In 1968 when I was fourteen years old I was shot in the head with a Colt .45 from a distance of six feet.

In an act that was totally out of character, in 2012 I attended a support group for people with TBI — traumatic brain injury. A young man stood up — clearly from the military or law enforcement, a person totally different from me in temperament and experience — who said, “I don’t know why I am still here.”

What came to mind instantly was “This is what I have felt ever since I was 14.” Three or four others in this group of maybe 20 other mildy-impaired also nodded their heads.

Something I had always considered existential or psychological or characterological turned out to be neurological.

A few months later the fully-formed vision for My Life as a Ghost arrived.

What happens when the soul is slammed out of the body and incompletely returns? What is the nature of this mechanically-induced variety of religious experience? How can we think about this peculiar intersection of body and soul, psyche and soma, in our era of functional MRIs and the Quantified Self?

I feel uniquely called to My Life as a Ghost because I have had to sort out on my own the subtler psycho-neurological consequences of TBI. According to the medical science of the era of the 1960s, the assumption was that you were either dead, gibbering, or fine. I was none of these; instead I had become a TBI ghost.