24 August 2007

Mysticism in the lab

If you were to look for an exemplary case of mysticism, close to the top would have to be the out of body experience. Many people have reported this, and has been used to promote ideas such as astral projection and life after death.

Not one, but two papers in this week's Science have now created this experience in lab settings. The first is here, and the second is here. And a third article commenting on the other two is here.

There one sense, some might feel that this debunks astral projection and the like. But in another very real way, it validates those reports. Various people who had out of body experiences were not (necessarily) frauds who were just making it all up, but reporting "real," albeit illusory, experiences.

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