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Observations placeholder

Blackmore, Dr Susan - Goes out of body



Type of Spiritual Experience


Beyond the Body – Dr Susan Blackmore

 That there is a relationship between drug use and OBEs receives confirmation from work by Charles Tart.  In a survey of 150 marijuana users he found that 44% claimed to have had OBEs

and so she found out

A description of the experience

Beyond the Body – Dr Susan Blackmore

 By 10.30 I was feeling more like going to bed than on to a friend's room for a smoke.  But I had previously promised to go and was looking forward to the hash, and a pleasant end to the evening.  I decided I would just go for half an hour and so, with Kevin, I went up to Vicki's room.

 As far as I can recall there was nothing unusual except that I was terribly tired.  Vicki put some music on and made some coffee and I sat cross legged on the floor.  I rather dropped out of the conversation, feeling sleepy and wondering whether I could make the effort to go back to my room to bed.  I had a little of the proffered hash.....

I was ware of Vicki asking me if I would like coffee.  Kevin answered, but I did not; and I noticed this fact as though it did not concern me.  Vicki passed quite close to me and went into the kitchen.  It is to Kevin's credit that he both initiated and helped me with the next stage.

Quite out of the blue, and I have no idea why, he asked 'Sue, where are you?'  This simple question baffled me.  I thought; struggled to reply....... the words came out 'I'm on the ceiling'

With some surprise I watched the mouth – my mouth -  down below, opening and closing and I marvelled at its control.  Kevin seemed quite calm at this pronouncement and proceeded to question me in more detail.  What was it like up there?  What could I see?  What was 'I'?  Trying to answer his questions took all my energy and concentration.  There was no time for being frightened or even for contemplating what an odd state this was.  I suspect that it was for this reason, and my extreme tiredness, that I did not get immediately alarmed and 'return'.

Again, as I formulated answers, the mouth below spoke.  It seemed quite capable of saying what I wanted to say, and I soon let it be and concentrated on the experience.  From the ceiling I could apparently see the room quite clearly.  I saw the desk, chairs, window, my friends and myself all from above.  Then I saw a string or cord, silvery, faintly glowing and moving gently, running between the neck of my body below and the navel, or thereabouts, of a duplicate body above.  I thought it would be fun to try to move it.  I reached out a hand and immediately learned my first lesson.  I needed no hand to move the cord, thinking it moved was sufficient.  Also I could have two hands, any number of hands, or no hands at all, as I chose.  And so I learned a little of how to act in this thought responsive world.  Much later I learned that I needed neither cord nor duplicate body, and when I realised this they evaporated.

With encouragement I moved out of the room, myself and my cord moving through the walls, another floor of rooms and the roof with ease.  I clearly observed the red of the roofs and the row of chimneys before flying to more distant places.  What is now particularly interesting to me is that my inspection the next morning showed the roofs not to be red but grey; no chimneys were to be seen there; and I must have been mistaken where I was because I passed through an extra floor of rooms.

 The details of my travels are less interesting.  I visited Paris and New York and flew over South America.  All these places were much as I might have imagined them and neither I nor the others thought to ask about details which I could not have known or guessed.  Some points of interest do stand out, however.  In the Mediterranean I visited a star shaped island with 100 trees.  It seemed to me then, as now, that this island was more like somebody's idea of an island, than an island as it would appear to a normal observer.  I had fun sinking into the darkness of the trees and rising up like a large flat plate above them.  I floated on the water, rocking with the uncomfortable motion of the waves and struggled, unnecessarily, to climb a crumbling cliff.  All the while, the physical 'I' was describing these events, in excited and rapid monologue, interrupted by occasional questions from my two friends.

The source of the experience

Blackmore, Dr Susan

Concepts, symbols and science items


Thread and cord

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps