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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, August 2019

The Peak Experience
Seeing a Different World or Seeing this World Differently?

by: Robert Davis, Ph.D.


A peak experience (PE) is usually understood as a way of being that evolves from a profound incident of reality; the medium for access into an unseen realm by those who experience it. There are numerous descriptions of this occurrence in religions which agree it is a direct experience of reality that transcends the separation of mind and body, and the separation of self and reality. The peak experience may all be spokes of the same wheel despite being generated by different trigger events - the near- death experience (NDE), the out-of-body experience (OBE), after-death communication (ADC), interactions with the unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) and non-human entities (NHE), meditation, and hallucinogenic experiences from psychoactive drugs. The altered state of consciousness reported by peak experiencers is generally characterized by perceptions of oneness with the universe, ineffable emotions, alterations of time and/ or space, insight and wisdom, visionary encounters, and communication with a Supreme Being, the deceased, and/or nonhuman entities.1 Carl Jung, who founded analytical psychology, termed these beings “archetypes”—a form of symbolic reality of images and dreams that interact with humans on a subconscious level.2 The peak experience may also include the feeling of one’s consciousness separating from the body, telepathic communication, an increase in intuitive and psychic capabilities, and the sense that reality is a manifestation of a universal energy. The detailed accounts by millions worldwide who contend to have had a PE are extraordinarily similar. But is it a normal innate tendency or an illusion created by the mind? The overarching issue is whether one’s perceived PE is a valid experience with another realm of existence beyond our everyday physical 3-D existence, or instead, an altered state of consciousness induced by a psychological (psychosis and dissociation disorder) and/or neurobiological abnormality - a misrepresentation of the actual relationships between one’s consciousness and reality as in dreaming, psychotic episodes, psychedelic drug experiences, and brain disorders. After all, throughout recorded history, people have reported PEs and other extraordinary experiences from intuition and dream insights to the paranormal and extra-sensory perception. However, in today’s world dictated by Newtonian physics, many of these experiences are associated with superstition and delusion, and described as ‘woo-woo’ by skeptics and scientists.

The general scientific community, for instance, contends no acceptable theory can appropriately assess and validate the inexplicable anecdotal reports by those who have had a PE since they violate known scientific principles - spiritual and mystical experiences are facilitated by abnormal brain regions that regulate emotion, self-representation, and cognitive conflict. After all, it has been well documented that on occasion, and for different reasons, our brain fails to distinguish between a visual or auditory stimulus occurring externally, and one generated by our mind - one that is likely responsible for all mystical visions among cultures throughout history. For this reason, it is difficult to provide meaning to those who believe with fierce determination that their PE was “real.” Thus, does a PE actually causes one to “see a different world” or instead, to “see this world differently” in a non-spatial/non-temporal context?3

Peak Experience Trigger Events: Similarities and Transformative Outcomes

A PE often has a pronounced effect on one’s life from that moment forward and can change one’s perception of the world permanently - changes that seem positive, empowering, and deeply spiritual. In general, those who report to have had a PE believe it facilitated dramatic changes in their personal and philosophical viewpoints on life, love, death, and spirituality. But while national surveys show that approximately 30 to 50 percent of Americans claim to have had a PE in the form of a mystical or transcendent experience,”4 few empirical studies have investigated the nature and validity of the peak experiencer’s reported interactions with an alternate reality or non-human entities.

In general, the similar psycho-spiritual outcomes facilitated by different PE trigger events (OBE, NDE, interactions with UAP and NHEs, meditation, and psychoactive drugs,) raise an important question. That is, what common feature shared among these states may be responsible for mediating the apparent psychological benefits that follow them? The answer may be the experience of unity - a symptom of ego-dissolution or a compromised sense of “self.”5 This so-called “unitive experience” was originally identified as the core component of the mystical experience by its most influential scholar Walter Stace and in descriptions of the PE introduced by noted psychologist A. Maslow.6 Consequently, ego-dissolution and the unitive experience that accompanies it, may be the unifying attribute responsible for the psychological benefits associated with the each PE trigger. The reason for this may be due to the shock of experiencing themselves independent of their physical body - a more expansive vision of themselves, awakening new levels of personal growth.

Overall, the personal accounts of transformation from a PE make it apparent that the reality they once accepted without question has been irrevocably changed, and once they firmly believe that they are having these experiences, the world as they knew it, ceases to be. This is represented by several newly adopted behavioral outcomes which include, but are not limited to, the following: 1) Gaining a better understanding of themselves; 2) Attaining greater confidence in determining answers to life’s questions; and 3) Manifest a heightened sensitivity of compassion and empathy towards others. One study, for example, analyzed the descriptive content analysis of the PE and noted frequent expressions of similar emotions. This includes a sense of the ineffable; feeling of oneness with God, nature, and/or the universe; changed perceptions of time and surroundings; and a feeling of "knowing" coupled with a reordering of life priorities.8 Following a PE, many people also report an inner awakening of their spiritual identity; they feel more aware and alive, and view themselves as more than just physical matter. As one PEr related: “My NDE was the best experiences of my life, and absolutely shaped me in a profound way-everything in reverse so to speak. I cannot 'evaluate' in terms of good, bad or neutral. I can only say it is 'real' reality.”7 Moreover, the DMT, NDE/OBE, and UAP experiences appear to facilitate similar behavioral aftereffects in one’s personal viewpoints (e.g., loss of the fear of death; an increase in spirituality, and sensitivity towards others and the planet; and less interest in materialism and organized religion, etc.). Experimental Results: Preliminary experimental results suggest that the PE trigger events may be associated with long-term positive changes in psychological well-being. A large majority of the 700 subjects in one study, for instance, described their PE as being “more real than their usual sense of reality,” as if, “all is one,” and that there is an “inherent goodness” of the world.9 These viewpoints were associated with positive self-reported transformative impacts on one’s life - represented by a greater sense of purpose, an increase in spirituality, and a reduced fear of death. Such behavioral outcomes likely contributed to the result in one study which demonstrated that over 75 percent of 339 OBE respondents wanted to have the OBE again, especially since most felt it was “very pleasant,” and to be of “lasting benefit.”10

Furthermore, similarities between subjective accounts of the DMT experience and NDE have been observed with the former report emphasizing noetic quality and ineffability and the latter with the appearance of discarnate entities. Researchers, for instance, have independently reported that DMT is the main cause for producing all mystical experience and NDEs.11, 12 Such attributes include the subjective feeling of transcending one’s body, entering an alternative realm described as “realer than real,” perceiving NHEs, and themes related to death and dying.13 Not unlike those having an NDE event, many DMT experiencers contend to have been “embraced by something much greater than themselves, or anything they previously could have imagined: the “source of all existence; an indescribably loving and powerful white light that emanates from the divine, holy, and sacred.” Those who attain this experience appear to “emerge with a greater appreciation for life, less fear of death, and a reorientation of their priorities to less material and more spiritual pursuits.”14

Other intriguing similarities of NHE encounters occur in those who have either a DMT15 or UAP experience.16 One controversial theory, for example, considers the DMT experience evidence of an actual encounter with alternate dimensions and their inhabitants. The rationale for this controversial theory evolved from the similarities of NHE reports among different PE triggers. Research findings, for instance, indicate that NHEs serve as the foundation of the DMT and alien abduction phenomena, and both may enable one’s consciousness to interact and communicate with beings of other realities.22 In fact, noted DMT researcher Rick Strassman and psychiatrist and leading UAP abduction researcher John Mack once met to discuss their research results, and according to Strassman, they were “blown away” by the similarity of reported experiences in Mack’s UAP abductees and his DMT subjects.23 These include: 1) The probing and testing of one’s mind and body, 2) The beings communicating through gestures, telepathy or visual imagery, and 3) The sensation of floating in a tunnel of light leading to the center of the galaxy or to an angelic realm, and a complete loss of ego. And like the alien abduction phenomena, DMT experiencers report experimental procedures by NHEs as follows: 1) “There were four distinct beings looking down on me, like I was on an operating-‐room table. I opened my eyes to see if it was you and Josette, but it wasn't. They had done something and were observing the results. They are vastly advanced scientifically and technologically,”17 and 2) “I felt like I was in an alien laboratory, in a hospital bed. There were beings. I was trying to get a handle on what was going on. I was being carted around. It didn't look alien, but their sense of purpose was. It was a three- dimensional space... They had a space ready for me. It was incredibly unpsychedelic. I was able to pay attention to detail. There was one main creature, and he seemed to be behind it all, overseeing everything. The others were orderlies, or dis-orderlies”18

The parallels among PE triggers have led researchers to determine the extent to which DMT could induce a near-death type experience. In one novel study, for example, a validated measure of NDEs (Greyson Scale) compared thirteen subjects given intravenous DMT with individuals who claimed to have had ‘actual’ NDEs. The results showed a “comparable profile” with “few discernable differences between the experiences of the actual NDE cases and those induced by DMT.”19 Comparable psychological relationships between the NDE and DMT in the form of “ego-dissolution and mystical-type experiences,” and trait “absorption” and “delusional ideation,” suggest that “delusional thinking” and “personality trait absorption” may mediate the intensity and quality of the DMT experience and NDE.20, 21 These similarities are likely more than just mere coincidence. But again, is it a brain event or an aspect of consciousness that is independent of the brain?

The Peak Experience and the Brain

Evidence suggests that the brain’s default mode network (DMN), which is closely associated with self-referential mental activity during the resting-state, may represent the underlying neurological mediator for peak experience trigger events that evoke feelings of “self-transcendence” or the unitive experience—an inability to differentiate between one’s inner self and external reality; an alteration of time and space; a floating sensation; and the sense of an interconnectedness with the universe. Thus, one may perceive things one would otherwise not realize and wrongly interpret it as a mystical-like PE and associated interaction with an alternate reality. More specifically, the inhibition of the posterior-superior parietal lobes creates a sensation of “pure space that is subjectively experienced as absolute unity or wholeness and obliteration of the self-other dichotomy.”24 But whether the peak experience is real or imagined, the magnitude and importance of the peak experience’s perceptual and semantic content may explain why it has such a profound impact on the person’s core personal viewpoints and values.

Moreover, the unique similarity of reported perceptual and semantic descriptions induced by different PE trigger events suggest that these characterizations may actually be facilitated by comparable brain processes. For example, the brain’s medial temporal lobe has been identified as the same mechanism responsible for the “complex imagery, entity encounters, and vivid autobiographical recollections,” reported in the altered state of consciousness induced by psychoactive drugs, the NDE and meditation.25 Interestingly, when meditators mentally visualize and emotionally connect with encountering a “being of light” typical of a near death experience, high gamma activity (corresponds to a state of enhanced cognitive performance) and other neuroelectric changes are seen to arise from brain regions associated with positive emotions, imagery, attention, and spiritual experiences. These outcomes were also supported in a recent cross-sectional online survey on the prevalence of peak experiences in universes may exist beyond the three dimensions we are familiar with but are hidden from us because they exist in our time and space at a slightly different frequency or phase. And principles in quantum mechanics may actually allow for an aspect of one’s consciousness to access another parallel time and space via a peak experience. In fact, the possible force governing this behavior may eventually prove to be on par with electromagnetic, gravitational, and the nuclear forces that describe universal reality. Furthermore, certain features of the peak more than a thousand meditators; a majority of the respondents reported having had anomalous and transcendental experiences similar to those documented in both the near-death and psychedelic altered state of consciousness.26

An altered state of consciousness induced by hallucinogens or meditation may also stimulate specific brain regions, resulting in a broad range of experiences perceived as being “spiritual” in nature, and which yield positive psychological benefits. But despite the apparent absence of a chronic and severe psychological disorder (psychosis, dissociation) in most peak experiencers, an abnormal short-lived and fleeting brain-based hallucination in the form of a perceived peak experience cannot be completely ruled out. After all, realistic illusory perceptions are not uncommon when delicate brain processes are compromised by different externally and internally induced events. The activation of a large network of the parietal system (which integrates sensory information) in the brain, for example, is thought to play a crucial role in both self-transcendence and altered states of consciousness elicited by “life-threatening situations, psychiatric and neurological disorders, and all deep existential crises.”27 Hallucinations are even a common part of the grief reaction, with as many as seventy percent of bereaved individuals experiencing illusions of their deceased loved one.28 In light of this preliminary evidence, the question remains whether the brain, or an aspect of mind, may be capable of providing us with an enhanced sense of awareness of an alternate and ultimate reality as part of the natural evolution of consciousness in humankind. In other words, like space-time and energy, the act of conscious awareness may represent a yet-to-be discovered fundamental law of the universe that may facilitate greater human potential, perception, and mindfulness. But at this early stage in our embryonic development, our poor understanding of how the brain facilitates one’s sense of self and reality make it virtually impossible to firmly conclude that the experience of an alternate reality is either valid or illusory in nature.

In our still infant evolutionary stage of intellectual and spiritual development, the elusive nature of how the brain facilitates every aspect of one’s subjective experience remains a fundamental research objective in neuroscience. The process by which the collective behavior of brain activity translates into the conscious act of thought and emotion will likely remain obscure until physical and/or non-physical processes can, if at all, be associated with the essence of consciousness itself. Only then will we be able to understand the true nature of the peak experience.

The Peak Experience: Parallel Worlds and the Mind

Some physicists believe there exists strong evidence to support the theories of superstrings, extra-dimensions, and parallel universes. And these theories provide an alternative explanation to psychological and neurobiological-based theories of the peak experience in the form of an ultimate reality. Several complex and exquisite mathematically derived principles, for example, have independently revealed the existence of hidden universes and dimensions beyond the subjective reality we perceive in our everyday waking consciousness that could exist parallel to our universe. Consequently, there may actually be two realities in human experience; one visible and experienced by our senses, and one that is not—an unseen alternate realm of existence. In other words, the peak experience could be either physiological; a common brain event, or non-physiological; the separation of consciousness from the physical body. And this concept should not be entirely dismissed, especially since anecdotal testimony from those who have had a peak experience suggests that the experiencer often returns from an apparent unseen realm with a firm understanding of the interconnectedness of all things. Subjective depictions that “time and space no longer exist,” and that it is possible to “see everything at once” and “through any obstacle and in every detail as a holographic view” appear to correspond with certain features of evolving scientific principles in quantum mechanics: String Theory, Quantum Hologram, and the Many Interacting Worlds theory. The reported subjective PE characteristics, which seem analogous to quantum mechanical principles of time and space, indirectly suggest that quantum mechanics may provide the conceptual framework for understanding the PE. This includes the concepts of non-locality, coherence or interconnectedness, knowledge of existence in another dimension without a body, the perception of time as if the past, present, and future exist simultaneously and instantaneously, and the instantaneous information exchange in a timeless and placeless dimension. In fact, many physicists acknowledge that the universe we live in could be just one of an infinite number of universes making up a “multiverse.”30 And these universes may exist beyond the three dimensions we are familiar with but are hidden from us because they exist in our time and space at a slightly different frequency or phase.

The Quantum Hologram Theory: The Quantum Hologram Theory (QHT) may provide the essential underlying principle to explain the PE. The QHT, addresses how at the quantum level, everything such as atoms, cells, plants, animals, and people are connected within a network of information. And according to many physicists, the PE may be explained by the QHT - a “shift” in consciousness from one dimension of the hologram to another. This abstract concept may be represented in the PErs descriptions of "no time," "eternal present," and "being out of time" - a form of time alteration not consistent with your physical reality. The QHT, which has potential important implications for explaining the NDE, addresses how at the quantum level, everything such as atoms, cells, plants, animals, and people are connected within a network of information. In other words, electrons in an atom in the human brain which are connected to the subatomic particles in every other human brain and even with every star in the universe, may provide the foundation to explain how reality appears to be perceived not only as spatial but as a whole space-time during an NDE.

Similarly, in a holographic universe the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously; a phenomenon documented in NDE research from the life review and the notions of a spatial-temporal time perspective. According to physician J.P. Jourdan, this concept may be supported by his proposed “hyperdimensional model” of the NDE experience, as represented in the following testimonies by NDErs31: 1) “Feeling that time no longer existed”, 2) “In fact, there was no time, it was like a moment of eternity”, 3) “Time did not exist. Now it's a real knowledge for me, time does not exist”, 4) “On the other side, time does not exist. One truly realizes it. Time is a completely mental concept. A thousand years may be instantaneous”, 5) “I had a horrible feeling of eternity. I had an experience where time no longer unfolded. Furthermore, no past, no future, just an eternal present. I had the feeling that all that was real, the feeling of "living" in eternity”, and 6) “The notion of time has nothing to do with ordinary life, that's for sure. Physical, material time does not exist. Time does not flow. To say that there is another "time system", I do not know.”

The unique similarity of such anecdotal reports suggest that consciousness could be the result of interactions between 4D and 5D phenomena and/or universes; a theory supported by neuroscientists, cosmologists, and philosophers. This paradox may best be explained by assuming that if we try to take apart something constructed holographically, we only get smaller wholes instead of the pieces of which it is made. This "whole in every part" nature of a holographic universe may represent the mystical features reported in the PE. But for the PE and its associated interaction with an alternate reality to be authentic, an aspect of mind or awareness must behave independently of the brain and somehow extend beyond normal space/time. And principles in quantum mechanics may actually allow for an aspect of one’s consciousness to access another parallel time and space via a PE. In fact, the possible force governing this behavior may eventually prove to be on par with electromagnetic, gravitational, and the nuclear forces that describe universal reality. In other words, there may actually be two realities in human experience; one visible and experienced by our senses, and one invisible that exists beyond human sensory capabilities.

A New Paradigm Shift

My scientific based education and research endeavors have caused this trained analytical and overly curious truth seeker to attempt, with fierce curiosity, to find answers to these puzzling aspects of reality and the human experience that only future generations will realize. Despite our modern-day scientific principles and discoveries, we are still barely out of the primordial soup from which we evolved. Our knowledge of reality is still in its infancy, and we have a long journey ahead to fully understand the true nature and potential of us and the world around us. At this stage in our evolutionary cycle, the collective PE evidence clearly indicates that “something” significant is occurring in varying ways that cannot be adequately explained using today’s scientific principles. This “something” should be considered a much more important endeavor by mainstream science than is now the case.

Critical to better understanding the complex aspects of the PE and its’ associated impact on human behavior, research with those who interact with this phenomenon should be conducted using different approaches unique to several fields of study (psychology, physics, sociology, and biology, etc.). This endeavor should focus on the role that altered perceptions, consciousness, and changes in viewpoints and values play in those who experience a PE. More specifically, the apparent transformative power of the PE on one’s attitudes and values should be a major focus of future study to help resolve fundamental questions such as: (1) does the altered state of consciousness facilitated by the PE present evidence about additional states of consciousness beyond the central three; waking, dreaming and deep sleep? and (2) does the “self” exist at all, and if so, what is the role of the “self” in transcendent experiences such as the PE and its triggers? The primary question to this all is simply this: Are you the brain?

In our still infant evolutionary stage of intellectual and spiritual development, the elusive nature of how the brain facilitates every aspect of one’s subjective experience remains a fundamental research objective in neuroscience. The process by which the collective behavior of brain activity translates into the conscious act of thought and emotion will likely remain obscure until physical and/or non-physical processes can, if at all, be associated with the essence of consciousness itself. Only then will we be able to understand the true nature of the PE.

Moreover, a fundamental, yet seemingly elusive question, is whether one or more theories in quantum mechanics may provide the conceptual framework for understanding the PE. And quite interestingly, the reported subjective PE characteristics do seem analogous to certain quantum mechanical principles of time and space. Further, the reported consistency of encounters with an unseen realm cannot be either irrefutably dismissed or accepted as a pure brain-based pathological aberration or a psychological manifestation. For this reason, there is a need to integrate consciousness more thoroughly into the framework of science than is presently the case. Consequently, newly developed theoretical and conceptual frameworks, which integrate the anomalous experience, may serve as the preliminary foundation and rationale for this new paradigm shift as follows:

(1) The scientific and medical communities should allocate greater attention towards understanding a uniquely complex personal experience that changes the lives of many people who yearn for explanations, guidance, and support— the peak experience. The similarity of anecdotal PEr accounts from healthy, well-balanced individuals, of interactions with alternate realities and associated NHEs, suggest that people are somehow experiencing a non-physical reality considered to be “realer than real,” often associated with pronounced psychospiritual outcomes. Despite the different modalities which trigger them, the similarities of their reported interaction(s) suggest a common underlying mechanism, process, and/or an internal or external force that governs and regulates this altered state of consciousness. This state may help to improve our understanding of the mind-brain relationship and even the possibility of an alternate reality—as strange as that may sound.

(2) Consciousness is likely intrinsic with the universe, not bound by space and time. We are connected through space and time at the level of consciousness. Quantum physics, for example, shows that the fundamental units of nature, including photons and electrons, are temporal as well as spatial, and consciousness, which is interrelated with the brain in space and time, cannot be explained only by mechanical laws of science. Over time, quantum interactions evolve into the free will and self-awareness of higher biological beings; the emergence of higher-level consciousness enhances the entropy-production ability of biological entities.

(3) The essence of materialism that matter is the only reality is wrong. In consciousness studies, materialism is being challenged by panpsychism—all self-organizing material systems have a mental and physical aspect. Consciousness may arise from non-spatiotemporal ingredients; experience is the underlying nature of the properties that physics identifies.

(4) A biofield that is governed and regulated by torsion energy (biophotons), concomitant with the four conventional fields of the Unified Field Theory (electromagnetic, gravitational, and the two nuclear forces), may allow for the manipulation and even possible manifestation of consciousness. This higher dimensional field may be linked with your consciousness. Biophoton regulation acts as a carrier field of electromagnetic interactions that interferes nonlocally in a spatial and temporal pattern. If torsion energy is indeed a carrier wave for consciousness and serves as a nonlocal interrelated force linking minds in real-time, this force may be the key component or the so-called “missing link” that facilitates phenomena to access information from anywhere in the universe. Torsion energy may be the most important aspect of the biofield that facilitates anomalous events associated with consciousness; a real force that needs to be “integrated in modern physics.”

(5) We have only just begun the process of explaining the mind-brain relationship, and there are still large explanatory gaps to fill. The brain is the most intricate of complex adaptive systems in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Its emergent property consciousness, the “mind,” or one’s subjective sense of self, is different qualitatively from the billions of interconnecting neurons and synapses which form its parts.

(6) New methods are required to objectively verify aspects of consciousness that do not conform to traditional principles. Mainstream science must shift away from Realism to Instrumentalism—the belief that what a human being sees is based wholly on their beliefs about what does or does not exist to be seen in the first place; everything our senses experience is not all there is to existence. Practical consequences should constitute the essential criterion in determining meaning, truth or value.

(7) Many aspects of paranormal activity should be considered normal not abnormal. Extrasensory perception (telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition) and psychokinesis are valid, and nonlocality is a normal feature of human performance that should be cultivated and reinforced throughout one’s life. Numerous experimental studies have been replicated by independent researchers showing that focused intention can facilitate the transference and reception of information and affect physical systems despite time and space—nonlocality.

(8). Evidence to support the UAP is overwhelmingly convincing and sufficient to accept its validity. Millions of people worldwide and throughout time have and will continue to interact with this phenomenon. The fundamental issue of concern is the essence of what governs and regulates its behavior. The UAP may be intelligently controlled by NHEs, and/or a manifestation of a psychic projection from one’s mind (psychokinesis). If the former, then what is their objective, and if the latter, what are the implications for human potential?

(9) The multiverse theory asserts there are trillions of universes besides our own and reality may be the physics of the virtual. Contemporary theoretical physics is dominated by superstring and M theories, with 10 and 11 dimensions respectively.

The limited research performed to date leaves open many questions concerning the nature and associated reason why some people have a PE. I can’t help but wonder, for instance, if a PE represents the evolution of our species toward the next stage of higher consciousness by unlocking dormant human potentials? This highly speculative and unanswerable question must be asked since studies show that the PE transforms people from their pre-PE personalities into more loving and compassionate individuals—a symptomatic behavioral outcome inconsistent with psychotic disorders. So, whatever the cause may be, keep it coming! A Noble Prize likely awaits the one who successfully bottles it for world consumption.

It is presumptuous to firmly conclude that all “realer than real” personal descriptions of PE triggers are nothing more than symptoms resulting from either a dysfunctional brain, misperceptions during a sleep state, and/or a psychological disorder, rather than the existence of a co-existing alternate reality. It is important to remember that history is filled with unrealistic ideas which eventually became fact. At this stage in our embryonic technological development, there exists a staggering amount of yet to be discovered scientific laws and principles, and the related technologies controlled by them. After all, it took only 66 years from the time Wilbur and Orville flew at Kitty Hawk to when Neil and Buzz walked on the moon. What will the next 66 years, let alone a few more centuries and generations reveal? The same foresight and wisdom, cultivated and integrated using both traditional and newly discovered scientific principles, will eventually lend itself towards understanding modern accounts of the “unexplained.” And who knows, the answers may actually be provided once the hard drive crashes and the screen fades to black upon your demise.


1. Davis, R. (2019). The Peak Experience and Interactions with an Alternate Reality. Edge Science 38, June; 6-10.

2. Jung, C. (2011). Archetypes and quantum physics and psychology. NeuroQuantology: 9, 563–571.

3. Davis, R. (2019). The Peak Experience and Interactions with an Alternate Reality.

4. The Harris Poll. (2019). “The Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans.” http://wiki.creation.org/ Public Opinion, accessed January 26, 2019.

5. W. Stace, (1960). Mysticism and Philosophy (Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott 1960).

6. A. Maslow, (1959). “Cognition of being in the peak experiences,” J. Genet. Psychol 94, (1959): 43–66.

7. Davis, R. (2019). Unseen Forces: The Integration of Science, Reality and You (New Milford, Ct: Visionary Living, Publishing, 2019).

8. Agrillo, C. “Near-death experience: out-of-body and out of-brain?” Rev. Gen. Psychol. 15, (2011): 1–10.

9. Nosek, C. (2014). “End-of-life dreams and visions: a qualitative perspective from hospice patients,” Am. J. Hosp. Palliat. Care (2014).

10. P. van Lommel. (2010). Consciousness Beyond Life. The Science of the Near-Death Experience (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2010).

11.d’Aquli, E.G. & Newberg, A. B. (1993). Religious and mystical states: A neuropsychological model. Zygon; 28 177–200.

12. Davey, C. G., et. al. (2016). Mapping the self in the brain’s default mode network. NeuroImage: 132.

13. Thonnard, M., et. al. (2013). Characteristics of Near-Death Experiences Memories as Compared to Real and Imagined Events Memories. PLoS One: 8(3).

14. Britton W. B. & Bootzin R. R. (20004). Near-death experiences and the temporal lobe. Psychol Science: 15(4): 254–258.

15. Timmermann, C., et. al. (2017). LSD modulates effective connectivity and neural adaptation mechanisms in an auditory oddball paradigm. Neuropharmacology: 10.

16. R. Strassman, (2008). “The varieties of the DMT experience,” In Strassman, R., Wojtowicz, S., Luna, L. E. and Frecska, E, Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys to Alien Worlds Through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual Technologies, 51-80 (Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 2008).

17. R. Strassman, “The varieties of the DMT experience.

18. R. Strassman, “The varieties of the DMT experience.

19. Timmermann, et al., (2018) “DMT Models the Near-Death Experience,” Front. Psychology 15, (2018): 34-56.

20. Carhart-Harris et al., (2018) “Psychedelics and the essential importance of context,” J. Psychopharmacol 32, 725– 731.

21. Luke, (2011). “Discarnate entities and dimethyltryptamine (DMT),” Journal for the Society for Psychical Research 75: 26–42.

22. Strassman, “The varieties of the DMT experience.

23.Strassman, “The varieties of the DMT experience.

24. d’Aquli, E.G. & Newberg, A. B. (1993). Religious and mystical states: A neuropsychological model. Zygon; 28: 177–200.

25. Timmermann, C., et. al. (2017). LSD modulates effective connectivity and neural adaptation mechanisms in an auditory oddball paradigm. Neuropharmacology: 10.

26. Vieten, C., et. al. (2018). Future directions in meditation research: Recommendations for expanding the field of contemplative science. PLoS One: 7: 131.

27. Facco, E. & Agrillo, C. (2012). Near-death experiences between science and prejudice. Front Hum Neurosci: 6, 209.

28. Grimby, A. (1993). Bereavement among elderly people. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia: 87, 72–80.

29. Davis, R. (2019). Unseen Forces: The Integration of Science, Reality and You

30. Hall J. W., et. al. (2014). Quantum Phenomena Modeled by Interactions between Many Classical Worlds. Phys. Review: 4. 212–232.

31. Jean-Pierre Jourdan, (2011). “Near Death Experiences and Temporal Perspectives,” Journal of Cosmology 6, no.14 (2011): 236-245.


Robert Davis served as a professor at the State University of New York for more than 30 years. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Sensory Neuroscience from The Ohio State University. He has published more than 60 articles in scholarly journals, lectured at national and international conferences, and was awarded several major research grants by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Since retiring, he has written three books, The UFO Phenomenon: Should I Believe? Life after Death: An Analysis of the Evidence, and most recently, Unseen Forces: The Integration of Science, Reality and You. His website is: bobdavisspeakes.com.



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