Out-of-Body Experience

6009676C-8D79-4867-9625-3AF9CB3318B3“Yes, of course I believe in astral projection,” the woman standing at the podium said in response to a question from the audience. “I, personally, have had many out-of-body experiences.”

Hank looked at his wife and shook his head. “This is total bullshit. Let’s get out of here.”

“Oh, ye of little faith,” Sandra whispered back. “Sit back and listen, you may actually learn something.”

Hank stood up and addressed the speaker. “What exactly is an out-of-body experience?” he asked.

“Thank you for your question,” the speaker said. “An out-of-body experience occurs when your astral body leaves your physical body and travels to the astral plane. The astral plane is the level beyond the physical, the realm of dreams, spirits, and psychic phenomena, the substance and vehicle for contact between the material and the mystical. It is one of the seven planes of being. Humans generally live on the material plane.”

Hank rolled his eyes.

“I see that you are a skeptic,” the woman said. “But you can’t just dismiss the experiences of a substantial number of people. It often happens when people are in the midst of a near-death event. For example, people report finding themselves floating near the ceiling of their hospital rooms, perhaps observing medical staff attempting to revive them.”

“Your whole concept of an out-of-body experience,” Hank said, “assumes the existence of a soul, or what you call an “astral body,” that is separate from the physical body and is capable of travelling outside it throughout the universe. That’s nonsense.”

“It’s not nonsense. It’s even referenced in the Bible,” the speaker said. “The apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:1–4, said….”

“Seriously, the Bible? Hank interrupted. “That’s it, we’re outta here.” He grabbed Sandra’s hand and pulled her up. “Let’s hit the road with all deliberate speed before I start having my own out-of body experience and this thing turns ugly.”

Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (astral), The Daily Spur (woman), Your Daily Word Prompt (substantial), Ragtag Daily Prompt (road), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (speed), and Swimmers (ugly).

SoCS — A Hole in His Sole

F2FC3391-F53E-4A3D-BAF6-7EB1967F2939He was a very practical and pragmatic man who went to work each weekday morning. She was a very spiritual, religious woman who went to church service every weekday morning. On Sunday mornings, he would go play a round of golf. On Sunday mornings, she would go to Sunday church service.

This Sunday, when he had returned from his round of golf and she had returned from her church service, they were each dressing for that day’s traditional Sunday evening family dinner.

When he was almost finished dressing, he sighed and said aloud, “Oh God, I have a hole in my sole.”

Having heard what he said, she came up to him, sympathetically put her arm around his shoulder, and said, “My love, do not worry. Together we will get through this. Finish dressing, and meet me out front. I will take you to get your soul fixed.”

Grateful for his wife’s attentiveness, albeit a bit surprised by her sense of urgency, he walked out of the front door and stepped into the passenger seat of their car that she had at ready in their driveway.

When she pulled out of the driveway, she drove to the left. He was puzzled and turned to his wife and said, “I think you’re going the wrong way.”

“Oh no sweetheart,” she said. “This is definitely the right way.”

“No, I’m sure you’re going the wrong way,” he said. “The shoemaker’s shop is in the strip mall on the north side of town. You’re driving south.”

“The shormaker’s shop?” she said. “Oh no, I’m taking you to see Pastor James at my church.”

“Does he know how to fix soles?” he asked.

“Oh darling,” she said, “fixing souls is what he does.”

“Honey,” he said, “I think we may have a homophone problem.”

“Are you talking about that gay couple that moved into that house around the corner?” she asked. “My pastor said that those types can steal one’s soul. But that doesn’t make him a homophobe, does it?

He chuckled. “Not ‘homophobe,’ honey.” Homophone. Homophones are words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings.”

She slammed on the brakes, stopped the car, and turned toward her husband. “So are you telling me that you don’t have a hole in your spiritual soul, you have a hole in your shoe’s sole?”

“Yes, exactly,” he said.

“Oh thank God,” she said, “I’m so relieved.” She started the car, turned it around, and headed toward the strip mall on the north side of town where the shoemaker has his shop.

Written for the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. The challenge is to write a post using “soul” and/or “sole.”

Are Dead People Voyeurs?

CEB274F9-BD76-4B99-A978-93702D2271F0I was watching a TV show the other night when one character said to the other, “You’re father would be so proud of you. I bet he’s looking down from heaven right now with a big smile on his face.”

Yeah, right. Do people really belief that their dearly departed friends and relatives are looking down — or looking up, as the case may be — at them to see what they’re up to?

“Oh my God, Dan, that was the best sex ever. I bet your mom is looking down on you from heaven with a big smile on her face.” Oh wait, maybe it was Dan’s father who was looking up at him from hell and masturbating while watching Dan having a hot time with that blonde he picked up at that party. Hmm. Do the souls of dead people masturbate?

Do people really believe that the souls of their deceased loved ones are spending their days in the afterlife spying on their earthbound family members and pals? Do they do it all the time, or do they only do it when something extraordinarily good or bad happens?

And where’s the line? Are there boundaries, safe zones, where you can escape the prying dead eyes of the deceased? Like the bathroom, maybe. Is my mother watching me sitting on the toilet taking a dump and beaming about what a big boy I am?

Is there a statute of limitations? For example, are these dead voyeurs watching over us forever? Or are we sentenced to a finite number years after their death to be subjected to their constant observation? And how large is this circle of voyeurs? Just your parents or does it go back multiple generations and include more watchers than your immediate family and closest friends?

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m an atheist and I don’t believe in the notion of an afterlife. But I’m genuinely interested in hearing from those who are believers. Do you believe that the souls of your deceased loved ones — your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and closest friends — are looking down at you, watching what you’re doing day in and day out?

I’m not trying to be an asshole. I really want to know what you believe. Tell me in the comments or write your own post and link it back to this post.


Song Lyric Sunday — Soul Man

Helen Vahdati chose “soul” as her theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt. No doubt that I’m not the only blogger who will pick “Soul Man” as their song choice.

“Soul Man” was written and composed by Isaac Hayes and David Porter in 1967. It was originally recorded by the soul duo of Sam & Dave (Sam Moore and Dave Prater). The song reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the US in 1967.

Isaac Hayes said that he got the idea for the song from watching the riots in Detroit on TV. It was said that if you put the word “soul” on the door of your business establishment, the rioters wouldn’t burn it. The word “soul” became a galvanizing kind of thing for African Americans, according to Hayes, and it had an effect of unity, it was said with a lot of pride.

Hayes said, “Why not write a tune called ‘Soul Man’? All you had to do was write about your personal experiences, because all African Americans in this country at the time had similar experiences. But we realized that in addition to being an African American experience, it was a human experience, and therefore it crossed over and became very commercial.”

When this song was written, there was no clear definition of a “Soul Man.” After Isaac Hayes came up with the title, David Porter wrote the rest of the lyrics based on what he thought a Soul Man would be like.

In November 1978, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi, calling themselves the “Blues Brothers,” performed the song as the “cold opener” of an episode of Saturday Night Live. It was later released as a single, which reached number 14 in February 1979.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

Comin’ to you on a dusty road
Good lovin’, I got a truck load
And when ya get it, huh, ya got some
So don’t worry, ’cause I’m comin’

I’m a soul man, wow
I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man, woah, heh
I’m a soul man
And that ain’t all, huh

Gots what I got the hard way
And I’ll make it better each and every day
So honey, don’t you fret, huh
‘Cause you ain’t seen uh, nothin’ yet

I’m a soul man, oh road
I’m a soul man, play it Steve
I’m a soul man, ha
I’m a soul man, oh

I was brought up on a side street, yes maam
I learned how to love before I could eat
I was educated from good stock
When I start lovin’, oh I can’t stop

I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man
I’m a soul man, yeah
I’m a soul man, look

Grab a rope and I’ll pull you in
Give you hope and be your only boyfriend
Yeah (yeah) yeah (yeah), uh

I’m talking about a
Soul man, I’m a
Soul man, and you
Soul man, aah
Soul man, hold on
Soul man, I’m a
Soul man, and you a
Soul man, and you’re a
Soul man, hold on

Run for Your Life

8dfd3d9c-ecee-410d-8623-8f7f49f77245-18206-00000be8e04fe5b5“You need to stop staring at him,” Seth said.

“Have you no soul?” Carol cried. “He’s standing out there in the pouring rain. He’s begging for us to let him.”

“No, we can’t let him in,” Seth insisted. “He’s diseased. He has the infection and if we let him in, he will kill us.”

“What happened to him?” Carol asked.

“When he was in the Maui six months ago, he was attacked by a puffer fish,” Seth explained. “Not many people realize that the puffer fish has a stronger bite than a piranha. Plus, they are poisonous and there is no known antidote.”

“But he obviously didn’t die from the poison,” Carol said. “So what’s wrong with him?”

“The poison didn’t kill him, but it infected his brain,” Seth said. “It made him insane and violent. He killed his wife last month and now he goes around biting people and infecting them, turning those he bites into zombie-like creatures.”

“Seth,” Carol screamed. “He’s pounding on the window! It’s starting to break.”

Seth grabbed Carol’s hand. “Run, Carol, run for you life.”

Written for Teresa’s Three Things Challenge. The three things are puffer fish, soul, and staring.