By Dr. Tan Kheng Khoo
The term "out-of-body experience" (OBE) was coined by Tart in 1960
in order to distinguish it from other judgmental alternative names like astral
projection, ESP projection, doubling, astral travel, etc. An out-of-body
experience has been defined as: " An altered state of consciousness in
which the subject feels that his mind or self-awareness is separated from his
physical body and this self-awareness has a vivid and real sense about it, quite
different from a dream". There must be a sense that the self is at some
place other than in the physical body. In this definition, certain assumptions
must be made. Firstly, the subject is in a better position than the investigator
to decide whether or not he had an OBE. Secondly. the emphasis is on the sense
of location of self-awareness rather than the complex and entirely variable
visual and auditory experiences reported in the anecdotal literature, and
thirdly, whether or not there is objective laboratory demonstration of a
separation of self-awareness from its normal location in the brain seems not
Not many surveys of the incidence of OBE exist. In 1954, Hart asked 155 students
whether they had ever had an OBE, 27.1% said they had, most of them had more
than one experience. In 1968, Celia Green asked 380 Oxford undergraduates about
having an OBE, 34% replied affirmatively. Palmer and Dennis published the first
survey using a randomly selected group of 1,000 students and townspeople in a
small town in Virginia. 25% of the students and 14% of the townspeople reported
having had an OBE. Shiels collected data on belief in OBE from nearly 70
non-Western cultures. Despite cultural differences their beliefs are strikingly
similar. This was felt as indirect evidence of a genuine event. A South African
study analyzing 122 accounts in response to a press request, found that the OBE
occurred often while the subject was asleep, relaxed, or dozing, and over 50% of
the subjects claimed to have been in a normal mental state when the phenomenon
Twemlow, Gabbard and Jones presented a paper in 1980 to the American Psychiatric
Association in San Francisco. It was called "The Out-of-Body Experience:
Phenomenology". 339 subjects took part in response to an advertisement on
OBE. The data was analyzed according to pre-existing conditions,
phenomenological features and impact of the experience.
There is no cause-effect relationship between these pre-existing conditions and
the OBE itself. Majority of the candidates is in a relaxed and calm state (79%).
Only 23% are in an emotionally stressful state. In the study, 27% are
meditating, whilst 36% are dreaming. Quite a few of the latter describe their
dreams as "flying or falling". Fatigue accounted for 15% of cases, and
NDE was the cause for 10%. Other minor preconditions are cardiac arrest, drug,
general anesthesia, severe pain, childbirth, etc. The last preconditions are
accident, high fever, sexual
orgasm, alcohol and driving a vehicle.
Some form of stress not infrequently precedes the ‘single’ OBE cases, and is
usually associated with physical trauma. However, Ľ of these single cases
the stress is psychological. The same fear may trigger an
OBE before visiting a dentist or undergoing anesthesia. The stress could be
either short term or long term. Short term is within the last 24 hours. Long
term means more than 24 hours, and if the long term is psychological rather than
physiological, it is as common as in the short-term cases. If the stress is
prolonged during a period of time the OBE may recur several times during this
Sometimes fear of something eerie or frightening, like seeing a ghost, may
trigger an OBE episode. Amongst the emotional stress cases, themes of loss,
mourning and loneliness are common. Threats of death including illness, surgery,
cancer and being in a war zone are also frequent precursors of OBE. Loneliness
stands out as a fairly prominent pre-condition.
Happiness or philosophical reflections may also bring on an OBE to some people.
Those OBEs occurring during states of calm tend to be multiple and their OBEs
were spontaneous in a relaxed state. Meditators feature prominently in the OBEs
with mental calmness. OBE occurring during dreaming has been stated as ‘more
real than a dream’ in the majority of cases. In childhood cases quite a number
of their dreams depict flying or falling. Most of these cases were certain that
it was an OBE and not a dream.
The cases of Near-Death-Experience do experience OBE and autoscopy exactly the
same way as ordinary cases of OBEs. NDE cases are associated with stress and
must be near death. Except for marijuana users, most drug users and alcoholics
have a low incidence of OBE.
The reason for wanting to have an OBE has been quoted as (a) curiosity or fun
(b) psychical research (c) personal spiritual development and (d) the OBE is
entirely spontaneous. Only 10% of the individuals questioned have been to
workshops on OBEs.
The psychological and physical profile of an ideal projector is thus: strong
will; interest in new things; curiosity; lack of religious, scientific and
social conditioning; a rational and non-mystical temperament; patient
non-conformist; calmness; a good memory; studiousness; humanist interests;
dynamic and self-controlled; mental disciplined; physical self-controlled;
capable of advanced relaxation. He has ideally a single sex partner.
How to mentally prepare for OBE
These are the following steps that the prospective projector can prepare himself
One must maintain a strong desire to project and dream about it. One must have
an awareness of a spirit or a true-self inhabiting the physical body. Further
one must try and visualize the route or environment when you have succeeded in a
projection. Before sleeping every night think and read about projection.
Almost everybody who is trying to project has irrational fear. This fear may
with some small stimulus turn to terror and panic. When sleeping at nights, we
unconsciously pass over this fear when our normal consciousness shuts down and
our higher self takes over. At this juncture, the fear barrier disappears. There
are at least four reasons supporting the fear barrier:
a. Fear of death. Being outside of the body is equivalent to death, and that is
why we are always in a hurry to get back to the body in our earlier experiments.
It is only after a dozen times or more that we are able to overcome this fear.
b. Fear of not being able to go back to the body. The fear of not being able to
get back is like being lost and is like death as well. After getting out more
than a hundred times you may then realize that every time you are able to return
to the body again. This will then rationalize into confidence.
c. Fear of the unknown. This is a completely different realm from our earthly
environment. This unknown territory, especially if it is the astral realm and
beyond, encumbered by all sorts of beings and terrain that is far beyond our
imagination. We can never fathom this New World where all our previous training,
knowledge and expertise are useless and effete. All the worldly laws and rules,
physics and chemistry and other sciences cannot be used to measure this New
World. Even after hundreds of OBEs into that terrain we will still not be
familiar with it.
d. The last fear is of the possible effects that may impinge on the physical
body and mind of the person experimenting on OBE. This is so because of our
ignorance of the pathology of the spirit.
In order to clear the above fears one has to repeat the OBEs very often so that
familiarity and getting used to the conditions outside the body will finally
replace the fears with confidence.
The following preparation is solely for those who do not project spontaneously
(involuntary projectors). For spontaneous projectors it is not necessary to
undergo the ensuing steps at all. They may read these notes just to refine
whatever they already achieved.
How to prepare for a projection
The bed of the projector should be comfortable, stable and quiet as possible. It
should be a single bed, because of disturbing one’s spouse during the
projection. The doors must be shut to prevent sudden intrusion by family
members. Minimize noises by switching off the telephone, TV, intercom, alarms,
radios etc. Use an electric digital clock to record the periods of projection. A
dim night light may be useful to orientate the projector when he has projected
into his own bedroom and when he returns from the OBE. A bedside table is
helpful for the projector to keep pen, paper, tape recorder and a small
flashlight to record the events of the OBE without disturbing the sleeping
partner. Do not over eat and over drink (a distended bladder will interrupt the
OBE). Personal hygiene should be attended to and keep the physical body warm.
The clothes must be loose. All jewelry and metal objects must be removed form
Lying on one’s back, place the feet apart and let the whole physical body
relax totally. Rest the extended arms with hands open along the side of the
body. Place the head in such a position as not to stress the neck. All arms,
legs and neck must not be allowed to cause constriction to the circulation.
Close the eyelids and relax the facial muscles completely. Avoid swallowing of
saliva and do not have forceful respiration through the nose. Try and breathe
through the half-opened mouth.
Relaxation: this must be both physical and mental. One must not be in a hurry,
and there must not be any sense of urgency. All appointments and telephone calls
must be cancelled. The techniques for relaxation are generally at least 3 in
a. Auto- or self-hypnosis. Although many methods have been enumerated in books,
the best is to learn self-hypnosis from an experienced hypnotist.
b. Meditation. The best method is that of concentration.
c. Borderland sleep state. This is the most natural and the easiest. One relaxes
both body and mind until one is at the borderland between sleep and wakefulness.
The greatest danger here is to fall asleep. As you deepen into sleep, there will
come a stage when the body is asleep but the mind is not. At this juncture, hold
on mentally to any one subject as long as you can without falling asleep. The
body is asleep but not the mind. However, one may still fall asleep many times
through the initial attempts. At one point, you will find that the mental
picture you are holding on will slip away. This is the time when you do not
introduce another picture to take its place, but let the mental screen be blank
and dark. Further on, a hallucinatory period will ensue ----full of mind
pictures arising on their own. The busier the day before, the longer will these
mental clips be. The next steps are to continue deepening your consciousness
downward with gradual loss of control of your senses: touch, smell, taste,
hearing and sight.
State of Vibration
The generation of vibration is the most critical. Once you achieve it you know
you are on the right track. You enter into that deep stage of relaxation as
described above. You hold on to that consciousness that is still awake, but the
body is asleep. Then as the hallucinations or mind pictures have completely
subsided, you keep on breathing through your half-opened mouth with the eyes
closed. Now concentrate on the darkness behind your eyelids or the third eye’
area. Just stay at this point as long as you can. One should remain in this
mental state of clear awareness and a completely sleeping physical body for as
long as possible. All of a sudden a surging, hissing pulsating wave of fiery
sparks appears to be roaring in the head. It is like a ring of electric shock
without pain. This ring has the physical body as a central axis and it surges up
and down the body. This vibration is not shaking and the frequency is fairly
constant, immobilizing the body. The frequency and intensity may be controlled
to be fast or slow, strong or weak. This ring of electricity is about 2 feet in
diameter. It starts at the head and sweeps down to the toes and back to the head
again. It keeps up as a regular oscillation, and as it passes through a section
of the body it is like a band cutting through that section of the body. As the
ring passes through the head a roaring comes with it into the brain.
Once you have been through this stage of vibration, the next attempt is easy.
There is no necessity to go through the entire routine. Just relax and think of
the vibrations and they will come. Each successful attempt will facilitate the
next one. However, in the early stages it may not be repeated. So do not be
discouraged. There are no deleterious effects on the body and mind, but mentally
you must acclimatize yourself. In order to be accustomed to this vibrational
state, one must completely eliminate all fear and panic when the electric shock
without pain is coursing through your body. The best thing to do is to stay
quietly doing nothing and let the electricity fade away on its own. This usually
takes about 5 minutes. After several episodes, you will realize that no harm can
come to you, and you are not being electrocuted. Do not panic by sitting up and
break the paralytic condition. As this is what you want to achieve, you will
regret the panic and breaking of the circuit.
It is essential to speed up the vibrations, because the scene is set for the
disassociation of the spirit from the body. The acceleration of the speed will
become automatic as you keep on trying. It will reach such a high state that you
will not even perceive the pulsation. At this stage the body is warmth and
Now you are ready to project. Once you arrived at this point, you cannot turn
back. From now onwards, you cannot completely protect yourself from any future
spontaneous attacks of vibrations. It can come about any time you relax! So
The Process of Dissociation
Having been through the stage of relaxation and having experienced the full
blast of the state of vibration one must now continue with the thought control.
One must maintain that state of emptiness of thought or at most one thought.
This is because during the vibrational state, many thoughts may trigger some
fear or panic, and that itself will abort your OBE trip. Whatever it is try and
maintain that ‘no thought’ stance as best you can.
Experience of the spirit arm and hand. After the vibrational stage, stretch out
an arm in a horizontal direction away from you. Do not raise or lower the arm.
If you feel nothing, continue pushing until you can feel an object. Examine the
physical details of that object: the grooves the clefts and the evenness of the
surface etc. These are the details you may identify at a later time.
Now, push against this physical object with some pressure. At the beginning
there will be some resistance, but continue to push a little harder. Then lo and
behold your fingertips and your hand will go through the object and further on a
second object will be felt. Try and identify the second object by touch. Then
slowly withdraw your hand back through the first object and return to the normal
position of the hand. Thinking of the physical will return you directly to your
physical. Lie still for a few minutes after your return.
After returning to your normal physical self, verify both these objects with
your physical eyes and hands. Do the details coincide with what you felt during
The other exercise you may be try out is thus: After producing the vibrations,
stay lying on your back and leave your physical arms on your sides. Then with
the eyes shut, lift your non-physical arms up to the center and let your fingers
touch each other. Even with your eyes shut you will see that your physical arms
are by your sides and the non-physical arms are above your chest their fingers
touching one another. At this moment your sensations are from the non-physical
arms. Try this test many times to prove the point that the non-physical
components are really there. Then make sure that the non-physical arms have
returned to the physical before you shut down the vibrations.
Methods of your separating the spirit from the body
1) The Lift-off method. This is the best method, which means lifting off from
the physical. The goal here is merely to get out the spirit to familiarize the
surroundings of the room and not to travel afar at this juncture. It is best to
do in daylight at the first try. If it is done at night, use a dim light with a
shade so that the environment in the room can be easily recognized. Now having
achieved the vibrational state and abiding to emptiness of thoughts think of how
nice it is to float up or out of your body. Allow this lighter part of your body
to literally lift off from your body. Look forward to this lovely sensation.
After one or more attempts you will certainly float up.
2) The Rotation method. After arriving at the vibration and no thought status,
try and turn over as you do at night in bed. Use your body and not your arms or
legs. When you have turned 180 degrees and facing yourself, slowly try to float
up backwards. If you are not too gentle you may roll out on to the floor
suddenly. No harm is done, but it is a little disconcerting, because you have to
find your way back to the body again straightaway. However with care, this
method will be successful.
3) The Dropping-Down Method. This third method is the dropping downward of the
spirit into the bed and further below. In this type of dissociation, the lower
limbs and arms may sink down before the rest of the body. This method is
normally associated with spontaneous OBE.
Try out the above 3 methods several times each and decide which technique you
like best, and then stick to that. Whatever method you use when you finally
return to your body, you will slightly jerk into place with a click.
Familiarization of immediate surroundings. In the first several OBEs stay near
your physical body and try to recognize all the surrounding features of your
room. After many successful attempts, you may begin to move a few feet away at a
time, but do not go further afar. To make sure that you return to your physical
you just think of returning to the physical. The other method is to move a toe
or finger of the physical body. Alternatively, move your jaw or tongue or
swallow some saliva. At the same time, take big breaths several times. Never
panic about not being able to return the body. Keep calm and cool. After
returning open your eyes and sit up and then move around a bit. Repeat this
process many times until you are very familiar with all the proceedings. When
you try to see, do not open your non-physical eyes. Instead, think of seeing,
and that you can see, and you will truly see. There is no sensation of opening
your eyes. While trying to see, the darkness will firstly disappear and then
dimly your sight will become sharper and clearer. Then turn around to look at
your own body, but do not be alarmed: it is merely your own body!
OBE at a distance. After being fluent and successful with your OBE in your room,
now is the time to go further afield. Here you have to think of the person and
not the place. Do not just think of a name, but think of his or her personality
or character. Do the selection before you enter into the vibrational state. Do
not inform the person that you are visiting him or her. After the separation,
move about 6 feet away from your physical body and think of that personality.
Try not to visualize a physical being. It is the inner person you are aiming at.
As you are thinking of the person rotate slowly 360 degrees around yourself.
There will be a point from which a magnetic pull is felt. Stay facing that
direction. Now assume a diving position with your arms above your head and the 2
hands facing one another then stretch towards that direction and off you go. The
speed depends on how much you can stretch. You will automatically stop when you
arrive at your destination. To return, just think of your physical body, reach
out and stretch, and you will return.
Terminology in OBE
When the spirit separates from the physical body, all the auric bodies emerge
from the physical body, which is left behind as a corpse. But it is not a corpse
because all the normal physiological parameters are still functional, e.g. heart
beat, breathing and digestive processes, etc. When the arms or legs are twisted
and start to numb, messages are sent to the spirit through the silver cord.
Other names used for the spirit are Second Body, psychosoma or mentalsoma (when
the etheric body is left behind). The 7 auric bodies intersect and cover the
physical body, like Russian dolls. They are named (1) etheric, (2) emotional,
(3) mental, (4) astral (5) etheric template, (6) celestial and (7) causal. If
the spirit is propelled out into our physical world, it is covered by the
etheric body and looks exactly like the physical body, but it carries with it
all the other auric bodies. Celia Green calls this the ‘parasomatic’ body,
when a form is seen by the subject and by others in the spirit world. When the
subject does not identify itself with a body or a spatial entity, she calls it
‘asomatic’. That means there is only consciousness representing the spirit.
Waldo Viera calls the spirit psychosoma when it is composed of the extraphysical
body, which includes the etheric body, the emotional body, astral body etc. If
there is no spatial entity, he calls it mentalsoma. The latter consists of only
awareness without a body. Robert Monroe calls both forms ‘Second Body’. Some
workers do come across a silver cord among their subjects, but not all workers
can confirm that. The word Phantom used by J.H. Brennan should not be considered
at all, as the word phantom connotes an unreal specter or apparition. Apparition
is also used, but this phrase is more suited for a ghost.
When the spirit is projected out to the physical world, it is called an etheric
projection, and the spirit is clothed in its etheric body (psychosoma). When the
spirit is projected beyond the physical world into the astral realm, it is
called astral projection. If it is clothed by the emotional body, there is a
fair amount of variation in form, sometimes appearing only as a blob of white
light. When it is projected into the mental realm, it takes the form of the
mentalsoma, and in this instant the form is either a blob of white light or just
merely an awareness.
The Silver Cord:
Although not all projectors see a cord, nevertheless the incidence is described
often enough to warrant a proper status. The cord is a cable or lifeline, which
is fastened to the medulla oblongata of the spirit whilst the other end is
attached to the third eye of the physical body. This cord appears to be composed
of a bundle of pulsating cables, rather than a single cord. Once this cord is
severed, the person is dead and no amount of healing can revive the patient.
Both in OBE and NDE the cord is intact. Even in the bible, it is stated that the
silver cord snaps on death.
The silver cord is very powerful and the powerful forces that traverse through
it prevent the intrusion of predators entering the inanimate physical body
during the projection. This cord links the physical body with the spirit or the
etheric body. Messages can be passed form one to the other. From the physical
body, a full bladder or a twisted arm would tug the spirit back to the physical
body right away. On the other hand, if the etheric body or spirit wants to
return to the physical, it just passes the message to the physical to wiggle its
toe or move the jaw, and the etheric would be spirited back to the physical with
a jerk. This cord is not only elastic, but it can stretch for thousand of miles
from Ireland to India (Arthur Gibson), and it can move to the astral realm
without being entangled or over stretched. This cord can also pass through solid
physical buildings, and when 2 to 3 subjects travel together their cords do not
entangle. A constant warning by esoteric literature is that physical body should
not be disturbed or else the etheric body may jerk back to the physical with a
thud, and this may harm the person: the person wakes up with a headache or some
bodily bruises. Also because of the cord, trauma to the spirit may be
transmitted to the physical. This cord allows the spirit to control the physical
to some extent. In some OBEs the physical body is performing some physical acts,
like driving, walking, running and talking. In these instances the spirit
controls and guides the physical body with the cord, so that the physical body
continues to act appropriately.
There is also no fear that the spirit will never return to the physical because
of this cord. As the spirit approaches the physical, up to certain distance,
there will be a sudden jerk of the spirit back to the physical, and a soft click
would be felt.
The characteristics of the spirit (etheric body, second body, psychosoma):
This spirit has weight. It is estimated that it is about a thousandth of the
weight of the body. A person weighing 154 pounds has a spirit weighing
approximately 2.5 ounces. It is also subjected to gravity although much less so.
The spirit is visible under certain conditions. It always gives off some light.
It ranges between dim to bright light, depending on the evolutionary state of
the individual and the environment. Alternately, the spirit may be able to
radiate or reflect light in a known spectrum. The spirit may also shut down this
luminescence when it is prudent for it to do so, e.g. when he is visiting a site
in which his presence in that spiritual site is unwanted, and it is dangerous
for him to be found out. Besides seeing the spirit in this form, some people can
only visualize an etheric rim surrounding the spirit and not the body itself. In
addition, the perceptual qualities of the viewer must be enhanced to see this
The spirit has a similar sense of touch as the physical body. When the
non-physical hands touch one another, it is identical to flesh touching flesh.
Further, when the non-physical hands touch the physical body, this can be felt
as well. The spirit or body is elastic. The arm may stretch out to three times
the length of the normal arm. Sometimes the spirit may seem to appear as a
waving piece of filmy cloth, but whatever texture, the form tends to be
There are at least 4 ways the spirit can move:
a) The 1st is exactly how the physical body normally walks.
b) The 2nd is an intermediate speed in which the spirit moves as speedy as in a
fast horse or a car. The feet of the spirit do not touch the ground.
c) The 3rd method is that of levitation. The etheric body floats up in the air
and starts to fly at whatever height it wishes. Sometimes it is only one or two
feet above the sleeping physical or it could go to great heights and fly to long
distances sometimes at great speeds.
d) Instantaneous travel. This technique must be learnt, but it is quite easy to
acquire it. This method has been described above and shall not be repeated here,
except that most times there is no sense of travelling. You think of a
personality and then next minute you are there. He or she could be thousands of
Sleep and dreaming
What most people do not realize is that all of us go to the astral realm every
night during sleep. All humans start to loosen our consciousness during the
process of sleeping, from alpha to theta wave. Then when delta wave is reached,
the spirit has totally dissociated from the physical body. This is the start of
his nightly OBE. He could either have an etheric projection or he may slip into
an astral projection. Most of our dreams are about this physical world and
sometimes it is about the astral plane. Most of us do not remember our dreams
about the physical world, and therefore more assuredly our astral dreams are
nearly always forgotten every night. So the most frequent question is "how
do you know that you are not dreaming?" The following is a series of
comparisons and contrasts between dreams and OBEs:
In a dream, one’s reasoning power and logic are diminished; but in an OBE, the
intellectual capacity is either equal or greater than in the waking state. Very
often the person remains as a spectator in a dream; but in an OBE the individual
is actively taking part in the event and makes decision as adroitly as in the
waking state. In a dream, the illogical and bizarre scenarios are accepted
without question; in an OBE, there is none of the absurdity that is present in
dream. In OBE, crucial judgements of events that unfold always pervade the
In a dream, one is unable to catalogue a sequence of events; but in an OBE, all
events are noted in chronological order to the smallest detail. One does not
dream in a waking state; however, in an OBE, it is possible for one to maintain
lucidity before, during and after the entire OBE. In a dream, there is no such a
process as a takeoff from the physical body; in an OBE, the whole process of
vibration and leaving of the physical is fantastically unique and joyously
experienced. It is not possible to prolong a dream; but it is possible to
prolong the stay of a spirit outside the physical.
Sensory excitement in a dream may result in the production of fantasies; in an
OBE the slightest stimulation of the body will end up with the spirit being
rudely jerked back to the physical by the silver cord. In an OBE, there are
psychological factors not experienced in dreams. These are sensations of freedom
and well being, mental clarity, gliding, flight and sometimes euphoria. In a
dream, the images may be deformed and unreal; in an OBE the images are not
In dreams, although the images are weaker they are easier to remember. This is
because the spirit is either almost in alignment with or is in proximity with
the physical body. In an OBE, although the images are clearer and more intense,
they are more difficult to remember. This is especially so when the projection
is at a far distance or in the astral plane i.e. when the spiritual
consciousness is at a distance from the physical brain. Of course, if the
projector is an experienced one and is highly lucid he will be able to remember
just as well as in a dream. Time exists only for the physical body, and it does
not exist for the spirit. Time influences the spirit only slightly especially
during the takeoff and the return of the spirit. It is also very slightly
affected when projecting in the physical world. As the spirit is projected
further and further in the astral realm and beyond, the spirit is freer and
lighter. The influence of time is more and more tenuous the higher one goes up
the spiritual realm. Consequently, events occur much faster and the projecting
consciousness cannot transfer them to the brain fast enough. This is due to the
velocity and the absence of relative time.
Survey by Celia Green on OBE
Celia Green from the Institute of Psychophysical Research did a study of OBE
with an appeal in the press and radio for first-hand accounts of this
experience. Approximately 400 people replied and about half of them had more
than one experience. Two questionnaires were sent out to the subjects, of whom
326 and 251 replied to the questions respectively. 68% of the subjects are women
and 32% are men. This only means the percentage of the response and not of the
actual projectors. The results of the survey are as the following:
OBE may occur while the person is continuing to perform their normal function,
while asleep and apparently completely unconscious under anesthesia. The
subjects may be walking, gardening or performing other household chores or in
public transport when the episodes happen. Twelve per cent of the single cases
were asleep. 32.4% of the single cases occurred when the subject was
anaesthetized or unconscious. In the surgical cases, some of them were able to
watch their operations in detail.
Sixty-one per cent of cases had only one experience. About 9% had 2, 5.5% had 3,
2.3% had 4, 1.7% had 5 and 20.9% had more than 6 experiences. The multiple cases
are usually voluntary experimenters and they more or less can do it at will.
Most of the involuntary cases have only one experience.
OBE can occur at any age: The single cases are most likely to be between 15 to
35 years of age. The cases with multiple experiences usually start having them
during childhood and some may lose their ability at a certain age. The earliest
age is 18 months. Most the OBE last only a few minutes, but some may have OBEs
lasting throughout their illnesses.
Stress: Most of the single cases may be traced to some form of stress, like
physical trauma. However, 25% of them the stress is psychological. Fear is often
associated with the stress. The most often quoted types of cases are, going to a
dentist, illnesses, war injuries operations, childbirth, interviews, air-raids
etc. The spirit may posses an etheric form identical to its own physical body (parasomatic)
or there is no form (asomatic), in which only a consciousness is experienced. In
the cases with an etheric form, whatever sensory deficiency the person is
suffering, the etheric form appears to have none of these deficiencies. The
person with poor eyesight or bad hearing can see and hear normally. Eighty per
cent of single cases are asomatic whilst parasomatic cases represent the
remainder. Although the asomatic cases deemed themselves as ‘disembodied
consciousness’, they felt themselves complete, as if they possess arms and
legs. Some describe themselves as '‘pinpoint of presence'.
Bilocation: Although, most are unaware of sensations arising from the physical
body, sensations from the physical may still reach the subject’s awareness.
This may lead them to feel the sensations appropriate to both bodies. There
appears to be a psychological censorship weakly operating between the physical
and the etheric, but proprioceptive sensations are most accessible to the
projected consciousness. Eighty-four of OBEs claimed that their awareness is
purely from their etheric position. Very occasionally, a psychological emotion,
like fear may transmit from the physical to the etheric, but the latter is still
quite detached. Very rarely, the consciousness may be equally divided between
the 2 selves.
Autoscopy: Eighty-one per cent of the single cases were able to see their own
bodies from the outside. Recognizing his own physical self gives him the insight
that he is in an OBE. And this insight itself may terminate his experience
because of fright.
The position of the spirit: Most spirits view themselves from above, behind or
beside the physical, but rarely from below. If the OBE occurs indoors most times
the etheric is at the corner of the ceiling. This is the position where he can
view the greatest area of the room. Also he is the furthest away from the
Relaxation: Amongst the subjects studied by Celia Green, 33% in single cases and
41.3% in cases of more than one experience are more relaxed. Only about 11% are
tenser in both categories. Some of these cases deliberately go into relaxation
exercises and meditation, and few of these enter into OBE as a by-product. In
the latter cases, some give up the relaxation exercises and meditation because
of the OBE.
Paralysis: About 5% of cases experience paralysis before and after the OBE.
Motor Control: Whilst in a OBE when the subject tries to move the physical body
he may find that in order to carry out a physical movement, he needs great
effort. Sometimes the subject may succeed in calling out even if it meant only
making inarticulate noises. If they are anaesthetized, no movement can be
enacted. In a few cases, the physical bodies were able to control a motor cycle,
or continue talking or deliver speeches or even extracting a tooth as a dentist.
Apparently, all the above acts were enacted without deterioration of their
Sensory Modalities: The single cases when questioned, 93% could see, 34% could
hear, 13% could touch, 4% could smell and 3% could taste. In those who had more
than one experience, 92% could see, 57% could hear, 28% could touch, 19% could
smell and 9% could taste. Normally, when an etheric body tries to touch a
physical object its hand would go through the object. When the spirit sees, it
does not matter whether his physical eyes are shut or not. He sees 360% around
him without turning around. Some spirits can see themselves in the mirror whilst
others may not.
Intellectual faculties: These are mostly unimpaired. In fact, they are usually
enhanced and mental clarity is maintained. They have normal reasoning power and
memory is normal. The mind is clearer and more active than normal. Most subjects
found that the OBE is either timeless or time is at a standstill or time ceases
to exist. The remainder reckons that time has slowed greatly.
Detachment: The subjects must remain not frightened or anxious or worried. They
are usually calm and detached; otherwise any emotional conflict would terminate
the OBE. Once they are in OBE, the problems of the day seem trivial
Connection to the physical: Only 29,6% of cases feel connected to the physical
and only 3.5% reported to see a silver cord. That means the majority does not
feel connected to the physical.
Majority of involuntary cases does not have a transitional stage between the
normal and OBE. This realization is usually sudden. However, in the experimental
cases as described above, the relaxation, the vibration and the separation
processes go to compose the transitional stage.
Extra-sensory perception (ESP), travelling clairvoyance, telepathy,
precognition, and psychokinesis: These extra-normal attributes are all possible,
but they occur to various individuals in varying proportions. Take ESP. This is
very possible because the spirit is able to see and read about things in the
room, which are not normally accessible, e.g. an envelope on top of a tall
cupboard. Clairvoyance is perceiving things from a distance away, because the
spirit can travel. Telepathy and precognition are rarities, but they do occur.
For the experienced voluntary projectors, he may practice psychokinesis and
From the above dissertation, it can be seen that anybody may experience an
out-of-body episode, but it appears that only between 15% to 25% of humans do
have at least one OBE. Remember that every night when we fall into deep sleep
(delta wave) we already experience this out-of-body separation, except we do not
remember the events that take place. OBE may take place as an involuntary or
voluntary exercise. In the former variety it is often a single episode, whilst
the experimenters (voluntary) normally experience multiple episodes. In cases
when the spirit is projected into the physical world realm the etheric body is
the form we use. Without a form the projected presence may be an emotional,
mental or astral body. If the spirit is projected into an astral realm or
higher, then one may see and interact with other spirits, who have died, or we
encroached onto their planes. There is no danger in OBE. One can always return
to the body by moving some parts of the body, e.g. wiggle one’s toe. It is
almost impossible for other spirits to enter our physical bodies while we are
experiencing an OBE. There is a psychological guard and the powerful silver cord
will protect our physical. While in a higher realm there is a possibility to
travel forward and backward in time, as there is no time-space conditioning in
1. J.H. Brennan. Discover Astral Projection. The Aquarian Press. 1989.
2. Celia Green. Out-of-the-Body Experiences. Institute of Psychophysical
Research. Oxford 1968.
3. Robert A. Monroe. Journeys Out of the Body. Doubleday. 1971.
4. Robert A. Monroe. Far Journeys. Doubleday. 1985.
5. Robert A. Monroe. Ultimate Journey. Doubleday. 1994
6. Waldo Viera, M.D. Projections of the Consciousness. International Institute
of Projectiology and Conscientiology. 1997.