Thursday, 2 September 2010

'Out of body' experience.

Some years ago, at a pretty trying time in my life, I had reason to consult my doctor, who gave me some kind of drug in tablet form to help me through the difficult period. I only ever took one tablet - the rest I flushed down the loo.

A couple of hours after taking the tablet, while standing in a friend's garden looking at the flowers, I had an out-of-body experience. I seemed to be up above the garden looking down on the three of us. It was not unpleasant but it was very weird. I didn't wish to repeat the experience!

As luck would have it, the trying circumstances rapidly dissipated shortly afterwards, so I no long needed help.

My first husband used to speak of a similar out-of-body experience in much more severe and trying circumstances. At the end of the Second World War he was in a P O W camp in Thailand, suffering from cerebral malaria and dying. As the war ended he was airlifted out and taken to hospital in India and he used to speak of being 'up in the air' watching the medics load him on to a stretcher and carry him to the aircraft.

This morning I read in 'Eureka', the Times science magazine, that scientists have identified why this out-of-body experience happens. Apparently the brain in certain circumstances releases dimethyltryptamine from its pineal gland. This is a psychedelic compound, which means that the person may then enter a similar state to dreaming.

Out-of-body experiences have always interested me, so I wonder - has anyone out there ever had a similar experience? I would love to hear about it if you have.

17 comments:

Eryl said...

Catching up after my week away: I love your close up photos a post or two down, my camera is pretty much always on macro and poking its lens right into things.

As for out of body experiences: when I was about fifteen I was playing pool with a friend in the local youth club when I seemed to float up to ceiling level and see myself miss yet another shot before collapsing. I woke to find I was surrounded by concerned strangers but was fine and walked home as if it had happened to someone else. Since then I have, once or twice, been aware that it could happen again, but it never has.

Heather said...

Interesting post Pat. I have never had such an experience but am wary of most medicines. Years ago I was prescribed strong painkillers for severe migraine. At the time I had a baby, two toddlers and an infant just starting school. My husband was working away from home all week so I needed something to keep me going. The tablets killed the pain but made the floor slope this way and that, and I could scarcely walk across the room. I stopped taking them very quickly.

steven said...

only once. i was involved in a kayaking accident during spring runoff and got caught at the bottom of a steep dropoff. (think of the frothing water at the base of a dam). after a couple of minutes i felt myself curling into a fetal position and then i was a hundred or so feet above myself. i could see all around and what was most amazing was the little wires that ran from my hovering body to my body being thrashed about in the rapids below. steven

Pondside said...

Several years ago I had such an experience during a surgical procedure for which I had to remain conscious. It wasn't frightening, but it wasn't pleasant either.

Arija said...

I too have been taken out of body after my last heart op but the experience was rather too long to be elucidated here.

Golden West said...

No, never, but countless episodes of deja vu.

George said...

A few epiphanies, but no out-of-body experiences, with the possible exception of a great meal I once had in Joigny, France.

Dianne said...

Not out of body, but I have info that correlates with the pineal gland, etc.
Scientists studied the brain function with PET scans during deep meditation. The subjects were from locations all over the world. They were chosen because of the ability to enter deep trances and have the experience of one-ness with the universe.
The scans showed the brain had been trained to "turn off" activity and circulation to the center we use to identify our selves from mother/others. It is a well understood developmental milestone in infancy to learn mother as separate from self. (e.g. the world will not end and I will not die when mother disappears) So, one-ness with the universe and mankind is a perception in the brain, achieved by this form of meditation. This is not to discount the ability to spiritually bond in the process....
what came first, the chicken or the egg? The development of this brain function may be a door we close in our transition from spirit to body/mind existence? Or not, you decide.

Dianne said...

could you forward me a link to that article? Thanks,
Dianne

Hildred and Charles said...

Not me, but Charles tells the tale of his first orientation trip with another pilot during WW2. While coming up to the target there was flack bursting all around, leaving little black cloud puffs that seemed impossible to navigate without being hit. Charles found himself above, looking down at his body below, with the smell of the cordite of the bursting shells permeating the plane - a memorable experience, but it only lasted a few seconds and perhaps wouldn't have happened at all if he had been in control of the plane.

Totalfeckineejit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Totalfeckineejit said...

I've been out of my head many times, but out of my body? Unfortunately, no. If ever there was a body that needed an 'out of body' experience, it was mine.I wish you hadn't flushed away those tablets Weaver, as l would dearly like them. But was it ethical of your doctor to prescribe LSD?

angryparsnip said...

I don't have out of body... seeing yourself experiences but what I do have is,
I can be doing anything and all of a sudden I don't feel like myself. It is like I "feel" myself becoming "aware" of me. Almost like my my spirit, chi, energy whatever has morphed around me .
I have had these feeling since I was young so I know it is not from all the drugs I have to take and now that I am older I seem to be getting them more. I am trying to track them to see if it when I am stressed or overly tired.
They make me feel unnerved but I seem to have come to expect them so
they don't upset me as much as they use too. Just a part of being me I guess.

cheers, parsnip

Everton Terrace said...

I have had many other-worldly experiences but I can't recall an out of body per se. Fascinating.

highlandwriter said...

I've had an experience or two...in the out of body traveling. Sometimes, it comes about b/c of too much pressure in day to day experiences and sometimes, one just goes floating! :-) Absolutely correct a/b it being connected to the pineal gland.

Have a great wknd!
-hw

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for all the interesting comments - fascinating subject.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

No, I never have. I can only imagine how strange that would feel. I will say that once, when I had a terrible sore throat, my father brought me some whiskey to drink. I did, and then my arms felt long. Seriously.
Can you tell I'm not much of a drinker? One glass of wine, and I turn into an orangutan.