Monday, July 11, 2016

No matter, never mind …

… The Mind–Body Problem, Scientific Regress and "Woo" - Scientific American Blog Network. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

For what it's worth, a couple of weeks ago I had a most peculiar experience that is also very hard to describe. I woke up in the middle of the night with much on my mind, some rather serious responsibilities having just come my way. I was annoyed because I wanted to get a good night's sleep so I could deal effectively with the next day's problems. I suddenly noticed that I was breathing very deeply, like someone quite soundly asleep. I say I noticed this because I had a distinct sense of my thinking self being slightly separate from my body. What I noticed was that my body was asleep. It was as if I were slightly outside my body. The next day, by the way, I felt more refreshed than I had for weeks. Now I don't expect anyone else to be impressed, but it gave me a distinct experiential sense that I and my body are not exactly identical. It reminded me of the passage in A Canticle for Leibowitz, when someone says to someone else something like "You don't have soul. You are a soul. You have a body, for a time."

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