OBEs, real and hallucinations

#1
I have sleep paralysis and sometimes I have OBE.

Just yesterday, I was really tired and trying to sleep, and got sleep paralysis again. I'm sure my eyes were open. I tried moving my arm but couldn't, but I saw a transparent material that looks like an arm. I tried to put my hands together and it felt very real, i felt going through all my fingers and clapping my hands.

This happened once before. The whole time I was thinking about obtaining veridical evidence to see if the soul is real, like memorizing some bar code in another room, but couldn't get out of my body. I think this may all just be a hallucination, but my imaginary hands felt very real. Has anyone else experienced this? This kind of unnerves me because if a hallucination can produce such strong perception of imaginary hands, the validity of many OBEs might be called into question.
 
#2
Since veridical OBEs are so rare, even for the "experts" who write books on how to induce them, I think some OBEs are real but most are dreams or lucid dreams.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/10/out-of-body-experiences-real-and-fake.html
Six Studies of Out-of-Body Experiences by Charles T. Tart, Ph.D. (PDF HTML) is an interesting paper that describes six studies of out-of-body experiences (OBEs) that Tart conducted himself.
...
I believe that in some OBEs, the mind may, at least partially, really be located elsewhere than the physical body; this may have been the case with Miss Z. At the opposite extreme, as with my virtuoso hypnotic subjects whose experience was vivid and perfectly real to them but whose perception of the target room was only illusory, I believe an OBE can be a simulation of being out of the body, with the mind as much "in" the physical body as it ever is. In between these two extremes, I believe we can have OBEs that are basically a simulation of being out, but which are informed by information gathered by ESP such that the simulation of the OBE location is accurate and veridical. This is a messy situation in some ways, especially because all three of these types of OBEs may seem experientially identical to the person having them, at least at rough levels of description.​
 
#3
Since veridical OBEs are so rare, even for the "experts" who write books on how to induce them, I think some OBEs are real but most are dreams or lucid dreams.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/10/out-of-body-experiences-real-and-fake.html
Six Studies of Out-of-Body Experiences by Charles T. Tart, Ph.D. (PDF HTML) is an interesting paper that describes six studies of out-of-body experiences (OBEs) that Tart conducted himself.
...
I believe that in some OBEs, the mind may, at least partially, really be located elsewhere than the physical body; this may have been the case with Miss Z. At the opposite extreme, as with my virtuoso hypnotic subjects whose experience was vivid and perfectly real to them but whose perception of the target room was only illusory, I believe an OBE can be a simulation of being out of the body, with the mind as much "in" the physical body as it ever is. In between these two extremes, I believe we can have OBEs that are basically a simulation of being out, but which are informed by information gathered by ESP such that the simulation of the OBE location is accurate and veridical. This is a messy situation in some ways, especially because all three of these types of OBEs may seem experientially identical to the person having them, at least at rough levels of description.​
Thanks for the reply. I've been thinking, lets assume for the moment that all OBEs, even veridical ones during cardiac arrest like pam reynolds, are hallucinations. Then the brain is capable of producing highly accurate OBE hallucinations of whats going on. Is there any artificially induced OBE in a healthy person where they report accurate veridical observation around the person's body? In such a case, the OBE must be a hallucination. And if all OBEs during cardiac arrest are hallucinations, I expect there to be such healthy OBEs with accurate hallucination. I've never heard of any, have you?

I've never heard of this point brought up ever. Because if all NDEs and OBEs are hallucinations, one'd expect certain things to occurs, like artificially induced veridical OBE in 100% healthy people.
 
#4
I don't think all OBE's are hallucinations because some of them occur when the brain is not capable of supporting consciousness.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html

When someone spontaneously has the feeling of leaving their body and then finds themelves out of the body and looks back and sees their unconscious body, and moves around and things look like they are supposed to, and they can travel to distant locations and bring back veridical information, I think the best explanation is that it is a real OBE. Sometimes other people see them at the distant location.

When you do something to induce an OBE either hypnosis or some mental technique while near the edge of sleep, you are priming the subconscious to produce a "dream" of an OBE. But when an OBE happens spontaneously, there is no explanation for why it would happen. In that case, if it was a dream, the dream should be like an ordinary dream not an OBE.

And, in many induced OBE's, the experiencers say the room their body is in is different (ie furniture is different) from how it normally is. In those cases, it seems to me, that is a good evidence they are dreaming.
 
#5
I've never heard of this point brought up ever. Because if all NDEs and OBEs are hallucinations, one'd expect certain things to occurs, like artificially induced veridical OBE in 100% healthy people.
Some thoughts. I'm not sure if you mean something specific by the phrase "artificially induced", or if it includes any case where the participant is healthy. Next, doesn't the veridical aspect show that it isn't a hallucination? If information is accurately seen during the event, then it would seem to mean either the consciousness physically moved to another location, or something like clairvoyance was used in order to discern the information.

Lastly of course, there have been successful experiments where healthy participants have had veridical OOBEs. However it is a complex subject. Have you studied the research in this area? For example The work of Karl Osis
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/this-could-be-big-hit-on-target-obe.3636/#post-107647

There are many past discussions of OBE/OOBE phenomena listed in this index page
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/this-could-be-big-hit-on-target-obe.3636/#post-107647
 
#6
I have sleep paralysis and sometimes I have OBE.

Just yesterday, I was really tired and trying to sleep, and got sleep paralysis again. I'm sure my eyes were open. I tried moving my arm but couldn't, but I saw a transparent material that looks like an arm. I tried to put my hands together and it felt very real, i felt going through all my fingers and clapping my hands.

This happened once before. The whole time I was thinking about obtaining veridical evidence to see if the soul is real, like memorizing some bar code in another room, but couldn't get out of my body. I think this may all just be a hallucination, but my imaginary hands felt very real. Has anyone else experienced this? This kind of unnerves me because if a hallucination can produce such strong perception of imaginary hands, the validity of many OBEs might be called into question.
Regarding sleep paralysis and so on - there has been the suggestion that we all regularly separate our consciousness from the body during sleep, and the experience of paralysis occurs when we awaken before having fully merged back with the body.

A somewhat minor experience I had years ago. I was in the habit of falling asleep (at night) in perhaps uncomfortable positions, which nevertheless felt relaxing at the time. On one occasion I awoke, with both my arms somewhere by my side, but only one seemed to be functioning. Eventually I realised that one arm was stretched up somewhere above/behind my head and had gone numb. I had to use the good arm to search for it, I felt around until I located the second arm and gently moved it into a more normal position. During this experience it seemed as though I had two bodies, which were not aligned together. As the numbness subsided everything came back into normal synchronisation again. In a way this set me on the road towards studying how to produce a complete OOBE, which eventually happened, though my experiences were meaningful to me (I left the body several times), on the scale of such things my experience in this area is fairly small. It isn't something I'm currently practising.
 
#7
I don't think all OBE's are hallucinations because some of them occur when the brain is not capable of supporting consciousness.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/07/materialist-explanations-of-ndes-fail.html

When someone spontaneously has the feeling of leaving their body and then finds themelves out of the body and looks back and sees their unconscious body, and moves around and things look like they are supposed to, and they can travel to distant locations and bring back veridical information, I think the best explanation is that it is a real OBE. Sometimes other people see them at the distant location.

When you do something to induce an OBE either hypnosis or some mental technique while near the edge of sleep, you are priming the subconscious to produce a "dream" of an OBE. But when an OBE happens spontaneously, there is no explanation for why it would happen. In that case, if it was a dream, the dream should be like an ordinary dream not an OBE.

And, in many induced OBE's, the experiencers say the room their body is in is different (ie furniture is different) from how it normally is. In those cases, it seems to me, that is a good evidence they are dreaming.
Some thoughts. I'm not sure if you mean something specific by the phrase "artificially induced", or if it includes any case where the participant is healthy. Next, doesn't the veridical aspect show that it isn't a hallucination? If information is accurately seen during the event, then it would seem to mean either the consciousness physically moved to another location, or something like clairvoyance was used in order to discern the information.

Lastly of course, there have been successful experiments where healthy participants have had veridical OOBEs. However it is a complex subject. Have you studied the research in this area? For example The work of Karl Osis
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/this-could-be-big-hit-on-target-obe.3636/#post-107647

There are many past discussions of OBE/OOBE phenomena listed in this index page
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/this-could-be-big-hit-on-target-obe.3636/#post-107647
Sorry i wasn't clear. The usual skeptic argument to veridical perception in proximity of the OBEr is that they can hear, and their eyes might be open to see things. So he can receive information, and generate a hallucination of whats going on. If he can obtain veridical information where a fully conscious person in his position won't be able to, then obviously that proves OBEs are real. The distant veridical observation has a different skeptic argument (suggestive questioning, faulty memory due to someone accidently telling the OBEr, etc).

What I was asking is if there are artificially induced OBEs in healthy people where they can obtain information that a fully conscious person in that place also can, because if the skeptics are right then it shows the brain is capable of producing completely accurate hallucinations given aural/visual inputs, and should be replicable. Artificially induce means in a lab probably with magnetic helmets, without a cardiac arrest or other fatal damage.
 
#8
What I was asking is if there are artificially induced OBEs in healthy people where they can obtain information that a fully conscious person in that place also can, [.. omitted ...]
Thank you for the clarification, that helps.


I'm not sure that anyone would consider attempting an experiment under those conditions, it seems the results would be too easy to dismiss, hence the bar is usually set higher, such as obtaining information from another room, or something at a distance where normal senses wouldn't apply.

In any case, you pointed out the problem with the sceptics arguments, they come up with multiple different 'explanations' on an ad hoc basis, rather than having a single explanation for a single phenomenon. In addition these explanations often seem to point to incompetence somewhere, whether in the experiencer, or the documentation and so on. This in itself is a weakness since the emphasis is placed not on explaining the phenomena, but on seeking to make it go away.
 
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#9
This happened once before. The whole time I was thinking about obtaining veridical evidence to see if the soul is real, like memorizing some bar code in another room, but couldn't get out of my body. I think this may all just be a hallucination, but my imaginary hands felt very real. Has anyone else experienced this? This kind of unnerves me because if a hallucination can produce such strong perception of imaginary hands, the validity of many OBEs might be called into question.
There nothing to be unnerved about. It's so important to make conclusions based on the data and not try to massage the data to fit our biases. If OBE's are all hallucinatory so be it. try to be objective when assesing your experience. I understand we all want the afterlife to be true on the other hand we shouldn't deceive ourself.
 
#10
I have sleep paralysis and sometimes I have OBE.

Just yesterday, I was really tired and trying to sleep, and got sleep paralysis again. I'm sure my eyes were open. I tried moving my arm but couldn't, but I saw a transparent material that looks like an arm. I tried to put my hands together and it felt very real, i felt going through all my fingers and clapping my hands.

This happened once before. The whole time I was thinking about obtaining veridical evidence to see if the soul is real, like memorizing some bar code in another room, but couldn't get out of my body. I think this may all just be a hallucination, but my imaginary hands felt very real. Has anyone else experienced this? This kind of unnerves me because if a hallucination can produce such strong perception of imaginary hands, the validity of many OBEs might be called into question.

Frederik Aardema did similar experiments and was rather unsuccessful at veridical OBE perception using visual targets. He then switched to tactile targets and had more success. The reason behind this is that, we project or shift our conscious awareness to an astral double or "real time zone" as some OBErs call it, a place similar but not identical with the physical world. The only experiment which proved veridical perception, although not completely airtight, is Tart's examination of Miss. Z, where she managed to read a 5 digit number from a stand above her in a totally dark room. There is also anecdotal evidence in Monroe's Journeys.
 
#11
Thanks for the reply. I've been thinking, lets assume for the moment that all OBEs, even veridical ones during cardiac arrest like pam reynolds, are hallucinations. Then the brain is capable of producing highly accurate OBE hallucinations of whats going on. Is there any artificially induced OBE in a healthy person where they report accurate veridical observation around the person's body? In such a case, the OBE must be a hallucination. And if all OBEs during cardiac arrest are hallucinations, I expect there to be such healthy OBEs with accurate hallucination. I've never heard of any, have you?

I've never heard of this point brought up ever. Because if all NDEs and OBEs are hallucinations, one'd expect certain things to occurs, like artificially induced veridical OBE in 100% healthy people.
I don't really understand your argument (or your later explanation). You seem to be asking whether healthy wakeful subjects report hallucinations from their immediate vicinity, and whether any of these hallucinations are accurate? And if there are none, that this somehow demonstrates something?
 
#12
The only experiment which proved veridical perception, although not completely airtight, is Tart's examination of Miss. Z, where she managed to read a 5 digit number from a stand above her in a totally dark room.
The papers authors spent, was it just 20 minutes in the darkened room, and they could read the target number reflected in the the clock face themselves. Miss Z spent all night in the same darkened room. IIRC she had been primed that the target would be a 4 digit number, and the authors also knew the target. Therefore the target was not hidden, secret or realtime... it wasn't a "not completely airtight" result, the experiment was actually leaking like a sieve.
 
#13
The papers authors spent, was it just 20 minutes in the darkened room, and they could read the target number reflected in the the clock face themselves. Miss Z spent all night in the same darkened room. IIRC she had been primed that the target would be a 4 digit number, and the authors also knew the target. Therefore the target was not hidden, secret or realtime... it wasn't a "not completely airtight" result, the experiment was actually leaking like a sieve.
Interesting - which paper authors are you reffering to? In this analysis of the case by Michael Prescott http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2015/09/the-curious-case-of-miss-zee.html he writes:

"what most likely happened” was that the target number was reflected on the glass face of the clock. But what Tart and his colleague, Arthur Hastings, determined was that a very faint reflection was visible, not on the glass face of the clock but on the black plastic casing below the clock face. It was this lower portion of the clock that would have caught the reflection, if any. They are quite clear in saying that this reflection was completely invisible unless a flashlight was directed onto the target paper. Even then, it was almost impossible to make out the five-digit target.
 
#15
There nothing to be unnerved about. It's so important to make conclusions based on the data and not try to massage the data to fit our biases. If OBE's are all hallucinatory so be it. try to be objective when assesing your experience. I understand we all want the afterlife to be true on the other hand we shouldn't deceive ourself.
Not everyone wants the afterlife to be real. I've seen it first hand plenty of times in debates between proponents and materialists. Why do u think I have a provocative username like this? I started out completely neutral on this topic, but over time I've grown to be very hostile to a good number of materialists (certainly not everyone, there are some good skeptics who argue with reason), I'm not saying I can guarantee materialism is wrong.

I don't really understand your argument (or your later explanation). You seem to be asking whether healthy wakeful subjects report hallucinations from their immediate vicinity, and whether any of these hallucinations are accurate? And if there are none, that this somehow demonstrates something?
OBEs like pam reynolds are countered by skeptics as that she can hear and hallucinated a picture of the room based on the aural information she received, and her previous experience, e.g. she hallucinated the bone saw because it sounded like a dentist drill and she's been to the dentist before. There are quite a number of OBEs accurately describing what's happening in proximity of the person. But during sleep paralysis/lucid dreaming I never had an accurate OBE, I often see people in the room when I'm alone in my house. Pam Reynold making an accurate hallucination while under anaesthetics, and just after her flatline (when she came back from the tunnel) with partial blood flow, while I can't get anything right with a fully healthy brain during sleep paralysis, is kind of hard to believe. I'm not saying this proves Pam's NDE is real, I'm just trying to weigh the strength of skeptics arguments, what I see are skeptics shotgunning so many arguments and never weighing their strength.
 
#16
@materialsmisbad- these are good points. If a person is convinced that materialism is true then there can only be a material answer, however unlikely. Imho if one remains open-minded, the simplest explanation for Pam's experience, based on all the evidence, is that it was exactly what she said it was. That doesn't mean it's a certainty of course.

As for certainty about an afterlife, I think it's a probability assessment based on research and personal experience.
 
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