Are Out of Body Experiences Evidence of Ghosts?
Out of Body Experiences & Ghosts
– – Written by Jane Walsh
14% of people have out of body experiences (OBE), according to one study from Aix-Marseille Université. But this may become more common.
Increasing numbers of people are combining a love of the paranormal with ancient meditative practices, such as astral projection, which are aimed at deliberately separating a person’s experience from their body.
Whatever your reason for an interest in OBEs, they clearly represent something deep and fascinating about human beings. They offer some of the best evidence we have for ghosts.
All neuroscientists agree in the existence of OBEs, but surely the next step is to conclude that ghosts must also exist.
The Mind-Body Distinction
The traditional scientific view is that the mind is a function of the brain and therefore dies along with the body. However, this assumption is blown apart when you consider the role of voluntarily-induced OBEs.
Take the case of a Canadian girl who could leave her body at will and experience the world from outside of it. Researchers from the University of Ottawa were fascinated by this ability and got her into the lab to be observed.
The girl noticed she could do this just before going to sleep and was surprised when she found out it wasn’t common. After numerous tests, it was clear she was being honest about her experience.
Although her body would remain still, her experience could transcend it and move to a different part of space. Anyone who has had this experience will understand that the mind is not trapped within a physical body, but can move around freely.
It doesn’t take neuroscientists to figure out that the mind and body are separate entities. Descartes noted that while the body has a size and shape, the mind does not; conscious experience is private, whereas bodily activity can be observed by others; and the mind is known to exist for certain, whereas it is possible the body is an illusion.
Those are three mutually incompatible distinctions that explain the existence of OBEs. Once we realize that consciousness is distinct from the body and can be separated from it, then the existence of ghosts seems far more plausible.
The Role of OBE’s Before Death
Many OBEs happen right at the moment a person dies. A study carried out in hospitals around the UK, US, and Australia found OBEs to be common among those undergoing a cardiac arrest. Although these people were technically dead, paramedics would work to resuscitate them. Later on, these patients were able to accurately describe what was happening in the room during their resuscitation.
This suggests that when death has occurred, consciousness remains in some form. Many people will have no experience of leaving their own body until they are very close to dying or even dead. It seems reasonable, then, that many who fail to be resuscitated continue on as a spirit.
OBEs are fascinating part of conscious experience. They can be induced voluntarily but are most commonly seen during a near death experience. They provide some of the strongest evidence that immaterial conscious experience can be separated from the body and that this can happen straight after death.
If you ever have a spooky ghostly encounter, then it might be more than just your mind playing tricks.