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What Is An Out Of Body Experience (OBE)?

By on December 22, 2016 in Spiritual Awakening

What Is An Out Of Body Experience (OBE) ?

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The out of body experience (OBE) is the experience of moving away from the body so it is difficult for the scientists to record these experiences easily and measure their results because they are subjective. As a result scientists can study these cases indirectly by examining records of people who have had an OBE. Out-of-body experiences were also recognized in Hindu philosophy, the “subtle body” referred to as the sukshma sharira was able to separate from the physical body under certain conditions.

The main characteristic of an OBE as described by Carlos Alvarado is the sensation of floating away from the body or becoming aware that the individual is at a distance from the body. Also the experiencer might feel another subtle body and gradual or immediate separation from the physical body, observe it from a distance and see a connection between the astral body and the physical body while being in sleep paralysis state which makes you unable to move.


A number of sensations are followed by OBE’s sometimes, which vary from experience to experience. These sensations can occur while being on various altered states such as meditation, yoga, waking up or falling asleep, during hypnotic states. Other situations in which OBE’s might occur are: while undergoing a surgery, during intense physical pain, during near death-experiences (NDE’s) and illness. Some OBE’s are stimulated by vivid dreams, specifically when waking consciousness is aroused by some irregularity in the logic of a dream (Krippner).

When one have OBE while being awake, they experience body vibrations and hear strange sounds and also sometimes a body paralysis. These characteristics while one is asleep are similar to sleep paralysis which occurs when one falling into REM sleep or waking up from it. During REM sleep the muscles of the body are immobilized except the muscles of the eyes. Stephen LaBerge in a study of 107 lucid dreams reported that 9 percent of them included an out-of-body experience and also that OBE’s during lucid dreams occur often when the individual entered again the REM sleep.

Dr. Hornell Hart who investigated out-of-body experiences and psi phenomena claimed that the brain is an instrument by which consciousness expressed itself, and not a generator that produced consciousness. Also Hart claimed that there is strong evidence that individuals whose consciousness had seen scenes and acted at distances far away from their physical bodies.

Many individuals who have had an OBE speak about some kind of cord of silver color which connects their astral and physical body. This cord in some cases is said to be luminous like a beam of light and others describe it as a beam of light which connects them to their physical bodies.

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Carlos Bernal, neuroscientist and surgeon, created a methodology for the induction of OBE’s by using sensorial stimulus along with the training of brainwaves through neurofeedback. This technique consists of training the subject to generate gamma waves in the cortex area of the brain, also a mindfulness state and connect it with unconscious sensorial stimulus. When the subject is exposed to the stimuli while being REM sleep, a lucidity of consciousness is induced.

People argue whether the out-of-body experiences take place in the body or out of it. We can give an answer to this matter based on Buddhism. Buddha considered the ego to be an illusion, this reality is only a construction of our information-processing system modulated by our social milieu. The sense of our identity is a social construction as well. Out-of-body experiences and near-death experiences can make us wake up from the illusion that we are only this body.


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