I was a boy at the time, riding down a hill on my bicycle. Rounding a bend, I looked up and saw a parked car right in front of me. All I could do was shut my eyes. When I opened them again I was the other side, continuing my journey. I remember thinking at the time: ‘That’s good, I must have gone on the inside’. I knew that there was no way I had gone round it. Years later, for some reason it came back to mind. Thinking about it again, I thought: ‘No, I didn’t go round it, there wasn’t room. In any case I had my eyes shut.’ So how did I get to the other side?
I was recounting this incident in a group one time when a woman spoke up and told us how, when driving along a country road, she was faced with the inevitability of a head-on collision with a lorry. Nothing happened. When she looked in her driving mirror the lorry was continuing its journey behind her.
How are we to understand incidents like this?
Bill Bryson says this in ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’: ‘The world in which we live is not as solid as it appears. Everything is made up of atoms that are mostly empty space. The solidity we experience all around us is an illusion. Every atom is made of three kinds of elementary particles: protons that have a positive electrical charge, electrons that have a negative electrical charge; and neutrons which have no charge at all. When two objects come together in the real world – billiard balls are most often used as an illustration – they don’t actually strike each other. Rather the negatively charged fields of the two balls repel each other. Were it not for their electrical charges, they could, like galaxies, pass right through each other unscathed.’
Perhaps an angel turned off the electricity?