Saturday, February 4, 2012
Out of Body Experiences: Real or Just a Dream?
Much of the information on this subject is collected during carefully observed studies and also from personal experiences. Studies into OBE's began with Robert Monroe. In 1958 he had his first experience, the experience was so profound to him that he spent the rest of his life trying to scientifically figure out what happened to him. Robert Monroe readily subjected himself to be scientifically studied at the Topeka VA hospital in 1977. Dr. Stuart Twemlow completed the study and declared Robert Monroe a sane individual with no evidence of psychological disturbance or other mental imbalances. The doctor had found him sane but was still unable to find a cause or explain why this phenomenon occurs or even if it does occur at all. Another study was conducted by Dean Shields, in 1978. The study included almost 70 non-Western cultures around the world. Out of the 54 cultures that responded, 46% claimed that most or all people could travel outside the physical body under certain conditions. 43% claimed that a few people could have OBE's, and only 3 cultures claimed that OBE's do not happen.
The most common assumption I found regarding OBE's is that most of them occur while the person is sleeping. As i dug deeper into the subject i found that some people believe that this phenomenon can occur at almost anytime. Researchers have investigated when an OBE is most likely to occur and in one study found that over 85% of those surveyed said they had OBE's while they were resting, sleeping or dreaming. A smaller percentage said they had their experience while drugged or on medication. There are even some people who believe a person can induce an OBE on themselves. Robert Monroe even has a web page with the instructions on how to do this. http://www.near-death.com/experiences/paranormal11.html. I also came across a few people who believe it is possible to have an OBE while awake.
It is my point of view that the majority of OBE's are simply a person's dream or possibly an over-active imagination. I am open to the idea that such an experience is possible, but until it can be scientifically proven or I experience an OBE myself, I will remain skeptical.