Our life gets enriched by paying attention to the paranormal phenomena because they tell us a lot about our place in the vast scheme of things. Stable mental peace results from that understanding. Exploration into the region of such phenomena can guide us on to the unknown, the region of hidden truths that the merely rational mind can never fathom. Here, we look into some aspects of the Out-of-Body Experience (OBE).
People are generally averse to studying the paranormal phenomena, such as an OBE, as those experiences are put under the occult class of issues. However, more and more people are getting inducted into this esoteric field as, in this, they see a wide vista opening into the celestial psychology. In the absence of this, people spend their time caught up in their own self-centered activities revolving within a water-tight cocoon. Even when people get involved in their religious or spiritual activities, they don’t seem to get out of that cocoon.
The atheists and the agnostics too turn away from the paranormal experiences as those experiences cannot be proved to the satisfaction of the rational mind. They are unaware of the limitations of the rational mind and so cannot sense the fact that allowing such a mind to sit in judgment over the esoteric issues is almost criminal! Further, they are also unaware that, in that process, they obstruct their own intuition from functioning. That is why when a person coming out of a near death experience is able to explain what happened inside the operating room and outside while he or she was dead, the skeptics can offer no explanation for it.
If one is neither a believer nor a non-believer, then the mind is free to observe, learn and let the intuition discover the missing links. Such a disposition has helped people understand what lies behind and beyond the apparent. There is the eagerness to peek into the unknown; there is no fear of one’s belief being dismantled by what one may discover by treading into those unconventional regions.
The following paragraph, taken from the book “Leaving the Body” by Scott Rogo, tells us about the peak experience from an OBE. It was narrated by a correspondent to Prof. Raynor Johnson of the Melbourne University, Australia. Dr Johnson, a physicist, was doing research on paranormal phenomena in addition to his mainstream work. Let us give the correspondent a pseudonym: Monroe. Now, to the OBE:
It was a hot summer evening. Monroe was lying on the lawn in the back garden of his house, trying to get cool. The sun had almost set and he watched the planets appear. Suddenly he felt his head swelling. It seemed to increase in size until it contained the whole world, all the stars too. He felt that everything that had ever happened and would happen was within himself. He was in his eighth year at the time and so knew little of history and nothing of religion. He saw many things, events he later learnt about, also much he has as yet been able to discover from any physical source. After what seemed untold ages, he became aware of his mother telling him to come inside. He had a brief glimpse of his body lying on the grass with his mother bending over it. Then he was awake feeling very bewildered. It was some time before he recovered.
Monroe says, “After all these years, I still refer to that experience whenever I want to verify anything I hear of or read about. The experience made me sense that all happenings are right and in accordance with plan.”
When we read the above account, we are able to perceive something about the vaster consciousness of which the mind is a small part. It also gives us some confidence in the Divine propriety in which all things are transpiring. There is the humility and the patience to understand our position in the vast scheme of things. The eagerness to go ever deeper into it follows. With that psychology, a strange austerity sets in, helping us lead a vibrant life with abundant feeling for everything on this planet and beyond.
Those who feel drawn to these matters will find a lot of interesting information from the organizations such as the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (nderf.org), the International Association for Near Death Studies (iands.org) and the Out-of-Body Experience Research Foundation (oberf.org). Related issues are covered in the website http://spirituality.yolasite.com
The Author: Gopalakrishnan TC was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait. Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.
Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the Association on the theme "The Spiritual Content of Near Death Experiences". Functions as a freelance counselor for mental relaxation. Lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family. Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.