NDES and OBES: dreams are the key

#21
I think if there is a continuity between dreams and NDE's (less sure about OBE's) it must also include ordinary consciousness - in other words they are all related, but we knew that already! However, in saying that, I am not trying to minimise what you have written.

The simplest interpretation of the candle story, is obviously that OBE's do not access reality. On the other hand there are plenty of people who claim to have precognitive dreams, and people in an NDE often collect data about the resuscitation process. I have always thought this fact is underplayed. I mean, suppose you were conscious (with eyes open) while being resuscitated, you would have a very poor view of what was happening, and be distracted by intense pain and fear.

In his book about his dreams, Paqart describes one particular dream in which he was lured into a side street and mugged and killed. Some time afterwards, he encountered this event for real, but forewarned is forearmed, and he managed to escape his fate. I think his experience is not untypical. One way to understand this, might be if time is branched, and we have some control over which branches we 'occupy', and we have some limited access to future times. Presentiment is also consistent with this idea.

This reminds one of the 'many worlds' interpretation of QM, in which the universe is constantly splitting as each and every wave function collapse resolves into its component possibilities. This seems ludicrous to me, unless there is some mechanism that 'culls' most of the alternatives, but even so, maybe some branches (and even reconnects?) really do happen.

If indeed the brain receives consciousness - something like a bidirectional radio device (a TV seems a poor analogy) this selection of branches by looking ahead and choosing a desired branch, may be the way we control our bodies at the deepest level inside our brains (then the signals fan out down the motor neurons, etc.). The interesting thing about this idea, is that the controller doesn't need to understand the whole cause and effect chain, it just picks an outcome that it wants by viewing the immediate future! From that point of view, precognitive dreaming is just a hugely amplified version of a process that is vital to life!

David
 
#22
As I stated earlier, the functional brain is affected by weak magnetic fields. How sensitive the brain is in an energy compromised state, more particularly in the absence of it's own endogenous fields is unknown.
What is your evidence that the brain is affected by "weak magnetic fields"?
 
#23
I think if there is a continuity between dreams and NDE's (less sure about OBE's) it must also include ordinary consciousness - in other words they are all related, but we knew that already! However, in saying that, I am not trying to minimise what you have written.

The simplest interpretation of the candle story, is obviously that OBE's do not access reality. On the other hand there are plenty of people who claim to have precognitive dreams, and people in an NDE often collect data about the resuscitation process. I have always thought this fact is underplayed. I mean, suppose you were conscious (with eyes open) while being resuscitated, you would have a very poor view of what was happening, and be distracted by intense pain and fear.

In his book about his dreams, Paqart describes one particular dream in which he was lured into a side street and mugged and killed. Some time afterwards, he encountered this event for real, but forewarned is forearmed, and he managed to escape his fate. I think his experience is not untypical. One way to understand this, might be if time is branched, and we have some control over which branches we 'occupy', and we have some limited access to future times. Presentiment is also consistent with this idea.

This reminds one of the 'many worlds' interpretation of QM, in which the universe is constantly splitting as each and every wave function collapse resolves into its component possibilities. This seems ludicrous to me, unless there is some mechanism that 'culls' most of the alternatives, but even so, maybe some branches (and even reconnects?) really do happen.

If indeed the brain receives consciousness - something like a bidirectional radio device (a TV seems a poor analogy) this selection of branches by looking ahead and choosing a desired branch, may be the way we control our bodies at the deepest level inside our brains (then the signals fan out down the motor neurons, etc.). The interesting thing about this idea, is that the controller doesn't need to understand the whole cause and effect chain, it just picks an outcome that it wants by viewing the immediate future! From that point of view, precognitive dreaming is just a hugely amplified version of a process that is vital to life!

David
David, that reminds me of a post I once made here:

http://www.near-death-forums.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7621&hilit=premonition+model

The thing about the candle story is that it demonstrates how easy the mind can fool itself. If a dream can adopt the "out of body" trope so effortlessly, then that can quite easily be the way it is doing it all the time. I don't quite know what I believe about claims of veridical information in OBEs given this fact. I don't rule it out, but a lot of time has passed without any real verification.
 
#24
I don't quite know what I believe about claims of veridical information in OBEs given this fact. I don't rule it out, but a lot of time has passed without any real verification.
Nobody is really trying right now. Previous attempts at discussing OBEs/projection within psychial research circles showed promising results, but unfortunately requires a lot of practice and thus is not conducive to the current attempts at finding a "mass market"-able effect.
 
#25
I would advise people to read Kai's link, or maybe Kai should copy/paste it in here.Sometimes I feel optimistic that the internet is helping us towards a real theory of how the paranormal is integrated into the physical world.

I must say, I don't really buy the "gargantuan albatross" of the many worlds interpretation, but as I have said before, my hunch is that QM as we know it is really the limiting case of something more complex - the limit for small numbers of particles. I can't help but feel it is linked to the mystery of precognition, but not in its simplest form. It may be relevant that QM is best tested on time independent systems, such as an atom or molecule sitting in a vacuum. The collapse of the wave function is obviously time dependent, and I can't imagine that anyone would know if wave functions in complicated systems didn't collapse in a totally random fashion following the Born rule (does anyone know anything about this?).

Kai, I'm not sure if your third explanation from your link caters for the case of premonitions that are avoided - as in Paqart's dream.

David
 
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#26
Nobody is really trying right now. Previous attempts at discussing OBEs/projection within psychial research circles showed promising results, but unfortunately requires a lot of practice and thus is not conducive to the current attempts at finding a "mass market"-able effect.
To the extent that remote viwing can be thought of as a sort of special type of OBE (OK, a bit of a stretch) there is certainly evidence that veridical effects are possible.

David
 
#27
What is your evidence that the brain is affected by "weak magnetic fields"?
There is a huge amount of published literature available on this subject, but you could start by looking at these two earlier papers if you are interested:

Schienle et. al. 1996 - 'Atmospheric electromagnetism: Individual differences in brain electrical response to simulated sferics'.

Abstract: The living organism is constantly affected by natural electromagnetic influences covering a wide range of frequencies and amplitudes. One of these natural influences is represented by a phenomenon called atmospherics or sferics. Sferics are very weak electromagnetic impulses generated by atmospheric discharges (lightning). With a newly developed simulation system it was possible to reproduce a previously registered sferics signal and present it to 52 subjects while recording the electroencephalogram (EEG). The repeated application of this stimulus for ten minutes evoked a significant decrease in alpha power in parietal and occipital regions compared to the control condition without sferics presentation. Two constitutional factors were revealed as mediators of sferics effectiveness: the general physical condition of the subjects, and their neuroticism. Individuals with many somatic complaints and a high degree of emotional lability did not respond to the sferics stimulation. This absence of a response is interpreted as an adaptational deficit in reaction to variations in atmospheric parameters.

Heusser et. al. 1997 - 'Influence of an alternating 3 Hz magnetic field with an induction of 0.1 millitesla on chosen parameters of the human occipital EEG

Abstract: In 62 volunteers it was studied, whether an alternating 3 Hz magnetic field (induction 0.1 mT) vertically applied to the head over a period of 20 min causes changes in EEG parameters. The study's design was a random crossover controlled, blind one. The field was generated by a Helmholtz coils arrangement. The occipital surface EEGs (O1 and O2) were derived against the left earlobe. Significant differences (two-tailed P<0.05) between sham and real exposure were found for the relative spectral amplitudes of the theta (3.5–7.5 Hz) and beta band (12.5–25.0 Hz) and the theta/beta ratio. These observations can be interpreted as a more pronounced reduction of alertness under the real field condition compared with the control.
 
#28
There is a huge amount of published literature available on this subject, but you could start by looking at these two earlier papers if you are interested:

Schienle et. al. 1996 - 'Atmospheric electromagnetism: Individual differences in brain electrical response to simulated sferics'.

Abstract: The living organism is constantly affected by natural electromagnetic influences covering a wide range of frequencies and amplitudes. One of these natural influences is represented by a phenomenon called atmospherics or sferics. Sferics are very weak electromagnetic impulses generated by atmospheric discharges (lightning). With a newly developed simulation system it was possible to reproduce a previously registered sferics signal and present it to 52 subjects while recording the electroencephalogram (EEG). The repeated application of this stimulus for ten minutes evoked a significant decrease in alpha power in parietal and occipital regions compared to the control condition without sferics presentation. Two constitutional factors were revealed as mediators of sferics effectiveness: the general physical condition of the subjects, and their neuroticism. Individuals with many somatic complaints and a high degree of emotional lability did not respond to the sferics stimulation. This absence of a response is interpreted as an adaptational deficit in reaction to variations in atmospheric parameters.

Heusser et. al. 1997 - 'Influence of an alternating 3 Hz magnetic field with an induction of 0.1 millitesla on chosen parameters of the human occipital EEG

Abstract: In 62 volunteers it was studied, whether an alternating 3 Hz magnetic field (induction 0.1 mT) vertically applied to the head over a period of 20 min causes changes in EEG parameters. The study's design was a random crossover controlled, blind one. The field was generated by a Helmholtz coils arrangement. The occipital surface EEGs (O1 and O2) were derived against the left earlobe. Significant differences (two-tailed P<0.05) between sham and real exposure were found for the relative spectral amplitudes of the theta (3.5–7.5 Hz) and beta band (12.5–25.0 Hz) and the theta/beta ratio. These observations can be interpreted as a more pronounced reduction of alertness under the real field condition compared with the control.

The radio burst from lightning is almost *infinitely* more powerful than the miniscule threshold fields produced by a single human brain. You can pick up a radio signal from lightning on a standard AM radio hundreds of miles away from the stroke.
 
#30
You're not being fair, because you only focus on what you have in common that NDEs, the OBEs and dreams, regardless of differences.

In my view reciprocal apparitions, apparitions that cast shadows, seen by several witnesses at a time and are reflected in mirrors, Blue Harary experiments and Tanous experiments, suggest that there is something like a subtle body goes out of body for some OBEs and can be seen as apparition.
 
#32
[..] suggest that there is something like a subtle body goes out of body for some OBEs and can be seen as apparition.
There isn't a requirement for a subtle body; some variants of projection literature suggest creating a construct (merkaba) for use during the experience. I see no reason why the construct wouldn't be visible, if one was used and someone else was able to somehow look in the same places. Maybe the sense of being stared at is applicable here?

I've briefly looked at a two or three of his papers, but I've never noticed any 'meat' in them. Perhaps I'm too dismissive? If anybody knows better, let me know...
His work with the Koren device ("god helmet") was considered good enough for a skeptic PR blast. That was built to test interference effects on the brain.
 
#33
I guess one of the underlying questions about OBEs is what constitutues "presence" in physical space? If something is seen at a location, even if by more than one person, is that sufficient to show that something is actually present and not a feature of a mental reality nonetheless? What about a PK-influence on a strain gauge? To be sure, part of what we take to be our own physical presence is comprised of influences at a given location, however the analogy seems problematic, because the source of those influences, my corporeal self, is evidently identified. The real, underlying issue, imo, is whether such presences are ever causally independent of the living physicality of the person who somehow begets them, even in the case of apparent apparitions and phantoms. One of the largest studies of apparitions, Green and McCreery (sp?) came to precisely this issue and were of the opinion that finally they were a kind of mental phenomena at times deliberately emulating physical phenomena (casting...or seeming to cast in terms of perception of the witnesses...shadows, etc).

I have had many (less dramatic) versions of the "candle story" in my own OBE attempts. Seeming to flow through the curtains, convincing myself that I was out of body, and trying to remember what the sensation was like...only to awaken in my bedroom and realize that it didn't matter because the curtains were never in fact closed. Numerous examples like this...right the way up to the house itself having extra rooms or a different layout and I didn't even notice this during the "OBE".

What these events tell me is that the mind, even in the case of a supposed "projector" like Harary or Monroe, defaults first to pretending it is OBE. Either this means that OBEs are in fact always a bluff by the mind on itself, or else veridical OBEs are much much harder to come by than the literature makes out. In my opinion, many things classified as OBEs occupy that classification simply because of the person's assumptions, when in fact there was insufficient information to really judge the matter honestly and properly. One can see the subtle pressures to elaborate these stories. I am human like the next person, and I am not going to say that I *never* experienced that pressure myself or almost succumbed to it. I think this is why objective testing is necessary, no matter how 'honest' someone thinks that they are, or that their friends or sources are. The subtleties of our emotions and desires are too heavily wrapped up in this, so that in some cases, even if someone is not consciously lying, I think there is a question as to how accurate their own interpretation or rehearsed memory of the event now is, without any proper external control upon that storytelling process. It would be nice and simple if humans, even honest humans, always told the unalloyed truth about their experiences, but this is not realistic. Even I have had to force myself to recount that the curtains were open, the bedclothes on the bed were the wrong ones, etc...
 
C

chuck.drake

#34
I guess one of the underlying questions about OBEs is what constitutues "presence" in physical space? If something is seen at a location, even if by more than one person, is that sufficient to show that something is actually present and not a feature of a mental reality nonetheless? What about a PK-influence on a strain gauge? To be sure, part of what we take to be our own physical presence is comprised of influences at a given location, however the analogy seems problematic, because the source of those influences, my corporeal self, is evidently identified. The real, underlying issue, imo, is whether such presences are ever causally independent of the living physicality of the person who somehow begets them, even in the case of apparent apparitions and phantoms. One of the largest studies of apparitions, Green and McCreery (sp?) came to precisely this issue and were of the opinion that finally they were a kind of mental phenomena at times deliberately emulating physical phenomena (casting...or seeming to cast in terms of perception of the witnesses...shadows, etc).

I have had many (less dramatic) versions of the "candle story" in my own OBE attempts. Seeming to flow through the curtains, convincing myself that I was out of body, and trying to remember what the sensation was like...only to awaken in my bedroom and realize that it didn't matter because the curtains were never in fact closed. Numerous examples like this...right the way up to the house itself having extra rooms or a different layout and I didn't even notice this during the "OBE".

What these events tell me is that the mind, even in the case of a supposed "projector" like Harary or Monroe, defaults first to pretending it is OBE. Either this means that OBEs are in fact always a bluff by the mind on itself, or else veridical OBEs are much much harder to come by than the literature makes out. In my opinion, many things classified as OBEs occupy that classification simply because of the person's assumptions, when in fact there was insufficient information to really judge the matter honestly and properly. One can see the subtle pressures to elaborate these stories. I am human like the next person, and I am not going to say that I *never* experienced that pressure myself or almost succumbed to it. I think this is why objective testing is necessary, no matter how 'honest' someone thinks that they are, or that their friends or sources are. The subtleties of our emotions and desires are too heavily wrapped up in this, so that in some cases, even if someone is not consciously lying, I think there is a question as to how accurate their own interpretation or rehearsed memory of the event now is, without any proper external control upon that storytelling process. It would be nice and simple if humans, even honest humans, always told the unalloyed truth about their experiences, but this is not realistic. Even I have had to force myself to recount that the curtains were open, the bedclothes on the bed were the wrong ones, etc...
I guess one of the ways I distinguished between "dreams" and "OBEs" was the state of my consciousness during the experience. The OBEs I experienced took place very much within the realm of my normal waking consciousness. It was the waking me, having, as it were, a non-physical experience, whatever that meant. My dreams on the other hand bring along a very different "me." It is in my experience a distinctly dream "me." There I have a different set of memories, a different set of life experiences, a different set of seemingly quite well known "friends" who periodically join me, people who are easily distinguished from the people I encounter in dreams who it seems are complete strangers. My dream "me" thinks and feels and remembers, and it knows in some way it is related to the larger "me", but it is distinctly not waking "me." But in my OBEs, it is waking "me" that is present. I find that a puzzling contradiction when trying to reconcile dreams and OBEs.
 
#35
Either this means that OBEs are in fact always a bluff by the mind on itself, or else veridical OBEs are much much harder to come by than the literature makes out. In my opinion, many things classified as OBEs occupy that classification simply because of the person's assumptions, when in fact there was insufficient information to really judge the matter honestly and properly.
I'm not sure what literature is implying that they were ever easy. And some modern practitioners intentionally blur the lines because it helps sell more books, but even those aren't claiming a fully veridical account is easy. A free e-book The Phase is one of such that goes on about the techniques, and even mentions that most of them are difficult and recommends the techniques for lucid dreaming at first because it is easier to use those to get at self-control of your subconscious.
 
C

chuck.drake

#37
I'm not sure what literature is implying that they were ever easy. And some modern practitioners intentionally blur the lines because it helps sell more books, but even those aren't claiming a fully veridical account is easy. A free e-book The Phase is one of such that goes on about the techniques, and even mentions that most of them are difficult and recommends the techniques for lucid dreaming at first because it is easier to use those to get at self-control of your subconscious.
Plus most contemporary books on the OBE make some attempt to distinguish between "modes" where sometimes veridical recognition appears possible and others where it is seemingly not. Not very satisfying, I know. The best most recent approach to veridicality as of late was Fred Aardema's approach to the subject, which Kai has already admitted they haven't read.
 
#38
Green and McCreery (sp?) came to precisely this issue and were of the opinion that finally they were a kind of mental phenomena at times deliberately emulating physical phenomena (casting...or seeming to cast in terms of perception of the witnesses...shadows, etc).
I didn't get that from their work at all... In my view they were suggesting that instead of trying to explain hallucinations as inserted into some sort of objective reality, (like a hallucinatory apparition appearing within an 'objectively' real room in your house) which required all manner of convoluted explanations to explain... say... different lighting effects on the surrounding environment. They found the simplest explanation was that the whole perceptual field had been completely replaced by a hallucination (both the environment and the ghost), which they called 'metachoric'.

In my view they were in effect suggesting 'indirect perception', and were arguing that it was difficult to justify the popular belief that there was some way of distinguishing the hallucination from reality, indeed that there was no 'qualitative' perceptual difference. This really led them to ask what is real, that perhaps each day we awoke with a 'false awakening', and never actually woke up. I find their arguments powerful and disturbing, and I think those that don't, haven't really understood the potential implications of what they were saying.
 
#39
I guess one of the ways I distinguished between "dreams" and "OBEs" was the state of my consciousness during the experience. The OBEs I experienced took place very much within the realm of my normal waking consciousness. It was the waking me, having, as it were, a non-physical experience, whatever that meant. My dreams on the other hand bring along a very different "me." It is in my experience a distinctly dream "me." There I have a different set of memories, a different set of life experiences, a different set of seemingly quite well known "friends" who periodically join me, people who are easily distinguished from the people I encounter in dreams who it seems are complete strangers. My dream "me" thinks and feels and remembers, and it knows in some way it is related to the larger "me", but it is distinctly not waking "me." But in my OBEs, it is waking "me" that is present. I find that a puzzling contradiction when trying to reconcile dreams and OBEs.
The self that appeared in my own experiences, for me, varied quite significantly along a range from a fairly standard "dream self" to a lucid self indistinct, or barely distinct, from a waking self. However, this latter, so far as I could see, was identical whether it be called an "OBE" or a "lucid dream." In retrospect these were clearly lucid dreams with OBE-style imagery.
 
#40
I didn't get that from their work at all... In my view they were suggesting that instead of trying to explain hallucinations as inserted into some sort of objective reality, (like a hallucinatory apparition appearing within an 'objectively' real room in your house) which required all manner of convoluted explanations to explain... say... different lighting effects on the surrounding environment. They found the simplest explanation was that the whole perceptual field had been completely replaced by a hallucination (both the environment and the ghost), which they called 'metachoric'.

In my view they were in effect suggesting 'indirect perception', and were arguing that it was difficult to justify the popular belief that there was some way of distinguishing the hallucination from reality, indeed that there was no 'qualitative' perceptual difference. This really led them to ask what is real, that perhaps each day we awoke with a 'false awakening', and never actually woke up. I find their arguments powerful and disturbing, and I think those that don't, haven't really understood the potential implications of what they were saying.
It's a long time since I read it, but yes, I remember that terminology. I think they are right that our environment is in fact constructed by our minds (and hence, I said...mental phenomena)..even if it is constructed from something that is extra-mental (the "physical world").. at least extra-mental to the individual. I also think it is correct that the mind, for reasons of this construction activity, can effortlessly overlay hallucination or supplied vision, upon the extra-mental, so that it can be completely correct in terms of such apparent principles as space-occupation, perspective, lighting, shadowing, etc. You "can't see the join" as it were, because when the construction processes is operating effectively, there isn't one. So there remains the issue of whether apparitions are ever extra-mental, or not. Or whether they are a combination, in some extreme cases, of the mental and extra-mental. I have argued that way in the past for certain UFO style "apparitions"...but frankly, I'm just not sure.
 
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