Students of out-of-body experiences (OOBEs) will find innumerable definitions for it. Some of the common out-of-body experience definitions are as follows.
The WordNetWeb site says that out-of-body experience is “the dissociative experience of observing yourself from an external perspective as though your mind or soul had left and was observing your body.”
Clubalien.com says: “When the spirit travels outside the body either to the astral plane or to another location on this plane, it is known as either astral projection or out-of-body experience.”
Texasghosthunters.com says: “Astral projection, also known as out-of-body experience, is the process by which the soul or consciousness separates from the physical body. An example of this is when a patient is undergoing an operation can see and hear the operation in progress.”
All these out-of-body experience definitions have some common denominators. OOBEs are curious paranormal phenomena in which a person’s consciousness pops out of his/her body, enabling him/her to observe the world from an astral point of view. OOBE is “an experience in which a person seems to perceive the world from a location outside his physical body.”
Surprisingly, these phenomenons are quite common. However, no two OOBEs are alike. Anybody can have an OOBE at any time. People have reported having had OOBEs while performing simple activities such as eating, sleeping, or dreaming. OOBE’s also happen to people who are sick or drugged.
Although most OOBEs are spontaneous, one can induce an OOBE. There are a number of techniques to induce an OOBE. However, induced OOBEs are different from spontaneous OOBEs.
People who have successfully induced an OOBE speak of an astral body in which their consciousness is encased. This body is independent of the physical body and can move at will. People who have had an induced OOBE also talk about a silver cord, which links their astral bodies to their physical bodies.
An NDE or a near death experience is simply an OOBE experienced by a person who is close to death. People who report an NDE usually come back to their bodies because “it is not yet time for them to leave.” In case of death, the soul, which has left the body, does not return to it and the silver cord is severed forever.
Susan Blackmore, the English psychologist, says that no out-of-body experience definition is perfect because OOBE is a subjective experience. If people say that they have had an OOBE, we simply have to believe them. The person can never prove that he/she had an OOBE.
OOBEs vary from person to person. Hence no OOBE definition can be taken as the only and perfect definition. And no OOBE can be said to be exactly as the definition says it is.