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Help fund OBE research

Posted: March 9th, 2016, 12:17 pm
by Samwise
Dr Alexander De Foe, the guy who recently edited and published the free ebook "Consciousness Beyond the Body: Evidence and Reflections" is trying to raise funds for some really interesting sounding research into OBE's. I've contributed to this, I think it's a great cause, OBE's are certainly worthy of more research than they have received so far. I feel that OBE's are kinda getting left in the dust in research terms and there is a dire need for some new research, and I kinda feel more could be being done here than just focussing on the lab induced autoscopy pseudo-OBE's, which I view as something quite distinct (while sharing some overlap) with a "real deal", full blown OBE. I grow a tad weary of neuroscientists claiming they have "proven" how OBE's occur, when in my view they haven't, or at least they are only seeing a small slice of the story. Speaking from my limited personal experience of OBE's, they certainly seem like a fascinating experience of consciousness to me and are worthy of more research attention, and from a variety of different perspectives. And this is where this research comes in, which to me looks to be taking things into an interesting and refreshing new direction.

Alexander has excellent credentials and experience with this in mind, including past research on OBE's, and the research will be conducted in a rigorous scientific manner. He isn't seeking much funding in the grand scheme of things, and needs around $8,000 to get this study of the ground (link to crowdfunding page is below).

Alexander's ebook can be freely downloaded from here: ... -the-body/

About This Project

In February 2016 I published an edited book titled "Consciousness Beyond the Body: Evidence and Reflections". The book explored the mind-body question. That is, can consciousness in fact exist without the presence of a physical body?

Although the question may seem radical to some, philosophers and parapsychologists have long had an interest in the insights that out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and near-death experiences (NDEs) may provide into the nature of consciousness. Namely, some of the questions that have been asked include:

- Does one's consciousness continue after physical death?
- Is there an afterlife? (and, can we show this empirically, rather than resting on religious doctrine?)
- Is extra-sensory perception possible?
- What is the essential nature of Mind?
- I'd like to invite you to support a new research project that I have commenced to investigate the perceptual aspects of OBEs. My aim is to recruit individuals who can self-induce OBEs in which they reliably and repeatedly perceive and verify information that would otherwise have been impossible to ascertain by physical means.

While there have been numerous cases of veridical OBE perception documented in literature, never has a research study been developed to repeatably verify such perceptions beyond doubt (while also minimising research bias and false accounts).

The project

The funding will provide the resources to locate, recruit, and interview a sample of participants who report frequent realistic OBEs (i.e., at least 10 in the prior year). Qualitative research methods will be used to ascertain (a) how these individuals self-induce such experiences, and (b) the nature of their perception, more importantly, which aspects (if any) were verifiable post-experience.

This research will help paint a "map", if you like, of the OBE. At the very least it will provide new insights into taxonomies of altered states and demarcate the OBE as a unique type of experience in which one's perception is physically comparable (rather than 'astral projection' or 'soul traveling' which are imaginary states often conflated with traditional OBEs). The hope is that this preliminary research will lay the ground-work for researchers to have a much clearer understanding of how perception in traditional OBEs functions. With that knowledge in mind, a protocal for testing verifiable perception will be developed and published in a scientific journal.

Contributors will be kept in the loop about all updates as this research unfolds.

The researcher

Alexander De Foe earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Monash University. He has published his research in major parapsychological journals, and has previously been funded to pursue research into OBEs by the Alex Tanous Foundation for Scientific Research.

Thank you for your support.