Warehouse A

Looking At Ourselves

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Lab Experiments Proving Out-Of-Body Experiences Are Real

By James Donahue

At first thought one might say that using goggles and a virtual reality computerized device would not prove or disprove reports of out-of-body experiences. Yet a careful analysis of just how this device was used, and the sensation of being out of the body tested, suggests that the machine is really helping science prove that people can lift the veil and fly around in the astral, sometimes without warning.

It appears that strapping on the goggles may have actually helped volunteers get out of their bodies and look at themselves from the "outside." Just how and why it happens appears to still be a subject of speculation.

Two different teams of scientists, from University College London, UK, and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, conducted similar experiments with volunteers and using virtual and touch sensory devices, while the volunteers stood in front of video cameras and watched themselves from "out there."

In the experiment, volunteers observe a camera view of their own back, or at least a three-dimensional body that appears to be standing in front of them. When researchers stroked the backs of the volunteers with an object, the volunteer could see their virtual back being stroked. They reported the sensation of the virtual body as their own instead of a hologram.

Even when the camera was switched to film the back of a mannequin being stroked, instead of the real back, the volunteers still reported feeling as if the virtual mannequin body was their own. They felt the stroke.

And when the goggles were turned off, and the volunteers were guided back a few steps, then asked to walk back to there they had been originally standing, they overshot the target and returned to the position of their "virtual" self.

Leader of the UCL research, Dr. Henrik Ehrsson, said the experiments suggest that people regard the "self" from the point of visual observation, or "where the eyes are."

Somehow that does not seem like news to those of us outside the scientific world, who simply use common sense to come to the same understanding. Since we observe the world around us from the brain matter that gives us vision, this is a natural understanding of how we perceive ourselves, and where we are located in relation to everything around us. It is not reality, however.

Neither the eyes, nor the brain, are the complete person. Blind people develop the ability to have acute awareness through the other senses, including taste, smell, touch and hearing, thus developing an altogether different perspective of "self." And there is an old saying among students of the esoteric that rings true here . . . we are not the body. There is another phrase used often by Prophet Aaron C. Donahue: "The mind is not the brain."

While the virtual reality experiments open many questions regarding the human perceptions of self awareness, they have only begun to touch upon the amazing ability by some people to slip out of the body at will and travel throughout the universe, and at incredible speeds.

We can, for example, travel hundreds of miles in an instant to visit relatives and friends. And we also can travel to distant planets, merely by thinking our way there. This writer finds it unproductive to do this, however, since we usually cannot understand what we are looking at once we get there.

There is a suspicion that we all travel outside the body more than we realize . . . usually during our sleep. Sometimes our dreams can be linked with our travels, but not always.

The late Robert Monroe, who founded the Monroe Institute as a place for advanced study of out-of-body travels and how to control them, wrote at least two books on his personal experiences out of the body. He said he was driven to establish the research center because he kept slipping out of his body every time he took a nap. Before he knew it, he said he found himself floating around near the ceiling, looking back at his body lying reclined on a couch or bed below.

Monroe said at first he thought there was something physically or mentally wrong and sought treatment. But when doctors said he was in perfect health, and he learned that other people have similar experiences, he began researching the phenomenon.

The teams now delving into out-of-body experiences in the UK and Switzerland might do well to visit the Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia, and find out what Monroe's team learned during their years of research.