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Out of body experiences

  1. Sep 18, 2008 #1


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    Here's a cool experiment about to start to study if people's out of body experiences are real or not.


    Anybody here ever had one themselves or known anyone who claims such an experience?

    I wonder what the ramifications would be if it is found the consciousness is a separate entity to the body? No doubt somebody will quickly find some way to weaponise it :biggrin:
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  3. Sep 18, 2008 #2


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    What qualifies an out of body experience as real? No one is actually leaving their body, it's a hallucination whether or not its from something traumatic or from a handful of drugs. The entire experiment is rather pointless, but since it pretty much runs itself why not.
  4. Sep 18, 2008 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    They are testing a claim. If we take the scientific explanation on faith, then it is faith and not science; esp in the eyes of someone who believes that they have had an out of body experience.
  5. Sep 18, 2008 #4


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    When the study is over and no one saw the pictures, nothing will be different. They still can't say "real" OBEs don't happen just that they didn't happen to the people in their study. I'm not saying take science on faith, but rather that there have to be better ways to study what the brain goes through in an OBE than to delve into questions of conscience and metaphysics. But then again maybe not, I'm no scientist.
  6. Sep 18, 2008 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    There is nothing wrong with testing claims directly. Obviously we wouldn't want to run around testing every wild claim, but this one goes back perhaps thousands of years and is relatively common. And most important of all, it is an extremely easy test to do. I would think basic integrity demands it.

    The idea that it wouldn't change anything is a leap of faith. It isn't a difficult test to understand, and over time it will become clear that no one has ever produced a correct answer. This sort of thing tends to get around, esp around here.

    Of course, if someone did produce a correct answer, then the skeptics would assume fraud, or coincidence.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  7. Sep 18, 2008 #6
    I'm having an out of mind experience right now.
  8. Sep 18, 2008 #7
  9. Sep 18, 2008 #8
    Hey hypatia, I can't read the sign in your picture. What does it say?
  10. Sep 18, 2008 #9
    Caution water on road during rain.
  11. Sep 18, 2008 #10
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  12. Sep 18, 2008 #11


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    This experiment addresses that question pretty clearly. If an OBE is really and OBE and not some other form of hallucination or dream, those who claim to have had them will have seen the pictures. If nobody claiming to experience an OBE has seen the pictures, then they have pretty strong evidence that what we all expect to be true really is the case, that it is a hallucination or dream. This is the first step of scientific method. One cannot study the mechanism of the hallucinations leading to perception of such an experience unless one has first demonstrated it is an hallucination and not something else.
  13. Sep 18, 2008 #12
    I've only ever had out of whack experiences...
  14. Sep 18, 2008 #13
    I have a friend who said he had an NDE. He was dead on the operating table for several minutes. He never saw anything in the room he was in though. He had one of those going towards the light sort of experiences.

    I remember hearing that they had done something similar to this before. Apparently they put a picture of a clock on the floor of the emergency operating room. I all I heard about the results was that they were deemed inconclusive.

    There has also been a woman on Coast to Coast who under went an experimental surgery that required she flat line completely including brain functions. She apparently had a rather vivid OBE/NDE that included knowing what happened in the room while she was supposedly brain dead. With out brain activity she should not have remembered so much as a dream. Some people think that there was some brain activity but that it was just too miniscule to be picked up by the monitors.
  15. Sep 18, 2008 #14


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    NDE's are pretty much unique to western cultures, specifically people exposed to Christian beliefs of a "heaven" or afterlife. That doesn't mean that the person is religious. You don't find NDE's in religions that don't have a heavenly afterlife.
  16. Sep 18, 2008 #15


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    Wow, that says a lot about this phenomenon.
  17. Sep 19, 2008 #16
    Most religions involve ideas of an afterlife including eastern religions. Differences regarding the frequency of NDEs I think likely revolve around a difference in perspective regarding such a phenomenon. It would seem far more normal in many cultures to have visions during a near death experience and they may not necessarily believe that they passed over but only that they had been touched by god or received strength to return to life from deceased ancestors. Christianity is far more a death cult than most other religions though and probably programs more people to want to leave this world and go to heaven which would explain why more christian people think that is what is happening to them.
    My friend who had his NDE was a catholic and afterward spiraled into a deep depression wishing he could return to the after life. It took him several years to be able to start taking care of himself again and not just wishing he could die.
  18. Sep 19, 2008 #17
  19. Sep 19, 2008 #18
    Well I consider some of my dreams as out-of-body experiences. I lay in the bed knowing where I am and then start to feel a fuzzy feeling and start hearing voices, then real entities show up. Alot of times it is sex related, but it feels as if these entities are really there. I feel and hear them. I'm usually in a room I don't know, but I can fly around the room at times. I cannot explain these episodes, but they seem real.
  20. Sep 21, 2008 #19
    i had several involuntary out of body experiences as a child in daycare. i would be lying in the bed and it felt like i was moving back and forth really fast. next thing i knew i would be floating above my body, looking down i could see myself, the children lying in their beds and watch the teachers walking around interacting with things (giving back rubs to some kids, talking to one another, doing things teachers do). i never felt any fear or anything it just felt natural. i would fly down through my body and into the floor a little, then float around observing things with amazement. i also have had a memory since birth of being a ball of light with another ball of light and we were both above the earth, i could look down and see the planet. (if i was born when people thought the earth was flat i would have said no it is more like a round ball and they would have burned me for being a witch). this ball of light told me that i was going to be born on the planet, and when he said this (i don't know how i call a ball of light "he" i just "knew" it was a masculine presence) i got very frightened because i sensed great change. i replied "i'm scared, why cant i just stay here with you"? and he said "you'll find out when you go there". so i agreed to be born on the earth and my memory ends. for 18 years of my life i kept this to myself until i found out other people have made similar claims of having a memory of being a ball of light and being escorted to this planet to be born on it. reading that really scared me... is there an explanation for this? and i think that electronically stimulating the brain to reproduce the feeling of being out of body produces the same result of electronically stimulating the brain to reproduce the feeling of being cold. electronically stimulating the brain produces artificial results of something natural.
  21. Sep 22, 2008 #20
    I have never heard that before. I thought it was pretty much global? THAT would be interesting to look into if some cultures have none.

    I remember hearing about the hidden clock in the OR study when I took psych. I think I remember that some people did report seeing the clock, but most didn't. But then if someone claims to have been "in the tunnel" or saw people who had all ready passed away, how could you verify that? I think if you took the percentages of categories of NDE/OBE experiences by "went to heaven", "was in the tunnel going towards the light", and "floated above my body", the 3rd category would be pretty small, as would the 1st category. And I am in the 2nd category.... I had an OBE at age 12, but no way to prove if I had briefly "died" or just had a hallucination from getting knocked out cold.
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