[Paleopsych] out of body experiences

Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Tue Apr 26 01:52:14 UTC 2005

Michael, this is a common reaction. But our assumptions limit what we 
can see; if we assume that there is no ghost to exit the machine, we are 
unable to see the evidence. Robert Rosenthal showed that long ago. Be 
careful of your assumptions.

The actual question has been studied pretty thoroughly, and those who 
have spend a good deal of time investigating NDEs in detail end up 
convinced that the ghost did escape the machine. Best example: Melvin 
Morse. If you read his series of books, you see an amazing personal 

Michael Christopher wrote:

>Lynn says:
>>>Actually, the ghosts are escaping from the 
>machine. The interesting thing about OBEs is the
>apparently veridical reports - persons reporting 
>things during the OBE that they shouldn't be able 
>to know if perception / awareness is an 'inside the
>brain' phenomenon.<<
>--I'm skeptical of that. How does one prove that
>someone has learned something "out of the body" rather
>than, say, from accumulated scraps of information
>learned unconsciously from the environment? Especially
>in an information-saturated environment, it seems like
>jumping the gun to think that people gain information
>from some supernatural channels. 
>I don't assume anything is _literally_ "out of the
>body" during the experiences (I've had a couple
>myself). The perception of being in the body is a
>product of the brain's mapping algorithms which attach
>visual and kinesthetic perception into bundles.
>Likely, people start out life without a solid map of
>the body (more like a stream of disjointed perceptions
>which gradually coalesce into a body-image) and OBEs
>involve a dissociation from the parietal lobe and a
>subjective sense of floating outside the body or
>merging with the environment. This does not mean one
>is literally outside the body. It means one's
>perception of the body is altered or compartmentalized
>out of awareness. Hypnotherapy can induce similar
>experiences of watching the body from above. It's
>common in psychedelic states as well.  
>A lot of people seem to only count OBEs which confirm
>their view of the soul, rather than looking at
>experiences of merging with the environment (which is
>too pantheistic for many Christians or Muslims) and
>experiences in which one becomes many people. By
>selectively excluding accounts which differ from the
>accpeted script, OBEs are assumed to confirm various
>religious views, but science would go with the
>simplest explanation, that activating or deactivating
>parts of the brain changes perception of self,
>environment and body.
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