Image Credit to Collective Evolution
By: Branson Stafford
Try to imagine yourself jogging along a sidewalk in a park – In an instant, your body contracts and you fall to the ground. You are experiencing cardiac arrest – heart attack. Your consciousness suddenly shifts, for you are looking at your body from above, tethered by soul energy. As your body lies on the pavement, people are gathering around, you can hear sirens but can’t make out what the people are saying. You try to call out but you have no voice. Suddenly everything goes black – You are again unconscious. When you awake, lying in a hospital bed, your family is around the bed with tears in their eyes, but you are left wondering, was it all a dream?
The Out-Of-Body Experience, or OBE, is no longer considered science fiction but is still a phenomenon that enthralls scientists and the esoterica alike.
There are two types of OBEs: Spontaneous and Induced. The spontaneous OBE can be triggered by several situations such as near-death experiences, extreme physical exertion, and sleep. Near-Death Experiences, or NDEs, are described in various ways by “experiencers.” Some report their experience to be a compilation of life events represented by images flashing in succession; meeting angels or other spiritual beings; reuniting with lost loved ones; ‘seeing the light’. A common acknowledgment in NDEs is the presence of reality; most report that it does not feel like a dream or hallucination, but “more real than real life.” Over time, there have been many scientific studies suggesting that this occurrence is, in fact, a result of chemical and electrical synaptic reactions in a dying brain, producing enzymes that induce hallucinations. With either approach, scientific or spiritual, the amount of stress placed on an individual facing death is most likely more than we are designed to handle.
Spontaneous out-of-body experiences, or SOBEs, have also been reported happening by witnesses just before falling asleep or the few moments before waking – not very common to occur in a deep REM state. This variation of the phenomenon has also been accredited to lucid dreaming – in the conscious state, it is referred to as Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming, or WILD. Lucid dreaming is a much deeper topic, and I wouldn’t want to simply skim over that in this article, so we’ll save it for its own. Other SOBEs have been reported during childbirth, suffocation, immense pain, and even dancing.
Out-of-body experiences can also be triggered by meditation, hallucinogenic drugs, sensory overload or deprivation (usually in laboratories), or flying in a plane or a space shuttle (G-force). These are called Induced Out-Of-Body Experiences, or IOBEs. Ayahuasca tea has been used as a tool of conscious communication by Peruvian and other indigenous shamans for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The brew contains naturally derived Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is a substance that provokes hallucinations and enhances sensory perceptions. Many who experience this ‘trip’ report of clarity of consciousness; the facing of perplexing life issues; finding harmony with the Universe; and the release of suppressed emotions. DMT is also naturally produced in our brain, and some claim this is released during an NDE, or even when we actually die, thus producing the environment for hallucinations (e.g. ‘seeing the light’, life flashing, etc.)
Through lucid dreaming, or an out-of-body experience resulting from an NDE, some experiencers have reported traveling over the plane of consciousness – astral projection. In the event of an OBE, the soul energy of your consciousness is referred to as the subtle or astral body. With heightened consciousness and intuition within the event, there have been accounts of not only hovering above the physical body, but intentionally navigating over the globe to distant destinations and spaces in time. The vessel by which one travels is a spirited entity – it is the consciousness, or soul. Astral travel relies on expectations, or intentions, meaning if you are a spiritual person expecting to see or meet angels, spirits, or even gods, the intention is set and you will do so.
In 2007, neuroscientist Dr. Henrik Ehrsson at University College London deliberately induced a type of out of body experience in volunteers. The study, which was published in the journal Science, created a unique illusion that mimics an OBE.
Ehrsson used head-mounted displays to enable participants to watch a live film recorded by two video cameras behind their head. This enabled them to see their own back from the third-person perspective of someone sitting behind them.
The researcher then prodded the volunteer, while moving a second rod towards where the illusory chest was located. By giving the brain these multiple sensory cues, the volunteers reported the experience of sitting several feet outside their physical body and actually seeing it from that location.
Dr. Ehrsson said: "Out-of-body experiences have fascinated mankind for millennia. Their existence has raised fundamental questions about the relationship between human consciousness and the body, and has been much discussed in theology, philosophy, and psychology...
"The invention of this illusion is important because it reveals the basic mechanism that produces the feeling of being inside the physical body. This represents a significant advance because the experience of one's own body as the center of awareness is a fundamental aspect of self-consciousness."
You can read about this study in full at Out of Body Experiences at UCL.
A shift in our consciousness is powerful enough to alter our reality. As we become more aware of ourselves in this Universe, we find that most of reality is our perception of it. The Out-Of-Body Experience is only one phenomenon that challenges us to question our reality and perception – for WE are the entire Universe, and the Source bestowed this gift upon US.
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