Science Reproduces an OBE? Not really…


The BBC reports that scientists have recreated some of the altered perceptions that happen during an out-of-body experience (OBE)

While I’m sure this is valuable research, as someone who’s had OBE’s, the experience described in this experiment is fundamentally different from an OBE. In the experiment, the illusion is created by matching a physical stimulus (feeling one’s back being stroked with a stick) with an incongruent visual stimulus (watching a back being stroked with a stick). In a real OBE, physical stimulus of any kind tends to reorient the body awareness and bring the whole experience to an end. It is necessary to minimize physical sensations. Further, it is not simply a matter of a sudden reorientation of perspective. One can feel the whole process of LEAVING the body, with attendant, unique and often very vivid sensations. Also, the whole QUALITY of perception in an OBE is radically altered. One doesn’t simply see one’s body from a different angle. Every perception is vivid and intensely real in a way never experienced in normal consciousness. The quality of inner consciousness also has a totally unique quality which is difficult to describe. About the closest I can come is to say that it feels like the mind is full of liquid light.

None of this sounds remotely like what the researchers are describing.

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