Saturday, December 10, 2016

What Was it That Was Leaving Me? An Unusual Out-of-Body Experience (OBE)

This paper is a narration of a unique experience, that which is arduous to circumscribe as an out-of-body experience; ambiguously to-be called a fractional out-of-body experience or a partial autoscopy. It was an experience in the presence of observers who were naive of what the individual was experiencing. This experience has surely helped the individual plummet into imagining the existence of an form beyond the body; the existence of a soul; that which is conscious; that which can think like the mind; that which resides within the body and that which can detach from the body when death advances. There is a possibility of it being a neuro-psychological or neuro-parapsychological experience; an experience whose actuality is grim to prove or construct in third person, but certainly subsists for the experiencer; the experiencer being myself.

Key Words 
Out-of-body, Experience, Soul, Consciousness

The experience of being out-of-my body

It was a beautiful day; I was with a few friends sitting on the over-head water tank of my 6 storied building, approximately 90 feet high. This place was our regular hangout, as it always felt great to be up there, as the view till today is always amazing. I was 18, with an eagerness to enjoy and explore life; with an enthusiasm to do things that would defy life, but the least I knew that this day would change my perception of life forever. As we chatted, jokes filled us with joy and play, which somehow lead us into trivial games; games that one should never play. The over-head tank is laden with water-pipes and has a large water-pipe approximately 2 inches thick, that runs along the tank, where one could attempt to balance on it; an insane thing to do at such a height, but definitely gave a feeling of achievement if completed. It was not something new that I was doing, as I had been repeatedly doing it whenever I would go up there and therefore was confident about completing it without tripping over.

Excited and with my adrenaline all pumped up, I challenged my friends that I would complete the walk in one go and I decided to attempt the task, not knowing what I was about to experience. Over-confidence made my strides wider and faster, and with everyone cheering, it heightened my confidence and inadvertently my ego. While balancing on the water pipe, I missed a step and slipped, I lost my balance and at that point I felt my body fall off the water tank; I felt my body being pulled away from the tank and with nothing there to cling on to, I knew that it was the end; I was aware that my body would fall 90 feet to the ground and death was approaching. My confidence and ego was shattered as my legs left the ground and my hands precipitously moved around to grab whatever came my way, but all that I felt was nothingness. That moment resulted in an experience where in a flicker of a second a life review began; my past flashed in front of my eyes and I saw images as one would see it in a personal scrap book; my life story in frames flashing in front of my eyes.

As my life review began, I somehow felt being detached from my body and lost sensation of being within it; a feeling of weightlessness. I felt as if I was rising rather than going down. My life review stopped and I could see myself in a form emanating out of the body from the face till my chest and at that moment I felt someone grab me and pull me to the ground. It was my friend who did this as part of his reflex and therefore I owe my life to him. I was back again in my body when I hit the ground and passed out. All of a sudden my eyes opened and I saw all my friends staring at me, all perplexed. It felt as if I had just woken up after a long night sleep, to see my friends looking at me. The frightful feeling of falling didn’t seem to exist and at that moment I felt a feeling of joy and happiness; a feeling as if I had learned something.

As I woke up, my friends asked me what happened, but I did not know where to begin or rather I could not put it into words; I was confused. I asked them how long did I pass out, and they said that it was just a few minutes, but for me the whole episode seemed to have lasted for almost half an hour. The trip, the fall, the review, the experience of the departing form, all of it happened in just a few minutes, but for me it seemed like a long period. As I narrated this experience to my friends, they laughed and joshed about it. It was a personal experience, a beautiful experience where I defied death. If that was my soul, it was definitely nimbler than my body, and in case I would have fallen, that form would have taken off from my body. It was my experience and I felt no one and neither did I see anyone; all that came as a flash in front of me was my past in the form of images.

It seems that my nimbler form exists within my body and knew the limitations of my body as I felt it ripping out of my body, for it knew that my body would not survive the fall; a mutilated body is definitely no place to reside. The moment I was held and pulled back, it realized that my body is safe and it pulled itself back, putting me into a deep sleep. It is an experience that bought a significant change in me; a change that has made me fearless of death; changed my perception of death. I have been very reluctant to share this experience, but my endeavors to understand the existence of a non-local soul or consciousness or mind has made me more open towards sharing it. The vividity and richness of the experience still persists that only I as the experiencer could experience.

My out-of-body or fractional out-of-body experience fortified the feeling of the presence of a form that resides within me; call it my soul, consciousness or mind. Based on this first experience, it can be said, but not concluded that this form that resides within me is aware, it thinks and sustains. This event could be easily passed-off as a neuro-psychological or neuro-parapsychological event associated with the dysfunctioning of the brain, where the brain in mental shock could possibly result in such an event. But for me as the experiencer this event will always remain phenomenal until proven within the realms of scientific explanation. It is definitely a difficult experience to understand and explore from a scientific perspective, but surely a vivid experience that made me realize the beauty that lies within; for it remains as my experience and therefore is purely my opinion. 

Contzen Pereira, Ph.D. Independent Scholar, Mumbai, India. Email Address:,