OBE's vs lucid dreams

Discuss paranormal activity linked with sleep and dreams, such as out of body experiences, astral projection and psychic dreams.
Samwise
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OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Samwise » 13 Mar 2016 23:20

I'm curious to know of people's views here of OBE's in comparison to lucid dreams from people who have experienced both. Some people seem to view them as a form of lucid dream, some people view all dreams, lucid dreams and OBE's as a form of out of body experience, and some people consider OBE's as something distinct from lucid dreams. Others view one's conscious awareness on a continuum, so non lucid dreaming, followed by lucid dreaming, followed by OBE like states, with various experiences of lucidity and clarity on this sliding scale between states. I think the latter perspective makes the most logical sense to me, based on my own experiences.

I've had many more lucid dreams than OBE's, but my OBE's certainly felt different to me from all my lucid dreams. Very much more vivid and incredible feelings of falling, acceleration and electrocution type feelings (minus the pain) at the start of the experiences. Distinct from any lucid dream I've ever had were how incredibly tangible and life like these feelings were...in fact the sensations have been so real and so powerful at times they have derailed my attempts at projection. Still though they might be lucid dreams, and it is just my conscious awareness of the experience is heightened more than it has been in previous experiences which is why it has a different feel to it.

Lucid dreamer Charlie Morley compares lucid dreams and OBE's in being like water and ice...same essence, but different properties. Two experienced OBE explorers and authors weigh in with what they consider as the main differences between the two experiences in the links below.

Graham Nicholls:

http://www.grahamnicholls.com/2015/03/are-obes-a-form-of-lucid-dream/

Robert Peterson:

http://www.robertpeterson.org/obe-vs-lucid.html

Any thoughts y'all??

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Peter
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Peter » 14 Mar 2016 07:54

had this discussion on another site and I think they are the same but it seems common that a lucid that get very real and deep is more likely called and OBE. I cant pick the difference and so dont make any in dream quality.
In dream entry if I go directly into the dream I call it lucid and If I choose instead to use a body exit to a dream I call it OBE
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

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Summerlander
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Summerlander » 14 Mar 2016 16:14

As I have stressed before that, as far as I'm aware, they are both distinctions we make for experiences that arise with the manifestation of hybrid brain activity which conflates dreaming with wakefulness. This hybrid cerebral condition has been aptly labelled by Michael Raduga's school of out-of-body travel as 'the phase' or the 'phase state'. In both OBEs and lucid dreams, waking consciousness is experienced. In the former, the subject is focused on the fact that it feels like one is somewhere other than where the sleeping body is (and may even believe this is really happening). In the latter, the subject recognises the experience to be nothing more than a dream. Both can give you the sensation of being out of body if you remember that your body is really lying in bed. In fact, even ordinary dreams can give you the sensation of being out-of-body. The 'OBE' acronym almost loses meaning ... :mrgreen:

Elsewhere I said:

'Regions of the brain such as the thalamus are thought to sometimes provoke distortions in proprioception during the phase state--hence the perceived separations from the sleeping body into usually inaccurate (yet familiar) replicas of real world, i.e. mental bedroom representations based on memory and sprinkled with distortions and additions from the subconscious mind.

So, yeah, once you apparently leave your body, you can do whatever you like. (It is best to have an action plan ready, though, in order to avoid hesitation which could cause a premature awakening.) Make no mistake about it: the dream world can closely emulate--and even outdo--the real world in quality. So if you recognise the phase state surroundings to be an illusion, you are lucid dreaming. You can always, of course, be sceptic of the sceptic and, if in doubt, try to read the pages of a book during an OBE to see if they remain fixed and if they match that of the real world.

Consciousness, in my opinion, is a phenomenon which is somehow generated by a physical gestalt. (The details of its emergence are still unknown.) If I were to define it, though, I'd say it is merely what it is like to be something--and perception cannot exist without it. What perceives? Not a soul--as endorsers of the orphic and supernatural would have you believe. The physical system somehow perceives and we are yet to suss out how the human brain works.'
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

Samwise
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Samwise » 14 Mar 2016 18:03

Hi Summerlander,

Interesting stuff, I hear what you're saying. So it seems that you take an entirely reductionist materialist view of these experiences, which is interesting, as it seems the majority of people I encounter with experience in this arena seem to come to quite different conclusions, including some people with scientific and engineering backgrounds (who tend to be highly rational and sceptical people, as demographics go). What do you make of veridical reports, or experiences where people report encountering others in their experience, and these people relay the details of the experience without being prompted? I appreciate such reports are anecdotal and rare, but they happen enough to be a source of intrigue.

I like to take a rational and scientific approach, but I've had some quite bizarre experiences myself, involving the deceased, precognition and deep intuition. So in a sense I guess my position on the consciousness/brain side of things is maybe a little more agnostic than yours.

As an aside, have you looked deeply into the research on near death experiences (NDE's)? If one looks deeply into the research findings across the board, the materialist reductionist position with regard to the brain/consciousness begins to look a tad precarious. NDE researcher Dr's Raymond Moody, Phyllis M. H. Atwater, Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Bruce Greyson, Jeffrey Long, Kenneth Ring, Peter Fenwick, Pim van Lommel, Michael Sabom, Melvin Morse, Barbara Rommer, Penny Sartori and Sam Parnia have all abandoned the materialist/reductionist explanation of consciousness as being an emergent property of brain function, after initially adhering to it, based on their findings.

My personal view is that I don't believe in anything "supernatural"...it's ALL natural. However in principle at least I am open to the possibility that some phenomena considered supernatural now may one day be found to be natural phenomena if and when science elucidates an explanatory mechanism.

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Summerlander
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Summerlander » 15 Mar 2016 01:01

Samwise wrote:Interesting stuff, I hear what you're saying. So it seems that you take an entirely reductionist materialist view of these experiences, which is interesting, as it seems the majority of people I encounter with experience in this arena seem to come to quite different conclusions...


Hi, Samwise! I prefer the label 'physicalism' instead of 'materialism'. I think the former is more accurate in that it doesn't just address materials as the latter seems to do. The physical universe is much more as it displays types of matter and forces that we are familiar and unfamiliar with, the properties and illusions begotten by elementary interactions (such as the stillness of a rainbow despite the rapidly-falling raindrops that project spectral colours), and the vast unknowns yet to be probed by science. ;)

Samwise wrote:What do you make of veridical reports, or experiences where people report encountering others in their experience, and these people relay the details of the experience without being prompted? I appreciate such reports are anecdotal and rare, but they happen enough to be a source of intrigue.


I've also experienced a few uncanny occurrences of my own which could only be said to suggest--but never solely imply--out-of-body travel, precognition, and visual telepathy (whereby I appeared to see things that were ostensibly existent in the minds of others. But I had to beware of confirmation bias both on my part and my friends'. We must also consider that we are pattern-seeking animals who will assign great significance to apparent hits and completely ignore the misses that outnumber them. Considering how many dreams we've had so far, and how many dreams 7 billion people experience as the world turns, it can be said that weird would be if the odd or coincidental ones never occurred. Imagine if everyone played the lottery and nobody ever won! :D

I'd like to see someone winning the James Randi prize by proving, in an experiment, that OBEs can be the reality of an individual awareness acquiring an objective perspective instead of the experience being completely subjective and thus dreamed by the mind. 8-)

Samwise wrote:I like to take a rational and scientific approach, but I've had some quite bizarre experiences myself, involving the deceased, precognition and deep intuition. So in a sense I guess my position on the consciousness/brain side of things is maybe a little more agnostic than yours.


Don't get me wrong, I'm agnostic about many things, too. But we have to be careful not to jump to conclusions. It doesn't look promising when nearly two centuries of neuroscience show us that everything about the mind can be expunged through brain damage or malfunction--even consciousness can be interrupted in the living. Given that we are well aware of aphasia, prosopagnosia, and many other cognitive impairments, how can we expect to see and hear things and even recognise deceased loved ones when our brains are completely destroyed? :|

Samwise wrote:As an aside, have you looked deeply into the research on near death experiences (NDE's)? If one looks deeply into the research findings across the board, the materialist reductionist position with regard to the brain/consciousness begins to look a tad precarious.


I have researched this in depth years ago. NDEs don't prove anything for a number of reasons besides being anecdotal, sensationalised by the media or otherwise. First and foremost, near-death experiences are not death experiences--they are brought on by physical trauma and victims live to tell the tale. Secondly, 'no measurable brain activity' does not mean 'no brain activity'. As Michael Persinger once pointed out, there are cerebral reverberations that can only be detected in laboratories as hospitals don't have--and don't require--the appropriate equipment to dig that deep.

Finally, even if an individual was comatosed with minimal and insufficient brain activity to warrant a vividly conscious experience, how can we be sure that the reported experience happened during the cerebrally inert period and not as the patient was coming to and therefore precisely at the time when the brain was simultaneously reactivating? :ugeek:

Samwise wrote:NDE researcher Dr's Raymond Moody, Bruce Greyson, Jeffrey Long, Phyllis M. H. Atwater, Pim van Lommel, Sam Parnia, Kenneth Ring, Peter Fenwick, and Penny Sartori have all abandoned the materialist/reductionist explanation of consciousness as being an emergent property of brain function, after initially adhering to it, based on their findings.


I'm familiar with some of the names you have mentioned and they have been criticised and shamed by the scientific community. It's very simple: if you are doing bad science, or pseudo-science, you will get caught once your work is peer-reviewed. Nobody in the scientific community is trying to suppress a possible afterlife scenario. Science doesn't work like this. Everybody competes for recognition or a Nobel Prize and we all want to know the answers. But some people seem to want fantasies passed off as truisms no matter how scant the evidence. :D

Scientists have investigated many claims. They have given many beliefs in gods, spirits, and the paranormal the benefit of the doubt. And guess what: they found absolutely nothing... Did you know that Darwin's cousin Francis Galton was one of the first to test the efficacy of praying? He even used believers and Church devotees in a double-blind experiment. Praying was found to be ineffective. And yet, people still believe ...

The rumoured link between autism and vaccines comes from a study by Andrew Wakefield which was published in the Lancet. His study was found to be a hoax and his licence was revoked. Exposed by the scientific community. And still some people still think vaccines are bad in this sense and dangerously deprived their children of them ... Pseudo-scientists and sophists are getting more sophisticated these days but only enough to dupe the layman. Long gone are the precarious days of Duncan McDougal, whose 23 grams were found to have a mundane explanation ... not the weight of the human soul as he claimed. :mrgreen:

Samwise wrote:My personal view is that I don't believe in anything "supernatural"...it's ALL natural. However in principle at least I am open to the possibility that some phenomena considered supernatural now may one day be found to be natural phenomena if and when science elucidates an explanatory mechanism.


This is a reasonable statement to make and if there is one thing a good scientist does is to admit that he does not know everything. Not knowing is an incentive to explore. The answers usually bring more awe and more questions. (And solid conclusions are usually things that we couldn't have possibly imagined before.) Someone once told Richard Feynman that a scientist misses the beauty of a flower by studying it. Feynman replied:

'The beauty that is there for you is also available for me, too. But I see a deeper beauty that isn't so readily available to others. I can see the complicated interactions of the flower. The colour of the flower is red. Does the fact that the plant has colour mean that it evolved to attract insects? This adds a further question. Can insects see colour? Do they have an aesthetic sense? And so on. I don't see how studying a flower ever detracts from its beauty. It only adds.'

The feasibility that all mental phenomena--including consciousness--are generated by electrochemical interactions in a highly integrated gestalt such as the brain, does not take away the beauty and wonder of the lucid dream in any way. If OBEs are nothing but subjective illusions, how remarkable are they? How remarkable is the biological hardware which so far appears to genarate that elusive software that is the phenomenal mind? 8-)

And what if the self is nothing but a user illusion? I think you will find this topic quite interesting: (Read all of it, it's quite rich!) :)

http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=16533
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

Samwise
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Samwise » 15 Mar 2016 12:08

Hey Summerlander,

Thanks for taking the time to reply, all interesting stuff! I totally hear where you're coming from, and think the world would be a better place if more viewed things from your kind of perspective, really I do, so nice one! It's clear you know your stuff on these issues, and it is refreshing conversing someone who isn't just an arm chair sceptic just mouthing off (these people irritate me), you've explored this terrain yourself and this is very important I think.

It is good to hear that you are open when it comes to these experiences, while being rational and grounded. I'm all for scepticism in its truest sense...I think some people get confused over its definition...but to be a true sceptic is to look at and consider all the evidence before making up one's mind, not looking at all the evidence and making up your mind anyway is simply ignorance. I get your points about confirmation bias, and how we are evolutionarily hardwired to be pattern seeking animals, so we often find meaning in things and join dots where there is no meaning or connection to be found. So this bias our brains have is always something to keep in mind.

It would be amazing if someone took on the James Randi challenge...I think Randi has done some good work in debunking frauds, but he is a known liar, and I do question his agenda, beyond his admirable actions. I also feel strongly the Randi prize is a very rigged game, and one would have very little hope of seeing that money, even if one yielded genuine results. I'm not sure whether you saw the proposed OBE research my friend wishes to conduct, but if conducted well (which I believe he would), and *if* positive findings were reported, then this could be a contender for Randi's prize.

Regarding OBE's and an objective perspective...let's just say hypothetically for a second that OBE's aren't entirely an internal subjective illusion, which they may well be...I'm not sure it is simple as being a purely objective experience either...I don't believe one actually "leaves" their body, and I think even if one if perceiving or tuning into "objective" information, there is likely going to be a fair amount of subjective projection or overlay over possible objective terrain. Does this make sense? I guess I'm saying, does the OBE have to be either a 100% subjective illusion, or 100% objective reality, could it not also be an experience in a grey area somewhere in between these extremes, and this may even vary from person to person, and even experience to experience?

I get what you're saying about brain damage and the levels of consciousness. Some people (and the majority of scientists) take the view that the brain is the generator of consciousness, while other people and a minority of scientists take the view that the brain is a receiver/tuner of consciousness, or both generates and receives at the same time...they would hold the view that damaging the brain is akin to damaging the radio, and it is obviously going to affect the quality of the transmission.

I think the evidence for NDE's is more compelling than you make out. If anything, the media downplays NDE's overall, and I'm only considering what the scientists themselves are saying, not the opinions of the media. A lot of these people are leaders in their respective fields, they all took a materialist reductionist view of the brain and consciousness, but their research findings into NDE's changed their views...as scientists, they are simply going where they think the evidence is leading them, and having the courage to do that, while going against the majority scientific consensus. And yes NDE type experiences can occur with physical but also mental trauma, and as we know OBE's can occur spontaneously in people. I get what you’re saying about the timing of NDE's and the reactivation of the brain, but I believe there have been enough veridical reports now...of people deeply unconsciousness or lacking pulse or measurable brain activity....reporting events that have been corroborated and confirmed to be accurate by doctors and nurses for a case to be made that this brain reactivation is not explaining all cases of NDE's, by any stretch. Cardiologist Pim van Lommel had a paper published on NDE's in the early 2000's in the highly prestigious medical journal The Lancet, and the bulk of more recent NDE research has been conducted with cardiac arrest patients. Apparently, according to Dr Lommel, after 1-2 seconds of no pulse, you fall unconscious. After 15-20 seconds, an EEG will flat line.

I totally agree with your and Persinger's view that just because an EEG is picking up no activity, doesn't mean there is not activity occurring deeper in the brain. If anything, NDE research hints that brain activity and the dying process is not like an on/off switch, but more of a process. However, with this in mind, based on what modern neuroscience thinks it knows about the brain, it should be impossible for people to have a full conscious...or even hyper conscious experience...of thoughts and feeling and higher thinking...when deeply unconscious or with a flat line EEG. From what we think we know of the brain, it acts like a highly sophisticated bioelectrical computer, and if the brain = consciousness, take away the brain's power supply, then consciousness should also go. And in some cases, it doesn't seem to.

Interestingly, there are around 20 or so hypotheses on the mechanisms behind NDE's stated by the sceptical crowd, which is a little telling, in that there is not really any majority consensus. One of the more interesting hypothesis is that the NDE is some kind of REM intrusion, a hybrid state of dreaming and waking consciousness, very similar to how you described (and what appears to be) the experience of the lucid dreaming/OBE state...this seems to resonate a lot with Michael Raduga's idea of the phase state. However, there are still issues with this hypothesis with regard to how it links to NDE's. It does not explain the veridical perceptions sometimes reported, or the lasting effects of NDE's on the individual, which actually increase, and not fade with time. There have also been reported cases of people blind from birth reporting visual perception (the research of Dr Kenneth Ring is notable in this regard). A Belgium scientist and NDE sceptic Dr Steven Laureys, found, much to his surprise, that memories of NDE's were much more vivid than imagined events (such as dreams) but also of real life events. This itself is a mystery, and lacks a sound explanation.

As I'm sure you can appreciate, being such deeply personal and subjective experiences, NDE's are a hard thing to study with scientific method, which makes things tricky for scientists attempting to do so. But I think this important personally and I applaud their attempts at doing so.

Remember that total abrupt turns in science can and do happen. It wasn't until 1975 that lucid dreaming was confirmed in the University of Hull sleep labs...despite hundreds of years of anecdotal reports, and it's employment in Tibetan Buddhism, scientists dismissed lucid dreaming as a " paradoxical and impossible" state of consciousness. It wasn't until the mid 1980's when science acknowledged that the human brain contains neural stem cells, and from these, new neurons sprout and grow and are incorporated into the brain...prior to this, and despite abundant evidence from different species, it was considered that after adulthood was attained, no new human brain cells would grow. So here we can see an example of two interesting scientific examples involving the brain where there were two abrupt (and profoundly interesting) about turns. Given that science has yet to provide a viable explanatory mechanism for how brain tissue produces this experience of consciousness...the same consciousness that is behind this whole scientific process...there is always chance that in the future we could see an interesting change in how we view the brain and how it relates to consciousness. Whatever the case, I get the feeling we both agree there is much more work to be done and lots of amazing terrain that remains unexplored.

I really like that Richard Feynman quote, and I totally resonate with your position. Thanks for the interesting discussion, and also for that link, I shall be sure to check it out. :)

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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby RobertForsythe » 15 Mar 2016 18:47

The reason Lucid Dreams are called lucid dreams is because they feel more like a dream and the experience is more dreamlike.

OBEs feel like a full conscious exit from the body, thus it is called Out-of-Body experience.

From what I see and hear from hundreds of OBE stories is that the vast majority of OBEs degrade into something more like a lucid dream very quickly. This is probably why so many people claim they are basically the same experience... because for most people it essentially is.

For those who experience deeper realms repeatedly a more complicated cosmology develops.
How I Project Consciousness In 15 Minutes Or Less & How You Can Too
by Robert Forsythe

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Peter
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Peter » 16 Mar 2016 02:26

I think they are the same and the view can depend on the type of exit to the dreamspace. Either by obe and in the place that you are sleeping in or into a dream scene from the onset. Most of my lucid dreams are WILD and can be either depending on my focus for entry. Awareness on my body leads to an OBE exit in the sleeping room and awareness away from the body leads to direct dream entry.
After a lot of years either is very vivid and real with times where it is near impossible to tell if I choose to avoid a reality check. I can be there knowing I am dreaming and admiring the reality of it.
This is still the playground level of dreaming and deeper and more abstract states are to be had if you can gain the control and get there.
Really interesting thread and a good debate
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born

Enra Traz
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Enra Traz » 17 Mar 2016 18:15

It would be amazing if someone took on the James Randi challenge...I think Randi has done some good work in debunking frauds, but he is a known liar, and I do question his agenda, beyond his admirable actions. I also feel strongly the Randi prize is a very rigged game, and one would have very little hope of seeing that money, even if one yielded genuine results. I'm not sure whether you saw the proposed OBE research my friend wishes to conduct, but if conducted well (which I believe he would), and *if* positive findings were reported, then this could be a contender for Randi's prize.


James Randi is a known liar? Please explain. Have I missed something? :shock:

Samwise
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Re: OBE's vs lucid dreams

Postby Samwise » 17 Mar 2016 20:25

Randi was called out by Rupert Sheldrake for making false claims about research into animal telepathy (dogs sensing their owners coming home). While one may not believe in such research or its findings, the true sceptic and scientist would examine the research in detail, or conduct their own sound research to either refute or corroborate the findings...Randi did neither of the latter.

http://www.sheldrake.org/reactions/james-randi-a-conjurer-attempts-to-debunk-research-on-animals

"The January 2000 issue of Dog World magazine included an article on a possible sixth sense in dogs, which discussed some of my research. In this article Randi was quoted as saying that in relation to canine ESP, "We at the JREF [James Randi Educational Foundation] have tested these claims. They fail." No details were given of these tests.

I emailed James Randi to ask for details of this JREF research. He did not reply. He ignored a second request for information too.

I then asked members of the JREF Scientific Advisory Board to help me find out more about this claim. They did indeed help by advising Randi to reply. In an email sent on Februaury 6, 2000 he told me that the tests he referred to were not done at the JREF, but took place "years ago" and were "informal". They involved two dogs belonging to a friend of his that he observed over a two-week period. All records had been lost. He wrote: "I overstated my case for doubting the reality of dog ESP based on the small amount of data I obtained. It was rash and improper of me to do so."

Randi also claimed to have debunked one of my experiments with the dog Jaytee, a part of which was shown on television. Jaytee went to the window to wait for his owner when she set off to come home, but did not do so before she set off. In Dog World, Randi stated: "Viewing the entire tape, we see that the dog responded to every car that drove by, and to every person who walked by." This is simply not true, and Randi now admits that he has never seen the tape."

See also:

http://www.skepticalaboutskeptics.org/investigating-skeptics/whos-who-of-media-skeptics/james-randi/

"Of his current work, Randi writes, “We at the JREF are skilled in two directions: we know how people are fooled by others and we know how people fool themselves. We deal with hard, basic facts.” Yet in a review of his book The Supernatural A-Z: The Truth and the Lies his fellow skeptic Susan Blackmore commented that the book “has too many errors to be recommended.""

&

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/11270453/James-Randi-debunking-the-king-of-the-debunkers.html


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