Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

The many ways that out-of-body experiences happen.

"The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena; it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence."

- Nikola Tesla

Out-of-body experiences are a paranormal phenomenon reported by people worldwide. These reports and the subsequent studies launched to investigate them add to the mounting evidence that our consciousness is not limited by time or space, or even by our physical bodies. People have recounted times when their consciousness separates from the body and travels to other places, where they can accurately see, hear and know things, which can be proven after the experience. Here are four of the many kinds of documented OBEs.

As you fall asleep

This brief out-of-body experience often happens spontaneously as you are falling asleep. Sometimes, when you are right on the cusp between being asleep and awake, your consciousness floats above your body and you can actually look down from the ceiling or from another part of your room and see your own body lying below in bed. Typically, the instant you realize what's going on, you startle and snap right back into your body as if you were out on a gentle bungee cord.

Near death experiences

This remarkable experience can occur when medical personnel declare someone is technically dead because her heart, breath and brain activity have stopped due to extreme physical trauma. If and when the person miraculously recovers consciousness she often remembers everything. She can accurately report every detail of the medical procedures that were performed, the conversations that transpired, what people were wearing and who was there while she was technically dead, but still totally conscious of what was going on around her.

Remote viewing

This is a form of intentional out-of-body experience developed and then declassified by the military. In remote viewing, the person has been trained to purposely send their consciousness to designated blind targets. This means they do not know what the target is or where it is or when in time it is. The target can be in some other part of the world, on another planet, or in the past, present or future. The trained person can accurately describe the designated target in precise detail. This technique has been used for remote espionage, in remote medical diagnosis, for remote diagnosis of mechanical glitches in orbiting satellites, in search and rescue missions, to view objects in space, and to predict the future.

In the OR

Studies have shown that even when people are anaesthetized and are therefore deeply unconscious, there is still a part of the person that is paying close attention to everything going on in the operating room. For example, researchers have tested and verified this. In those studies, when medical operating staff spoke in negative terms about the prognosis of an anaesthetized patient, the person always made a slow or more difficult recovery. Conversely, when medical personnel in the OR spoke in positive terms about the patient's prognosis, the person recovered more quickly than expected. There are some hospitals that require OR staff to speak only positively about patients who are under anesthesia.

Spontaneous past life recall

The soul is to us something like the cloud is to a computer. All the records of your multi-dimensional experiences are stored there. There are times when something happening in your life right now will trigger a spontaneous memory from a past lifetime because it has some relevance to wherever in the world you are now and/or whatever you are experiencing in the present. Maybe this is more of an out-of-time experience than technically an out-of-body one, but you are certainly awake accessing something not in this physical reality and in another timeframe.

Cases of spontaneous past life recall have been recorded in which the details of events, names and dates, previously unknown by the person, have been verified. There are many studies involving children who insist they know everything about a recent past life and have convinced their parents (and researchers) to take them to that prior life location to prove the accuracy of their memories.

Your turn

If you have had an out-of-body experience you are willing to share, please tell me about it in an email (address below). You can also email me If you'd like further references to the kinds of out-of -body experiences mentioned in this article. PJH