To go a bit more back on thread, I once had what I thought of as an OOBE, then another, then another. They were all quite amazing. Then a "friend" quite kindly "brought me back to earth" and totally invalidated the theory of these incidents being OOBEs. Haven't had one since.
Well, each instance occurred as I was laying down to take a bit of a rest, not so much to sleep but just rest. The locale (bed or sofa) and horizontal body position to him indicated that I must have simply fallen asleep. The things I experienced (one involved observing my sister crying) were all just dreams, according to him. The fact that my sister was crying at that time on that evening was simply a coincidence, etc. He was adamant that these were just dreams, so the point that he convinced me my perception of these incidents as OOBEs was just wishful thinking. He was not especially persuasive, just persistent and adamant. The stream wearing away the stone sort of thing.
Later conversations with others has made me think my first explanation (OOBE) was the correct one. I particularly liked this tidbit a woman who gave me a wonderful Tarot reading told me, which I now share with Cranium: "In the western material world view, we are our bodies, at least in 'this life'. So we must have a body , otherwise we don't exist! So we stay latched on tight to the body. And when we slip on that grip a bit, when we do an EVA, usually when sleeping, we block it carefully from our conscious mind. The tricky part is when we fall asleep in a moving vehicle. Because the body is moving, we drift from it much faster than our own intention would justify. Oh dear! That's my body! I NEED that body! Without it I'm nothing! And *WHAM* back into the body we jump, and thus we wake, for no apparent reasaon, with a great start."
Fallen - Sounds as if you were bullied out of it, and later realized there was no rational reason NOT to think it an OBE.
As for moving vehicles, this notion made me smile. Earth spins at about 24,000 miles per hour, and is moving around the sun considerably faster than that, with the solar system itself revolving around Milky Way's galactic center, as the galaxies themselves hurtle apart from each other at unspeakable speeds, etc.
Motion is all. If that's all it took to lose one's link to the body, we'd all be in Alpha Centauri by now, I'd think.
Out-of-body experience clues may hide in mind
Scientists: Misfiring brain behind bizarre sensation
By Marsha Walton (CNN)
(CNN) -- Over the years, many people have described having "out-of-
body" experiences, but there's not much solid scientific data on what
causes them. Now, a chance event may shed some light on what produces
Neurology researchers in Switzerland report the case of a woman who
described "floating above her own body and watching herself" while
she was undergoing testing and treatment for epilepsy. The strange
experience only occurred when one particular part of her brain, the
angular gyrus in the right cortex, was stimulated with an electrode.
And it happened every time the angular gyrus was stimulated.
"Of course it was a big surprise when she told us," said Dr. Olaf
Blanke, a neurologist at Geneva University Hospital, and author of
the findings in this week's edition of the British journal Nature.
"You hear strange reports sometimes, but in five or six years of
doing this I've never gotten that sort of response before," said
He says the patient wasn't really frightened, but she did say it was
a very strange sensation.
Blanke said it would have been difficult for the patient to fake such
an experience. She had up to 100 electrodes implanted in her brain
for these sessions, and had no idea which electrode would be
stimulated, or when. The stimulations each took 2 seconds or less.
At other times during the same session, Blanke said, the patient
screamed, because she "saw" her legs shortening, and "saw" her knees
about to hit her face.
Electrodes and brain 'mapping'
The unidentified 43-year-old patient had suffered from epileptic
seizures for 11 years. Doctors were using electrodes to try to
pinpoint the origin of her seizures. Such brain "mapping" is also
used to help doctors identify critical areas of the brain, like those
responsible for speech or movement, so they aren't damaged during
While the electrodes are implanted under full anesthesia, patients
are fully awake during the testing procedure, so their comfort,
language skills, and responses can be constantly monitored.
Lots of people try to explain something away which is for many
people, an amazing experience that has transformed their lives. I
hope we can add some precise neuroscience and try to collaborate with
people in many fields.
This case is a little unusual for researchers, since the out-of-body
experience was a surprise to both the patient and the doctors. Since
nothing was planned, as it would have been in standard research,
there were no control groups or other measures, like perhaps
videotaping the session.
Others in the field say these serendipitous findings sound plausible,
and intriguing for further study.
"It does fit in with a body of work on how we perceive our bodies and
space," said Dr. Barry Gordon, professor of neurology at Johns
Hopkins Medical Institutions.
He says similar descriptions have come from other people with
epilepsy, and from stroke victims and others who have had seizures.
This region of the brain may also tie in to the well-documented
descriptions of "phantom limbs" by amputees.
"Our brains are not built the way we think; the inner mind is more
bizarrely constructed than we might think," said Gordon.
As an example, Gordon said, when you look at an apple, you might see
red and round and shiny and think of the word, "apple." But the brain
may see the red in one place, the round and shiny in another, and
process the word "apple" in yet another. We count on our brains to
sort it all out and combine it into something we understand, he said.
An out-of-body experience may be a slight disconnect or misfiring of
the processing of information. And, said both Blanke and Gordon, the
trauma of having electrodes implanted in one's skull, plus the fear
and uncertainty that go along with a complex clinical procedure,
could possibly help trigger such a misfiring of information, such as
the case of the Geneva patient.
"Sometimes patients describe looking down on their own bodies, and
that experience is actually an aura or a warning that a seizure is
about to occur," said Dr. Cindy Kubu, a neuropsychologist at the
Cleveland Clinic Foundation. She has worked with patients with
epilepsy for more than a decade.
She said some patients see lights flashing, others see cartoon
characters, others have feelings of deja vu, or its opposite, jamais
vu (when what is really a very familiar experience seems to be
happening for the first time). All of these events can be precursors
to a seizure.
Neuroscience and the paranormal
The angular gyrus is a complex part of the brain, responsible for
things like body and space awareness, and logical sequencing.
If something is awry there, said Kubu, a patient might put on his
pants first, and then his underwear, and not understand that there's
a problem. Or the patient might feel like a hand or arm is not
connected to the rest of the body, and he can't make it function.
The next step in learning more about out-of-body experiences will
likely be efforts to try and replicate the results in other patients
who agree to take part in such tests.
"This is fun, fascinating stuff," said Kubu. "And it could help our
patients get better," she said.
As for Blanke's patient in Geneva, she is doing much better, he says,
and her seizures are under control.
Dr. Blanke is hopeful that many different experts will be able to
work together in using this unexpected information from his patient.
He says there's even some value in what's often viewed as
"Lots of people try to explain something away which is for many
people, an amazing experience that has transformed their lives. I
hope we can add some precise neuroscience and try to collaborate with
people in many fields," said Blanke.
If they retry this experiment, it would be fascinating to set up a test situation to see whether the seat of consciousness IS somehow projected outside the body.
Some OOBEs (like some of those experienced as part of an NDE) give rise to reports of things being seen in positions (such as on top of tall lockers) where the physical patient couldn't possibly see them.
Rynner - You probably well know that in many OBE and Remote Viewing tests, notes and other things have been placed on top of lockers, door-frames, and even on high corner shelves built for just such experiments, and so far no one has successfully read or identified them.
Are out of body experiences real?
By Jeremy Lovell
MANCHESTER (Reuters) - Scientists probing the paranormal say they hope to set up a major experiment in Britain trying to find out once and for all whether the mind can step outside the body at the brink of death.
The proposed study would involve interviewing people who had survived cardiac arrest to see if they had had an out of body experience while on the operating table.
"Over the course of a year we hope this would give us 100 people who leave their bodies," neuropsychiatrist Peter Fenwick told reporters at the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science on Wednesday.
The researchers plan to ask 25 hospitals to place special objects and pictures around their cardiac units.
Each survivor who then claimed to have an out of body experience -- where they typically hover near the ceiling watching the resuscitation process -- would be asked if they had noticed any of the objects.
"If they do notice them when the brain is not functioning then it makes the case for the mind being separate from the brain," he said.
Fenwick, whose special field is near-death experiences, said there was ample anecdotal evidence of out of body experiences, but scant data.
"These people seem to be able to get information when they are out of their bodies. People have talked of 'mind sight,'" he said.
But he accepted that if no one noticed the objects it would equally kill off the theory.
He also said there had been scientific studies proving that prayer worked, including one in which the number of women in a clinic in Seoul who conceived after being implanted with fertilised eggs doubled when groups elsewhere prayed for them.
Robert Morris, Koestler Professor of Parapsychology at the University of Edinburgh, said there was evidence that voice, touch and sight were not the only means of communication.
He said that in experiments, particularly sensitive people had been able to communicate over distance, although he readily accepted that his field was also full of cheats and liars.
I have absolutely no doubt that people who experience OOBEs are experiencing something. Whether it actually involves "leaving one's body" (whatever that means) is open to debate. (Rather loud, passionate, and somewhat vindictive debate.)
Similarly Alien Abductions. In many cases (although, by no means all) the subjects have had a very real, and disturbing experience. Whether the experience they have had is the one they think they've had is the real question.
One thing to remember is such matters is that no matter what the objective explanation may be, that does not change the subjective experience. (It may help the subject to understand what happenned to them, but it won't help them get over it.)
It should be noted that OOBEs are not restricted to NDEs. And I'm not talking about Astral Projection here - that's more of a directed flight of imagination or waking dream. A friend of mine has experienced OOBEs on several occasions these have involved a prophetic vision of the Soho bombing and also garnered information I find hard to explain rationally. Surely it would be easier to experiment with people who believe they can induce OOBEs rather than people who have NDEs?
My childhood OOBE's were 'real', in that my point of view or perspective would change (I'd be looking down on the room, for example, while physically still sitting on the settee) and sometimes my 'location' would change (I once freaked my Ma out by sitting in the living room, and telling her a cat had just come into the kitchen and was trying to nick our Sunday tea ).
Whether these were true 'spiritual journeys', or the result of an overworked childhood imagination, I don't know. I do know I can't recreate them now; as soon as I feel I'm about to 'travel', I bottle out, and come back down to earth .
by Filcee (I once freaked my Ma out by sitting in the living room, and telling her a cat had just come into the kitchen and was trying to nick our Sunday tea ) Whether these were true 'spiritual journeys', or the result of an overworked childhood imagination, I don't know..
I get similar sensation on an almost daily basis. I feel I could simply leave my body and fly with the wind or get sucked up to the stars. But a primal fear that I might not be able to return keeps me grounded in my body.
I recently under went some major surgery on my Brain. As I was going under (Anaesthetic) I felt as If I was leaving the body.
Although I did not watch the surgery take place, I seem to had vivid dreams of what happened. As soon as I cam round I had the feeling of rushing back inside myself, almost the same as when you have stayed under-water too long and come up for air.
During a outer-body experience the astral body leaves the physical body and the two heads are supposedly connected by a silver cord. None of the subjects mentioned this detail
Is not astral projection the same thing? Ive read several books that describe it like an oobe.
Perhaps the scientists involved should get some spiritualist groups in to help as they some times claim to have this extrodinary ability.
As more and more people come forward with accounts of near-death experiences, new research is about to examine the out of body experience to see whether mind and body really do separate at the point of death.
It is only 30 years ago that the term near-death experience was coined. An American researcher, Raymond Moody, used it to describe the reports of a large number of people who, whilst apparently dead, had seen deceased relatives, tunnels of light, life reviews and felt an overwhelming sense of peace, before being resuscitated.
Recent studies have shown that one in 10 people who have had a cardiac arrest report an near-death experience (NDE). These experiences are reported across many cultures and religions. Some believe they offer a glimpse of an afterlife while others see them as the result of a dying brain.
In March Dr Sam Parnia and Professor Peter Fenwick will begin a year-long study, looking at patients who have had cardiac arrests to find out if they have had any experiences or memories whilst their heart stopped beating.
In particular they are interested in those who report an out-of-body experience (OBE), when the "experiencer" looks down on their body and surroundings from a height.
At Hammersmith Hospital and 12 other hospitals across the UK, symbols will be placed in strategic places so that only those who have an OBE will be able to see them.
"If these claims are verified" says Dr Sam Parnia, "then this will have a huge implication for science because what it would indicate for us is that our current understanding of mind, body and brain isn't sufficient and that it is possible for the mind/consciousness to separate from the brain at the end of life."
However, a similar but small scale study at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, last year was inconclusive. Over a five-year period eight out of 39 cardiac arrest patients had a NDE and of those only two had an OBE. Unfortunately, neither of them was in the right place to spot the symbols.
Evidence of the 'other side'
Penny Sartori, who conducted the research at Morriston Hospital, believes it is very easy for people to dismiss NDE as hallucinations.
"I documented 12 cases of people who had had hallucinations and I found that the hallucinations were very different from the NDE." Hallucinations tend to be random and non-specific whereas the NDEs follow a definite pattern and the reports are very clear and precise.
Professor Paul Badham, from the University of Wales, Lampeter, who helped oversee this study, believes these experiences are evidential for believing in heaven.
"People do describe a paradise or kind of environment, they do describe being met by a being of light who seems to know them, they often have a review of their past life. They often have a sense of passing self judgement on that kind of life that they have lived. So it does seem to me that many of the ingredients of a belief in heaven are present in the NDE and confirmed by it."
However, Professor Christopher French, who looks into paranormal experiences at Goldsmith College, London, is more sceptical. "Virtually all the aspects of the NDE have been reported in other contexts," he says.
The life review can be caused by the brain firing in unusual ways as a result of a lack of oxygen or too much carbon dioxide in the blood stream. Endorphins released during times of stress can create a sense of peace and the tunnel of light could reflect abnormal patterns of firing in the visual cortex.
"I think it will be a long time before we fully understand the NDE," says Professor French, "but it's an incredibly fascinating and profound experience for the people that have it and it would certainly be a mistake for science to close its eyes towards those kinds of experience.
"Potentially they can tell us an awful lot, not only about how the brain may operate at the kind of extremes but also about normal everyday consciousness and so, definitely, we ought to carry on studying these experiences and taking them seriously."
After Death, What? will be broadcast in the UK on BBC Radio 4 at 2030 GMT on Monday 26, January.
A lot of DMT users say they experience "brilliant tunnels of light, and meeting alien beings" in said tunnels, etc, It is speculated that DMT is released into the brain when you die, hence producing "out of body experiences",wich wouldnt seem unplausible considdering that both 5-MEO-DMT and DMT are allready found in our spinal cortex, and in our lungs(someone correct me if I`m wrong)
We keep hearing chilling stories of out of body experiences by people who were near death and suddenly recovered.
Some of the tales are so vivid they have a surrealistic edge of reality to them.
But, now researchers say they've found an explanation.
A new study suggests these "out-of-body" and "near-death" experiences may be influenced by a portion of the brain misfiring under stress.
The paper, which describes one patient's visions while she was being evaluated for epilepsy, does not wrestle with issues of the soul.
Nor, researchers said, do the brain-mapping results entirely explain these strange reports.
The researchers point to a processing center in the brain known as the angular gyrus. The angular gyrus is thought to play an important role in the way the brain analyzes sensory information to give us a perception of our own bodies. When it misfires, they speculate, the result can be visions of floating outside of ourselves.
The findings were published in the journal Nature.
"We do not fully understand the neurological mechanism that causes OBEs," conceded the study's lead researcher, neurologist Dr. Olaf Blanke at the University Hospitals of Geneva and Lausanne in Switzerland.
Skeptics of OBEs said the experiment goes a long way toward providing a scientific explanation for what some believe is a paranormal phenomenon, even if the study is based on only one patient.
"Since all of our brains are wired in a similar manner, there is no reason to think that stimulation of this brain region in other patients will not corroborate the finding," said psychologist Michael Shermer, director of the Skeptic Society, which seeks to debunk alien abductions, ESP and other claims.
"It's another blow against those who believe that the mind and spirit are somehow separate from the brain," Shermer said. "In reality, all experience is derived from the brain."
Other researchers were less dismissive of the possibility that OBEs might be real. They described the experiment as modest but interesting.
Neurologist Dr. Bruce Greyson of the University of Virginia said the experiment does not necessarily prove that all OBEs are illusions. He said it is possible that some OBEs occur in different ways than the scientists suspect.
The Swiss researchers mapped the brain activity of a 43-year old woman who had been experiencing seizures for 11 years. They implanted electrodes to stimulate portions of her brain's right temporal lobe.
The temporal lobe, which includes the angular gyrus structure, is associated with perception of sound, touch, memory and speech.
Blanke suspects that the right angular gyrus integrates signals from the visual system, as well as information on touch and balance.
When electrical stimulation was applied, the patient reported seeing herself "lying in bed, from above, but I only see my legs and lower trunk." She also described herself as "floating" near the ceiling.