Out of Body Experiences (OBEs) are those curious and usually brief experiences in which a person’s consciousness seems to depart from his or her body, enabling observation of the world from a point of view other than that of the physical body and by means other than those of the physical senses.

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Thus, an Out of the Body Experience can initially be defined as “an experience in which a person seems to perceive the world from a location outside his physical body”.  In some cases, experiencers claim that they “saw” and “heard” things (objects which were really there events and conversations which really took place) which could not have seen or heard from the actual positions of their bodies. OBEs are surprisingly common. Different surveys have yielded somewhat different results, but some estimates indicate that somewhere between 1 person in 10 to 20 is likely to have had such an experience at least once. Furthermore, it seems that OBEs can occur to anyone in almost any circumstances. Researchers have approached the question of the timing of OBEs by asking people who claim to have had OBEs to describe when they happened. In one of these, over 85% of those surveyed said they had had OBEs while they were resting, sleeping or dreaming. Other surveys also show that the majority of OBEs occur when people are in bed, ill, or resting with a smaller percentage coming while the person is drugged or medicated. But they can occur during almost any kind of activity.

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For instance, the great majority of those who experience OBEs voluntarily state that they find themselves still embodied but in a body whose shape, external characteristics, and spatial location are easily altered at will. And an appreciable number refer to an elastic “silver cord” joining their new body to their old one. A much smaller percentage of those who undergo spontaneous OBEs mention being embodied. And some specifically state that they found themselves disembodied. The “silver cord” is quite rarely mentioned. It is hard to avoid suspecting that many features of self induced OBEs are determined by the subject’s reading and his antecedent expectations. Common aspects of the experience include being in an “out of body” body much like the physical one, feeling a sense of energy, feeling vibrations, and hearing strange loud noises. Sometimes a sensation of bodily paralysis precedes the OBE.OBEs especially spontaneous ones are often very vivid and resemble everyday waking experiences rather than dreams. They may make a considerable impression on those who undergo them. Such persons may find it hard to believe that they did not in fact leave their bodies. And they may draw the conclusion that we possess a separable soul perhaps linked to a second body which will survive in a state of full consciousness perhaps even of enhanced consciousness after death. Death would be, as it were, an OBE in which one did not succeed in getting back into one’s body. Such conclusions present themselves even more forcefully to the minds of those who have undergone a “Near Death Experience” (NDE). It is not uncommon for persons who have been to the brink of death and returned (following, say, a heart stoppage or serious injuries from an accident) to report an experience (commonly of a great vividness and impressiveness) as of leaving their bodies and traveling (often in a duplicate body) to the border of a new and wonderful realm.


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