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Certainly seems more representative of an OBE than the Blanke et al study of induced "OBEs". I wish they had set up a target for her a la the AWARE study. Then the only remaining thing to do would be to see whether she could have an OBE during a standstill operation or 10-20 seconds after inducing a heart attack...

I would think the first thing a researcher would do is a Charles Tart-like study using images hidden above the subjects field of vision. This would quickly cut to the chase, and distinguish the difference between having an OBE, and thinking about having an OBE.

It's interesting that the researchers in this particular study used the term "extra-corporeal experiences" (ECE's) instead OBE's, in part because the experiences this lady can produce on demand lack the strong emotions that often go hand-in-hand with OBES. Maybe the whole issue of OBE's is much more complex than we realize.
At least someone is seriously studying them.


There is no guarantee that what the girl is experiencing is the same thing that people like Robert Monroe experienced? Another words there might be degrees to this OBE thing? I experienced a very quick and fast OBE when I was walking home from school when I was in the 9th grade (1967)in Atlanta, Georgia. I was walking down Briarcliff road and as I was staring out over a small valley to my left I suddenly felt this sense of euphoria and felt like I was swooping over the roofs of the houses. It took me by surprise and it only lasted for a second. I was like "what was that?" At the time I didn't have a clue what happened to me? It was only much later in life that I was able to put a label on it. It certainly wasn't "at will."

The response is a typical pseudo-sceptic fuzzy thinking dismissal. You cannot only think you are having an experience, any more than you can think that you have had a thought. An "eperience" is a subjective phenomenon -- no rock in the the history of the universe has had an experience.

The flip side of the coin, of course, is an experient who insists that since they had the experience that they own all legal and social rights to all aspects of it -- that anyone who denies (or even mildly questioning) their interpretation of the experience or its causes are engaging in a rude, aggressive "attack on the experience" and therefore on them.

Even so, there's surely a distinction to be drawn between imagining that you've left your body and actually leaving it. I can close my eyes and imagine being in Rome, and I'm having an experience of sorts, but I'm not actually in Rome.

As RabbitDawg says, it would be nice if the experimenters had used a hidden target to test the woman's claim. But I get the impression that they are starting from the assumption that it's all in her head, so to speak, in which case the idea of testing her observational powers during an OBE wouldn't even come up.

"Maybe the whole issue of OBE's is much more complex than we realize."

Six Studies of Out-of-Body Experiences by Charles T. Tart, Ph.D.

http://www.newdualism.org/nde-papers/Tart/Tart-Journal%20of%20Near-Death%20Studies_1998-17-73-99.pdf

Charles Tart:

I believe that in some OBEs, the mind may, at least partially, really be located elsewhere than the physical body; this may have been the case with Miss Z. At the opposite extreme, as with my virtuoso hypnotic subjects whose experience was vivid and perfectly real to them but whose perception of the target room was only illusory, I believe an OBE can be a simulation of being out of the body, with the mind as much "in" the physical body as it ever is. In between these two extremes, I believe we can have OBEs that are basically a simulation of being out, but which are informed by information gathered by ESP such that the simulation of the OBE location is accurate and veridical. This is a messy situation in some ways, especially because all three of these types of OBEs may seem experientially identical to the person having them, at least at rough levels of description.

Speaking of veridical out of body experiences, I was trying to track down "New ASPR Research on Out-of-the-Body Experiences" by Karlis Osis, cited by Michael Talbot in The Holographic Universe. Talbot says that this study was successful, but I'd like to read it for myself. Does anyone know where to find it?

Of course there is a difference, and for those who are interested in figuring out how the universe works, its an important one.

...The point is, that there is no a priori, intrinsic difference in the experience.

It is, of course, reasonable to question what happened in a specific case of someone's subjective view of the world shifting from a point inside their body to one outside. To ask what objective phenomenon -- including some meaningful aspect of self making the shift -- resulted in the experience.

Not having read the source I could have misread things, but it definitely sounded like the typical pseudo-skeptical response to such things. To not just say that there are other interpretations of the what occurred objectively, nor to just say that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that something outside the conventionally understood laws of physics occurred, nor even to say that they believe that it is unlikely that this experience -- or any such experience -- represents such phenomenon. Instead they take the attitude that they, as a "critical thinker" know that no such phenomena exists and that anyone who disagrees with that certainty is cearly being foolish and that the person having the experience, specifically, should have recognized that nothing of any interest was happening and that they clearly should recognize that they didn't actually experience anything and certainly shouldn't mention it to anyone.

Nice post!

Since she can do it at will, one would think they could do all kinds of tests on what she can see from "above."

Re this Charles Tart quote:

||This is a messy situation in some ways, especially because all three of these types of OBEs may seem experientially identical to the person having them, at least at rough levels of description.||

The fact that seeing things in terms of "three types" feel problematic is a sign that it's probably not accurate, either. IMO, there is only one type of OBE.

OBEs and dreams (essentially the same thing) are 4th-dimensional experiences in which many types of information can be indiscriminately mixed. Many different origins are possible:

•Personal memories
•Thoughtforms (i.e., just imagining things)
•Impressions of 3D "reality" from any time period (i.e., veridical OBEs)
•People in the Afterlife "stepping down" to communicate
•Functional entities of various origins

The percentage of "veridicity" (correspondence with 3D reality) can range from 0% to 100%.

I've had lots and lots of interesting experiences in the Astral. It's quite the place.

I think the OBEs associated with NDEs are fundamentally different in nature than Astral OBEs. In an OBE via NDE, the person is essentially in the 5th dimension, albeit able to see the 3rd from that perspective for a brief time. Then, in the deeper NDE, the person is fully in the 5th, and that experience will be remembered much differently than an Astral OBE.

The above is just how I connect the points of data and my own experiences; I could be wrong.

To clarify, I said there is only one type of OBE, but then made it seem as though there were two types: Astral and 5D (NDE).

I meant that what is *typically* called an OBE is Astral in nature. It could be, but should not be, confused with veridical experiences brought on by an NDE. They are both "out of body," but where the mind is located in each is vastly different.

Brain function in spiritual experiences are unlikely to be resolved any time soon. And lets face it, what we experience subjectively is always gong to be registered by the brain in some way. If not, we wouldn't know that we'd experienced it.

It also makes sense that those areas of the brain that were activated are those involved in observation of a phenomena, rather than those recording body movement. The argument being that her mind traveled outside her body to other places.

What annoys me is when scientists or amateurs such as the person commenting on the fMRI experiment of out of an body experience is so keen to get his facts right i.e. one case, not cases. And that the experimenter failed to use the word "hallucination".

In all fairness, I think he is correct in eliminating the term, often bandied around by scientists as an explanation for all spiritual experiences. What he was pointing out was that in visual hallucinations, the V1 area or visual area is usually activated e.g. in dreams and visual hallucinations, and was not here.

A number of areas of the brain are also shown to be activated during hallucinations. And this area of study is a complicated and ongoing one. So spouting off that each spiritual experience is a hallucination is not definitive or proven. In fact the fMRI shows that brain areas activated were more discrete that other areas tabbed during usual visual stimuli.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2702442/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC257791/

Lyn x.

ncu9nc, I think your synopsis is basically correct. However, recognizing an OBE is also a matter of definition. Once you have had a full fledged OBE, which very much resembles the descriptions of such that occur during the early stages of NDEs, the real deal is very easily distinguished from lesser or false experiences that sometimes get labeled as OBEs nonetheless.

I think that anyone who can have OBEs at will and has done so for a long time should be able to focus on, and accurately report,hidden images on top of shelves most of the time.

Andrew Newberg, Mario Beauregard, and others, have studied the neural correlates of spiritual experiences and despite pronounced neural activity accompanying some of these experiences, they refuse to rule out more transcendental explanations. Tart's Miss Z also demonstrated EEG changes when she successfully identified the target (a five digit number placed on a shelf). It is disingenious science reporting to claim the OBE experiences of this woman have been explained away from analysis of her fMRI. You would expect such changes from a genuine experience.

Hello M.R. On the article you mention, I only found this:

http://www.astralpulse.com/forums/welcome_to_out_of_body_experiences/vibration_brain_activity_testing_stephen_laberge-t20963.25.html;wap2=

Here's the Daily Mail's article on this story:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2575550/The-woman-leave-body-Student-sheds-light-strange-brain-activity-involved-body-experiences.html

Statistics cannot be done using only one person/scan. I know that not so many people claim they can have an OBE at will but I think the data is not sufficient.
A few days ago I showed this picture to a friend of mine (not telling him what was all about): http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/02/brain/clark-photography#/04-white-matter-brain-fiber-grid-670.jpg
He said "well, this does not seem like a natural thing". Indeed. It's our brain's low level structure.

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