If you listen to a lot of people, you will get the impression that the Out of Body Experience is something esoteric, not understood or studied or taken seriously by science.
Quite the opposite, actually, a great deal of research has been done, and is continuing, more than you might think…
Although results are not completely conclusive, there is enough evidence gathered by the scientific community to ponder upon.
Is it surprising?
Doctors of cardiology quite frequently come across specific examples of OBEs, experienced by patients on the operating table.
Sleep specialists will be familiar with stories of subjects feeling that they left their bodies during an episode of sleep paralysis.
Many people who have an interest in phenomena such as the OBE simply seem to have a natural antipathy towards science. They feel that their beliefs are being challenged and debunked. However I am not one of those!
Science has a great deal to offer, both now and in the future, and anything that helps us understand the science behind the OBE is a good thing; however it does help to understand that by its nature science has to be impartial, so the methods and language can be a long way off from our experience. Science simply can’t convey, and nor should it, the excitement that we feel.
But there’s definitely plenty we can learn.
Let’s go back to the beginning…
The Out of Body Experience, especially that associated with a Near Death Experience or NDE, is often used as a proof for the existence of the human soul.
Some scientists, often fuelled by their own out of body experiences, or those of their patients, have sought to reproduce the effect of an OBE in a laboratory setting.
Many people who have an OBE are clinically dead, and typically see a bright light (either a tunnel or living sun), see key spiritual figures from their own particular faith or belief system, and experience a feeling of love and forgiveness.
But what does science have to say about the Out of Body Experience, and does it prove the existence of the eternal human soul?
It is as important for science to answer the questions about what happens in human consciousness as we go down the path of clinical death as it is for students of religion or the paranormal.
Work with cardiac arrest patients, in particular, has helped scientists understand more about what happens during an NDE.
Now, scientists don’t necessarily agree that there is proof of a human soul, but they do generally agree that it does provide evidence of extra potential of the human brain.