Lucid dreams. Astral travel. An ayahuasca trip. Whatever you call them, Out of Body Experiences are a phenomenon that mystifies and intrigues us. Which is why we invited our friend Jeff from the Maker / Mistaker podcast back on the show to discuss them–he’s had 50-60 personal experiences, and has done a lot of research and reading about it. Are these experiences real? Or are they just an advanced form of dreaming? Not surprisingly, the three of us have different takes on it. Listen and decide for yourself .
Listen to this : Out of Body Experiences
First off, here’s some quick and dirty facts on Out of Body Experiences (or, OBE’s), which, as defined by good ol’ Wikipedia, are an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside one’s body and, in some cases, perceiving one’s physical body from a place outside one’s body.
This LiveScience article says that surveys have found that between 8 and 20 percent of people have had some kind of OBE in their lives. As part of our own personal little poll, Maayan and Jeff have experienced OBEs–and, after further discussion, Lauren reveals that she was once able to SORT of lucid dream when she was younger…so there you go.
You should also know that there is a definitive distinction between astral projection, or travel, and OBEs. Astral travel implies the belief that the soul is actually, for real, leaving the body, and traveling on the ‘astral plane’, or spirit world. OBE doesn’t carry the same ‘mystical’ meaning with it–it can imply that your brain simply thinks your outside of your body. Naturally, skeptics and scientists stick to this term over astral travel.
In fact, scientists have proven that OBEs can be induced through artificial stimulation of the brain, and have written that OBEs are due to “functional disintegration of lower-level multisensory processing and abnormal higher-level self-processing at the temporoparietal junction” or are “the result of a mismatch between visual and tactile signals.”
However, there are a lot of people, some kookier-seeming than others, who believe in astral travel. Check out this talk given by Luis Maniro from the International Academy of Consciousness. Maniro is about as scientific a person can be when talking about souls flying out of the body and what not. A favorite (paraphrased) quote from his talk: “Someone asked me, do you believe OBEs are real? That, to me, is like asking if you believe your hand is real. I don’t believe it is real, I know that it is real.”
We turned this question around to Jeff, who has had quite a number of first-hand OBEs. Are they real or just a fancy trick of the brain? Turns out, he doesn’t see the two as mutually exclusive–just because your brain lights up in various areas when something’s happening, doesn’t mean what’s happening is false. Maayan agrees. Lauren…likes the answer, but is more prone to doubt.
We ask Jeff to describe his first OBE–and it’s uncannily….REAL sounding. It makes sense that once you have this happen, you’re more than convinced that it’s not just a vivid dream. Since then, Jeff has made a point to document every OBE he has in a journal. The accounts are wacky–like dreams but not, and all occurring with his complete consciousness. Often times the experience seem more vivid than waking life. “It’s made me ask myself–what IS reality,” Jeff tells us.
Hell if we know. And we still don’t know for sure what it all means. But if you’re intrigued and want to start experimenting, Jeff has some key tips on how to bring on an OBE. Sorry, not listing them here…you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out 😉
Lauren has a #RANT. Potty Training. Oh. My. God. Will it ever happen?? She was sure her kid would be done with diapers by now…and, surprise of surprises, things have gone awry.
Maayan is #RANTING about freaking emoticons. She’s done. She’s waging war.
Jeff has a # TIP on habits, which he discusses in depth on his own podcast. Basically, if you want change in your life, it’s all about making them, or breaking them.