Out of Body Experience

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This is one topic I'm really into at the moment and possibly the one which will one day really bring the truth to us when we die. I'm currently on an astral website, and you know what, the people on there gave the best answer ever to astral projection." Try it"! they give courses on there as how to leave your physical body. I've heard alarming accounts from people I know who've had OBE's and it's amazing. Even blind and deaf people on how they can hear and see in the astral plane. It goes to prove that consciousness really IS a great mystery. I think of us as the "ghost" as such in a physical body. :smile:
 

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  • #2
zoobyshoe
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Badass said:
Even blind and deaf people on how they can hear and see in the astral plane.
OK, this is a new one to me. Do you have a link to such reports?
 
  • #3
Math Is Hard
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Zoobies
don't have OOBEs.
 
  • #4
zoobyshoe
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Math Is Hard said:
Zoobies
don't have OOBEs.
Course we do. We're just haven't been to the "astral plane" where the blind can see and the deaf can hear. This is a new twist on things.
 
  • #5
Ivan Seeking
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I think the blind people are just imagining that they see things. :biggrin:
 
  • #6
zoobyshoe
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Ivan Seeking said:
I think the blind people are just imagining that they see things. :biggrin:
So what's the difference between an OBE and astral projection?
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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zoobyshoe said:
So what's the difference between an OBE and astral projection?

I think the correct answer is that there is no difference.

If you believe in Astral Projection, there is no difference unless you just imagined the experience. Whereas if you don't believe in AP, there is no difference because you did imagine both.
 
  • #8
zoobyshoe
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Ivan Seeking said:
I think the correct answer is that there is no difference.
So, anytime a person "leaves" their body, they are supposedly on the "astral plane"?
 
  • #9
Ivan Seeking
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I don't know exactly when one allegedly enters the astral plane, but it has always been my understanding that any "genuine" OBE is connected to astral projection, including dreams.
 
  • #10
somasimple
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Hi,

These perceptions are only altered states of brain functionning.
Just ask psychotic persons what they are experimenting/feeling!
 
  • #11
zoobyshoe
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somasimple said:
Hi,

These perceptions are only altered states of brain functionning.
Just ask psychotic persons what they are experimenting/feeling!
The OBE isn't a psychotic symptom, rather it is a common symptom of simple partial seizures that are affecting the parts of the parietal lobes that govern proprioception.

You obviously know a lot about neurology. Have you read much about seizures?
 
  • #12
Ivan Seeking
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At least that's one theory.
 
  • #13
somasimple
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Have you read much about seizures?
Not really but I have few patients with this problem.

About pscychotic "vision", try a PubMed search there are tons of evidences.
 
  • #14
zoobyshoe
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  • #15
Ivan Seeking
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somasimple said:
About pscychotic "vision", try a PubMed search there are tons of evidences.

I think point is that plenty of people who are not psychotic experience what is described as an OBE.

It is not logical to argue that any allegedly real experience than can be duplicated by mental illness or seizures, is not real. For example, I might have hallucinated that I was high above the clouds last week, or I might have been on an jet looking out the window. The fact that I might imagine this does not serve as evidence against the existence of airplanes.
 
  • #16
somasimple
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Oh? I didn't realize you were a doctor.
I'm just a physiotherapist more involved in pain management/neurosciences.

Here's a brief intro to simple-partials
The content is already known for me. (see below)

I think point is that plenty of people who are not psychotic experience what is described as an OBE.
Do you mean that psychotic people are aliens? :rofl:

Here is a start => (a trial... :redface: )

We're living in the Past
 
  • #17
  • #18
I have once had an OBE and it didn't feel psychotic or astral :smile:

I read somewhere that one out of ten people have one of those experiences at least once in their lives. Mine happened for no reason whatsoever; other than being exhausted from physical work I have no idea what may have induced it.

Having an OBE often brings a shift in perspective regarding some ideas about the human mind. Of course many people fall for this astral hocus-pocus, but abnormal brain functioning does not sound like a good explanation either. What I concluded from my experience is that our sense of self is not "inside" the body; the self is an abstract construct and does not have spatial location. As such, it's perfectly possible to feel "outside" the body, or anywhere in the universe. It's all in our imagination anyway.

Now I don't think anyone can acquire information about the world by "projecting" their sense of self somewhere else. I don't dispute that people can see things as if they were real, but I'm not aware of a single case where someone's observations in the OBE state were verified to be true. Which is why they came up with this idea of an "astral plane", which is probably the plane of one's imagination.
 
  • #19
Ivan Seeking
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somasimple said:
Do you mean that psychotic people are aliens? :rofl:

Uh...okay, whatever you say. :uhh:
 
  • #20
loseyourname
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I can't provide any links, but I have at least read reports where the OBEs were confirmed by a second party, such as a person physically present at the site projected to confirming details of the OBEs account. They could very well be lying, but unless people are capable of sharing psychotic episodes across hundreds of miles, they can't be dismissed as psychosis.

Intentional astral projection would seem to be crap, though. If a person could really do it, it should be very easy to test. Just project them into a closed room with random images projected on the wall. Ask them what they saw, and play back the recording to see if they were right. Heck, ask them to project themselves into the space station and then ask the astronauts if the person gave a correct account. It would be nearly impossible to conspire with astronauts on a space station.
 
  • #21
somasimple
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Sorry Ivan

Ivan said:
Uh...okay, whatever you say.

I was kiddin' :redface:
It just means that mental disturbed people are ordinary people with a failure in the brain functionning. If this failure brings hallucinations and false perceptions (many psychotic people have problem with body perception => they have often floating parts...) then it may be normally concluded that some OBEs are misinterpretation (by brain) of environment.
 
  • #22
somasimple
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the self is an abstract construct and does not have spatial location.

non causal affirmation: Since the mind belongs to a person thus person owns mind which is not shared with others. Conclusion => mind/self is in man.

Descartes was wrong!
 
  • #23
zoobyshoe
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proprioception: Definition and Much More From Answers.com
Address:http://www.answers.com/topic/proprioception

Proprioception is the sense of body position. It allows us to know what position our body is in, just by "feel" without having to look at it.

If you close your eyes and raise your arm, you know where your arm is.

This seems to be part of the sense of touch, but it it actually a different, dedicated sense.

Simple partial seizures that take place in the part of the brain that govern this sense can cause every degree of out of body experience from the feeling your toes are out of place to the feeling that your entire body is without a definable location.

Oliver Sacks reported the case of a woman whose sense of propriocetion was completely destroyed by a freak virus that attacked only those nerves responsible for carrying this sort of imput to the brain. She ended up in a permanent out-of-body state, never knowing what position her limbs were in, unless she looked at them.

Check out: The Disembodied Lady in The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat.
 
  • #24
arman
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I don't dispute that people can see things as if they were real, but I'm not aware of a single case where someone's observations in the OBE state were verified to be true. Which is why they came up with this idea of an "astral plane", which is probably the plane of one's imagination.

It doesn't exactly work that way. From what I understand the astral plane simply refers to a state of consciousness where one can 'travel' around the spatial universe as a less physical entity than we currently are. In this less dense form we become able to 'see' thoughts, as well as the more dense physical objects.

You can't go somewhere and retrieve a piece of information, because as soon as you remember an agenda you have from the physical world, you will be drawn back to your body, much in the same way you wake up when you realize that you are asleep.

I myself have had an OBE, and I retrieved some information that I could only have attained through logical thought or having seen it. I don't believe in astral projection myself, so I concluded that I would have had to subconsciously 'think about it', and as far as I know this isn't characteristic of a simple illusion or dream. I am not schizophrenic either. I think OBE's are manifestations of a facet of the mind we know very little about, or maybe Astral projections are real...
 
  • #25
Ivan Seeking
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But wait, I like the "psychotic people are aliens" theory. :biggrin:
 
  • #26
loseyourname
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arman said:
I myself have had an OBE, and I retrieved some information that I could only have attained through logical thought or having seen it. I don't believe in astral projection myself, so I concluded that I would have had to subconsciously 'think about it', and as far as I know this isn't characteristic of a simple illusion or dream. I am not schizophrenic either. I think OBE's are manifestations of a facet of the mind we know very little about, or maybe Astral projections are real...

This actually brings up one problem with trying to confirm an OBE. One possibility that cannot be eliminated and really isn't any less likely than a true OBE is clairvoyance. The very best accounts include both independent confirmation of the accounts given by the person having the OBE, along with the person giving the confirmation having some sort of vision of the person having an OBE at the same time. Then again, this could also be due to some form of mutual clairvoyance. Frankly, though, I'm not sure the difference would even matter much.
 
  • #27
zoobyshoe
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loseyourname said:
This actually brings up one problem with trying to confirm an OBE. One possibility that cannot be eliminated and really isn't any less likely than a true OBE is clairvoyance.
I have some doubt as to whether clairvoyance can ever take place except by seeing through another persons eyes. In other words, stipulating the existence of clairvoyance, it still won't allow you to see into a room if there is no one in that room. It would be an extension of telepathy.
The very best accounts include both independent confirmation of the accounts given by the person having the OBE, along with the person giving the confirmation having some sort of vision of the person having an OBE at the same time. Then again, this could also be due to some form of mutual clairvoyance.
Here, in a similar vein, a person seeing someone else having an OBE would be producing a visual manifestation of what the other person thought they were experiencing. They pick up the info from the other person telepathically, then form it into a "vision" of them floating around, in the way synesthetes hear music, then form colored shapes in their visual field that conform to the music.
 
  • #28
arman
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If an experience that is superphysical can in fact exist, I think it would not be unfeasible that our physical concepts of information - and how it is transmitted - have little if any application. I think this is something to keep in mind when talking about telepathy and OBEs. Just a thought.
 
  • #29
loseyourname said:
I can't provide any links, but I have at least read reports where the OBEs were confirmed by a second party

I have seen those reports as well. What I said I never saw was someone acquiring information about the physical world. If people in OBEs do travel, they must be traveling in some other world - hence the notion of "astral". I suppose if this astral thing is shared, then people can certainly get together there.

arman said:
From what I understand the astral plane simply refers to a state of consciousness where one can 'travel' around the spatial universe as a less physical entity than we currently are. In this less dense form we become able to 'see' thoughts, as well as the more dense physical objects.

That could be a good explanation. I just don't like the word 'astral' because it brings to my mind all sorts of new-age nonsense.

I myself have had an OBE, and I retrieved some information that I could only have attained through logical thought or having seen it. I don't believe in astral projection myself, so I concluded that I would have had to subconsciously 'think about it', and as far as I know this isn't characteristic of a simple illusion or dream.

That is the shift in perspective I mentioned in my post. Most people believe they can't see their own thoughts, but an OBE makes it quite clear that thoughts can create images as real as anything we ordinarily see. Now, at least to me, the most logical conclusion from that is that everything we see must be thoughts, that our senses convey abstract ideas to our conscious minds and our minds create things like images and sounds.

I think OBE's are manifestations of a facet of the mind we know very little about, or maybe Astral projections are real...

I think OBEs are manifestations of a facet of reality we know very little about. If images and sounds are not "real" in the sense that they only exist as creations of our minds, then reality must be made of "ideas" or "thoughts". But here words fail to properly express the notion; we haven't yet developed a vocabulary to talk about those things.
 
  • #30
Badass
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To put it plainly, the astral plane is a place where ( supposedly the fith dimension) where things in the environment can be controlled and an OBE is when people have near death accidents. I heard a real story once of a woman who had acar crash and it was so violent that her consciousness was rammed out of her. Next thing she knew was that she was standing outside of her car watching the scene of the accident and going to the hospital and describing things that the staff kept in their lockers and so forth. When she told the staff, they were extremely baffled. In case you didn't know this, we astral project every night. Of course being totally unaware of it, but have you ever had those falling dreams which seem extremely real and then suddenly you woke with a heavy thump? That is returning from the astral back into your own body. I have had it once and was scared because of the realism of it. Most people have very little idea of astral projection and part of it is because of the fast paced stressed ridden lifestyle we live. If you are dounbtful of astral projection go http://www.astralweb.org they do totally free online courses. I'm still practising but people who have achieved it have said how amazing it is. Try it!
 
  • #31
pattylou
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I got very into this stuff several years after our kid died and have managed a number of OBE's as well as regular lucid dreaming. At this point, if I decide to make an effort at having an "altered state" I can usually achieve it within a few tries over several days. These "successes" may manifest as something as unimpressive as a lucid dream, but very occasionally can be accompanied by additional OBE characteristics (aware of being in bedroom, seeing the house, walking through the house, etc.)

I went through the literature fairly extensively and found very little that could only be interpreted as a confirmation of an objective out-of-body state. Tart wrote up one case with a woman who managed to report something and it seemed the easiest explanation was true OBE state - but one strong (not iron clad) case in the whole of literature starts to sound like coincidence.

People in this field speculate about multiple astral planes, not just one. For example, Robert Bruce speculates about ---- maybe 7 or eight, and only the one "nearest" the "physical plane" will have any hope of accurately mirroring the physical world.

While these descriptions are essentially worthless as they leave very little predictive value, they do match up with my personal experience.

I wanted an irrefutable "jackpot" veridical OBE (and still do) and in the beginning I had my husband hide something for me to identify while out of body. I found that although I could attain a subjective "out of body" state, that when I tried to direct my focus to identifying the object, things became very confused. * This made the success of a "jackpot" veridical OBE pretty low, and we modified the "experiment" such that he placed something from a pre-set pool of objects. So I knew beforehand that he might set x, y, or z --- and I simply had to distinguish between these three possibilities. This is not as spectacular a type of experiment, but we've had success with it. I believe we've had about 4 trials over the years, and I believe I've been correct in all - except I gave up in one of them because I couldn't get a fix. Still, since we work with a small pool, four successes isn't much statistically speaking - it's something like flipping a head on a coin four times in a row.

(I don't believe I'm psychotic, on the other hand how would I know? :biggrin:)

I would have to say that if OBE's reflect the afterlife, that it is a very fluid and confusing place indeed. This is not necessarily a good thing, it's damn frustrating.


Agnostically yours,
Patty

* What was fun (and worthless in terms of data) about the initial experiment was that one manner in which the experience was "fuzzy" was that I saw a crumpled coke can during my initial attempt to identify husband's choice. I knew he wouldn't have placed a crumpled coke can, this is one reason we revised the experiment. When we went to clear off the high shelf to set up the next experiment (the high shelf was not visible to me during waking hours, and was our hiding spot for these experiments) I discovered an old tab from a soda can. It had been there since before we moved in. As I said, this is worthless, but there is something "real," if only subjectively, about these sorts of experiences, and so the remains of the coke can still makes me grin.
 
  • #32
zoobyshoe
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Johann said:
Most people believe they can't see their own thoughts, but an OBE makes it quite clear that thoughts can create images as real as anything we ordinarily see.
When a person is seeing their own thoughts, and not somehing that is external to them, it is an hallucination, however realistic it seems.
Now, at least to me, the most logical conclusion from that is that everything we see must be thoughts...
The fact it is possible to hallucinate does, indeed, say something about how we percieve reality in the first place, but doesn't mean everything, or anything, is thoughts.
that our senses convey abstract ideas to our conscious minds and our minds create things like images and sounds.
Our senses convey information to our consciousness, not abstract ideas. How we experience that information is the arbitrary result of evolution. We evolved to experience sound, for example, by means of the ears instead of, say, experiencing it with some form of taste or smell. (There is no reason an organism couldn't evolve to react to compression waves in the air by experiencing a series of tastes or smells.) But the compression waves in the air are quite real, and external to the organism, regardless of the kind and quality of sensory experience it provokes in him.

The OBE is a temporary shut down of the sense of proprioception for the whole body, and bears witness to the fact we need and have such a sense in the first place. My brother in law has Multiple Sclerosis and it has removed his sense of proprioception for his feet! He can still feel touch, cold, hot, pain etc. in them, he just has no idea what position they're in unless he looks directly at them. They're not paralyzed: he can move them perfectly well, he just has to look at them to know if where they feel like they are is actually where they are.

It turns out that it isn't enough for a thing to simply have a physical presence in space for it to know that. A dedicated sense must also be in place to inform it of the confines of its physical body, and how its limbs are positioned relative to each other.
 
  • #33
zoobyshoe
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Badass said:
To put it plainly, the astral plane is a place where ( supposedly the fith dimension) where things in the environment can be controlled and an OBE is when people have near death accidents.
I'm waiting for a link to these stories of the blind being able to see, and the deaf hear.
 
  • #34
zoobyshoe said:
When a person is seeing their own thoughts, and not somehing that is external to them, it is an hallucination, however realistic it seems.

Technically speaking, you are probably correct.

The fact it is possible to hallucinate does, indeed, say something about how we percieve reality in the first place, but doesn't mean everything, or anything, is thoughts.

I didn't say "thoughts" in the ordinary sense of the word. There are no words to explain ideas around OBEs because most people never experience one. It would be like trying to talk about sound in a world where 90% are deaf and most of the remaining 10% only had a hearing experience once in their lives.

Our senses convey information to our consciousness, not abstract ideas.

Whatever. The point is that our experience of the world is not forced on us by our senses, but the result of intense mental effort.

We evolved to experience sound, for example, by means of the ears instead of, say, experiencing it with some form of taste or smell. (There is no reason an organism couldn't evolve to react to compression waves in the air by experiencing a series of tastes or smells.) But the compression waves in the air are quite real, and external to the organism, regardless of the kind and quality of sensory experience it provokes in him.

Funny how you say "sound" could be felt as touch or smell, and then forget about it in the next sentence to proclaim that sound "really is" compression waves - a completely visual concept!

The OBE is a temporary shut down of the sense of proprioception for the whole body

"Temporary shut down of the sense of proprioception" is what causes the experience, not the experience itself. No one knows what the experience is; neurologists know as much about it as those "astral" folks.
 
  • #35
zoobyshoe
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Johann said:
There are no words to explain ideas around OBEs because most people never experience one.
There are plenty of words. How well it, or any experience, is described depends on how articulate the speaker is, and how good a listener the listener is.
Whatever. The point is that our experience of the world is not forced on us by our senses, but the result of intense mental effort.
I have no idea what this means.
Funny how you say "sound" could be felt as touch or smell, and then forget about it in the next sentence to proclaim that sound "really is" compression waves - a completely visual concept!
If your concept of "compression waves" is visual, it is neither here nor there. The point is that however an organism has evolved to experience compression waves in the air, those waves are real and external to it.
"Temporary shut down of the sense of proprioception" is what causes the experience, not the experience itself. No one knows what the experience is; neurologists know as much about it as those "astral" folks.
Again, I have no idea what this means.
 

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