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Out-Of-Body Experience!

  1. May 4, 2003 #1
    Basically, an OBE is where you travel outside of your body as your spirit, there are many books written on the subject and much accounted for within this subject.

    I am now wondering, what is possible in this four dimensional world that has now been opened through OBE? I have read stories about people who have had many OBE experiances, and they talk about their "flights" and their "spherical vision" and all kinds of things. In this "fourth dimension" or "spiritual dimension" whichever you would prefer to call it, I believe that your mind controls your actions in a different way then here in our world.

    I believe in a Spiritual world, I know a few very credible sources within my families friend's that have seen ghosts. I have no doubt that spirits exist, and in fact, I believe these spirits to inhabit the fourth dimension which is not visible to our meager minds.

    When in this fourth dimension people say that they would think of something and suddenly it would happen, they would think "turn left" and they would fly left. It is more of controlling everything with your mind rather then with your muscles.

    Anyway, I would like your thoughts on this subject, I will also attach below a couple of links to some really good books on the subject and a really good link about OBEs.

    Adventures Beyond the Body : Proving Your Immortality Through Out-of-Body Travel
    The Secret of the Soul : Using Out-of-Body Experiences to Understand Our True Nature

    Journeys Out of the Body
    Far Journeys
    Ultimate Journey

  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2003 #2
    This should be in the mysitics forum. not in the theoretical physics forum.
  4. May 4, 2003 #3
    I can see what you mean, it could go either way however.

    My post was asking about the possibilities of this having to do with the fourth dimension or another dimension, along with others.

    Alternate dimensions, be it spacial or spiritual are all theoretical, so it could also go under the theoretical physics forum.
  5. May 5, 2003 #4
    Actually it should be in "How to capitalize on people who believe in supertitions" forum.
  6. May 18, 2003 #5
    I think an OBE is a dream.
    Same for the "white light in a tunnel" syndrome.
  7. May 18, 2003 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Like most things, I prefer to have some experience before forming an opinion. I have a little experience with this one. When I was much much younger I became interested in this claim [actually astral projection] by means of a high school teacher. This seemed easy enough. People say that if you practice you too can do this. So, I tried it. I practiced meditation techniques [really just relaxation techniques] that are supposed to prepare one for intentional astral projection - an OBE. I practiced nearly every night for over two years. With each month I could relax my entire body more quickly and deeply than the last. After about a year I could put my entire body under in about ten seconds. I hovered around this level of proficiency for quite a while.

    The next level of this experience came suddenly one night without any warning or expectations. With my body completely relaxed - which actually a yields a feeling of one's body being like a concrete slab that encapsulates ones brain - I was "pushing" with my mind to create a sense of acceleration as prescribed by the methodology. For the first time ever, I began to hear a buzzing noise that kept increasing in intensity. I then began to feel an upward rushing that was not of my doing; and the darkness [my eyes closed] went from dark to darker and eventually to inky black. Over a period of I think about ten seconds the three sensations of buzzing, ever blackening darkness, and of accelerating upward, grew more and more intense until I began to feel overwhelmed with fear. Then I felt a great impulse to recoil with terrible fear for my life. I suddenly found myself standing next to my bed wide awake. I had literally bolted out of bed without even knowing it!

    The experience was so intense and terrifying I have never seriously pursued this "skill" since. I learned later that what I experienced is common for "first timers".

    I make no claims that this was an OBE or a real experience in any way[other than exactly as described]. This is what the believers would say though. Also, true believers will tell you to be careful, that without proper preparation this can be dangerous. Based on my own reaction I could believe it! [I didn't say I do; just that I could].
    Last edited: May 18, 2003
  8. May 18, 2003 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    The fourth dimension is considered to be time. We do play with ideas of other spatial dimensions, but to equate this somehow with a spiritual world is only wild guessing. To a physicist this make little to no sense. I try to allow for what I see as a language problem here. Experiencers attempt to describe mystical experiences in terms of modern language; and often in the modern language of physics. The terms are applied incorrectly but they convey the sense of the experiences. The scientists say Bologna! Nonsense! And they're right. Even if they're wrong they're right. We have no basis to use these terms - that mean something very specific to scientist - to approximate a sense of some experience. So on this point we quickly get into trouble.

    Some renegades do propose a literal relationship here - such as Capra and "The Tao of Physics". But these ideas are viewed by most, I think, as loose interpretations applied incorrectly. I give it a few more points than that.
    Last edited: May 18, 2003
  9. May 18, 2003 #8
    Well you could devise an experiment of sorts by giving the patient some exotic drug like ketamine to try and induce an OBE then you would place a screen between the patient and some unknown object on the other side so the patient could only see the object from say above his/her body. Anybody want to be my patient lol :)
  10. May 23, 2003 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    A few groups have done this in cardiac units. To my knowledge no one has ever read the secret information. Still, in other examples people can describe events and details of a procedure that took place while they had no measurable brain function.

    Edit: The last time I heard anything definite about the cardiac units, I don't think any patients had claimed a near death experience in the right place and time so as to qualify.
    Last edited: May 23, 2003
  11. May 23, 2003 #10
    The run-of-the-mill OBE, is where Quantum Conciousness and Reality cross paths, inside the mind of a subject that has a traumatic experience(most often a life threatning episode).
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2003
  12. May 24, 2003 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    This is a very interesting idea!

    First I was wondering about the source of this hypothesis?

    Next, using this explanation, how do we address the issue of memory formation and conscious thought both happening during periods of time that a person has no measurable brain function?
  13. May 27, 2003 #12
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2003
  14. Aug 23, 2003 #13
    Well just watching TV ATM it seems a credible researcher has published quite a few papers on this subject (European Journal of Parapsychology) see:

    Have not read much up on it myself yet but somebody might find the information useful.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2003
  15. Aug 23, 2003 #14

    The out of body experience is
    what is called a Simple Partial

    Simple is a term applied
    by nerologists to describe seizures during which conscious-
    ness remains intact. It distinguishes from a Complex partial seizure
    during which there is a defect of
    consciousness. Partial
    refers to the fact that the complete brain is not involved as
    it is in a Generalized

    During the "out-of-body" simple
    partial seizure the person is
    experiencing hypersynchronous
    firing of the neurons in the part
    of the brain where the sence of
    Proprioception is governed.

    This leaves the person void of any
    ability to sence the position of
    his or her own body. Suddenly
    deprived of a sence they didn't
    even know they had generally
    results in the brain doing its
    best to account for the completely
    convincing sensation of floating
    by hallucinating themselves to
    be positioned where it feels like
    they are positioned i.e. hovering
    in the room somewhere.

    People interested in the subject
    of out-of-body experiences should
    do a thorough search on the sence
    of Proprioception, Neuro
    and the subject of
    Simple Partial Seizures.


    The buzzing you reported, as well
    as the intense fear, are both com-
    mon simple partial seizure symptoms. The intense fear, espec-
    cially, is mentioned with remark-
    able frequency. It is caused by
    seizure activity spreading to
    two very important troublemakers
    we all have in our brains called
    theAmygdali. They are part
    of the Limbic System where the
    physiological manifestations of
    emotion are generated.

    The fear you felt was probably
    on the order of ten times the
    intensity of any fear you've felt
    in response to actual threats and
    the strange thing is that there
    was nothing real to be afraid of.

    Here is a short page on the amygdala:

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2003
  16. Nov 9, 2003 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    Zooby, For some reason I never saw this response.

    This seems to ignore the measurable lack of brain function at the time of many NDE, OBEs. This just came up in the other thread Out of body experiences and astral traveling

    How does one cause a seizure by concentrating? This is repeatable on demand.
  17. Nov 10, 2003 #16
    As far as the lack of brain function at NDE, I haven't read anything on this subject, and can't comment, except to say that surface EEG's are very limited in how deeply they can sence activity.

    For the same reason, you would almost always expect to find an EEG negative for seizure activity in someone who was not near death but having a Simple Partial Seizure with hallucinations of floating and autoscopy. This article by Dr. Devinsky shows that in one study only 21% of simple partials showed up on the surface EEG:
    From this article on reflex epilepsy:eMedicine - Reflex Epilepsy : Article by Joseph F Hulihan, MD

    comes this:
    How doesn't seem to be known. One person in the article suggests a model, but that's all it is. The forms of reflex seizure seem unlimited. A person who can induce a Simple Partial with hallucinations of autoscopy and floating at will might be doing so in reflex to a large number of stimuli, not merely thinking. You would have to take a look at whatever it is they do to induce it.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2003
  18. Nov 10, 2003 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    Well, I don't know. Are you aware of any expert OBEr's who have agreed with these interpretations. Just because a sensation or sense can be replicated to some extent, this does not mean that all other experiences are the result of some brain frenzy. This only shows that some aspects of the experience can be duplicated. For example, I can have an auditory hallucination, but that does not mean that all sounds are imagined.

    This also assumes that the scientist is in the head of the experiencer so to speak; that he can give a full accounting of the experience. Obviously he can't. So unless we have someone who is well versed in the art of OBEs, or that has had an intense NDE, and that was also induced to have a seizure of this type, I don't see how we can know that one experience has anything to do with the other. I know that the people who's lives were forever changed by a NDE do not accept these kinds of ideas. They claim that in no way do the clinical descriptions agree with their personal experiences.

    Also, OBE's can be learned - I am not aware of any uniques issues except for a few people who never have any success.
  19. Nov 11, 2003 #18
    I did a little reading about OBE's years ago, tried it out of curiosity with no results, and basically didn't do any thinking about it untill it came up in the Epilepsy literature as a simple partial symptom. So I have no idea who the experts on the OBE viewed as a mystical experience currently are. It wouldn't matter to me if such people denied they were seizures because alot of people with undoubted diagnoses of Epilepsy who have OBE's also deny they are seizures. The experiences a person has during a seizure are very often several times more vivid than normal experience, due, probably, to the fact that the amplitude of the brain waves is several times more intense.
    I'm not exactly sure what this sentence means.
    I think what you're saying here is that just because it can be proven that some OBE's are seizures doesn't mean all are seizures. Strictly speaking, that is true. Someone needs to prove the existence of a non-seizural OBE to clinch the case. This may have to wait for better non-invasive seizure detectors than depth implanted electrodes which are reserved for people being worked up for brain surgery.
    Well, as I said above, there are alot of people who have seizures who deny that various things they experience during their seizures are seizure related. The most extreme example that comes to mind: I read about a guy on one site who claimed that all complex partial seizures are, in fact, alien abuctions. He had complex partial epilepsy himself and claimed that he'd figured out that during a seizure his spirit was being abducted from his body by aliens, leaving behind the confused, automatism beseiged body that his relatives saw while he was seizing. Milder examples include people who believe their deja vus are proof of past lives, or ability to sence the future.
    Visual hallucinations in Temporo -limbic Epilepsy commonly involve humans and animals for some reason, leading alot of people to believe they are seeing ghosts. Alot of people see lilliputian characters of various kinds, but for some reason these are almost always eventually dismissed later as hallucinations. Go figure.

    No two people with Epilepsy have the exact same kind of seizure. If you talk to 20 different people with deja vu's as a simple partial symptom you get 20 different descriptions related only by the fact that something in the present seems inexplicably familiar when there's no obvious reason for it. Not fitting the clinical description is more common in epilepsy than fitting it. For every ten people whose complex partial automatisms are the "classic" mouth movements and thumb and finger gestures, you get twenty people who have some other idiosynchratic automatisms.
    A seizure is the hypersynchronous firing of neurons resulting from some underlying pathology, and which is outside the person's control. If the hypersynchronous firing of neurons is not the result of some underlying pathology, and is not outside the person's control, should we then still call it a seizure?

    Questions to consider are, even though it didn't result from pathology, and the person is in control of it, does it still cause the brain damage that seizures otherwise cause? What would we find upon dissecting the brain of a frequent OBEer? Would there be the multitudes of dead neurons, patches of sclerosis, and multi-infarcts you might find in the brain of a lifelong sufferer of Epilepsy?

    Other questions are: having learned it, does it ever go out of control? Does the OBEer ever "leave the body" without meaning to, as a result of being startled or frightened, say? If they do it would suggest that all they've done is give themselves a low grade seizure disorder.
  20. Nov 12, 2003 #19


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    Zooby, I am very much impressed by your info. In fact one of your much earlier posts led me to question an experience I had had years ago.

    But it seems this debate can be resolved, and probably will be in the near future. Since ther are people who claimto be able to do OBE's pretty much to order, we just hook them up to tMRI devices and find out what the brin is really doing. The records can be compared to those from epileptics to see if there is commonality.
  21. Nov 13, 2003 #20

    Glad you find the info of a though provoking nature.

    The MRI would not be revealing in this case, though, since it does not record activity, only shape. Its usefulness is in detecting anomalous and asymetrical shapes that could be lesions, sclerosis, tumors, cysts, enlarged ventricles, and whatever other changes in shape to the physical brain might occur in various diseases.

    At this point the only scan that actually records activity is the P.E.T. scan, I believe, which can give a changing picture of how much blood is being used by different parts of the brain. P.E.T. stands for positron emission tomography. (With your knowledge of physics I think you could do a quick search and explain how it works to me much better than I could explain it to you.)

    Seizures do show up on P.E.T. scans but there is no way to tell the difference between them and hyperperfusion (increased blood flow) due to some other cause. My guess is that you would definitely see an alteration in the P.E.T. scan of someone experiencing an OBE but you would not be getting any information useful in a seizure vs non-seizure debate.

    What is really needed is a non-invasive way to detect the hypersynchronous firing of neurons at any particular spot in the brain, and particularly: at any depth. Given the tiny voltages we're talking about the problem of separating one signal from the multitudes of others occuring at any given moment in the brain is a real needle-in-a-haystack sort of problem, except you don't even have the advantage of your needle being steel instead of straw. It might be more like: find the bunch of flax plants in a haystack.

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