Friday, July 8, 2011

Out of Body Experiences

Out of Body Experiences (OBE) is a situation in which a person experiences a separation from the mind and body. According to Timothy Lawson an OBE can be brought on in a multitude of ways such as drug-induced, religious, near-death, meditational, or hypnotically induced experiences. People who have experienced an out of body experience have described the situation as floating and being able to see their sleeping self. These experiences differ from that of normal dreaming in the sense that a person in an OBE realizes they are in the current physical world.

The internet is full of webpages dedicated to user-submitted stories of their own OBE. Contributors describe the ability to float, both through walls and ceilings, as well as visualize others who would guide them through the experience. There are many guides available online for those who wish to induce their own OBE. Methods include different types of visualization, and repeating sentences such as "i will have a lucid dream" or "i will remember only what is beneficial to me when i awake", and denying your body to slip into sleep (therefore tricking the body to believe the mind is asleep). As depicted in the photo scientists have determined that stimulation of certain areas of the brain can bring on the sensation, and visual, of either floating above your body looking down, or floating beside your body.

However, there are always skeptics who believe that the body is merely confused and the experience is brought on by conflicting senses. Others believe that an out of body experience is merely just lucid dreaming - a dream in which the person is aware they are dreaming (a technique that can also be taught). For the purpose of this blog post, and the satiate my intrigue, I decided to attempt the methods listed on two separate occasions. Unfortunately on the first night I was not able to bypass my body's inclination to fully fall asleep. On night two I used a different method and felt an overwhelming sense of relaxation. The feeling did not go further, as sometimes it takes multiple attempts to fully get the method down, but I was enough to pique my interest to attempt it once again.

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