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Poll: Do you think out-of-body experiences are real?

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  1. #1
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    Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    I've heard it said on this site that people here have had out of body experiences (OOBE), and it was met with some doubt. Do you think they are real (as opposed to a hallucination)?

    Have you had an OOBE before, and if so, what was it like? What happens to your body while this is going on? Do you have to be unconscious?

    If you don't believe in them, state why.
    anything could be an illusion and we wouldn't know the difference... proof schmoof...

  2. #2
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    Perception is an illusion of the brain.

    The eyes don't actually "see". They send signals to the brain through complex neural pathways, not unlike a massive "morse code" system. The ears are the same way, translating vibrations in the air to neural impulses.

    The colors & shapes we see and the music & words we hear exist as part of a simulation created by our brain.

    Thus, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the mind is able to create strange illusions for itself. We have the ability to perceive images in our mind's eye. What if, somehow, the brain confused the impulses from the eye with the images of the mind's eye? What if it blurred the two together slightly... taking an image sent by the eyes and moving our "perception" through it via the mind's eye? I imagine the sensation would be not unlike what individuals describe as OOBE.

    This is all conjecture, of course.

    I have seen nor heard any credible evidence that would suggest OOBE is possible.

    Remember that OOBE is a claim that contradicts the known rules of reality. To validate itself, we must understand why reality as we know it is flawed / wrong / inaccurate.

  3. #3
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    I think sometimes people have a difficult time swallowing the possibility of OOBEs because even if one acknowledges the existence of a soul, they can't imagine it leaving the body without leaving the body dead.

    In my opinion, the soul is not an undivided entity. It can divide. So while one is having an OOBE, part of their soul leaves, and part of their souls stays.

    I believe the soul is energy that we can't measure yet. It can be stretched and expanded and it is not bound by the laws of physical nature.

    It's difficult to debate it, because there is no way to change someone's mind who hasn't ever experienced/believes one can experience such a thing. And for those who have experienced it, there is no motivation to not believe it because the experience speaks for itself.

    I've had them. I don't want to debate it, though, so I won't share my experiences on the public forum.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    I know the phenomena has caused some curiousity in medical circles to the point experiments were supposedly being conducted in trauma rooms.

    I haven't heard about any successes, so Ill reserve judgment until the evidence is in...
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  5. #5
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    Unsure. The only people I know (in real life) who have claimed an OOBE were people who were really high. On the other hand, who am I to sit here, and tell someone what they experienced didn't really happen when I don't have evidence either way?
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." ~Bertrand Russell

  6. #6
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    The brain can do funny things, especially with a chemical imbalence. Given this, I will say that I am leaning toward them being imagined, though I can't say with certainty that this is the case.
    孟柏民
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  7. #7
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    At the heart of the argument resides the question as to whether or not the laws of the material universe can adequately explain everything that appears to be. Out of Body Experience would appear to contradict those laws. It appears to move 'reality' away from the control of those natural laws. So it comes down to personal instincts and belief systems how 'evidence' is read.

    I have heard some particularly interesting accounts, and being a theist I cannot rule the phenomenon out all together. I do acknowledge however that the brain electro-chemical activity is also capable of powerful illusion.

    I lean towards the possibility of some being real.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    I worked with a guy who had a heart attack and while in surgery, he said he remembers standing above watching all the doctors and nurses working on him. I've heard stories about this before but not from anyone I actually knew. He was quite sincere about it and was someone who I considered, at least, a man of his word. However, without it actually happening to me, I'll stick with leaning toward them being real.

    Unless I've experienced one myself, I don't feel comfortable saying "Yes, they are real."
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  9. #9
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by sylje64
    Unless I've experienced one myself, I don't feel comfortable saying "Yes, they are real."
    I don't think that I would be comfortable saying that even if I had experienced it myself. I have had vivid dreams that never happened that I remembered as if they were real memories. If my mind can do that...it can create a dream about being outside of my body while I'm getting surgery.
    孟柏民
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  10. #10
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    Perception is an illusion of the brain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric

    The eyes don't actually "see". They send signals to the brain through complex neural pathways, not unlike a massive "morse code" system. The ears are the same way, translating vibrations in the air to neural impulses.

    Thanks for that background, Zhav. That was quite informative, and something to consider. I'm a little dubious on the subject. I'm leaning toward them being real, because there seems to be more indication that they have happened than that they haven't. I intend on discussing this with a co-worker who said it happened to her when she got nitrous oxide at the dentist -- and she said it freaked her out. To me, I'd think I'd be curious and want to examine it again, but she said no more. It might even be traumatic for her to talk about it -- we'll have to see. I know some people shudder at hints of supernatural events. I'm inclined rather to invite them, provided there's nothing sinister about them, which I don't think OOBE typically are inherently.

    I believe that Happy knows what she has experienced multiple times, and I have no legitimate reason to doubt her. And I'm not ruling the distinct possibility out even if it doesn't meet any known templates yet.

    Editor's note: I highly recommend nitrous oxide gas to help alleviate dental anxiety and pain. It's been wonderful since I started getting it a couple years ago. I've heard that kids can react unfavorably to it, though. I had to have a low dosage because it was causing me to shake uncontrollably, but all the same it was a very calming influence on the brain. Had some wisdom teeth pulled, and it was no big deal. I always used to dread going to the dentist, but now it's a relatively pleasant experience.
    anything could be an illusion and we wouldn't know the difference... proof schmoof...

  11. #11
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    I don't believe in out of body experiences, but my invisible friend insists they are real.
    The U.S. is currently enduring a zombie apocalypse. However, in a strange twist, the zombie's are starving.

  12. #12
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    I found this website and found it interesting. The claim of Susan Blackmore seems ridiculous yet the last one by the 19 year old girl seems possible. This is a subject that is based on taking someone's word and knowing for sure whether or not it is a neurological reaction in the brain or not. We CAN'T be for sure.....which is the same as religion.

    Unless it is something that has happened to us directly and we can PROVE that it wasn't a lucid dream or neurological reactions of the brain, it will always be a mystery.

    I kind of got a chuckle out of this portion of the link:

    If minds were leaving bodies, one would expect that there would be minds out of their bodies everywhere. You’d think that there’d be a mix-up occasionally and one or two souls or astral bodies would come back to the wrong physical bodies, or at least get their silver cords tangled up. One would expect some minds to get lost and never find their way back to their bodies. There should be at least a few mindless bodies wandering or lying around, abandoned by their souls as unnecessary baggage. There should also be a few confused souls who don’t know who they are because they’re in the wrong bodies

    http://skepdic.com/obe.html
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  13. #13

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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    Perception is an illusion of the brain.

    The eyes don't actually "see". They send signals to the brain through complex neural pathways, not unlike a massive "morse code" system. The ears are the same way, translating vibrations in the air to neural impulses.

    The colors & shapes we see and the music & words we hear exist as part of a simulation created by our brain.

    Thus, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the mind is able to create strange illusions for itself. We have the ability to perceive images in our mind's eye. What if, somehow, the brain confused the impulses from the eye with the images of the mind's eye? What if it blurred the two together slightly... taking an image sent by the eyes and moving our "perception" through it via the mind's eye? I imagine the sensation would be not unlike what individuals describe as OOBE.

    This is all conjecture, of course.

    I have seen nor heard any credible evidence that would suggest OOBE is possible.

    Remember that OOBE is a claim that contradicts the known rules of reality. To validate itself, we must understand why reality as we know it is flawed / wrong / inaccurate.
    Following this logic, we can then conclude that OOBEs are simply very realisitc dreams, delusions, or whathaveyouwill, since we know more about the physical reality of this [the mind] than the physical reality of the soul (which we all know isn't there).

  14. #14

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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by slyje64
    I found this website and found it interesting. The claim of Susan Blackmore seems ridiculous yet the last one by the 19 year old girl seems possible. This is a subject that is based on taking someone's word and knowing for sure whether or not it is a neurological reaction in the brain or not. We CAN'T be for sure.....which is the same as religion.

    Unless it is something that has happened to us directly and we can PROVE that it wasn't a lucid dream or neurological reactions of the brain, it will always be a mystery.

    I kind of got a chuckle out of this portion of the link:

    If minds were leaving bodies, one would expect that there would be minds out of their bodies everywhere. You’d think that there’d be a mix-up occasionally and one or two souls or astral bodies would come back to the wrong physical bodies, or at least get their silver cords tangled up. One would expect some minds to get lost and never find their way back to their bodies. There should be at least a few mindless bodies wandering or lying around, abandoned by their souls as unnecessary baggage. There should also be a few confused souls who don’t know who they are because they’re in the wrong bodies

    http://skepdic.com/obe.html
    Last night I had the most strange out of body experience. I was in the city of Porto, looking around, when, from a break in the clouds, with all the shafts of sunlight and whatnot, sticks began to fall in a parabolic motion toward the ground (implying them to be thrown). Well, these sticks, which I later identified as Harry Pothead wands, when they hit the ground, exploded in a similar fation as when Cyclopse in the first X-Men movie looked up at the ceiling of the train station and it blew apart in a shower of dust, rock and lightning. Well, in a similar fation, the city of Porto simply was blown up, and there was I, running my arse off to avoid death. Then I "woke up" and looked at the clock and it was 7ish a.m. or somewhat. But, I kid you not, that was not a dream but simply a oobe. I bet tonight on the nightly news, they'll be talking about how the city was blown to peices by flying Harry Potter wands from hell. And yes, this really happened.

  15. #15
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    Only one person said "yes they are real" - I'm not surprised. I voted not sure because I'm really not sure. Maybe whoever said they are real can take some pictures? - or is this just a one time event that you experienced? If I ever consciously left my body, I wouldn't want to come back unless I had to.
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  16. #16
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    My mother swears she had them for being terrified as a small girl. She grew up on a farm. At night The fox would get into the chicken coup and kill the chickens and get the eggs. The men wouls run out shooting their guns at night. The would also bring back dead fox to take to sell for the fur. I think there was also a good price on their tails..Anyway. my mother said she was so scared the fox was going to ome and bite her toes, she would leave her body, see herslf laying in the bed and float into her parents room and float above their bed.

  17. #17
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    Overly vague poll. I do not believe that all such experiences are fake. Nor do I believe they're all real. However, I believe they are only real in the case of divine intervention, such as with certain prophets of the Old Testament.

  18. #18
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    Re: Do you believe in Out-of-Body experiences?

    This book by George Ritchie Return from Tomorrow offers some compelling evidence for OBEs and/or NDEs. Certainly the experience completely changed the author's life. And judging by the reviews it has had not a little impact on the lives of some of his readers, too. I first read it about 20 years ago and found it very compelling - I'd definitely recommend it. In the light of his experience (and I have no reason to doubt the truth of his account) I am inclined to believe that OBE's are, or can be, real and not just hallucinatory.
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