Out of Body Experience Induced by Hypnotic Suggestion: Phenomenology and Perceptual Characteristics
37 Pages Posted: 31 May 2014 Last revised: 7 Jan 2015
Date Written: March 17, 2014
The aim of this study is the investigation of the perceptual and cognitive characteristics of Out-of- Body Experiences (OBEs) induced by hypnotic induction.
Five participants selected for their experience with hypnotic inductions were induced into an OBE and were requested to verbally describe six selected images, either one or two per session, that were located in two different rooms that were hundreds of kilometers from the place where they were under hypnosis.
Furthermore, their real-time phenomenological experience was investigated with respect to the minimal phenomenal selfhood (MPS) and the similarities with the characteristics of spatial and temporal perception reported in near death experiences (NDEs).
On average, the participants correctly identified 46.7% of the images, whereas two independent judges correctly identified 66.7% of them, compared to a probability of 25% expected due to chance.
The phenomenology of their out-of-body perceptual and cognitive experiences revealed a general commonality among all participants. All participants reported a phenomenological experience of a disembodied personal selfhood able to perceive simply by an act of will without the physical limitation of eyesight, to move in the environment instantaneously and exist in a sort of three dimensional world with no awareness of time.
The comparison among the first person verbal reports of our participants, a group who declared to have had spontaneous OBEs and a group declaring to have only read about OBEs, supports the hypothesis that the verbal reports of participants were due to real OBEs and not to their previous knowledge about OBE or to the hypnotist’s ones.
Keywords: hypnosis, Out of Body Experiences, remote vision, phenomenology of consciousness, near death experiences
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