OpEd by Jane Underwood

Phenomenon of Out of Body Experiences

Updated 3 days ago

by Jane Underwood

Out of body experiences, shortened to ‘OBE’ and also known as ‘astral projection’ are a strange phenomenon that have been experienced by many people throughout the ages, some of the earliest recorded evidence of out of body experiences comes from ancient Egyptian civilizations in the form of hieroglyphics which showed a glowing light leaving the body.

These experiences have been likened also to near death experiences where the individual feels as if they have been momentarily separated from their physical bodies and they are outside looking in. In this article we will look at what defines an OBE as well as some fascinating stories from those who have experienced them

What happens during an OBE?

During one of these experiences it is said that the subject feels as if ‘the self’ or their consciousness has been temporarily separated from their physical body. This is meant to be a life changing experience that can bring with it many benefits such as improved sleep, enhanced focus and concentration, an understanding of death and a deeper sense of calm in one’s life. 

Astral projection can be achieved through in depth and prolonged meditation, but it should be done with caution and after sufficient research as there can be some risks associated with it.

The case of Miss Z

Dr Charles Tart, a professor of psychology at the university of California in 1968 studied an anonymous woman, later named as Miss Z, who claimed that she could leave her body at will after falling asleep. 

The study involved placing an envelope with a random number written on a piece of paper inside, on top of the shelf above the bed where she fell asleep. The instruction was that Miss Z fall asleep, induce an OBE, and then disclose the number to Dr. Tart on waking. 

A shocking discovery

The doctor stayed in the room throughout the whole process and it was made sure that there was no way that Miss Z could see the number through the envelope. Dr. Tart and his team were shocked to find that when she awoke she was able to correctly state the number in the envelope. 

After having studied her for several months Dr. Tart commented that while she came across as a mature person with great insight, she also presented at times as extremely disturbed psychologically. She could be erratic and lose control, and displayed symptoms which fitted with the profile of schizophrenia.

A life changing experience

Many individuals have claimed that an out of body experience has changed their lives, in some cases converting those who had never considered themselves as a religious person to believing in God and having a faith. 

One such individual called Michael, aged 35, claimed to have floated above his body on the hospital bed while having surgery, he said he felt extremely calm throughout the whole experience. 

Seeing the future

A 14 year old girl called Anna claimed to have seen her grandmother have a heart attack before it happened during an out of body experience. During her dream where she astral projected, she said she was standing in a kitchen while her grandmother was telling her grandad that she was not feeling well before falling ill, a couple of days later her grandmother died of a heart attack in that same kitchen. 

The power of love and connection

Three days after the news, the family went to the Gulf Coast of Alabama to visit her grandfather where they had both recently moved, Anna had never visited before, yet she said the kitchen was exactly the same as the one she saw during her out of body experience. 

Anna’s Mother had commented that Anna was very close to her grandfather, and that those powerful bonds of love had helped Anna transcend her physical limitations and momentarily glimpse into the future.

Jane Underwood is a freelance writer.

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