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Beyond the Body: An Investigation of Out-of-the-Body Experiences Paperback – August 30, 2005
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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This book, however, was written BEFORE she became a skeptic---although one can perhaps perceive seeds of her future doubts in some passages. She said in the Introduction to this 1982 book, "with an apology for egocentricity, I shall describe my own first OBE. It happened ... in my first term at the university. I was already interested in psychical research... Is there any way to account for the OBE? Personally, my aim is to be able to understand what happened in those few hours ten years ago... In this book I shall survey what the [Society for Psychical Research] and others have learned in those 100 years." (Pg. 1, 8)
She admits about OBEs, "This is a clear example of something we shall meet again and again: the frustrating mixture of right and wrong information. It is always tempting to feel that everything must either be right or not; that the person must either be 'out of his body' and therefore seeing things correctly, or not 'out' and seeing them wrongly. It is also tempting to think that if the details are correct this 'proves' he was 'out.' ... producing the right information is no proof that the person was 'out.' One the other hand it is clear from the evidence ... that information gained in an OBE is rarely ALL correct." (Pg. 42)
She says, "There are two reasons for associating lucid dreams with OBEs. First... many practised astral travellers also have lucid dreams. Second... it is hard to know where to draw the line between an OBE and a lucid dream." (Pg. 107) Later, she argues, "If we do have souls I don't think they are what travels in an OBE. Moreover, there is already the evidence that what is seen in an OBE is not, in any case, the physical world." (Pg. 231) She adds, "I find the evidence for paranormal events during the OBE limited and unconvincing... I think it is possible that all the claims for ESP and PK in OBEs are groundless." (Pg. 242)
Blackmore's book will be of considerable interest not only to those interested in psychical research, but also to skeptics.
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.
Beyond the Body:
An Investigation of Out-of-the-Body Experiences
(London: Heinemann, 1982)
(Chicago: Academy Chicago Publishers, 1992
--reprint of the 1982 edition with a new postscript)
Dream-like experiences in which the self seems to travel
while the body remains in bed are reported in many cultures,
with different interpretations in each culture.
Careful analysis shows that these experience are dreams,
because they are conceptual in nature.
As in all dreaming, these experiences recombine elements
of thought and memory already present in the brain of the dreamer.
No alleged out-of-the-body experience has ever been able to discover
some fact of the 'place' to which the dreamer believes
he or she has traveled that was not already known to the dreamer.
Out-of-the-body experiences move quickly thru time and space
because thoughts can change more quickly than bodies can move.
Reading this book will take you out of your body.
But when you put the book down, there you are,
back in your body, returned from your mental trip.
This book is a must read for everyone interested
in alleged out-of-the-body experiences.
To discover other books critical of paranormal claims,
search the Internet for the following exact expression:
"OCCULTISM AND SCIENCE".
James Leonard Park, skeptic.