Among the most challenging and potentially rewarding topics of scientific study is the out-of-body experience. Scientific probes of the out-of-body experience can yield a better understanding of our existence in the physical world as well as the nature of the nonphysical. Through controlled investigations, we can uncover the underlying dynamics of the out-of-body state. We can identify the vaiables associated with successful OBEs, and discover the relationships between OBEs and other states of consciousness. Under controlled lab conditions, we can develop the procedures required for inducing the out-of-body state and directing it toward specific empowerment goals. We'll discover that even visitations and interactions with the spiritual realm are not beyond the reach of the out-of-body experience. Finally, we'll discover that scientific research can replace speculation with fact, and provide the foundation for further study. The studies that follow were designed to investigate the out-of-body state and remove the shroud of mystery that all too often clouds our understanding of the potentially empowering phenomenon.
Electrophotography & Out-Of-Body Experience
In our effort to identify the nature of the out-of-body state, and to develop effective quantifying and monitoring methods, we designed a series of studies in which electrophotography was used to obtain photography recordings of the right index finger pad during an induced out-of-body state.
Developed by the Russian scientists Semyon and Valentina Kirlian, electrophotography, also known as Kirlian photography or corona-discharge photography, was originally hailed as a window into the unknown, a way to see the "unseeable", which could revolutionize our concept of ourselves and the universe. Psychic researchers in the United States concluded that the Kirlians had photographed the energy or astral body, thus providing a new technique for exploring the energy body and ESP. Although these applications of electrophotography were discredited by some, much of the subsequent radiation field photography research corroborated the earlier findings of the Russian scientists, which continues to stimulate interest in the electrophotographic technique.
Lab Study: OBEs * Electrophotography.
Electrophotography is a type of high voltage photography in which a corona discharge typically appears around the specimen being photographed. In our research, that specimen was the right index finger pad. Since the fingers are often thought to be the physical body's antennae for interacting with the world, and since the orientation and control of the finger pad can be easily maintained in the experimental situation, the right index finger pad provided the idea body part for our electrophotography research. For these research efforts, which began in 1977 and spanned three decades, we established an experimental laboratory at Athens State University (the College) and devised an experimental situation in which the energy patterns surrounding the right index finger pad could be monitored during the out-of-body state.
Our studies were conducted in an experimental laboratory, with the subject reclining comfortably on a couch and the right index finger resting in a specially designed photographic apparatus called the Finger Orientation and Pressure Control Device which provided constant control of both finger orientation and pressure applied to the finger pad surface as it rested upon film. All parameters, including electrical, and moisture content of the finger pad surface we carefully controlled and held constant for the series of studies.
Our electrophotographic research began with a thirteen month project (1977) funded by the U.S. Army Missile Research and Development Command of Huntsville, Alabama. That early effort was designed to investigate electrophotography and its possible application in the military setting, including the stability of military personnel in a forward position. A six-month follow-on research project (1985) funded by the Parapsychology Foundation of New York was then implemented to investigate the trends, patterns, and individual differences in electrophotographic patterns and relate those characteristics to other variables, including the effect of the out-of-body state, on the electrophotographic recordings. These early groundbreaking efforts were followed by numerous additional studies conducted under the auspices of the Parapsychology Research Institute and Foundation (PRIF) and other private funding sources. The central focus of our research from its earliest beginning was twofold: (1) discovering new knowledge, and (2) developing its self-empowerment applications.
Taken together, our electrophotography research projects over the years found the finger pad electrophotographic patterns varied widely among the individuals while remaining basically stable for each individual, with certain corona-discharge characteristics, which we called the individual's electrophotographic signature, include: streamers, in which a stream of energy extends radially from the finger boundary; symmetry, in which evenly distributed and symmetrical corona discharge patterns form a perimeter around the fingerpad; voids, in which no corona discharge activity occurs; streamersless points, in which points of streamer origin are noted but without streamer activity; and curvatures, in which an arc tends to mark the boundary for radial movement of the corona discharge. Gender differences were noted, with the electrophotographic patterns for women tending to be more symmetrical and the streamer activity more evenly distributed.
Out-Of-Body State Distinguished From Other Altered States
Lab Study: OBEs & Broken Corona Effect.
Although pattern stability or the electrophotography signature was noted during the normal or "no-treatment" state for all subjects in our studies, profound changes in corona-discharge activity occured with the introduction of altered states, including the out-of-body state. For all subjects who successfully entered the out-of-body state, the corona-discharge pattern surrounding the right index finger pad separated to form two distinct parts, a phenomenon we call the broken corona effect. Although our research included investigations of other altered states, such as hypnosis and past-life regression, the broken-corona effect was noted only for the out-of-body state, a finding which suggests that the out-of-body state is unlike any other mental and physiological state. This unique effect, which occured at the point of astral disengagement, characterized only the successful subjects, and continued for the duration of the out-of-body experience. When the out-of-body state ended, the broken corona effect disappeared, and the electrophotographic pattern returned to normal.
In each of our follow-on replication studies, the broken corona effect was consistently observed during the out-of-body state for subjects of varying ages and background characteristics. As a result of these investigations, we can now objectively monitor the out-of-body state and more effectively develop and evaluate various out-of-body induction and management procedures. Many of the induction procedures and techniques presented in this book were, in fact, developed in our laboratories under highly controlled conditions in which the out-of-body experience was carefully monitored using electrophotographic technology.
Remote-Image Phenomenon
Occasionally, a feature known as the remote-image phenomenon will appear in the electrophotographs of both male and female subjects. This interesting feature consists of either a small, intense point of light, or a cluster-like image both appearing beyond the normal area of corona-discharge activity. Because it appears outside the subject's normal range of electrophotographic pattern, the phenomenon could arguably signal an external astral influence, including the possible presence of a ministering guide or guardian entity. Only rarely will two remote images appear in the same electrophotograph, a phenomenon observed in the controlled lab setting for two subjects immediately prior to out-of-body induction.
Our research found that the remote-image phenomenon occurs with far greater frequency in the photographs of subject immediately before the enter the out-of-body state. Arguably at least, the could be due to the fact that the out-of-body state seems to facilitate a variety of empowerment interactions with the astral realm and its facilitating entities. The astral realm, possibly in anticipation of that interaction, responds even before the out-of-body state is induced. The occurence of the remote-image phenomenon, with its intense concentration of energy just prior to the astral projection, suggests that the astral realm is poised and ready to provide support and guidance during the out-of-body experience.
Out-Of-Body Extrasensory Perception
If viewed as a phenomenon in which the astral body is temporarily disengaged from its biological double, the out-of-body state raises important questions about the nature of both sensory and extrasensory experience. Psychic research has clearly demonstrated the human capacity to perceive distant realities independent of known sensory channels. Such an extrasensory capacity, commonly called clairvoyance, would plausibly continue in the detached state of astral projection fromt he physical body. The out-of-body state of awareness could diminish, or perhaps completely remove the physiologocal limitations of perception through bypassing our biological mechanisms, thus freeing us to perceive distant realities in a very direct and pronounced super-sensory mode. From that perspective, all out-of-body experiences - which are typically clear and distinct - could be considered extrasensory, in that the out-of-body state requires a separation of the astral from the biological body and its sensory mechanisms. The result is a state of consciousness which is liberated from all biological constraints.
Lab Study: OBEs & the Alocohol Container.
In our efforts to determine the nature of perception in the out-of-body state, we designed a laboratory study in which experimental subjects in the induced out-of-body state were given the task of indentifying the open container of ethyl alcohol which had been placed amonth other containers in an adjecent laboratory. The volunteer subjects of the study were twenty undergraduate students (ten men and ten women) who had participated in a training program designed to develop skill in self-inducing the out-of-body state at will. The subjects ranged in age from twenty-two to twenty-nine years.
Ten open pint containers, nine filled with water and one filled with ethyl alcohol, were placed two feet apart on a table in the laboratory. The placement of the containers in numbered positions were determinds by a laboratory assistant who was absent for the OBEs exercises and who alone knew the location of the ethyl alcohol container.
Each experimental subject was individually guided into the induced out-of-body state using the OBE Levitation procedure as presented in this book. Prior to the induction, each subject was instructed to use the out-of-body state as a vehicle to enter the adjacent laboratory and identify through the sense of smell the open container of ethyl alcohol. Upon returning to the normal state, the subjects recorded their response on a record form. Following each trial, the ten containers, all identical in appearance, were randomy rearranged by the laboratory assistant who then exited the lab. The trials were conducted once daily for each subject over a five-day period.
On the first trial, seven of the twenty subjects, while in the induced out-of-body state, correctly identified the container of ethyl alcohol. On the second trial, the number increased to eight; and on the third trial, it increased to nine, where it remained for the fourth trial. On the fifth and final trial ten of the subjects correctly identified the location of the ethyl alcohol container. Four of the twenty subjects were unsuccessful on all trials.
In follow-on interviews, the successful subjects typically expressed confidence in their ability to enter the out-of-body state, and all reported the capacity to sense the odor of ethyl alcohol while in that state. The unsuccessful subjects were certain neither of their success in achieving the altered state nor of their capacity to specifically sense the odor of ethyl alcohol - though some did report sensing other laboratory odors. Those subjects who were successful on all trials, or who had missed only one of the five trials, typically reported a high degree of certainty that they had successfully achieved the out-of-body state, while the subjects who were unsuccessful on all trials typically reported uncertainty. An overall accuracy rate of 43 percent was observed. The probability of a correct response was .10.
The results of this study suggest that practice in OBEs improved the capacity of the subjects to experience the out-of-body state and to perform more accurately on designated out-of-body tasks.
One could argue that out-of-body travel to an adjacent laboratory is a far cry from out-of-body travel to distant physical locations or even more so to nonphysical realms, to include the afterlife. Nevertheless, the ability to disengage the physical restraints of experience does raise many interesting possibilities, some of which are illustrated by the many personal reports we will later discuss.
Physiology of the Out-Of-Body Experience
OBEs occur when the astral body disengages its biological counterpart, a process which seems to be facilitated by a peaceful state of mind accompanied by a reduction in the biological processes related to stress. To determine the specific biological correlates of OBEs, an experimental situation was designed in 1991 at Athens State University in which various biological measurements were obtained during the out-of-body experience.
Ten parapsychology students, all skilled at self-induction of the out-of-body state, volunteered to participate in the study, which was conducted in a carefully controlled laboratory setting. With each subject resting comfortably on a couch, electromyograph (EMH), galvanic skin response (GSR), brain wave activity (EEG), blood pressure, pulse rate, and right index finger temperature measurements were obtained before, during, and after the out-of-body experience. With the exception of the lab technician who obtained the physiological measurements, the experimental subjects was alone in the laboratory during the experimental session. Along with pre- and post- OBE physiological measurements, ten-minute interval measurements were obtained by the technician for the duration of the out-of-body state. Upon conclusion of the experimental session, the subjects were interviewed to obtain their personal assessment of the experience.
In the post-session interviews, all ten subjects reported success in entering the out-of-body state. The physiological measures obtained indicated marked changes in biological functions for the duration of the OBE. For all subjects, the recorded changes in EMG inducated a deeply relaxed physical state, while changes in EEG suggested the alpha state. Finger temperature increased for all subjects, while pulse and respiratory rates decreased. These changes occured early in the out-of-body state, and remained relatively constant for the duration of the experience.
Final measurements obtained upon conclusion of the out-of-body state indicated a rapid return to the pre-OBE level for all phsyiological parameters.
Sleep & the Out-Of-Body Experience
Certain characteristics of the sleep state, as well as the pre-sleep state called hypnagogic, appear particularly conductive to OBEs. With the physical body at rest, the biological constraints that could inhibit astral travel to distant destinations become increasingly relaxed. As previously noted, one view of OBEs holds that sleep itself is an out-of-body state, and that many of our so-called "dream experiences" are literally OBEs.
Whether sleep is an out-of-body state or simply an altered state of conductive out-of-body travel, it remains plausible that strategies could be developed to facilitate OBEs and out-of-body travel to desired destinations during sleep. To investigate that possibility, we developed a study in which vertain pre-sleep techniques were applied to induce the OBEs during sleep. The major purpose of the study was twofold: first, to investigate the effectiveness of the pre-sleep procedures in promoting highly specific OBEs, and second, to determine the validity of the out-of-body experience itself.
Lab Study: OBEs & the Jade Horses.
The subjects of the study were twenty Athens State University student volunteers (ten men and ten women), all dormitory residents, whose ages ranged from eighteen to twenty-four years. The subjects had completed at least one college-level course in parapsychology that included instruction and guided practice in inducing the out-of-body state. All of the subjects had previously experience successful out-of-body travel to a designated location.
The participats of the study were instructed to induce out-of-body travel through pre-sleep autosuggestion, and while in the out-of-body state, to identify an object that had been placed by a research assistant on a table centrally located in the college's parapsychology laboratory. The identity of the object was known only to the research assistant who had selected it randomly from nine other objects, none of which had been viewed by either the project investigator or the subjects. The pre-sleep autosuggestions, which were presented int he subject's normal sleep setting just prior to falling asleep on a designated date, consisted of the following:
As I sleep, I will be free to travel to the laboratory and view the object which has been placed on a table in the center of the room. Upon awakening, I will have full recall of the out-of-body experience.
Images of the laboratory and its location on campus were then formed, and additional autosuggestions directing travel to it were presented as sleep ensued.
Immediately upon awakening, participants in the study recorded their out-of-body travel experience in an OBEs journal. Analysis of the results of the study indicated that all subjects appeared to have successfully entered the out-of-body state, and during that state, entered the experimental laboratory. A total of eight men and seven women successfully identified the critical elements of the previously unseen object - an artist-signed jade carving of two horses in shades of green and pale lavendar - mounted on an ebony base. Three of the remaining five subjects identified the jade carving but were unsuccessful in identifying the object's other critical elements. The remaining two subjects were unsuccessful in identifying any of the objects critical elements.
Lab Study: OBEs & Model Train.
In a replication of the study using a second population of twenty parapsychology students, all conditions were held constant, with the exception of a different object - a model train with four boxcars and a caboose. As in the previous study, all subjects reported successfully entering the out-of-body state and traveling out-of-body to the laboratory. However, only six men and four women correctly identified the object and its essential elements. Somewhere to our surprise, however, three men and two women successfully identified the train's manufacturer, which was printed in small white letters on the side of the engine.
The results of this study were sufficient to suggest that out-of-body travel during sleep could be deliberately self-induced to access highly specific information not otherwise available to us.
Source: Astral Projection for Psychic Empowerment (book) by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke and Joe H. Slate, PH.D. - The information and still images shown above are only a small portion of what this book has to offer. If you've found this information has helped you, consider supporting the authors and purchasing the book if you'd like to continue psychic development from their methods and studies! :star2:
Last update on December 30, 8:20 pm by Emilie.
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