Personal experience

I’ve been away from these forums for a long time, apologies for that, I can be very nomadic with where I spend my time.

I’d first like to state, I still hold the position of atheism.

While I have been away, I have been through much, I have shed away a lot of what was holding me back, and become a new person many times over.

Some of you will most likely know precisely what I am talking about.

Now, I’ll get to the crux of the issue, my personal experiences, I have know reliable means to determine whether what I saw was a conjuration of my mind, or something not from my mind.

This is why I am still unconvinced of anything beyond the reality we can objectively verify.

As a rational skeptic, I am unconvinced until sufficient evidence is presented.

Having said that, I cannot deny the potency of the experience, it certainly felt very real at the time, and my memory of it feels real and genuine.

Yet, without that objectively verifiable confirmation, solid evidence…

I have a better understanding of what many people call “god” or “angels” however in my altered state I certainly perceived them differently. Again, I cannot confirm that they weren’t just from my mind being in an altered state.

I personally perceived them as 4th dimensional beings, and the message they gave me, was they have absolutely no idea why or how they are existing either, but that we should just enjoy it, and live in the moment, be one with everything around you.

Of course, it’s a beautiful message, and it closely mirrored how I already felt about life, which could be considered an indicator that these visions were in fact from my own mind.

After all, christians who have such an altered brain state always see Jesus, angels and heaven.

Muslims, see Allah, Djins and angels.

Hindus see Vishnu ETC.

This is suggestive in my eyes that you see what you already have a suggestion in your mind of.

I did ask these 4th demensional beings things, and during the experience it felt like they took control of my hand and drew a picture of what they looked like (sort of.)

Again, these occurrences I am fully aware can be explained, which is why I am still unconvinced.

I’ll attach a picture of the sketch I or, dare I say it ‘they’ drew. :sweat_smile:

I figured this would be a great place to share this and get some logical feedback?

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I once had the experience of a lucid dream. I haven’t experienced it since, to the same degree.

I was complete conscious and aware I was dreaming BUT my dream continued. I was in awe and took time to touch things (they were solid) and informed those around me I was dreaming (they didn’t believe me).

Our mind can and does create using the brain :brain: which is our sensory perception.

Without demonstrable evidence of the “outside” influencing the “inside”… it’s the brain. An organ that can fuck with itself for fun


That’s a drawing of my screensaver.

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Keep yourself grounded in this :arrow_up: I do. I love mind-candy. I’m also vulnerable to all sorts of speculative meandering.

The “unconvinced” or I’ll wait until there is sufficient demonstrable evidence has left me with a big pile of “I don’t know”. AND that’s OK :+1:


Does this place have a name?

Who is the artist, @Cog? It reminds me of William Steidel’s work.

Can/does an extremely vivid dream count as a “personal experience”? If so, then I’m not sure what to think about a dream that I had 7 years ago.
I rarely, if ever remember any of my dreams, but I had one when we were still living with our son and his family after I had to retire in '15. It was so vivid and seemed so real that I could remember every little detail about what happened and where it happened.
When I woke up the following morning, I couldn’t believe that I could/would do anything like I did in this dream. It seemed so real, that it actually scared me. I knew I had to tell my wife, but I was afraid of how she might react, so I debated with myself about how and when/where to tell her for a couple of days.
Eventually, we sat down one evening after she was home from the office, and I told what I had experienced. I told her about my dream, how real it felt, and about my now constant thoughts of suicide.

We were living in a huge house overlooking a large lake that our son and his wife had found that was big enough for all of us to live in together. We were living in the downstairs portion of the house, and our son and his family lived upstairs in the main part. Our granddaughter’s bedrooms were downstairs with us, but this place was massive, so it worked out very well.
After I had talked to my wife, we decided that we(I) needed to tell our son and his wife, along with our daughter and her husband about my then current state of mind.
So we asked them to meet us in our place downstairs(no grandkids) one afternoon for a family meeting.

I’m stopping here so I can get some comments from other members of the forum. Does a vivid dream count as a personal experience or not? It had a profound impact on myself and my entire family, so are they the same thing?
I’ve never told anyone else about this dream, except for my doctor and my mental health counselor, but I’m willing to talk about it and hear other members opinions on it. Even now, it’s hard to talk about, but talking about something like this can’t hurt can it?
I’d like to know what other like-minded people’s opinions are.


No idea. Of the choices I was given, I liked it best. I don’t really give any thought into my screen saver. I care that I can see the icons on my desktop.

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Oh Fuck, a legitimate question, … now I have to go look for an answer…
city, fantasy, castle, art, HD wallpaper


Yes. A dream can be a life-changing experience. Interpreting a dream can be a challenge. Our best evidence suggests that dream states are a way of releasing psychological stress or processing emotions. In Lucid Dreaming, a person takes the time before falling asleep to make sure their mind and body are in a proper place to receive the dream they want to dream. (It’s a bit like watching Friday the 13 before bedtime and then having a horror dream. (You have conditioned yourself prior to sleeping.)

When you are not intentionally guiding your dreams, your emotional states will guide them. The imagery is your own and the situations are your own. The feelings are typically what are real in a dream state. A person dreaming about losing their car keys could have the same meaning as a person looking for a lost daughter. The car keys and the daughter have nothing to do with the actual situation. The person may have misplaced an important paper at work, or forgot an important engagement. The fact that they are looking for something lost (the emotional quality of the dream) is what the dream is about. (Cogs dream interpretation advice 101). This seems to work very well for me.


I was pretty sure that our own mental health guru Cog would respond to my inquiry and give his opinion on my meandering response(thanks). Since it seems like my dream from several years ago would/could be considered a P.E.(personal experience), I’ll relate the details so everyone else here will know how fucked up I was at that time in my life.

We had a meeting at our place with our kids and their spouses so they would know what I was experiencing, and what I was doing to hopefully make things better.
This happened before my doctor changed my depression medications to what I’m taking now. It was also before I started weekly counseling, all because of this dream.

In my dream, I got up in the middle of the night, walked over to my wife’s bed, and I strangled her with my bare hands. When she dead, I walked down the hallway to our granddaughter’s rooms, and I did the same to both of them. They were only 4 and 7 at this time, and I did it without any emotion of any kind. I didn’t feel anything.
Then I went upstairs, went into the garage, and got a hammer. I went into our son and daughter-in-law’s room, and killed them both in their sleep. I remember feeling very calm, there was no sense of urgency or repulsion, or even any guilt. I just did it.
Then I went downstairs, got my phone, and went back upstairs. I sat down on the front porch, dialed 911, and told them that I had just killed my family in their sleep. I didn’t have any sense of remorse or any thoughts about running away, I figured I’d spend the rest of my life in prison, and I didn’t care.

That’s where my dream ended, and when I woke up the next morning, I couldn’t believe it. I remembered every little detail, and it felt REAL, like no other dream I’ve ever had before. This dream scared me for the first time ever, and I didn’t know what to do, or who to talk too.
After a couple of days, I sat down with my wife and told her about it. I didn’t know if she’d kick me out of the house, call the police, or try to help me. Luckily, she knew my then current situation, I was having a very hard time with the pain, and was very depressed. We went to see my doctor(the one who I thought was crazy for worrying about my mental health after I had to retire and we had to sell our house). He changed my depression meds to the 2 I’ve been taking ever since, and referred me for weekly counseling. He also gave me a prescription for a pain killer to take at night to help me sleep.

After that, we had the meeting with our kids. I didn’t have any idea how they’d react, especially our son and his wife. Needless to say, they were shocked, and our daughter seemed to be affected the most. I apologized for scaring the shit out of them, and we told them that I was getting some help. Luckily, they didn’t freak out or possibly disown me.
I don’t remember much after that, we definitely will never tell our older granddaughters about this. I’ve been coping with my depression and chronic pain for several years now, and after over a dozen surgeries for my arthritis and other issues, nothing has gotten better(except for my right elbow).
My neurologist has tried several things to find the cause of the neuropathy in my feet and legs, and now I’m waiting to have a fat biopsy to see if that shows anything that could be the cause.
We’ve never brought this subject up anywhere, and never will as far as I’m concerned. It’s over with and done, I’ve never had any thoughts of hurting my family, just myself.
Those thoughts never really go away completely though, the pain never stops, it just gets “dulled” to a point, so it’s always in the back of my head.
I don’t know how long I’m willing to wait before I decide to do something, but our move back closer to our kids and the grandkids definitely makes me want to stick around a little bit longer.
I’m just tired of being in pain.
It definitely changed me, and my relationship with my wife and our kids. So far, it’s been for the better.

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As you dealt with the dream effectively by emoting - telling people about it, and working through it, it seems to me that you are being rational. The fact that the dream is not repeating is a good sign.

My thoughts. The dream is about wanting to be free of responsibility. It’s about wanting to escape and be rid of the family. Your choice to kill shows the severity of how trapped you felt. Think of the ways you can escape family… 'Walk out the door and don’t come back, throw the cell phone in the river. Isolate yourself from video games or ‘music.’ It’s all escape behavior. The ultimate escape is just to do away with everyone.

Two things happen after that. You call 911. A clear demonstration that you knew what you did was the wrong choice. You know you will be punished for such an action. And if you took such an action you would know you deserved it and clearly / calmly accept the consequences.

The issues I see… why not admit that you want to fucking get away from this shit? It is stressful as hell not being able to live your own life. You are a grown man who can’t have a kitty. How much stress are you willing to endure? How much of this stress is physical and how much is psychological. Do you know you are not a happy man?

You end the story with “It changed the relationship.” That is most certainly what needed to happen and probably what needs to happen again.

Sit down some night with a pad of paper and write out… What do I need to be happy?
Once you finish with the first page. Turn to the next.
At the top of the page, ask yourself, “What do you really need to be happy?” Stop talking bullshit to yourself and get concrete actual things that you need to make you happy. (Happy is not shit that you don’t want. If you say “I don’t want” go wash your hands and start over. There is no ‘Don’t Want.’ Get real and decide what you need to make you happy. Given that you have pains, medical issues, things that are not going to vanish overnight. What do you want that will make you happy? Let me know when you have a list. (This is for enteratinment purposes only. I am not an online therapist.)


One of my favorite background images! :sweat_smile:

Ah, the dreaded “personal experience” …

I’ll now provide an example of why this is treated with suspicion in rigorous circles (and indeed, why scientists have laboured to remove “personal experience” from experimental work as much as possible, by delegating important data gathering to machines).

Wind the clock back to 1994. On one day therein, I was taken to hospital, with a body temperature of 104°F. This should already be telling astute observers, that something was seriously wrong on this occasion, and so, it transpired to be the case. What was seriously wrong, was soon revealed by the relevant medical professionals, to be a diagnosis of meningococcal meningitis, hence the elevated body temperature.

Now, the human brain has a tightly defined set of conditions that it prefers to be kept in, if it is to function properly. Much of our anatomy is devoted to maintaining the very homeostasis that keeps said brain in conditions to its liking. When conditions move out of that comfortable envelope, said brain has a habit of behaving strangely, and a temperature of 104°F very definitely lies a good way outside that confortable envelope.

As a consequence, I started hallucinating that the nurse taking my temperature was a six foot tall cockroach.

Most people would be climbing the walls at this point, but my background in invertebrate zoology bestows upon me some advantages, not least the ability to remain calm and collected, in the presence of organisms that would have many wishing they had a flamethrower to hand. Venomous spiders, giant centipedes, moths with a wingspan bigger than a vampire bat, and giant stick insects with a prehistoric appearance to them, have been to me, for many years, a source of fascination rather than terror.

Even in my fevered state, I knew that six foot cockroaches are an impossibility on present day Earth, though the conditions in the Carboniferous could easily have supported such organisms at that time, a fact we know courtesy of the presence of ancestral dragonfly like organisms with a wongspan approaching 1 metre, and fossils such as Arthropleura, which can be thought of in layman’s terms as a ten foot long millipede. A knowledge of insect physiology comes in handy at this point.

So, I decided to make use of this unusual moment in my life, and while waiting for the antibiotics to kick in, I decided to see if could determine which species of cockroach I was hallucinating. If memory serves, I hovered somewhere around the Genus Blabaerus as the most likely possibility, in part due to sheer size (this Genus contains some of the largest species of cockroach alive today), and in part on the basis of morphology (to the untrained eye, they bear some resemblance to big diving beetles as adults).

You can imagine the look on the faces of the hospital staff when I shared all of this. :smiley:

Now, that particular “personal experience”, involving as it did a six foot cockroach, is manifestly unreliable as a source of knowledge about the real world (other, of course, than the fun and games that can occur in the human brain during meningitis, and numerous patients have reported similar phenomena). The real world at the moment does not routinely present six foot cockroaches for us to point our cameras at, and if it did, you can be assured that millions of smartphone camera shots of such organisms would now be littering the Internet, along with the legion of videos featuring hilarious antics on the part of cats and dogs.

Given the recently developed human propensity to point a camera phone at everything that moves, and much that doesn’t, you can be confident that genuinely existing six foot cockroaches would be confirmed in spectacular fashion via this route. Instagram would be awash with the photos, possibly even more so than it is currently of photos of various trout-pout teenage girls trying to jump on the Kardashian bandwagon.

That this had not happened, should be telling you something important about the existence of six foot cockroaches. And in turn, of the dangers of letting “personal experience” pass without corroboration checks.


And with that last sentence Captain Cat and I looked at each other then dissolved into laughter.

Well played Calli. Loved it.


Note that I do not have any personal experience to share. Well … there was the time where I was abducted by industrial strength toilet aliens who shot rockets out of the toilet bowl that sent you through a portal into hell … but I digress.

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This was my personal experience in church. People ripping loud farts in church. Must have been their god telling them to fuck off. :laughing:


Whatever the voices are that a schizophrenic hears, they are not gods or angels.

They are unlikely to be, as the evidence demonstrates people suffering from schizophrenia are vastly more likely to experience auditory hallucinations the rate is around 70 - 80%. I cannot however make an absolute claim they are not, as it would be impossible to demonstrate sufficient objective evidence for this claim. However since the claim is anecdotal and unevidenced and unfalsifiable, I do not believe it.


Can you demonstrate that? Wow, you made a lot of assertions in just one sentence. 1. God exists. 2. Angels exist. 3. God’s and angels have voices. 4. Schizophrenics can hear these voices. 5. Schizophrenics hear voices. 6. The voices the schizophrenics hear are not god’s or Angle’s. Can you demonstrate any of these assertions?