Science and the "Out of Body Experience"

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posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 01:35 PM
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I came across an article on Yahoo today which discusses OBEs and astral projections:

www.yahoo.com...

Here is the meat of the article and the research it refers to:




Claude Messier of the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa in Canada studies how the brain works and has attempted to analyze an out-of-body experience in a 24-year-old graduate student who claimed that she could induce one at will.

Messier (along with colleague Andra Smith) published the findings, titled “Voluntary Out-of-Body Experience: An fMRI Study” in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience earlier this year.

According to the paper, the subject told the researchers “she was able to see herself rotating in the air above her body, lying flat, and rolling along with the horizontal plane. She reported sometimes watching herself move from above but remained aware of her unmoving ‘real’ body.”

Messier and Smith used a scanning technique known as fMRI to measure activity in different parts of the young woman’s brain during a self-induced out-of-body experience.

The findings appear to give some credence to her claims. Though she remained completely still during the test, the brain scans showed activity in areas of her brain that would typically be active only if she were moving, according to Messier.

But what was actually going on? Messier said that "out-of-body experiences are real ... but that it depends how you define it."

The impression of being outside your body or seeing your body from above “is an illusion – albeit for some people, a very lifelike one,” he told Yahoo Health.

Messier pointed out that people can fly and do other impossible things in their dreams, so the brain is definitely capable of creating strange visions and sensations. He said he believes that “the out-of-body experience is just a special illusion that happens when awake,” and “there is no implication of mental illness.”

And that's good news for many of the people who have written to him noting that they are not very happy with their abilities: Some reported that the experience was scary or that they worried that they were going mad. “They appeared reassured that the out-of-body experience could have a logical and benign explanation,” he said.

Messier emphasized that more research is needed, but he said that other researchers (Henrik Ehrsson and Olaf Blanke) have used virtual reality to induce mild versions of out-of-body experiences.


If you have the time, it's well worth reading the comments section. (I usually find the Yahoo comments section to be rather depressing... but this time around, there are lots of excellent personal experiences being shared.)

I think there was a lot of bias in this article and in the conclusion of the researchers. Seeing evidence that the brain reacts to an OBE shouldn't be taken as evidence that OBEs are purely an illusion. That is a faulty and disconnected conclusion. Also, it completely fails to address the most compelling anecdotes (yes, anecdotal evidence... but mountains of it!) of people who see things during an OBE that they would otherwise have no way of knowing.

So...what do you all think of this latest research into OBEs? I think it is an exciting finding, but disagree with the conclusion that it shows OBEs to be just an illusion.




posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 01:51 PM
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originally posted by: VegHead

I think there was a lot of bias in this article and in the conclusion of the researchers. Seeing evidence that the brain reacts to an OBE shouldn't be taken as evidence that OBEs are purely an illusion. That is a faulty and disconnected conclusion. Also, it completely fails to address the most compelling anecdotes (yes, anecdotal evidence... but mountains of it!) of people who see things during an OBE that they would otherwise have no way of knowing.


I agree and was thinking the exact same thing.

First it's:


Messier said that "out-of-body experiences are real ... but that it depends how you define it."

Then backpedals with


The impression of being outside your body or seeing your body from above “is an illusion"

I mean what do you want? The evidence shows that her claims are valid, her experience is valid, but then it's just cast off as a fancy "illusion?"

Well gee, what's not an illusion then? If I look at myself in the mirror, isn't that just an illusion too?


I'm glad these researchers are here to find evidence of a not-fully-understood phenomenon, and then quickly call it a daydream.

edit on 26-8-2014 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 01:51 PM
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That will be a long read but I induce sleep paralysis , and have seen weird things and heard them too , but only got as far as the blinding flash .
Interesting stuff



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 01:58 PM
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i had one when I was very young about 4 years old. I was looking at myself from the ceiling, I was sat upright with my teddy (can still vividly remember the teddy). I never told anyone because I was probably to young to explain it and wasn't aware that it was unusual.
never happened again and as I was so young I don't know whether to trust the memory as real or not.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 01:59 PM
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Yeah, not buying the illusion explanation.

There are some very interesting books by Chris Carter, regarding this, but they delve into quantum physics and were a bit tough for me to understand the first time through, so, had to do them again. Worth the wading through, if your really into this subject.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 02:19 PM
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If anyone is curious to see it, here is a link to the full original paper (it is a PDF document):

www.columbia.edu...



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 02:21 PM
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When I was a child and up until the age of 30 I could induce an OBE. I began by focusing on my hand (usually) but sometimes my image until I felt a slipping away feeling. Focusing on my hand was always easiest/fastest to detach. I never left the room I was in because it kind of scared me to do this and I was afraid that I wouldn't find my way back if I left sight of my body. I think for me, this was done as a defense mechanism. I still sometimes feel that slipping away feeling if I stare at my hand too long, but I stop it now and I'm not sure I could still do this, as it doesn't quite feel the same.

It's weird to note that while I focused on my hand/face, I repeatedly ask myself "who am I?" over and over and that would help me detach faster.

I don't know what OBE's really are or whether they are an illusion. I never have researched it, but this was very interesting to read and gives me something to think about, which is always a good thing.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 02:26 PM
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Good for the aknowledgement about obe's in the article, but it aint an illusion.
Of course the brain is "working" during an obe, duh.

I've had obe'S and it is real.
I've stood by my bed watching my physical body sleep,
felt how it is to leave the physical body and how it feels to enter it again.

Other things too.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 03:27 PM
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I have these all of the time, but they are on accident and very quick.

Just a week ago...I finally felt myself about to pull away and I was able to realize that I was in that situation for the first time! Instead of getting scared I kept trying to get all of the way out. I was sitting up, but I could not get my legs out. Finally I decided to try to just "wake up" so I tried slamming my body back in, but it didn't work. What worked was I made myself (my astral self) roll off of the couch. As soon as I did...I woke up.

I was so freaking excited that this was the first pleasant experience I have been able to do and actually know what was going on!


I definitely do not think that this is an illusion. There is definitely something real about this.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: VegHead

I don't buy into the illusion concept, at least not for a "true" projection. Now, if we are talking a lucid dream, in which I am aware that I am dreaming, this holds merit.

Had several OBE's myself, some controlled, some not, and while there is plenty I can classify as an illusion, there is equally plenty I cannot.

For example, I cannot explain how, on one of my trips, I caught an accurate glance of a friend's bedroom, a friend that I recently met, and was never in or near her house (no, I wasn't purposely sneaking into her bedroom; the thought on my mind was to try to find where she lived...I didn't realize that would mean I'd get a glimpse of the room). This was when cell phones couldn't send photos, so no, I never saw an image of her room, but I could describe it back to her.

The problem here, is that most scientists will try to find a reason for the phenomenon, using the tools that they know, and do everything by the book. To me, that's fine & all, but it calls to mind the same people that argue ghosts do not exist - those of us that have experienced one (or more), well, we see it in a different reality. Now, were I a scientist, I'd be using the MRI results to help me find the best time to try & project.
-fossilera



posted on Aug, 27 2014 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: VegHead

Checking back to see the progress of discussion on this thread. I'm sorry it didn't get more input and attention. I find this topic highly fascinating and thank you, VegHead, for posting it


I, too, am capable of initiating the 'vibrational state' and going OOB. I find that sleep paralysis is sometimes a step in this process, but not always (seems everyone has slightly different methods.)

Also thanks to the members who have chimed in with their experiences with OOBE

If it is just an "illusion," it's one that is definitely worthy of MUCH more study, understanding, and open-mindedness.



edit on 27-8-2014 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 11:48 PM
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originally posted by: VegHead

Also, it completely fails to address the most compelling anecdotes (yes, anecdotal evidence... but mountains of it!) of people who see things during an OBE that they would otherwise have no way of knowing.



Great thread and assessment - your inclusion of the above was the first thing on my mind once I started reading.

I'm gonna go all 'conspiracy' on this. I think the world of science is under the control of "TPTB" to such an extent that astral projection, OBEs, and remote viewing have already been quantified, and stuck in a file cabinet, right next to "The Lost Ark".

The way I'd describe this 'conspiracy' is that anything 'paranormal' is a Pandora's Box. Once something 'weird' is given credence by the world of empirical science, it's only a few steps away from tearing at the very fabric of the belief systems that hold the control grid in place.

The OBVIOUS test, for anyone seeking to know whether an OBE is "real" or an "illusion", would be to have the subjects describe something that actually exists in another room which they hadn't seen before.

If money is being directed towards research of this subject that DOESN'T involve this VERY SIMPLE TEST, then this alleged 'research' is simply bogus, or part of a deliberate misinformation campaign.
edit on 8/31/2014 by Teratoma because: (no reason given)
edit on 8/31/2014 by Teratoma because: I don't need no stinking reason!





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