This short essay of yours would seem to merit further discussion. I read what you have written as being more of a conscious "self" discussion with one's own physical brain, where the self is considered as a separable part of the physical brain. And I suppose that you would agree with your self that not the brain but the self is what motors the body? Or do you consider that both self and the physical brain co-pilot the physical body? Or perhaps it's more realistic to assign the physical brain as the sole pilot of the body? Ultimate and absolute reality is a very hard and difficult nut to crack, as the kernel inside may very well be that reality we all seek to grasp. However, the physical brain is hardly the only tool needed for cracking this nut to release the inner content, the kernel of truth. Provided that we can even imagine to understand what truth is. That absolute reality is equal to truth is not difficult to have, provided we truly understand these three terms; absolute, reality, and truth. What interests me more on what you stated is this. "But when my friend Sharon leaves her body, as she has done a number of times, her awareness does not cease at all." Have you, yourself, ever left your body in the same way you say your friend Sharon does hers? And if you have not, on what premise are you accepting the claim that her awareness does not cease at all when outside of the body? I myself have had two specific experiences which may meet the general definition of an OBE, such as perhaps something similar to what you say of your friend Sharon. However, after many years I still find it difficult to accept it myself, that I actually experienced such a phenomenon; my consciousness/soul/self leaving my own physical body. I don't know all the particulars about Sharon's OBE experiences and conditions, but I suppose you must have been convinced that Sharon's consciousness/soul/self, does leave her physical body. And when she does, her consciousness/soul (self) is what separates from her body. And I suppose, going by what you state, that her physical brain must remain separate from her consciousness, since it's part of the physical body that she leaves behind on those specific occasions? How is Sharon, herself, convinced that she has fully, and successfully, left her physical body/brain, consciously? Unfortunately for my own two experiences I don't have anyone to corroborate what I thought I was experiencing, a separation of self consciousness from my physical body. Let me be clear, I had others present, my own family members, observed me while I believed to be experiencing the OBEs, but they have never believed me.