Out-of-Body Experiences – Real or Imagined?

gnicholls-moon-pillar-1I must admit that as a teenager I was fascinated by the idea of out of body experiences (OBEs), but after reading countless books and no success at leaving my body I came to the conclusion it was all hooey, that was until I met author Graham Nicholls and had a conversation that almost changed my mind. I was immediately struck by the scientific way this ‘OBEr’ looks at things, he comes across as humble, even skeptical, despite having had out-of-body and other inexplicable experiences since his childhood.

It all started for Graham at around the age of twelve, when he began to have some initial out-of-body experiences. “I remember floating a few feet off the ground in an upright, or vertical position.” He continues that these early events didn’t last long, but he remembers they inspired him to learn more. He explains he even spent 6 months trying to induce an OBE intentionally. When he did succeed he says he still didn’t know for sure that what was happening was real, so he spent the subsequent years exploring as much as he could to verify his experiences, or dismiss them.

He says that he was able to accurately perceive things at several locations over the years, the most recent of which was a visit to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn, Estonia (where he now spends much of his time). Like we hear in accounts of near-death experiences he was able to see clearly many details about the building, which he shared with his partner and recorded before visiting the building physically to verify what he’d seen. He explains, “I knew it was an important out-of-body state as I could see with a crystalline clarity, when that happens I know it’s an experience that could potentially be verified. I wrote down all of the details and shared them with my partner to avoid confirmation bias (when we make the facts fit).” He photographed the details and his partner confirmed that every point he told her and recorded was correct.

I find this simple example of an accurate OBE fascinating and clearly not a dream or hallucination, but the skeptic in me wants more to really believe in it all. Then Graham described what for me has to be probably the most extraordinary OBE on record, an experience from that seems to even challenge conventional understandings of time.

“At the time I was involved in regular meetings of a small group at which we would exchange ideas and discuss different practices etc. On this night I taught my G-Technique for the first time, which is an advanced form of breathing and bodywork. After practicing this for a while I wasn’t feeling much, but then just as I thought it wasn’t working I felt overwhelmed. Moments later I was moving through some kind of natural landscape in an out-of-body state. Then the scene seemed to break and I found myself standing on the corner of Moor Street and Old Compton Street in Soho, London. Everything was tinted with a cerulean or bluish-gray effect, I recognised where I was immediately as I used to work in the area. Moments later an explosion burst out from the right-hand side of the road, around 100 metres away. I remember looking to my right and seeing a man run towards the explosion; I also remember seeing the Pollo Bar (an Italian restaurant that has since closed), which again confirmed where I was. At one point an intense wave of emotion hit me, as if coming from the people who had lost their lives in the explosion. The whole OBE was very oppressive, and as it came to an end it took quite a while to come out of the trance state I was in.”

Even though many might be skeptical of this precognitive OBE, it did not take place when Graham was alone and reported after the fact — as hardline skeptics might assume. There were in fact several witnesses on the evening of the vision. One of whom, a Portuguese man named Cristovão Neto, says, “I remember thinking it was quite far-fetched, but yes, the “vision” involved an explosion in Soho”, that was on April 25th, five days before the actual bombing took place. Lawrence Brightman, from Florida who has lived in London for many years, was another witness present on the night of the OBE. He remembers Graham stating that what he’d seen was “a bombing at a bar in Soho, and he said it was a precognition before the actual bombing happened”. These statements are intriguing and clearly support Graham’s version of events.

If this is true, then it does throw up a very difficult question to approach: can we really see the future in the present? And has this kind of thing been scientifically tested? I might argue that memory is fallible and that we make the facts fit after the event. Yet Graham points out that, “In many cases this is true, and I’m the first to admit that memory is fallible and that confirmation bias can play a major role. But the fact that I stated the things I saw were a precognition before the actual event–I had never made such a claim before—all the details were correct, and the witnesses support what I wrote in my journal at the time (within 2 hours), all makes the skeptical arguments unconvincing.” He doesn’t feel this one experience alone is totally convincing, but finds the body of evidence throughout his life impossible to ignore. I’m inclined to agree, which leaves me a little unnerved by what this all means. But the more I learn about this subject and speak with Graham, and the witnesses, the more it seems the sheer weight of information is hard to simply dismiss. I think to myself maybe it was a form of telepathy, that seems more reasonable, right?

Graham also claims that there is scientific research supporting precognition, he cites Dean Radin, Daryl Bem, Edwin May, as well as Rupert Sheldrake, who he mentions he has worked with on a series of telepathy experiments. When I ask Graham if he has taken part in any of the experiments himself, it turns out that in fact he has taken part in some initial trials using Sheldrake’s computerized precognition testing system, and according to Sheldrake gained, “the highest score ever” in a single trial. Graham is quick to point out this is inconclusive as many more trials would be required to really show anything. Maybe it was just luck, but if we put this together with the fact he has witnesses to his other experiences, I find this it at least highly suggestive of his abilities being genuine.

So can anyone learn these abilities, to leave their body? Graham thinks they can and has devoted many years to helping the rest of us do just that. “The structure I call ‘Epicene’, which I designed and built in 1998 was my first attempt to really move things forward in that sense. Up until that point I’d focused on just using visualization methods–like most books and teachers do–but this seemed a limited view. I wanted to think outside the box and really see where techniques and methods could go.” Since that time he has worked with immersion, sensory deprivation, virtual reality, hypnosis, and his own sound technology he calls ‘Infra-liminal’. “I began developing the infra-liminal technology in 1998 for my original immersive structures, Epicene and later LAM. Although, the versions I’m working with now have been fine-tuned and developed to a point that I hope will take OBE technology to the next level–especially when combined with the approaches in my second book.”

His second book Navigating the Out-of-Body Experience, is a fascinating read, it is not like other books on the subject for several reasons, not least of which is its focus on the evidence from parapsychology. I ask him why he took this approach, “well, I wanted to remove the belief systems and preconceptions as much as possible, to take a bottom up approach–by which I mean starting with the experience itself and then looking at what science can tell us about it. I wasn’t trying so much to explain what is happening in an OBE, but instead to offer the most powerful, personalized, and rational way of having one for yourself.”

The book focuses on what he calls ‘immersive’ approaches, he explains, “It’s because we don’t live in a purely visual world, we live in a complex emotionally driven world. When you consider Ericksonian Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), it is clear that complete sensory hypnotic inductions are more affective. I wanted to draw on that understanding to get the best results. This is why I built structures like Epicene, mentioned earlier, it allowed me to add a physical aspect to the techniques I knew worked. For example, the structure lifts the person above the ground, rather than them just imagining it, the structure does it for them, allowing their minds to focus on other aspects of the process. It also sends a strong message to the unconscious that you are trying to ‘float’, essentially. This when combined with my Infra-liminal system and methods like the G-Technique, result in a vastly improved chance of having an out-of-body experience.”

I find this focus on what we might call sensory deprivation and multi-sensory experiences quite unusual, I’ve not come across this kind of thing from OBErs before. I wonder where he looked for inspiration? “I guess I was drawing upon many areas going right back into the history of human beings exploring their consciousness through shamanism etc. We have always used some form of sensory immersion to reach altered states. But specifically I was very inspired by John Zubek’s work. He wrote a book on his experiments called ‘Sensory Deprivation: 15 Years of Research’, that was an invaluable source of information. ”

So sensory deprivation, and out-of-body experiences can help us reach the unconscious, to see the underlying reality maybe? “I think so yes, as long as we don’t get drawn into assumptions and delusions. But that is why I try to approach all this in a very non-dogmatic way and explore the nature of the experience directly without appeals to esoteric interpretations.” Esoteric or occult viewpoints seem quite alien to Graham, despite his extensive knowledge and understanding of them. “ I try to focus on what a detailed examination of the experience can tell us, the concept of the larger consciousness system (LCS), largely in-line with Tom Campbell’s work, makes sense to me.”

With all this talk of the larger reality etc., I can’t help but wonder what Graham thinks of the afterlife? Can you experience these kinds of things through the OBE? He explains,“When we start talking about the afterlife we step into an area that is far more subjective. Much of what I talk about does have good supporting evidence–such as precognition and psi in general. Survival of consciousness or the personality after physical death is a much more complex issue. In my OBEs I have seen events that appeared to correlate with the idea of spirits or an afterlife, I have also experienced an apparition and an orb or opaque green form with a close friend. So this makes me more open to the idea. It does seem to me that consciousness does survive physical death and that this awareness can be experienced in some form by the living.” He also mentions that on a scientific level the work of the Windbridge Institute and Julie Beischel, who studies mediumship and other areas related to the survival of consciousness after death, produce some truly intriguing work. He goes on, “there is also the overview by Janice Holden who works at the University of North Texas, which found that 92% of near-death observations were 100% veridical, or objectively correct.”

The descriptions of Graham’s objective observations while ‘out of the body’ and those of individuals close to death makes me think of the now famous Stargate remote viewing military intelligence program, so I ask his view on how these things are related, he explains, “Ah yes, I do think there is a relationship. Altered states and trance states have levels of depth it seems, so I tend to think that remote viewing is a more conscious form of non-local perception, while a full OBE is when all of the sensory awareness is being experienced non-locally, in other words, what appears to be seeing and feeling but at a different location to the physical body. Remote viewing generally has more controllability than most OBEs, so it can be more effective when applied to targets.”

He pauses and describes how remote viewing and OBEs have huge potential for personally exploring what is going on in the world politically. I ask does he mean as in conspiracies etc? “Well that, as we all know, is a loaded word and suggests something hidden or secret. For me in many ways it is plain and clear that governmental politics is not driven by the interests of the majority of people. I believe we should use the tools we have available to us, like remote viewing or OBEs, to examine the nature of the world around us, be that political or metaphysical. Someone who believes that their government would never lie is simply mistaken. That is not conspiracy theory, that is a fact of life. In my view power politics is incompatible with freedom, especially freedom of mind, or consciousness”. He continues, “We should not be content with the ordinary, the everyday, we should question if that is really a choice, if living for consumerism, TV, and a job is really the best use of our potential. We have a consciousness capable of so much, when we don’t make real, sometimes hard, choices we diminish our spirit in both senses of the word. In my opinion that is the real power of realizing our consciousness is limitless, it is empowering.”

As my time with Graham is coming to an end I wonder how this all must have impacted his life on a day-to-day level–but in many ways it is clear to see as I know he had a harsh childhood –the person he is now seems so far from that.”Yes, I have grown enormously—not just through my OBEs—but also other practices also. I talk about this whole process in my first book, Avenues of the Human Spirit, in many ways that book is about a attempt to show people that anyone, from any walk of life can experience more in this life than they ever imagined.”

All in all I can’t say I’m now a ‘true believer’, but I’m not a hardline skeptic either. I feel too many people believe the likes of James Randi and his foundation without question. And I wonder if maybe there is a middle ground when it comes to these things, and just maybe people like Graham Nicholls appeal to those in that middle area where we’re still asking questions and wondering could it all be true?

Graham Nicholls is an artist, and the author of Avenues of the Human Spirit and, Navigating the Out-of-Body Experience. To find out more about Graham Nicholls and his tuition, research and books, please visit: http://www.grahamnicholls.com

  • Ted Heistman

    Imagination Real or out of the Body?

    • Xanth

      You say those two options like we know what “real” is.

      When you have a projection and you’re walking around interacting with your environment in the *EXACT* same way you’re doing so right now… you’re completely consciously aware of everything… then “real” takes on a much different meaning than what most humans believe.

      “Real” then becomes “whatever you experience”. :)

      • Ted Heistman

        Reality: out of the body or imagined?

        • John Furr

          Reality: real or imagined.

          Reality is FAR stranger than you believe friend.

          • Ted Heistman

            Really? How do I believe?

          • John Furr

            Doesn’t matter. If you have any ‘beliefs’ about reality then you have limited yourself to a view. We are nothing more than fish in the sea. Fish have no way of understanding the vastness of the ocean much less the size of the planet, much less the fact that this planet is in a solar system in an infinitely large universe.

            I assure you, what ever you believe is limiting..

          • Ted Heistman

            what is it to be presumptuous about others? Can you tell me that?

          • John Furr

            I have no interest in trying to convince you that reality is in fact FAR
            stranger than what you believe regardless of your beliefs. Just
            holding a belief means you are wrong. All of us.

            I say this a a scientist that understands we are little more than Amoebas in our understanding of the universe..and honestly the Amoeba example overstates our understanding of things greatly. We have no clue. None of us. Not you. not me, not the greatest theoretical physicists alive nor the holiest of mystics.

            So let’s quit the posturing and just address the issue directly at hand.

            1) Do you thing Xanth is lying or telling the truth based on your first comment?

            You answer that question directly and we can talk about that if you are interested.

  • youaredreaming

    Great article, having had OBE’s over the last 25 years, without question it takes time to succeed at them. Even more difficult for me at least was having veridical evidence from this different point-of-view. Out of thousands which deal entirely with different information than physical data, 3 provided me with enough evidence to satisfy that physical exploration in this state albeit very difficult due to other data crossing over, was possible. For the most part, I often explored non-physical reality as a curiosity hence probably why my interests in local experience was trivial at best.

    Glad to see an open-minded review of Graham’s work. As Tom Campbell says, the proof is in the pudding. Sometimes you just need to give it a try and find out for yourself what is real and what is not. The human mind is an amazing tool, and the consciousness that inhabits it even more so.

  • bobbiethejean

    More book peddling from the woo-woo artists I see. No surprise there. Ya know, these people might be easier to believe if they weren’t constantly promoting their books and wares like, for example, that Dr. Eben Alexander guy who turned out to have been making shit up, incidentally.

    • youaredreaming

      Interesting opinion, then what about myself who has out-of-body experiences and no book to sell? Are you using a guilty by association argument to build a straw-man? And James Randi has 8 books he’s peddling to support his belief that there is no psychic phenomena. Why is it ok for skeptics to peddle and sell books defending their belief but when someone who has experiences on a topic that skeptics do not like they double-standard?

      At least empirical data for consciousness during sleep exists and the statistical data supports it. Considering electrons flow through synapses, and photons stimulate alpha-beta carbon-atom pairs (tublin) in the microtubules of the neuron, these two sub-atomic particles which demonstrate the most studied spooky-action from a distance (superposition, entanglement, bi-location, tunneling, teleportation, particle/wave duality) and based on both the statistical evidence supporting psi, and the overwhelming anecdotal data. What we are observing is the same spooky-action from a distance exhibited in consciousness. When an electron passes through a synapse, is it a particle or a wave? Does it leave an interference pattern through the neural chemicals or a streak? Same can be asked about the photon stimulating the carbon-atom pairs.What effects do quantum mechanics have on consciousness as the field of consciousness is derived from electrons and photons as part of the brains information processing?

      • bobbiethejean

        I think you’re probably dreaming, lying, delusional, any combination of the aforesaid, or possibly experiencing an OoBE. I don’t know. I don’t claim to know. For all I know, you really could be experiencing such a phenomenon. I don’t know you, I don’t know what you’ve experienced, I can’t say for sure and I’m not willing to strongly conclude one way or another. However, I’m skeptical. I have to assume one or all of the former possibilities because those are infinitely more likely in my understanding of how the universe works than your soul detached from your body. There are so many problems with such a claim.

        Such claims have never been proven to my satisfaction and there are A FUCK LOT of unanswered questions surrounding this purported phenomenon. Furthermore, way too many times, it has turned out to be someone lying, misperceiving reality, or experiencing a dream. There is a precedent here, a very strong one supporting the likelihood that OoBEs are not psychic phenomena but just simple brain phenomena.

        Why is it ok for skeptics to peddle and sell books defending their belief but when Expanding humanity’s awareness of reality = good. Capitalizing on people’s ignorance, superstitions, fears, and deeply ingrained need for reassurance that they are special = really, really shitty, imo. Nevertheless, even if it is a skeptic doing it, I do tend to frown on overly obnoxious book/wares peddling, especially when it masquerades as simple awareness-raising.

        At least empirical data for consciousness during sleep exists and the statistical data supports it. Absolutely. I do not deny this. But there is no strong, compelling, testable evidence that consciousness is separate from the brain as an OoBE implies.

        and based on both the statistical evidence supporting psi, Everything else in this line of thought is substantiated by science UNTIL you get to that. Psi is NOT a given as the others items you list ARE. It’s called “quantum quackery” -seeking solace in the strangeness of lesser known areas of science such as quantum mechanics to justify unfounded absurdities e.g. “Quantum physics is strange, therefore GOD or therefore SOULS or therefore OoBE or therefore HEAVEN! It’s basically a derivation of God of the Gaps except the problem is that there really are no gaps here. Quantum physics is simply the science of the very small. A water droplet behaves differently than a bowl of water. An electron behaves differently than a car. That’s all. Yes, QM is strange and we may never fully grasp it. Hell, as far as I know, we haven’t even fully reconciled it with general relativity. But that STILL does not leave the door open for quantum quackery. If you’re going to make a claim, you need to back it up with evidence and such claims have no real evidence, just a lot of anecdotes.

        anecdotal data “I saw a ghost” or “I had an OoBE” does not constitute compelling evidence of anything other than the facts that people have the ability to experience, perceive, and recount. Anyone can say anything. That doesn’t make it true.

        What we are observing is the same spooky-action from a distance exhibited in consciousness. Except that quantum entanglement actually makes sense in our current understanding of how the universe works. There is still nothing there to support mind/brain duality. If such claims as OoBE are true, let them be validated. Let them be shown. Let them stand on their own merits. I purport that if such claims were actually true, our society would look A FUCK LOT different.

        In short: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Quantum_woo

        • youaredreaming

          Thanks for the extensive reply. As you are aware, there are a lot of belief-systems by which entire groups and cultures are perpetuating. And agreeably, this causes problems as belief certainly is not a substitution for the truth. Skepticism is a valuable tool, but when you also replace your skepticism as a belief, then it hinders your own growth and edification of what is true or not.

          Where you can believe or disbelieve in a persons ability to be conscious during physical sleep; the fact remains this is now empirically known thanks to fMRI and EEG research. Which in this regard as you position is that science must mandate the truth, then by its own admission there is an ability by which we can remain conscious during sleep. This also means, it’s up to you to investigate this within yourself. If that is something you chose.

          Being conscious during sleep is a tool, and it is in how you use this tool that presents an opportunity for growth with first-person experiences. That said, it’s not a one-time excursion into sleep related conscious experience but a journey that requires many, many explorative journeys into an unknown.

          Not everyone wants to walk down this path. I don’t think it really matters as from a survival perspective and lifestyle choice that we need to be conscious during sleep. It certainly is not a requirement to exist. However because we can, then it presents it’s own rewards. It’s rewards however are that it presents a new vertical of experiences that you will never have if you don’t venture down that path.

          How that facilitates value within your own personal experiences, or how you grow with those experiences is unique you. You lift the weight, you gain muscle. You remain consciousness during sleep, you gain new experiences. It’s a choice, and action and an experience that you have to pursue, and even then, only if interested. There is no sell here, no reward from my perspective. I have nothing to lose or gain other than I can assure that this path although difficult yields something unique and profound if one commits to it. A school where you have homework to do, and only you can do it. Hence why I don’t involve myself in anyone’s personal growth with this vertical path should they walk it. It’s a you thing, not a me thing where nothing ventured, means nothing gained. It’s that simple.

          If you have questions, and are serious in answering them, then let the experience itself provide the evidence.

          There is no doubt we share a similar opinion on peddling beliefs in books, skeptical and woo alike. I’m not a fan of the David Wilcock’s, the Sylvia Browne’s of the world. The whole problem with individuals and groups is that we do become polarized in beliefs for better or for worse and from my point-of-view if it’s harming personal growth, distracting a person from their own ability to learn and understand who and what they are, then they are of no value. If the skeptics are wrong and this OBE idea is real, then how have they helped humanity grow with this fact? Likely they will cause more harm than good if that is the case, and that is where one should also be skeptical of skepticism and keep an open mind.

          The point that I am making, is even if I do have OOBE related experiences during sleep and have my own veridical evidence yadda yadda… so what. How does that help you? Even if a parade of people like me came on board and expressed a positive yes that this is something we’ve experienced it falls on deaf ears. The only person that can make that determination is you, and not by believing in what I say rather in doing your own homework and learning to become conscious during sleep. Having the experience or not as mentioned isn’t a requirement to exist. Its best left for those who genuinely want to look deeper within and see what’s under the hood within themselves.

          There are no promises of gold, 72 virgins, eternal life or salvation. Just an experience you can have, or not. A tool that you can use or not. It can be rewarding, or terrifying. It’s all in how you approach it, if at all. Sometimes you have to make that choice, and do the work. It’s better that way, than having other’s tell you what it is or isn’t.

    • Xanth

      Well, honestly… your opinion is meaningless to anyone who has had their own direct experience with the non-physical. If you’re so inclined to learn this for yourself (because that’s the only way you’re going to learn), put in the time and effort to learn. There are lots of resources out there.

      In the end though, it’s nobody’s job to prove anything to anyone but themselves. I’ve been Projecting my entire life (33 years now) and I *KNOW* what I’ve experienced. There’s not an opinion on this planet that can take that experience away from me. :)

      • bobbiethejean

        I *KNOW* what I’ve experienced. I’m sure you think you do. There have been plenty of things I thought I knew too only to find out I was wrong. That’s the problem with your stance. You’re stance is “I know I’m right.” My stance is “show me.” I don’t think there is anything wrong with being skeptical, especially when these claims don’t fit in with what we understand about reality.

        • Xanth

          I more than think I do. ;)

          Although, as I said, it’s also not my job to prove anything to you… even if I could. As you seem to understand, you can never have my experience, so I can’t show you.

          What I can do is teach you how to experience them for yourself… and of that, I’m more than happy to do so. After that, you’ll have your own experiences to draw from instead of having to read what others say and either believe or disbelieve them.

          I can show you the rabbit hole… it’s up to you to jump in and see exactly how deep you want to go. I’ve taught many people before. I’m the administrator of the largest Astral Projection forum on the internet, the Astral Pulse (www.astralpulse.com/forums) and we’ve helped direct many people to having their own experiences… it’s all completely free.

          I also have my own personal website which includes a free book you can download that will teach you how to project and open your mind to other possibilities beyond what “science” has spoon fed you all your life, and I’m also more than happy to answer any questions you might have through your journey too. Below is my website.

          It’s entirely up to you at this point.

          http://unlimitedboundaries.ca/

          • bobbiethejean

            it’s also not my job to prove anything to you I never said it was your job. However, if you’re going to run around making absolutely absurd claims that don’t fit in with humanity’s general understanding of how the world works, don’t expect people to believe you without some compelling evidence. As of yet, I see none from any of you people. I see a lot of wishful thinking, misperception, delusion, and sometimes flat out lying. And of course, you’re peddling a website. It never fails.

          • Xanth

            I’m offering to teach you to experience this stuff for yourself.
            Take me up on the offer or don’t, it’s honestly no skin of my nose.

            If you find the desire to learn to project, might I add FOR 100% FREE (it’s not “peddling” when I get absolutely nothing out of it) then you know where you can find me. :)

            Until then, have a good one. :)

          • bobbiethejean

            Can one learn to do such a thing if one is completely and utterly skeptical of the supernatural world?

          • Xanth

            Most definitely! What turns most people from skeptics into experiencers (aka believers) are projection experiences that happen 100% spontaneously!

            Skepticism is a healthy stance, but being what’s called “open minded skeptical” is even better. It doesn’t mean you outright believe anything you’re told… it just means to not believe… also don’t disbelieve… until you’ve had enough of your own experiences to judge things for yourself.

            You definitely don’t need to believe in any of this in order to do it. However, if you’re going to actively and consciously practice it, you do have to at least remain open minded about the possibilities. Otherwise, your greatest enemy will be your own belief. :)

          • bobbiethejean

            Hmmm…….. Alright. I will check this business out. Always up to try new things.

          • youaredreaming

            That’s the right attitude. Take your time. Hopefully you have had some prior experience to being conscious during sleep, like a lucid dream. As to know how vivid and real that dream appears. If not, that will be a fun part of the discovery.

            An adventure awaits.

          • Xanth

            Excellent! Should you have any questions, you know where to find me. :)

          • sharkonwhisky

            Good for you, that’s the spirit. On the having no beliefs in anything supernatural, I think that is absolutely fine and valid…it may surprise you that Graham Nicholls doesn’t hold any beliefs in the supernatural either, and he is very pro rational thinking. This is why I really admire his approach to this, being an area where many others fall prey of new agey beliefs and allow their imaginations to run away with them. I don’t believe in anything in supernatural, and anything that is at present considered “supernatural”…but does in fact exist, (or in time will be found to exist) as a valid phenomena…is simply something that is natural that is beyond the current boundaries of scientific knowledge and understanding. It is important we remember there are definite limitations to our scientific understanding of life and the universe, and to remain open while at the same time thinking rationally, sceptically and objectively.

          • youaredreaming

            It’s not rocket science, it’s attention focusing. Just lucid dream for your introduction into consciousness during sleep. Don’t drag in any expectations and just explore the fun world of “you being conscious”, because that ultimately what the journey is about.

            Being self-aware during sleep is what ever you make it, for me it adds content when I sleep that is different than when I am awake, and that content is a fully-functional virtual reality system that can be as vivid and real as the waking world but goes away when I wake up. At that point, it’s just thank’s for the memories and fun times. Just adds experience, so if you are into that then feel free to explore.

          • John Furr

            Can you see bacteria without a microscope?
            Does the man who refuses to look in the microscope have a valid skepticism when he doesn’t believe others claim that they have seen bacteria?

            If you want to observe this for yourself then the commentator above you has provided the microscope. it is up to you to put the time in so that you can look through it.

          • Lookinfor Buford

            Show me the mushrooms!

    • Mark johnson

      As the author of this article I should point out just how wrong you are. In-fact I decided to write this article after a conversation. It was not a formal interview, or part of a book tour or anything else – I chose to mention his books after looking them up myself. I am more of a skeptic than a believer as I clearly state in the article. However, I took the time to speak to witnesses to the OBEs mentioned and found the support compelling. Graham is not someone who pushes a belief system, he simply feels that the skeptical perspective has not given a rational explanation for his OBEs and other experiences. I would agree. Skepticism is all very well but when it becomes hero worship and stops looking at the evidence it becomes dogma. I think with the levels of evidence from parapsychology and people like Nicholls the fairest opinion is a neutral one, and that was the point I was getting at here.

      • Xanth

        Hi Mark!

        I really couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve all but given up with the skeptics… most of them are so closed to any other possibility that it boggles the mind that they even bother to read this stuff. lol

        I simply do as I’ve done here, offer to teach them to have their own experiences. I firmly believe that personal experience trumps all else.

        What you’ve written here is a great article. :)

    • sharkonwhisky

      I have a crazy proposition for you…why not try…methodologically, like a scientist…to try as best you can to induce OBE’s repeatedly in yourself, then your opinion on this would be somewhat more informed and have a lot more weight than it does now. Whatever you think you know about OBE’s, being rare, black swan phenomena, the science on the matter has very little to say, being that the scientific method by its very nature demands repetition. So things like this, which are rare, tend to get ignored or considered as “woo” simply because we do not possess a useful scientific measuring stick to study them effectively. The only way for the science to move forward here is for more people to learn to induce these experiences in themselves.

  • Scott Williamson

    I recently read an article in a science magazine about an expiriment where OBE’s could be triggered using virtual reality glasses and projecting an image of themselves with an aura that was synchronous to the heart beat of the volunteer. This confirmed that OBE’s could be an experience triggered in the lab. But also showed that perceptions could leave the body and “travel” distances away from the physical body. So consciousness is an awareness that can be manipulated. This is a big step in understanding what consciousness (self awareness) is as a phenomenon and that seems to be non local.

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