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Out of Body experience
Posted: 25 January 2007 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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If you don't want to read my rumbling about why I'm posting this, just skip to the question at the last paragraph.

I've been able to have Lucid Dreams for a long time, and never really trained for it. It just came naturally. A few years later, a few people told me they had Out of Body experiences. I thought it was all crap, at most Lucid Dreams that they didn't regard as dreams, or some correlation of the sort. But one of them specifically was a very intelligent and reasonable man, it didn't made much sense to me.

I researched around the net and found places that actually tought you how to train to do it. Since I had easy lucid dreams, I thought it could probably make this easier than normal, and it couldn't hurt to try. I tryied a few times and got nowhere. I felt my heart beating with tremendous accuracy and what-not, but no actually OBB. I never took the discussion elsewhere, because any forum I'd ask I'd probably get a whole lotta biased responses on the subject. But this is the perfect forum for such a discussion!

I'm talking about induced OOB, not near death experiences, although it would be nice to hear a take on that from someone that had it and is STILL an atheist/agnosthic. I don't discard the possibility of another dimension, spirits or what-not (although I think they are very unlikelly); I think another dimension and a possible conection with this one could PHYSICALLY exist, and yet have no connection to god or religion or the paranormal whatsoever. We just aren't advanced enough to scientifically see it yet (if it were the case, which I think is unlikelly despite this paragraph seemingly pointing otherwise)

So what I really want to get to is this:
Are you an atheist/agnostic, skeptic, non-supersticious, and had a OOBE? If so, was it actually an OOB or just a dream-like stuff just confined to your mind?

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Posted: 26 January 2007 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I think this is a good question because these kinds of experiences are probably more common than we may estimate.  My dad has a friend whose wife is a real straight laced left brained individual.  However, she has described to my dad how she used to leave her body and float around the bathroom as a young girl.  ...the last person you’d think would wax paranormal.

I tend to think they’re dreams.  I’ve had some dreams before that were indistinguishable from reality.  I don’t think saying this diminishes the experiences though.  There may be something to discover yet.


I don’t know if you read the lucid dream thread, but I did experience something.

[quote author=“ligh+bringer”]One time I woke up from a fully lucid state and felt paralyzed, but not in the terrifying reality collapsing hallucination that is sleep paralysis – it was just like I couldn’t move and I was fine with it.  It felt like my consciousness was residing in my chest, and I wouldn’t be able to look through my eyes if I opened them. Some people say this is a precursor to an out of body experience, but who knows.

One thing that’s interesting to me about this experience I had was how it focused on my chest.  People who go through sleep paralysis talk about feeling pressure on their chest (the succubus).  It seems the perception of the chest is a big part of conciousness (some dogmatic view that the soul resides in the heart, blah blah). 

I’m sure if I had trained enough I could replicate the experience and attempt to drilll a hole in my chest and escape out of body.  But I stopped pursuing the lucid dreaming sutff.  Really, if I left my body, what the he|| would I do out there?

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Posted: 25 June 2007 05:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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From Stephen Pinker’s Jan. TIME article “The Mystery of Concsciousness” 

And when the physiological activity of the brain ceases, as far as anyone can tell the person’s consciousness goes out of existence. Attempts to contact the souls of the dead (a pursuit of serious scientists a century ago) turned up only cheap magic tricks, and near death experiences are not the eyewitness reports of a soul parting company from the body but symptoms of oxygen starvation in the eyes and brain. In September, a team of Swiss neuroscientists reported that they could turn out-of-body experiences on and off by stimulating the part of the brain in which vision and bodily sensations converge.

[url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1580394-3,00.html]http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1580394-3,00.html  [/url]

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Posted: 26 June 2007 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I also have the occasional lucid dream, and they’re always very intense. A few times I’ve ended up telling someone that I’m dreaming them, and asking them how it feels. Both times, the person has avoided the question, averting her eyes, trying to get away from me.

I don’t believe at all in OOBEs. I remember once when I had a bad cold or a fever (so I may have been on Comtrex or something similar), I had many dreams in one night, each time dreaming that I woke up, got out of bed and was standing in front of my bedroom door. Each time I swore I was really awake.

As a young teenager, I was fascinated with the concept of “astral projection” which I’d read about in an encyclopedia called Man, Myth, and Magic. The concept is basically the same as an OOBE.  I decided to try it. It involved laying down in deep relaxation (a body scan) while maintaining alertness. I ended up actually feeling a tingly feeling accompanied by a floating sensation, which scared me so much that I leapt up off the bed and discontinued the experiment. I honestly think this was simply my nerve endings tingling, or whatever physical sensation the body produces during such relaxation.  I was probably the most relaxed my 14-year-old body had been for a long time!

All this to say that even with lucid dreaming and at least the beginning of a supposed OOBE, I don’t believe.  I think our brains can produce many as yet unexplained effects, but that astral travel is not one of them.

I imagine that if OOBEs were real, we’d have lots more (any?) accounts of astrally-observed events reported that could not otherwise have been known.

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Posted: 12 July 2007 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Hi VVA, and welcome : )

Just wanted to back up your comments on the repetitive drills, and what they can bring on. I was briefly involved in Scientology several years ago, for maybe six months total—my boyfriend at the time had encouraged me into it.

When I did my one and only block of auditing, there came a point where, after a series of those repetitive statements you mention, I was suddenly gobsmacked by a stunningly orgasmic whoosh  which flushed through my head for several seconds. I can’t say how long it lasted, exactly (maybe 10-15 seconds?), but it was that timeless sort of sensation, where you’re in complete surrender to the pleasure. I guess the E-meter was all aflutter, too, because the auditor went silent, just letting it run its course. If I recall correctly, the sensation was mostly right in my head, but may have been felt in other parts of my upper body.


The repetitive drill consisted of only this:

Auditor: Sit in that chair.

Mia: Okay (or ‘alright’, or ‘no, I don’t want to’, or whatever I elected to say in response to her command)


It had been very irritating to me, fielding this question over and over and over. . . and after the whoosh happened (I can’t recall if I had relaxed into the question by then, or if I was still pissed off), she immediately ended the session. Auditors always like to end on a ‘win’.


I’ve so often wondered what the heck was going on with that brain rush, since it never happened again, and was clearly a product of the repetition drill. Is it about, perhaps, coming into ‘agreement’ with your current situation, getting yourself grounded in the moment? I wonder if much scientific testing has been run on this type of discipline. I’ve thought to try to replicate it through the chanting of a mantra. . . but could you chant just about any phrase, ya think, or is there something unique about the ones Scientology has isolated?

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Posted: 13 July 2007 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“Mia”]I’ve so often wondered what the heck was going on with that brain rush, since it never happened again, and was clearly a product of the repetition drill. Is it about, perhaps, coming into ‘agreement’ with your current situation, getting yourself grounded in the moment?


I’ve experienced what I think you’re talking about numerous times, but only twice to what I would consider a truly pronounced degree. “Agreement” is a pretty good way to describe it. It’s like all is as it should be and my place in the cosmos is right ... all is well, essentially. In fact it’s a very powerful, almost overwhelming sensation of peace-of-mind and general well-being. Oneness with the Tao (i.e. the Cosmos).

I experienced one of the more powerful manifestations of this sensation as a believer—attributed it do God, of course. That was powerful, but it felt more complete, in a sense, more peaceful and more in agreement when I felt it as a non-believer and had no preconceived framework to box it into. It just was, I just was part of it, and that was fine.

Wonderful sensation! I get bits of it to varying degrees when I meditate ... and at other times as well, but most often when I meditate.

Byron

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Posted: 18 July 2007 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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The most interesting aspect of these experiences is the ability of the person to see and describe the surrounding environment.  In some cases, sensory data is collected despite significant geographical distance.

Could the answer be found in physics?  Is consciousness non-local?

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Posted: 23 July 2007 12:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Dr Pimm Van Lommel’s studies on conciousness surviving clinical death of the body as well as Dr Ian Stevenson’s work provides quite an in depth study of these kind of matters.

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Posted: 10 October 2007 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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I have experienced OBB in ways that for me, provided a objective confirmation of the occurance.  For one example, a step son had a very expensive bicycle stolen from school.  I meditated, then following the vision I had experienced and using the same route drove to a neighborhood I had never been in, walked behind a house I had never seen before, and pulled his bicycle from a pile of stolen bikes that could not be seen from the street.  The rest was an almost as interesting on how I persuaded the kid that stole the bike to round up the parts and help me reassemble it, while his slut arse mom flirted with the police officer that responded to the call I made.

I don’t expect anyone to believe this, or any other tale of a metaphysical experience that happened to anyone else.  I wouldn’t.  However, when atheist claim that my experiences are hallucinations, they are disrespecting me just as much as any Abrahamist declaring that I’m doomed to ‘hell’ because I don’t believe in their heavens, hells, sins and redemption.

Consider, if a spiritual world does exist, it would make sense that it exist above and beyond the physical world and it’s rules, and is thus unprovable except to those that have experienced it.  Metaphysical experiences that can be confirmed objectively would be the exception, not the rule.

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Posted: 10 October 2007 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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ender - 10 October 2007 02:07 PM

Consider, if a spiritual world does exist, it would make sense that it exist above and beyond the physical world and it’s rules, and is thus unprovable except to those that have experienced it.

Well, currently  unprovable, yes. . . but can you expand on why an ESP/OBE experience of this sort (i.e. being able to accurately locate a person or object) would necessarily fall into the realm of the metaphysical, rather than the [currently untrackable] physical?

I realize that the definition of ESP reads, “Communication or perception by means other than the physical senses”. . . but I guess I have trouble with why an ability like that—if ever it can be reliably measured using the scientific method—automatically gets classified as being outside the realm of the material/physical/natural world, since it obviously plays out in the brain.

[ Edited: 10 October 2007 02:35 PM by Mia]
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Posted: 10 October 2007 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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ender - 10 October 2007 02:07 PM

Consider, if a spiritual world does exist, it would make sense that it exist above and beyond the physical world and it’s rules, and is thus unprovable except to those that have experienced it.  Metaphysical experiences that can be confirmed objectively would be the exception, not the rule.


That really makes sense to you? Have you given much thought to the notion of what it means, exactly, to “exist above and beyond the physical world” or how our perceptions might register such a thing? The absolute best you can manage in “support” of such a thing is some kind of unexplained phenomenon, but that gets you only as far as “I don’t know how [X] happens,” and it’s certainly a stretch, putting it mildly, to go from “I don’t know how [X] happens” to “there’s this whole other world, see ... ”

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 10 October 2007 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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It has made sense to millions of humans before us.  I suspect that most of the prophets, shamans, mystics and gagbut ah saviors of the world’s cultures and religions have had these experiences with the higher consciousness.  Its when they try to explain them in terms of their own culture, and convince others of some message that they start babbling crap that misleads humans.  I know what eternity is for me.  I cannot put it into words and would be doing you and humanity a disservice to even attempt it.

As Stephen Pinker describes so eloquently in the Blank Slate, there appears to be a hardwired need for most humans to seek to experience knowlege of the spiritual component of life.  Because you cannot see it or touch it, or current technology cannot detect it, does not rule it out.  Likewise, since that desire, and most of the experiences, exist across all cultures and religions, it doesn’t make any of the explanations..the religions, more true than any other.  But neither does it make them all imaginary, but probably misinterpreted.

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Posted: 10 October 2007 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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ender - 10 October 2007 09:23 PM

Because you cannot see it or touch it, or current technology cannot detect it, does not rule it out ...


And the fact that this alleged “other world” is impossible to perceive, let alone observe in any way that’s indistinguishable from fantasy and/or delusion certainly doesn’t keep some people from claiming to know a lot about it, sometimes in alleged detail. Such a world would be unknowable by definition. That means it can’t be derived from external experience and has to be made up. It doesn’t technically make the probability of its actual existence (independent of the mind) 0, but only technically speaking (the number would have a decimal to the left and lots of 0s).

Byron

[ Edited: 10 October 2007 06:38 PM by SkepticX]
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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 11 October 2007 04:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Your probability of less than one has no meaning in this context.  You could just as easily assume that the string theory assumption of the existance of 9-13 dimensions that has been ‘proven’ mathematically to some degree, and though it may be thousands of years or never before we have the technology to access these or even understand their properties enough to provide ‘hard’ evidense, therefore has your low probability of possibility. That would not be a correct assumption. Oddly enough, mathematically, these proposed dimensions are ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ than ours.

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Posted: 11 October 2007 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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ender - 11 October 2007 08:25 AM

Your probability of less than one has no meaning in this context.  You could just as easily assume that the string theory assumption of the existance of 9-13 dimensions that has been ‘proven’ mathematically to some degree, and though it may be thousands of years or never before we have the technology to access these or even understand their properties enough to provide ‘hard’ evidense, therefore has your low probability of possibility. That would not be a correct assumption. Oddly enough, mathematically, these proposed dimensions are ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ than ours.


String theory is a theory. There’s substantial epistemology behind it. This “other spiritual world” is a pure fabrication. There’s zero valid epistemology behind it. The probability I presented is based upon the assumption that something completely fabricated that violates known properties of reality and that cannot be derived from any source external to the mind has roughly the same chance of being real (independently of the mind) as any other entirely fictional world, as in Middle Earth or Never-Never Land. There’s no reason to presume whatever “other world” a given apologist is arguing for (and you can’t presume they’re all the same—you have to take each one individually, just like alleged gods) is any more real than that of any other world builder.

Byron

[ Edited: 11 October 2007 12:23 PM by SkepticX]
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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 12 October 2007 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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As a rational person, I do understand your position, but that same rationality demands that I trust the evidence my mind perceives particularly when combined with objective confirmations.  I would suggest you read Pinker’s the Blank Slate.  Not that you are incorrect, but the absolute atheist rationalist is in a very small group in the human commnunity.  You should at least make an effort to understand why rational humans do believe in a spiritual component to life.  Dogma is Dogma whether its spouted by an fundamentalist atheist or a fundamentalist christian.

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