23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Beyond the Body: An Investigation of Out-of-the-Body Experiences (Paperback)
Out-of-the-body-experiences (OBEs) are among the most remarkable of psychological phenomena, challenging as they do our fundamental assumptions about reality and consciousness. Following a series of such experiences many years ago, I sought an explanation for them. I found references to them in texts from Plato to Aleister Crowley, but nowhere was there anything approaching a coherent, rational theory. There were - and to a regrettable extent still are - two opposing viewpoints: on the one hand you have the supernaturalists, with talk of "astral projection" and are full of advice on how to deal with the demons you will encounter on the various "astral plains", and on the other, the orthodox scientific community, who find the whole subject rather embarrassing and would prefer not to be associated with it. I could find no author who understood the importance of OBEs and who approached them in a scientific manner. Until I discovered Blackmore's book. It is without question the definitive work on the subject. It is a model of scientific rigor, and the thoroughness of her research - in psychology, folklore, occult philosophy and more - is astounding.
The supreme philosophical and psychological quest of our time is for an explanation of consciousness. That will not be achieved without taking account of the anomalous ways in which consciousness can sometimes manifest itself, of which OBEs are the most striking examples. If you are lucky enough to have experienced them and seek an explanation, or if you are just wondering what all the fuss is about, read this book.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 5, 2009 8:06:54 PM PDT
rain cloud says:
Oh, come on. I've seen this woman on tv. She had a lucid dream she thought was an oobe so, of course, ALL oobe's are lucid dreams. I'm not impressed with her reductionist theory or your over-the-top gee-whiz review. What about people who have oobe's from having a car accident and report verifiable details later confirmed. I don't find this woman's mind any more open than say, the Pope's. Have a nice day.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2009 2:25:54 AM PDT
Peter Reeve says:
I had a nice day, thank you.
'She had a lucid dream she thought was an oobe so, of course, ALL oobe's are lucid dreams.'
Wrong. She clearly distinguishes between the two.
'What about people who have oobe's from having a car accident and report verifiable details later confirmed.'
What about them? List the 'verifiable details'.
Here's the news: Cartesian dualism is dead. (Read Ryle, 1949). There is no soul, separable from the body. Deal with it.
OBEs are real. I continue to have them, and continue to rank them among the most remarkable of experiences. Blackmore's is, so far as I know, still the best work on the subject.
My mind is open (whether more than the Pope's, I cannot say, but I suspect it is). It is open to logic and evidence. Should you be able to provide either, I look forward to hearing more fom you.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2011 5:50:14 AM PDT
Thistle Brown says:
Thank you, Peter Reeve - you saved me some time.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2014 11:17:24 PM PDT
F. Webster says:
Verifiable details observed during an out-of-body experience (OBE)? I refer you to "Recollections of Death" by Dr. Michael Sabom, MD, a cardiologist and dyed-in-the-wool believer in science to give us answers. ("unscientific -- that I will never be.") He and social worker Sarah Kreutziger (sp?) interviewed a series of patients who stated that they had had a near-death experience (NDE -- an out-of-body experience while either clinically dead or near death). These patients could recall, accurately, many details of how doctors and nurses worked to bring them back to life, even though they could not possibly have actually seen or heard what was happening. They observed medical equipment that was out of sight from where they were lying. They observed medical procedures from points near the ceiling of the emergency room. No soul separable from the body? I refer you to the works of the late Dr. Ian Stevenson, MD, who spent four decades investigating and documenting accounts of reincarnation in several countries (including Britain and the U.S.) His work -- approximately 2,500 proven cases of reincarnation -- has withstood the efforts of debunkers, as has Dr. Sabom's.
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