- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Near Death Experiences1' during my Thesis research, as from 2017.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 15/03/2018 20:54:14): Out of Body Experiences
- As is the case with NDEs4, which sometimes include them, OBEs offer various challenges to physicalist accounts of the mind, and to animalist5 accounts of what we are6.
- OBEs may or may not be a concomitant of an NDE. They seem sometimes to occur during other crisis times of illness.
- An example was reported quite casually in March 2018 by a reporter suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). He stated quite casually – “In the middle of a piece about maternity and paternity benefits, during the 6pm news programme, I had the most wonderful sensation. I left my body, was suddenly up in the studio ceiling, and was looking down on myself, the presenters, and all of the camera crew. I was having an out-of-body experience.” See Link.
- The question is – of course – whether these experiences are of anything outside the mind. Do they really prove that something like a soul7 can wander out of the body?
- A difficult situation to “explain away” is where the NDE-experiencer claims – as in the example above – to see something (while having an Out of Body Experience) they could not have seen under normal circumstances. The difficulty with evaluating such reports is that they are either vague and unsurprising, or anecdotal and hard to verify – so the presumption is that they aren’t veridical.
- There’s a famous “shoe” case8 where no follow-up seems to have been possible. There’s a (naturally sceptical) page on Infidels.org9 which references the “shoe” case amongst others.
- The case of our reporter is surprisingly off-hand for such a surprising claim. "Blackmore (Susan) - Beyond the Body" asserts that 10% of people claim to have had OBEs. Maybe most also believe in immaterial souls, and think that most other people do likewise. So, they may claim more than they strictly observed as a way of making their experience seem more important than those of rival accounts. Rather than thinking they are distorting the evidence-base for this phenomenon, they may simply take it as a fact, and want to share in the glamour associated with having experienced it. Much like alien abduction.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read10, include11 the following:-
- "Emslie (Karen) - Hallucinogenic nights", Emslie12
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Almeder (Robert) - Out-of-Body Experiences", Almeder
- "Blackmore (Susan) - Beyond the Body", Blackmore13
- "Blackmore (Susan) - Out-of-Body Experiences are not Evidence for Survival", Blackmore
- "Ehrsson (H. Henrik) - The Experimental Induction of Out-of-Body Experiences", Ehrsson
- This is mostly a place-holder14.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (15/03/2018 20:54:14).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
Footnote 9: Footnote 10:
- See Link for more information.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
- This paper is about the author’s experience of sleep paralysis, but includes discussion of OBEs.
- This book – though sceptical – is probably the best starting point.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)