|Cassandra Sharktooth Curtis at NDE discussion, Oct. 22, 2010.|
I think last night's event in SL went rather well, judging by the turnout and by some of the interesting questions asked by audience members. I love holding these discussions about the paranormal and getting honest feedback.
I found that a couple of participants had also experienced OBE or 'out of body experiences' as well. Although similar, the characteristics of the OBE are different in many respects—namely that one has to die and come back for an NDE to be clinically valid, and this is not necessarily so for the OBE.
Practitioners of eastern mysticism have long experienced the sensation of floating or hovering above their body without anything other than deep meditation, that elevates an altered state of awareness. The OBE can also occur during certain cycles of sleep. Now, one might say that a sleeping OBE is nothing more than a very vivid dream. The difference can be quantified and documented, however, by an experiment using remote viewing.
For those who are unfamiliar with remote viewing, it is the ability to learn information about a distant or unseen target using a form of ESP. Research conducted has yielded some interesting albeit mixed results. The remote viewer is expected to give information about an object that is hidden from physical view and located some distance from them.
Using this method, an experiment can be set up so that the person preparing for an OBE can be told there is a location marked on a map, and that map is in an envelope that will be used to judge the results of the OBE. The subject's goal is then to induce an OBE and astral travel to that location—and then once out of the 'dream,' to identify the location. The area is to be described in detail, along with diagrams of landmarks and any other helpful identifiers.
If the landmarks and subject's description of the area match the secret location on the map, then it can be said the OBE may hold some validity. Many remote viewers 'see' without having an OBE, using another form of ESP not triggered during the dream state.
Either way, I find both NDEs and OBEs highly fascinating. The ability to remote view as well is intriguing and warrants further exploration.