Monday, June 27, 2016

Out-of-Body Experience

I do not believe I have ever had an out-of-body experience, or an instance in which I remember feeling like I was having one, so this topic really interested me. The textbook says there is a way to make your whole body feel like it is a rubber band, and this allows you to feel as though you are having an out-of-body experience without dying, drugs, or psychopathology. To perform the experiment one sits in a chair with a pair of video goggles, the monitor in the goggles shows the back of you. There is a camera set up about five feet behind you and that is the image being fed to the goggles. An experimenter will enter the room with two sticks and they will stand to your right. With his right hand the experimenter strokes your chest, you can't see this but you can feel it. With their left hand they reach behind you and begin to stroke the air at a position just in front of and below the camera. As you are looking through your goggles you see your body from behind, but not the stokes because your body blocks the view. You can see the upper left arm of the experimenter as they stoke the air below the camera, and this is when it appears as if the arm that is stoking the air is actually the arm that is stroking your chest. Many subjects find the experiment startling, and claim to feel "outside of their body." "It's as is your touch and visual systems are constantly working together to give you a sense of which body you occupy, which limbs you own -as well as where and who you are" (149).

Rosenbaum, Lawrence. See What I'm Saying: The Extraordinary Powers of Our Five Senses. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2010. Print.

1 comment:

  1. As I read your post, I started thinking back about whether or not I have had an out-of-body experience, and then I realized that I have had several. Several experiences were due to near death experiences (each where I was a passenger in a vehicle that was almost hit by another car). My other out-of-body experience was when I had a severe reaction to a medication. I found the near-death experiences to be odd, but actually helpful because it seemed like I was able to look at the situation from an outsider's perspective and could look at it calmly. Time also seemed to slow down. The out-of-body experience that I experienced due to the medication was not at all pleasant, and invoked fear responses.