The human mind is as complicated as it is fascinating. There are many aspects of it that we still do not understand and perhaps never will. For example, the hard problem of consciousness. It asks us:

How come we have a conscious experience of reality surrounding us, even though we’re made of physical matter?

Even though speculations have been made regarding this issue, they all fall short, and we’re left with an unresolved dilemma to explain our very being.

The complexity of our brains manifests in many different ways. One of them is Out of Body Experience (OBE). So, what exactly is it?

In short, OBE is a sensation of leaving one’s body. People who experience it report floating outside their physical form, seeing themselves from above, and perceiving the world differently. It can also be accompanied by a feeling of what’s happening to be “more real than real.”

OBE is frequently experienced by patients with cardiac arrest. They report seeing and hearing things at the moment of their clinical death from an outside perspective and seeing their bodies from above. Fascinating as it may be, experiencing being outside of one’s body at the cost of living might be deemed too expensive for some.

It is not clear what exactly is the cause of OBE. However, these experiences have been linked with several neurological conditions, stress, trauma, and near-death experiences. A hard scientist may say that it is an anomaly in the brain or simply an illusion caused by a distorted mind.

And yet we have to remember that the brain is literally the most complicated thing we know in the universe! The best we can do is speculate.

There are also ways to experience the sensation of exiting your body other than near-death encounters and neurological conditions. In fact, many different practices proved to be sufficient:

  • Meditation. People who practice it can develop the ability to focus and concentrate like never before. It is also common for professionals in the practice to be able to travel outside of their bodies. And in some way, it doesn’t even matter if the experience is just an illusion or if the consciousness is truly capable of being outside of one’s physical being – the sensation is real, and it’s there.
  • Psychedelics. Scientific research is quickly gaining ground in the field of psychedelic substances. Among other experiences, mind-altering drugs can often induce the feelings of OBE. Among classic reports of seeing themselves from an outside perspective, people also report traveling to what can only be described as higher dimensions. In the experience, one’s ego completely dissolves, and the reality is stripped naked of its’ daily façade, resulting in a sensation of seeing the reality for what it truly is.
  • Lucid dreaming. People dream consciously mostly for entertaining activities, such as sex or flying. However, it can also be used as a gateway to the Out of Body Experience. Ancient cultures (e.g., Egyptians and Greeks) are known for their conscious dream practices. Individuals reportedly managed to transcend their living bodies, travel to distant stars, meet their gods, and derive wisdom.

It’s hard to understand what exactly OBE is and what implications does it bring with it. Even though skeptics might discredit the idea as a whole, the lived experiences of people who have had it begs to differ. There’s so much more to learn about the human mind – our knowledge of it is but a fraction of what it is and what it can do.

Luckily, we do not have to understand things to enjoy them and derive meaningful experiences from them.