QUESTION: "One of the characteristics
of a near-death experience is being out of body.
This, mercifully, is scientifically
Whether or not someone is out of their body
can be experimentally determined. There are
no ifs about it. It's either a fact, or it's
not. Studies may already be underway to try
to falsify it - I don't yet know. But if not,
rest assured that they will be."
RING: "Much the same answer could
be given here, but from the NDE literature,
the work of
Recollections of Death
(Harper and Row, 1982) is especially relevant.
Also my work on NDEs in the blind, as reported
in my book,
James Center for Consciousness Studies,
1999), and summarized in
Lessons From the Light
(Chapter 3) could be cited in this connection.
DR. ROBERT JORDAN:
"If I am understanding [the question] correctly,
I disagree ... that the phenomena of Soul awareness
occurring in reality outside of the body is
falsifiable. I don't believe that it is falsifiable
if the phenomena is nonphysical. This possibility
would throw the whole issue back into the arena
of theology and individuals' personal beliefs."
DR. P.M.H. ATWATER:
"Again, you must consider the emotional field
of the experiencer, rather than the mental one,
if you want verifiable evidence." (P.M.H.
BLACKMORE (NDE Skeptic): "There
have been numerous tests of whether anything
actually leaves the body in an OBE. I document
them up to 1982 in my book
Beyond the Body
and also in
Dying to Live.
Sadly this is not such an easy matter as your
questioner seems to imply. There are many methodological
difficulties in designing such experiments.
In the end my own conclusion is that experiments
have provided no evidence at all that something
leaves the body. However, anecdotes continue
to appear suggesting it does. None of these,
so far, seems convincing to me. I think we will
ultimately understand how out-of-body experiences
come about by understanding how our brain perceives
the world in other states of consciousness too
- in other words by understanding ordinary consciousness