Are out-of-body experiences real?

While scientists study the “mystical” out-of-body experiences and come up with theories, let’s try to explain what they are and where they come from, as well as how one can experience astral travel.

An out-of-body experience may be provoked by many different reasons, quite unpleasant ones: brain injury, sensory deprivation (lack of external stimuli), a near-death experience, the use of dissociative and some other drugs, artificial electrical stimulation of the brain, dangerous lack of sleep or dehydration, etc.

However, Canadian neuroscientists led by Claude Messier found a 24-year-old student capable of experiencing it by a simple act of will. After studying the function of her brain, they found a lot of interesting things.

As the researchers themselves describe the girl’s unique abilities,

she can see herself spinning, lying or rolling on a horizontal plane in the air over her own body. It is reported that from time to time she can watch her body moving on, feeling that her “real” body remains motionless. According to the student, having such experiences is not connected to any particular emotional state.”

How is that even possible?

To find out, the scientists tracked the brain activity of the girl using fMRI. As a result, the brain scan detected a marked reduction of excitation in the visual cortex and increased activity in the areas associated with the perception of the kinesthetic image of one’s own body, its position, and movement in space.

Are out-of-body experiences real? At least, this study shows that such unbelievable things are quite possible and are real for the person experiencing them. However, it doesn’t provide any evidence that someone is indeed able to leave their physical body. All we know for now is that it’s possible to have such a subjective experience in your mind.

The 24-yar-old student was able to evoke this state with the help of her willpower. But does this mean that her “soul” has a unique gift to leave her own body? According to scientists, the explanation of this phenomenon has nothing to do with paranormal and mystical stuff.

Today, experts believe that all these astral travels are nothing more than a hallucination. They are caused by a small glitch in the coordination of neurons responsible for the primary processing and synthesis of incoming information, which most likely leads to confusion between the visual and tactile stimuli that get in the higher centers of the brain.

Roughly the same happens in cases of synesthesia when a stimulus “jumps” from one sensory system to another and leads to creating color sensations for sounds.

By the way, the Canadian neuroscientists believe that if one person has learned to evoke these “astral hallucinations” at will, why can’t the rest of us learn to do the same? If this skill does not have any practical use, we could at least get a new amazing experience. Among the methods to prepare the mind for an out-of-body experience, a simple self-hypnosis technique can be used.

How to Have an Out-Of-Body Experience? A Self-Hypnosis Exercise

First of all, find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Sit or lie down, relax, close your eyes, and imagine that your hands are touching an endless thick rope. Do not move, but imagine the process in detail, try to feel like moving your hands and fingers and touching the rope.

Once you have a clear image of that in your mind, start to climb up the rope. Feel the tension in your muscles. Do not try to see it visually, but only to feel it, just like if you were climbing up in the complete darkness.

If you try hard, then pretty soon, you will ‘get out’ of your own body. Have your eyes mentally “open” (or at least open your “third” eye) and see yourself from a height.

The reality of out-of-body experiences remains subjective

So are out-of-body experiences real, according to science? They are, but only to the person having them. It’s still unclear whether they are just hallucinations or something more tangible. In any case, they are strictly internal experiences, which makes it difficult to establish if it’s indeed possible for the consciousness to escape the physical body. Science tends to regard them as hallucinations or brain ‘glitches’.

Are out-of-body experiences real, according to you? If you managed to have one with the above exercise or practice astral travel using any other method, please describe your experience in the comments below!

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Kevin Williams

    The authors of this study should be testing their subject for veridical (i,e., verified) perception during her OBEs by setting up target images for her to read while out of her body.

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    Stephen DeLucia

    I’m 23 a haven’t done it for awhile but I was really into Doing astro projection and studying about be calm. I was about 17 or 18 the first time I did it.it took me about 6 month to learn how to do it. For me I hade to be completely clean off all drugs even caffeine and would through me off even nicotine would through me off in the beginning and I wouldn’t be able to do it . I would lay in the dark in bed for about an hour or two I would lay there with my hands at my side and my eyes closed. The first thing I would do to know that I was doing it is cross my arms or bring my hands together and I could feel my arm still at my side yet my hands where touching I would left/ get myself out of bed u have to be comfortable with your surroundings I walked out of my room note that my room is on the second floor. I walk through my upstairs hall way and headed towards the steps. I went down the steps but when I got to the last step I fell into an obis of darkness which I couldn’t tell where I was and I was lost. Because you all was have a connection to your body I started to shack my bad that was still in bed I until I felt my arm/body com into its on and I open my eyes and lay up it was intense every once in awhile I try bit it seems like I can never get in the right state of mind and there are things that you see when your astro projecting dark shadows that’s when you get back to your body my one good friend god rest his soul a couple of months before he passed away. Desided to do a out of body experience. His girlfrind was in the other room she randomly starts feel a cold gust of air and her hairs on the back of her neck stand up and she’s gets a real bad vibe a of u want to call it demonic/ evil vibe she run in the room my friend ways laying in and shacks him and he’s not responding he finally jumps up and say there was something In the house and he say a dark figger when he was astral projecting. And the crazy part is he dident tell her what he was about to do and after he told her what happens and she told him what she felt all the lights in there apartment turned off they ran out there apartment and went to a friends place they dident go back I till later the next day. What I’m saying is be carefull of where ur doing it and what kind of Reston u are

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    Kathy

    I did this accidentally when I was about 6 years old. Scared the heck out of me.

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    maniranjan

    even my mother saw this kind of things

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    Paul Johansen

    I was a regular practitioner of astral projection when I was about 25 years old some 40 years ago. What began as a very scary paralyzing feeling and a hissing sound in my ears was soon to be verified in a book I read written Robert Munroe called: Journeys Out of the Body. I could get out easily by lying down and drifting off and waiting until the hissing noise started and then rolling out. I was fully conscious and could get back in immediately by just thinking about it. In this state it is as though thought and action occur simultaneously. You feel as though you are wide awake and fully conscious and when you fall back in and sit up you are aware that it was not like a dream at all. I think anybody could probably learn to do it.

    1. Avatar
      Jeff

      That you are able to move simply by process of thought makes perfect sense, as there is really no other way you could accomplish action (as a spirit being). There’s a very interesting book, which I believe is called “Return From Tomorrow.” It’s about a G.I. who was so severely injured that he was toe-tagged (as dead) in triage. The book describes how he gets up from the gurney, walks outside, and suddenly finds himself flying over cities, farms, etc. he was thinking about home, and his spirit literally began to travel there–at great speed. At one point, he stopped at a city and described an area of it in detail. Some years later, after he recovered, he was still able to describe places he saw that night–in great detail–which he had never traveled to, in the flesh, so to speak. The places he described were later confirmed as completely accurate in minute detail. It’s an excellent book.

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    Crystal Garza

    It is def possible. My aunt got into it by accident when she lost her son mother and husband all to car accidents. She started by having dreams and waking visions which turned into meditation and complete control over astral projection. Her name is betty kovacs and you can find her book”the miracle of death” on Amazon and in tons of book stores

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    Omar

    You’re right. I have been experiencing OBEs recently and when I “float” through the rooms of my house and find alot of things that aren’t really there, like furniture and such.

    I have an interesting way of experiencing them. And I found that the best time for me to easily induce them is to be sleep deprived. When I feel really tired and try to fall back asleep, the buzzing noise comes and it gets louder as it progresses. There, I have the choice to either let the relaxing, letting the buzzing get louder or abort from the process by just resisting against it. This whole part takes just a few secs. Then, I begin to feel dreamy and feel myself slowly detaching from my body but I never float over it. I just “roll out” of my body by letting myself go. And then down to the floor below me and so on. I basically go the opposite way, down. Then I just float around random rooms without my own control and sometimes float through my own apartment. All I have to do to wake up is to force my eyes open. And I’m back. It’s all dreams. Nothing real.

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    Marie

    I’ve done it, not at will, always with emotion behind it, once when I was sick. I never see my body, but I can see and hear around me what I’m witnessing. I’ve never visited other realms, all have been places I intended to go. Example: I was very sick with a cold, I called in sick to work really late, I was upset because someone was going to be forced to do overtime, I laid down and suddenly saw outside my window, then saw the ground beneath me move really fast as if I was flying, it lasted only about two seconds before I was standing at my workplace 30 miles away, I saw the person they got to replace me, no one had to stay for overtime, then suddenly I was no longer standing there, I was back in bed and I felt better no one had to do overtime and I fell asleep, when I woke up I thought it was a dream because the woman who replaced me swore she would never work at my job location due to a severe assault that took place there, I went to work the next day and looked at the schedule and it confirmed the woman I saw was the one who covered my shift.
    Another example: I had just started dating this guy, then I went on vacation, as I was falling asleep I saw an image of him cheating on me, he called me when I got back and I asked him who he cheated with, he denied it and called me crazy for having a vision, this angered me, I told him when I see things like that I’m never wrong, he laughed and it angered me more, suddenly I was standing at his workplace and I told him, “you are tending to a dark color car, dark blue or black, there is a woman driver, long black curly hair, she has something hanging from her rear view window, she just handed you a twenty dollar bill, I then saw him turn around and look behind him and around him to find me, he said “where are you”, I laughed and it brought me back home, I told him “I’m home, you called me remember”, this was before cell phones, I then told him “I can even tell you her name, it starts with a letter in the last half of the alphabet, it’s a letter after the R, S, T, …then I thought about what I said and thought there is no way her name can start with a U,V,W,X,Y or Z… but he said I was right on everything, her name was Valerie, and the woman in the car did hand him a $20 bill and she had ribbons hanging from her rear view mirror.
    There are many more times it’s happened, I don’t know how or why it happens, I did suffer severe sexual abuse as a child, as did my sisters. One of my sisters has done it also. The time I can confirm she astrally projected was when she worked midnights, she was asleep and I was talking with my mom, my sister wakes up and tells us of a vivid dream she just had, she said, “I was at the barn and (name withheld) was holding her horse while the other person was cleaning its stall, I went to pet the horse and when it saw me it reared up in fright, it came down and went through me and landed it’s hooves onto (name withheld) chest, she is on her way to the hospital”, as soon as she said this the phone rang, my mom turned white, she said (name withheld) just got hit by her horse when it got spooked and reared up and came down on her and she is on her way right now to the hospital. My sister had other ones, but they scared her, one she saw a woman being drowned, she had no idea if what she was seeing was a dream or reality.
    I personally believe we all do this but it’s difficult to confirm it real or a dream unless you have confirmation from the person you visited. I also have been trying to understand this and other strange things that happened to me for decades. I’ve come to the conclusion some hauntings, and the feeling of being watched, are actually people astrally projecting but they are unaware it’s an astral projection and not a dream, the person they are “visiting” feels them there and maybe hears them, but no one is there and they think they have ghosts.
    I wish they would do more in depth studies about this, I would like to find out how and why it happens, and if it has anything to do with severe childhood abuse. Is it possible the sexual abuse opened up part of my brain to allow dissociation which makes it easier for me to do it when I’m angry or upset? I spent my childhood dissociating from the abuse while it was happening, was I actually astrally projecting back then? I’d love if someone had answers to this.

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