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BBSDTfamily's avatar

What Do You Make Of Out-Of-Body Experiences?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6824points) April 22nd, 2009

There have been several books written on this topic. Some believe these to be miracles and some believe them to be fake. Do you believe that someone can die and come back to life and have true memories of being dead and observing the surroundings? If you do not believe it, how do you explain individuals who die on an E.R. table and come back to life babbling about being outside their body? If they were dead then obviously they weren’t planning an elaborate story for in case they woke up…

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11 Answers

BookReader's avatar

…very real…much like daydreaming…death to me is when the body and spirit separate- very possible for the spirit to witness it’s former body and then re-enter it… recollection of pastlife experiences is closely related…

YARNLADY's avatar

I believe such experiences are so personal as to be outside of any way to make a judgment. It is very close to the “near death” experiences that some people report, or the “faith in God” that many people experience.

crisw's avatar

“Some believe these to be miracles and some believe them to be fake.”

There is a huge middle ground. Scientists have shown that they are caused by stimmulation of certain portions of the brain. They can be reliably and repeatedly induced by electrical stimulation and visual and physical stimulation.

Unfortunately, it’s all too common to posit that something that seems unexplainable has a supernatural cause. 1000 years ago, thunder and lightning were the work of angry gods. Today, we know the science behind them, and no one sees them as supernatural. OBEs are just one of the latest phenomena previously relegated to the supernatural that has been shown to have a perfectly mundance and scientifically explainable cause.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@crisw Thanks for the articles which I found interesting! Do you have any more knowledge of how to explain people who actually have died, come back to life, and have memory of interacting with an angel/deceased family member/etc.? My question was really more about people who have died and come back to life and immediately recounted these experiences rather than having them induced in a clinic. I have read that some people claim they had experiences after seeming to watch their body from above. This interests me because I do not see how these people could be lying since they were dead and not concocting a story. But if there is an explanation out there I’d love to know it for personal reasons.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

crisw hit the nail on the head. Much of what we believe to be magic or supernatural is merely a by-product of brain chemicals/impulses. Someday science will show that every thing we want to attribute to supernatural means is produced in our bodies. I’d love to be around when that happens.

Jayne's avatar

@BBSDTfamily; crisw’s point with the articles was that, as these experiences can be stimulated externally, they can also happen spontaneously in the brain under certain stresses, such as those that might occur when a person’s heart stops- when they are clinically dead. Thus, the person is not lying- their experience was just as real for the conscious part of the brain as if it had actually happened- but there is no supernatural cause either.

crisw's avatar


There really isn’t much difference between experiences such as you describe and people simply dreaming about their loved ones. Another, even more similar case is when people are in danger and their “life flashes before their eyes.” We don’t see these things as supernatural. We know that brain stimulation can produce all of these effects, so there’s no reason to posit a supernatural cause for them.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I don’t see how that can be the same thing when someone is dead… if someone is dead then how is the brain producing the effects? I would like to know because someone very close to me has made these claims!

Jayne's avatar

A person is considered to be death when blood circulation and breathing ceases; however, the brain can continue to function, on a greatly altered level, for 20–40 seconds after this point, although irreversible damage will be sustained after around 3 minutes.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Ahhh… thank you! This makes sense!

crisw's avatar


In addition it’s known that lack of oxygen to the brain produces vivid hallucinations. The only time in my life I ever hallucinated was when I had severe altitude sickness.

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