guy a break. You obviously have never experienced the either world. It exists as much as you do. Good love to you and the man with the experience. You are lost. Reality is what you experience and perceive. He experienced much more and you belittle him. This is ATS , a place to exhale and defend your beliefs. Go back to GLP if you want to vent in a trilobite way.

posted on Sep, 19 2010 @ 05:45 AM

then the most rational explanation is that God touched you at that moment.

Why? All the OP reports is that he calmed down when his friend performed a little monolog, and that he and his wife felt what other people feel when they let go of what is sometimes called "body armor," a not-quite conscious general tensing of the muscles that for many people accompanies stress.

I am not seeking to tilt with you about whether petitionary prayer ever works, just saying that in this case, ordinary social interaction explains all that is in the report before us.

In particular, my explanation is not "less rational" than yours. Lol. Whether or not God exists.

I can no more exclude the direct personal intervention of God, suspending the natural course of events to suit the OP, and presumably thereby revising God's own plan for the Universe, than I can exclude surreptitious collusion between the poster's friend and wife. Both theories' strong point is that they wouldn't leave evidence if they were true.

That works out nicely, since there is no evidence for either in the actual report.

posted on Sep, 19 2010 @ 08:04 AM
There have been plenty of outstanding posts on both sides of the argument (if you can even say this subject really has sides, lol). I have been given thoughtful reasons to go the spiritual route or the science route here. I guess there is where one has to choose what he wants to believe. Well, I want to believe there is a god, or some sort of all powerful force controlling us all that we can tap into when in trouble, but that is still a very hard pill to swallow for someone like me.

The several of you who gave me rational reasons as to how I felt the way I did and how my wife picked up on it makes perfect sense to me. We have been married and together for a number of years, and like a few have said we pick up on things about each other without verbal communications....he sometimes without visual communications too, lol.

It would have been so cool to have a real experience, rather than nothing more than "warm fuzzy feelings" that could have easily been brought on by the power of thought alone. I would imagine if there was a god, and he/she/it choose to intervene in my meaningless life out of the billions out there, that maybe the sign would have been a little more clear to me.

Thanks guys, GREAT RESPONSES. I must say I was hesitant to post, but I am glad I did as I got what I wanted. Thanks again!

posted on Sep, 19 2010 @ 08:08 AM

Originally posted by IgnoreTheFacts
There have been plenty of outstanding posts on both sides of the argument (if you can even say this subject really has sides, lol).

It was rather strange since you specifically asked for biased opinions.

We could reach an agreement that "rational" meant "anything whatsoever", then anything whatsoever is a rational explanation.

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