Out-of-Body Experiences

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People who report out-of-body experiences typically say they were sleeping at the time.

Out-of-Body Experiences


Out-of-body experiences (OBEs) are sensations that one is viewing the world—and especially one’s own body—from a position outside the physical body. Persons who have undergone OBEs were usually asleep or under anesthetics at the time, but OBEs can also occur under ordinary, waking circumstances. Some people claim to have experienced OBEs since adolescence or early childhood. The similarity among reports of OBEs—often widely separated by geography and even history—is sometimes proffered as proof of the reality of travel of consciousness out of the body.

OBEs manifest in a variety of forms. In the most elaborate, people sense their consciousness escaping from their body, which is then perceived as a lifeless object. Usually a mist or ball of light or ethereal body seems to surround the escaping consciousness and to be attached to it by a silvery or white cord. In his highly popular book Journeys Out of the Body, Robert Monroe gives instructions on how to produce OBEs. Monroe’s work more than any other popularized the expression “out-of-body experience,” supplanting the older term astral projection. Acceptable scientific proof of the ability of human consciousness to leave the physical body has yet to be demonstrated.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Mohr, "Out-of-body experience, heautoscopy, and autoscopic hallucination of neurological origin: Implications for neurocognitive mechanisms of corporeal awareness and self-consciousness," Brain Research Reviews, vol.
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"Ketamine may disrupt patterns of brain activation that coalesce to represent an integrated body and self, leading to out-of-body experiences," Girard says.
This research was funded by the Bial Foundation, as part of the project 'The Flexibility of Body Boundaries and its Relationship to Out-of-Body Experiences' (number 124/02).
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