injuries have found that when an area of the brain called the tempo- roparietal junction is stimulated with an electrical current, the patient may sense “a presence” that is not there.When the brain is affected in a traumatic manner, it may create an autoscopic experience, which means one feels that a representation of one’s own body has been projected outside the self. After Ernest Shackleton and his men got stuck in the ice during

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their 1916 Antarctic expedition, three of them trekked across glaciers and mountain ranges to get help. All of the men reported feeling a “ divine ” presence with them—a spirit assuring their safe passage.

The remains of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship. Just six years after his experience with the divine, Shackleton passed away while on his final expedition.



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