Out of Body Experience

OOBE

A friend recently sent me an article Who Am I? This article describes a “spiritual” experience that I have myself experienced. I would like to comment on the following experience from this article.

I was lying in bed not yet asleep when my consciousness shifted and I became aware of another reality. The sense of being in my bedroom and even of being in my body disappeared. I expanded in a spherical way and finally found myself in an unlimited space. Imagine yourself being somewhere in the universe. You can see the stars all around you. Then take the stars away, that was the space I was in. Just me and unlimited space. It impossible to describe it accurately. I have to resort to our mundane language to give you some idea what it was like. The vastness of that space is beyond description. My perception was spherical, and there was a strong sense of duality of me and that infinity. There were no directions, there was nothing else. Nothing to grab on to. That made me extremely afraid. I desperately wanted to get back to my body. At least that was something I could grab on to. I needed limitations, I could not deal with unlimited emptiness. It was a long and hard struggle, requiring all my will power to get to my body.

This is very similar to my experience that I documented in Chapter 18 of My Introduction to America. It still sends chills through me whenever this happens again. I have gotten somewhat used to it now.

What do I make of this experience? Well, it is something quite subjective. It contains a very unusual sensation that is difficult to get used to completely. It usually happens soon after hitting the bed after an active day. It cannot be willed. It simply happens.

Since working on the PHILOSOPHY PROJECT, the “I” appears to me as if it is the center of all the considerations that I hold. By considerations, I mean, thoughts, ideas, assumptions, expectations, suppositions, conjectures, speculations, etc. The existence of “I” seems to depend on all the considerations that I feel attached to. It seems that if I could let go of all my considerations, and view them objectively only, then the “I” would simply reduce to a perception-point. There would no longer be an individuality or identification remaining.

So, what is happening in that experience described above. I have read several people, such as Swami Vivekananda and Aleister Crowley, giving account of a similar experience.  It is almost like the considerations detaching themselves from the “I” and receding from it, and the “I” being reduced to a perception point. It may be described as a process in which “I” is undergoing a de-condensation.

So, the infinite space that is experienced may simply be the impression coming from the final few considerations left. It is what the “I” is reduced to.  “I” has nothing to grab on to but itself; and if this is not acceptable then appropriate considerations would be pulled back in. Though after this experience, the person may not feel the same again.

However, I do not think that at any point the life is threatened. The body is still there and very much alive. What may go away is the subjective attachment to it. The perception may become clearer, and the sense of rationality simpler. One may start looking at everything questioningly as if from a new pair of eyes.

What the above article calls ‘mind’, I refer to it as ‘unknowable’ in the many posts that I have written on this blog. This is because anything that may be stated about the ‘unknowable’ would simply be a consideration arising out of whatever ‘unknowable’ is. We are then looking at the consideration that has arisen and not at what it has arisen from.

There is nothing absolute or permanent. ‘Unknowable’ is unknowable because we cannot even say if it is absolute or permanent. So, I disagree with the following statement from this article.

“This is called the Dharmakaya, the body of realty, the essence, the absolute. This is the essence of our being, it is always there, it will always be.”

Otherwise, it is a good article.

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Comments

  • Donald William  On January 17, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    I’d be inclined to agree with your analysis at the end there with regard to the phenomenon not necessarily being the experience of being the essence or the absolute.

    • vinaire  On January 17, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      You are right. The unknowable will remain unknowable.

      .

      • Chris Thompson  On January 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        Except that we cannot know that. 🙂

        • vinaire  On January 18, 2013 at 5:21 AM

          That is why I call it unknowable. 🙂

        • Chris Thompson  On January 18, 2013 at 7:10 AM

          There is nothing to call it. Not even that; nor that; nor that! hahaha

        • vinaire  On January 18, 2013 at 7:28 AM

          That is why I call it unknowable. 🙂

          It drives people nuts!

          .

  • Chris Thompson  On January 17, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Vin: Since working on the PHILOSOPHY PROJECT, the “I” appears to me as if it is the center of all the considerations that I hold.

    Chris: And I am thinking that center is held together by gravity… that cohesion can be accounted for by the natural condensation of space into matter but firstly it may condense into considerations, or maybe it can only condense into considerations.

    • vinaire  On January 18, 2013 at 5:27 AM

      There is physical space that condenses into energy and matter.

      Then there seems to be a “metaphysical” space that condenses into considerations and self.

      The phenomenon of condensation seems to be related to gravity.

      From PHILOSOPHY PROJECT:

      .

      OBSERVATIONS:

      [OK, I am starting all over again using Buddha’s principle of seeing things as they are. I decided to define the scope of Physics and Metaphysics at the outset. I see Metaphysics much broader in scope and Physics to be part of that scope. Physics deals with manifestations. Metaphysics must deal with perception because there is nothing else there. I have been reading Aristotle. Metaphysics did not start out as the subject of perception, but it should have. That would have greatly simplified the subject of philosophy.]

      ONE: There is looking and perceiving.

      TWO: There is something to be looked at and perceived.

      THREE: Thus there is manifestation and perception.

      FOUR: Physics is a study of manifestation.

      FIVE: Metaphysics is a study of perception.

      .

  • vinaire  On January 18, 2013 at 5:48 AM

    Individuality comes with identification. Hubbard was incorrect in what he wrote about this subject as quoted here:

    Identity versus Individuality

    Even a “potential” is some sort of identity.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On January 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

      Everything is something and nothing is not anything. When we grasp this, we can get started.

  • Chris Thompson  On January 18, 2013 at 7:15 AM

    Metaphysics is the oxymoron of physics. It’s too bad that we use the term for we shall forever be cleaning it up. One day we will abandon it.

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