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Medical OBEs/Astral Projections

  1. Nov 9, 2005 #1
    Is there ANY scientific basis of OBEs or Astral Projections, or remote viewing?:confused: and whether it is possible or not to project astrally?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2005 #2
    There is no scientific basis for the "phenomenon" itself, let alone reason for it. They might or might not exist, so until it is proven either way it is speculating as to the reasons why is just that, mere speculation. I for one do not think that can exist at all. OBE would have you believe that whatever makes up the consciousness of a person can somehow exit the body. What is it then? A soul perhaps, but that has no scientific basis and can only be believed, never proved. The same is true for remote viewing and astral projection. Both defy the laws of physics as we know them and would probably be best studied in terms of phsycology, not science.
  4. Nov 9, 2005 #3
    Why are the laws of physics defied?
  5. Nov 9, 2005 #4
    The experience is common among people who suffer simple partial seizures. It is a disturbance of the sense of proprioception: our sence of body position. It can happen in degrees: some people only experience an extremity seeming to be out of place, others lose their entire sense of being located in their body.
    Seizures are transient events and the disturbance will subside. However, in rare cases, the sence of proprioception can be permanently damaged leaving the person in a constant state of inability to sence where their body is located. Oliver Sacks told the most famous story about such a patient in his book Tha Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, in the chapter entitled "The Disembodied Lady". Her proprioceptors, the nerve endings responsible for this sense of internal touch were all selectively destroyed by a freak virus, with the result that her brain stopped recieving any imput about where any part of her body was located relative to any other. The result was that she "sensed" herself to be outside her body, floating in various parts of the room. Even looking down at her body from the perspective of her eyes seemed like she was looking at a body that was not hers, despite an intellectual recognition that it was hers.
    If you close your eyes right now, you will be able to tell where every part of your body is, and what position it is in. That is the result of propriocetion: every part is touching every other part and your proprioceptors sence this and send the information to your brain where a picture of the whole is assembled. In the so-called OBE, the parts of the brain where this picture is assembled are disturbed and prevented from putting that picture together.
    Proprioception is a sense that most of us don't realize we have, much less realize we need. It seems self evident that if we exist, we exist in our bodies, and it's a revelation to find out that we actually need a part of the brain dedicated to telling us where we are. But it turns out we do.
  6. Nov 12, 2005 #5
    I used to live in an ashram. One morning in early meditation, we had been doing some Raja Yoga, with amazing side effects. This aside and having studied astral projection, I was laying on the floor after a long meditation, and suddenly I was somewhere else, and I was in a different time of day. Instead of early morning, I was in early evening at a coctail party. I was looking at my hands and looking at the scene, and with the greatest of effort I was staying in the scene. I somehow knew I was in Chicago, and before me was a middle aged Jewish woman, in a red dress talking about matters of no consequence. I could feel a honey electricity all through my being, and it was very difficult to remain there and listen to her, I kept waiting for something significant to be said. I was just in a strange place with strangers, who were discussing mundane daily life things. So I let go, and fell back, and immediately rebounded up to a sitting position in the room where I had been meditating. It was awfully funny to me, because I had been somewhere entirely foreign, and with great difficulty, to learn exactly nothing, except that it could be done.
  7. Nov 14, 2005 #6
    Dayle Record, I think that experience is quite different than an "OBE", not that I know what to call it: from your description it sounds like you were "beamed" somewhere else, body and all. I don't think I've ever heard a story about something like that before.
  8. Nov 14, 2005 #7


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  9. Nov 20, 2005 #8
  10. Nov 21, 2005 #9


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    I had simply assumed the ashram Dayle Record lived in was in India and that time zones accounted for the difference in time. I guess this is because I have heard of other instances where this experience started in India. Bitemporal bilocation sounds like a good term. I wonder, are there implications of this that involve bilocating into the future!
  11. Nov 21, 2005 #10
    Good point. The word "ashram" completely slipped by me. If she was in India then we don't need to add "bitemporal".
  12. Nov 26, 2005 #11
    ah... astral projection... theres a topic i havent heard for 2 years

    i remember when i used to train myself spriritually in 6th grade, but then i stared getting lots of homework in junior high so i couldn't meditate and whatnot anymore. i have lots of time this weekend so i will attempt it. i already know all of the meditation techniques necessary. i will try this weekend and come back to this topic soon. it could be hours, or it could be a day or so. dont wait here for me to come back immediately.

    edit: i have am not prone to seizures and am not mentally disabled or anything. i have no neural health problems so dont say that i am prone to seizures or something and am dillusional.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2005
  13. Nov 26, 2005 #12
    The Ashram was in the western US, the time sequence was way off. I have had plenty of other experiences like this one that I categorize as active dreaming. However the richness of these experiences, and the foreign terrain, and unknown players, and even glimpses in mirrors, where I am plainly not "my western us in this timeline self", lead me to believe that the "field" that comprises us, is not exclusive to the physical form that is our regular habitation. It seems to be an art or an aberrance, or a bit of borrowed memory that is accessible on an organically irregular basis. The stuff that was not linked to yoga practice directly, is linked to dream states.
    I worry that there is some sort of steady, or at least knowable field of energetic endeavors, that partially comprises life, that might be damaged by our overuse of every available em frequency. It is obvious that the "navigational aids" the Navies of the world use are very damaging to sea creatures. I wonder what kinds of non physical realities exist that are disrupted by our mundane doings. Oh yes, there used to be a heaven, but it is gone, Cingular bought out the frequency etc...
  14. Nov 26, 2005 #13
    Hey Dayle have you ever happened to see any other stuff while in astral projection. like other creatures of sorts or even humans in the astral realm? just a question...
  15. Nov 27, 2005 #14
    It sounds like these things happen randomly to you, in a chaotic manner, and you see a difference between them and things associated with meditation. I would first have yourself checked out for any possible brain condition before applying a mystical interpretation (i.e. that we are a "field" rather than what we usually appear to be). Falling into these experiences, which you feel are related to dream states, is not common or normal, and I think you should rule out anything like MS or whatever.

    I think the Navy thing you're talking about is low frequency sound, which has nothing in particular to do with EM fields. I have never heard of any, say, Tibetan Buddhist or Japanese Roshi suggesting that EM fields are doing any damage to us or any non-ordinary worlds. (On the other hand I have heard complaints from those quarters about rainforest destruction, daming rivers, oil spills, air pollution and obvious things like that.) I can't absolutely guarrantee that the kinds of EM fields we have around us all the time are completely harmless, but what you are experiencing is pretty idiosynchratic to you. Were EM fields to blame I think we'd be hearing such stories from just about everyone.
  16. Nov 27, 2005 #15
    Let me rephrase my statements.

    My involvement with yoga was the first sortie into the realms of conscious states, available to humans, in the natural, unadulterated physical form, no hallucinogens, and no "belief", either, just practical application of eastern "mind sciences". I read extensively the works of John C. Lilly, and Carlos Castenada, because I had an interest in personal physics, so to speak. I was not interested in using psychedelics to achieve enhanced states, I was interested in a very detailed viewing of all phenomena that my regular and extra senses could accomplish. This came about when as a young woman I met people who seemed extraordinarily perceptive. Perceptive states became an interest of mine. Call it hypermnesia if you want, but it has been an interest of mine for my entire adult life.

    I studed active dreaming, and have participated in active dreaming for the last thirty years. Part of what I describe is simply the act of paying attention, while alseep. That can cause a sleep disorder, at least as far as eeg readings go.

    I am not mentally, or physically ill. These phenomena are interesting to me, either as a pure product of my physiology or consciousness; or as an awakening to the connections my electro physiological state, shares with the universe at large.

    This thread is about OBE's or Astral Projection, not about Multiple Sclerosis or diagnoses. I don't have MS, or any symptoms.

    Perhaps my description seems chaotic, I haven't written a treatise here, and I have an off and on interest in this whole endeavor. I don't belong to any organized group, nor do I discuss this in a regular dream group, nor do I have an interest in Jungian Psychology, this is just about understanding the energies of existence and my perception of them, on a personal level.

    The government has spent a lot of money on investigations of this very sort, remote viewing, and the nature of things in general, sadly to build more efficient warriors and intelligence gathering. Perhaps they have worked at this preparatory to meeting other life forms that may drop by here. John C. Lilly, regardless of what he may be up to today, was paid a bundle by the Navy for his work with dolphins. I remember reading Metaprogramming The Human Biocomputer, in the early seventies.
  17. Nov 27, 2005 #16
    P.S. OBE's occur with me, under anaesthesia, without fail. I have watched every surgery I have ever had, starting in Junior High School. If I am put under, I watch the proceeding. I even remember my comments while watching, and I am prone to awakening, and disrupting in the OR. I have a friend who was having a severe asthma attack some years ago. She was in the ER intubated, and from an out of body position, she made the choice to die, and extubated herself, while paralyzed with curare. They put the tube back in, and she lived.

    It has been my experience that we have a sort of duality, or some of us do, and this is not a description of Schizophrenia. Human physiology is certainly predictible, even neuro physiology, but yet we are all different in many ways, and perhaps most variant when it comes to how we program our consciousness to function, or how we relate to our physical systems. We count on our bodies to live, and function on wildly differing levels of effort, and sophisticaton. Our bodies count on our intellect to learn the social maze that will bring sustainence, pleasure, and safety for us and those we choose to care for. That leaves a whole lot of room for other types of efforts.

    Some humans are strictly materialists, this has to do with every iota of the physical form, they are highly reactive, and for them the body, its pleasure, or pain, or chemistry is the whole thing. They experience no separation of states. For some humans life is very different than this.
  18. Nov 27, 2005 #17
    The OBE is a common simple partial seizure symptom. Your experiences, which are more elaborate, might in fact, also have a purely neurological origin. This is Mind and Brain Sciences, I'm allowed to point things like that out. I pulled MS out of the grab bag as a "for instance" because it is like simple partial seizures in that it manifests with a huge variety of symptoms from person to person, depending on what part of the brain is affected. Traumatic brain injury is the same, although there's no point in mentioning that because you'd know if you had a TBI, but there are also brain tumors and migraine at the root of alot of experiences some people interpret as mystical. There are a few other organic causes of strange experiences I've never gotten around to reading up on in detail. It's just common sense to suggest to anyone reporting elaborate experiences like this to get checked out neurologically, especially someone prone to first look at such things in mystical terms since they are the least likely to think it might have a neurological cause.
  19. Nov 27, 2005 #18
    Have you ever heard of the disassociative class of drugs (most are anesthetics)? In most people, these drugs are capable of producing autoscopy (the detached visual perspective) and a definite feeling of removal, not only from your body, but from your own familiar mental processes. All of these effects are generally associated with antagonism of NMDA receptors. (although there is a kappa something receptor implicated in the disassociative effects of salvia divinorum)
    I'm not being pedantic here, I have experienced phenomena that sound similar in many respects to the experiences you have related here, from the use of an NMDA antagonist.
    My point here is that you should investigate what anesthetics were used that caused these effects (ketamine, or some other NMDA-antagonist?), and keep in mind the possibility that an endogenous disruption of NMDA receptors or some other biological malfunction that causes the same end result could be the culprit here, before you interpret these experiences as incontrovertible evidence of dualism.

    Lastly, it's ironic you mention schizophrenia... I read recently that the problematic dopamine hypothesis (more supported now by the fact it makes it easy for drug companies to pitch their case, than by actual research) may be at risk of being supplanted by the NMDA-receptor hypofunction hypothesis, which, IIRC, links a long-term mild disruption of NMDA function to schizophrenic symptoms (makes sense since the visible brain degeneration in schizophrenics resembles that present in animals subjected to repeated, high doses of NMDA-antagonists). Not to suggest you're schizophrenic; but that the same biological basis for nmda hypofunction may be slightly present in yourself, potentiating the effects of disassociative anesthetic agents and leaving you vulnerable to occasional induced (by meditation, etc) experiences. But this last paragraph is my own unfounded speculation (whereas the rest is fairly credible).

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2005
  20. Nov 27, 2005 #19
    The last post is interesting. That could be close to the truth with me, since people who gravitate to mental preoccupations, might in fact do so because of physical disassociation, due to faulty neurochemistry. I have never been diagnosed with any sort of disorder, and I have been checked. However, five years after the meditation and "astral travel" experience, I did have a tbi. The effect of the tbi was to diminish all of these experiences.

    In this thread I see that if anyone states they have any sort of anomalous experience, there will be an explanation, that the experiencer is having delusions.

    Be warned, this thread is not about existential physics.
  21. Nov 30, 2005 #20
    I'm confused by this statement. Could you rephrase what you mean??
    I'm especially confused about this. What is this "warning" about? What does the term "existential physics" mean?
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