Aspects of the Soul: Out-of-body experience
Out-of-body experience - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE), is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one's body and, in some cases, perceiving one's physical body from a place outside one's body (autoscopy). About one in ten people has reported having an out-of-body experience at some time in their lives. Scientists know little about the phenomenon. OBEs are often part of the near-death experience, and reportedly may also lead to astral projection. It is claimed that those experiencing an OBE sometimes observe details which were unknown to them beforehand.
In some cases the phenomenon appears to occur spontaneously; in others it is associated with a physical or mental trauma, use of psychedelic drugs, or a dream-like state. It is possible to induce the experience deliberately, for example through visualization while in a relaxed, meditative state. Recent (2007) studies have shown that experiences somewhat similar to OBEs can be induced by direct brain stimulation. Relatively little is known for sure about OBEs. Some of those who experience OBEs may have willed themselves out of their bodies, while others found themselves being pulled from their bodies (usually preceded by a feeling of paralysis). In other accounts, the feeling of being outside the body was suddenly realized after the fact, and the experiencers saw their own bodies almost by accident.
+++ Initiated during/after sleep
OBEs are sometimes reported to be preceded by and initiated from a lucid dream state, though other types of initiation-ranging anywhere from immediate and spontaneous experiences, to conscientiously controlled and pre-meditated methods (examples of which are widely available in all the most popular books on the subject)-are also reported. In many cases, people who claimed to have had an OBE reported being asleep, on the verge of sleep, or already asleep shortly before the experience. A large percentage of these cases referred to situations where the sleep was not particularly deep (due to illness, noises in other rooms, emotional stress, exhaustion from overworking, frequent re-awakening, etc.). In most of these cases, the subjects then felt themselves awake; about half them noted a feeling of sleep paralysis. Some subjects report having had an OBE during near death conditions.
There appear to be two common forms of such lucid experiences. The first involves lucid dreaming, where the subject is immersed in unrealistic worlds, or in a modified form of the reality with impossible or inconsistent features. A second experience is of a more physical nature where the environment is consistent with reality; this is often called an etheric or ethereal experience. This type can be frightening, as extremely realistic physical sensations may occur, often including magnetic and vibrating phenomena, loss of balance, and confusion. The person believes he has awoken physically and panic can be caused by the realization that limbs appear to be penetrating objects.
The OBE may or may not be followed by other experiences which are self-reported as being "as real" as the OBE feeling; alternatively, the subject may fade into a state self-reported as dreaming, or they may wake completely. The OBE is sometimes ended due to a fearful feeling of getting "too far away" from the body. Many end with a feeling of suddenly "popping" or "snapping" and sometimes a "pulling" back into their bodies; some even report being "sucked back" into physical form. A majority describe the end of the experience by saying "then I woke up". However it's worth noting that even those who describe the experience as something fantastic that occurs during sleep, and who describe the end of the experience by saying "and then I woke up", are very specific in describing the experience as one which was clearly not a dream; many described their sense of feeling more awake than they felt when they were normally awake. One compared the experience to that of lucid dreaming, but said that it was "more real".
People often report having these experiences after suffering from traumatic experiences such as motor vehicle accidents. They are able to recall the accident as if observing from a location outside the vehicle.
+++ Near-death experiences
Another form of a spontaneous OBE occurs during a near death experience (INDEE or NDE). The phenomenology of an NDE usually includes physiological, psychological and transcendental factors (Parnia, Waller, Yeates & Fenwick, 2001) such as impressions of being outside the physical body (an out-of-body experience), visions of deceased relatives and religious figures, transcendence of ego and spatiotemporal boundaries and other transcendental experiences (Lukoff, Lu & Turner, 1998; Greyson, 2003). Typically the experience follows a distinct progression, starting with the sensation of floating above one's body and seeing the surrounding area, followed by the sensation of passing through a tunnel, meeting deceased relatives, and concluding with encountering a being of light (Morse, Conner & Tyler, 1985).
+++ Astral projection
Astral projection is a paranormal interpretation of an out-of-body experience achieved either awake or via lucid dreaming or deep meditation. The concept of astral projection assumes the existence of another body, separate from the physical body and capable of travelling to non-physical planes of existence. Commonly such planes are called astral, etheric, or spiritual. Astral projection is often experienced as the spirit or astral body leaving the physical body to travel in the spirit world or astral plane.
Evidence for objective reality of astral projection is sometimes suggested when people, such as patients during surgery, describe OBEs in which they see or hear events or objects outside their sensory range (for instance, one woman reportedly described a surgical instrument she had not seen previously, as well as conversation that occurred while she was clinically dead).
This is a summary of the various religions view point of the nature of an Out-of-body experience From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
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