Fear of the Unknown: Enlightened Aid-in-Dying

By Arthur S. Berger; Joyce Berger | Go to book overview

5
Out-of-Body Experience

Of the out-of-body experience (OBE) Sylvan Muldoon ( 1935) has said that even if he were the only one ever to have thought of immortality or survival after death, that if no one else even suspected it, he still would have known without a doubt that he was immortal because he had experienced astral projection (as the OBE was then called).

The OBE is the "sensation that one's center of consciousness literally has withdrawn from one's physical body and has functioned, often in full consciousness and with unimpaired faculties, at other points in space not coincident with one's physical body" ( Berger and Berger 1991:304). From these "other points" people have sometimes seen or learned things that they could not have seen or learned normally--hence its relationship to telepathy, clairvoyance, and remote viewing. Indeed, Muldoon believed that all paranormal experiences--telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis (the influence of the mind on physical objects, such as moving an object by concentrating on it), hauntings, psychic healing, and, of course, survival of death--can be explained on the basis of our having two bodies, the physical and the astral.

A striking OBE involving remote viewing was that of a patient who suffered a cardiac arrest but was quickly resuscitated. She described looking down at her own body and seeing the doctors and nurses working on her and then finding herself outside over the emergency room driveway. She noticed an object on a ledge of the building, "thought her way" up there, as she said, and found herself "eyeball to shoelace" with a tennis shoe. The social worker to whom she described her experience finally found a room from which she could look down and see the tennis shoe. But the only place from which the patient could have seen the details of the shoe she described,

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Fear of the Unknown: Enlightened Aid-in-Dying
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • References xi
  • Part I - Views of Death: General and Medical Implications 1
  • 1 - Views of Death 3
  • References 14
  • 2 - Personal Continuance View: Impact on the Dying Patient, Physician, Nurse, and Chaplain 17
  • References 28
  • Part II - Investigations and Pre-Death Phenomena 31
  • 3 - A Century of Investigation 33
  • References 42
  • 4 - Extrasensory Perception 45
  • References 51
  • 5 - Out-of-Body Experience 53
  • References 60
  • 6 - The Near-Death Experience 63
  • References 71
  • 7 - Deathbed Visions 73
  • References 77
  • Part III - At-Death Phenomena 79
  • 8 - At Death 81
  • References 84
  • Part IV - Post-Death Phenomena 85
  • 9 - Mental Mediumship 87
  • References 95
  • 10 - Reincarnation 97
  • References 104
  • 11 - Hauntings, Ghosts, and Apparitions 107
  • References 113
  • Part V - Appraisal and Judgment 115
  • 12 - Critical Appraisal 117
  • References 136
  • 13 - Evaluation, Persuasion, and Aid-in-Dying 139
  • References 146
  • Selected Bibliography 147
  • Index 153
  • About the Authors 161
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