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Imagine you’re asleep and during that time your soul disconnects from your body. As your consciousness separates from your physical form, you are able to travel all over the world, as well as through time and space. Does this sound to good to be true? Well, it’s actually quite a common occurrence and is known as an out-of-body experience (OBE) or as others call it–astral projection.

There have been many debates in the science community on whether or not astral projection is actually possible. While some believe it is simply a hoax, others claim it is a spiritual or paranormal experience. Over the course of history, there have been many mentions of out-of-body experiences, from the ancient Egyptians to the secret societies of the Middle Ages. Is it possible there is more to it than people understand?

One study at a university in France, set out to prove that astral projection could be scientifically proven and that it was a condition of the body, not of the spirit. Their study is the closest anyone has come to explaining the condition and what triggers it. Read on to learn more about the study and what the research team found.

Astral Projection

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Are you someone who dreams intensely? Have you ever woken up and felt like you’ve been floating outside of your body, only to be slammed back into it the moment your eyes open? While this may seem like something out of a fantasy novel, astral projection aka an out-of-body experience (OBE) is considered to be quite real. In fact, hundreds of people report such experiences on a yearly basis.

Floating Outside the Physical Body

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Astral projection is properly defined as a willful out-of-body experience, where the soul or someone’s consciousness exists separate from the physical body. Some people have reported a “silver cord” that attaches the soul to the body, allowing them a way to find a way back after traveling through time and space.

The “Kha” of Ancient Egypt

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One of the earliest accounts of astral projection was in ancient Egypt over 5,000 years ago. According to history, the priests believed in an astral body and called it the “kha.” There are many of these experiences etched in drawings and hieroglyphs on the temples and pyramids.

Greece and the Account of Arisdeu

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The Temple of Eleusis in Ancient Greece also references astral projection, particularly in the writings of Plato and Herodotus. One of the main stories is of a man named Arisdeu who during the first century injured his head and claimed to have traveled outside of his body via a spiritual guide.

Biblical Awakening

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There are even some references to conscious projections in the Bible. While few and far between, it’s mentioned in both Ezekiel 3:14 and Second Corinthians 12: 2. Although, religious scholars will most likely associate these Biblical verses to something spiritual and not paranormal.

The Third Heaven?

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“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows.”

-II Corinthians 12:2

Secret Societies

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The Middle Ages also saw a surge of out-of-body experience accounts with secret societies and specific schools practicing the art of conscious projection. Due to the oppression from the Inquisition, such things were considered evil and had to be kept a secret.

Real or a Hoax?


While many believe that OBE’s are spiritual or paranormal experiences, others have been more critical, believing all of the accounts have been faked. However, a new study at a University in France believes that out-of-body experiences are real, but not what many think. In fact, there is a perfectly explainable physical factor for people experiencing OBE’s.

Research in France

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In the university’s study, neuroscientist Christopher Lopez utilized two sets of patients, matched by age and gender. Each group was made up of 210 individuals, one with a history of chronic dizziness and the others without

Dizziness and OBE

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According to the study, 14% of the participants who suffered from dizziness reported having some sort of out-of-body experience. One patient revealed that they felt like they were outside of their body, and didn’t exist as themselves any more.

The Brain Factor

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For those participants who didn’t suffer from chronic dizziness, only 5% claimed to have had some sort of OBE over the course of their lives. So why does this matter? Could a brain issue be the result of people believing they are leaving their bodies when they sleep?

Interesting Findings

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As Lopez’s research progressed he began to find connections between the patients with chronic dizziness and the occurrence of an out-of-body experience. According to the study, most of the people with dizziness who had experienced an OBE only started to experience the phenomenon AFTER the dizziness appeared for the first time.

Behavioral History

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Another factor the study looked at was the behavioral and psychological history of the participants. For those stating they had experienced an OBE, many also suffered from migraines, depression, anxiety and extreme stress.

Inner-Ear Evidence

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Throughout his research, Lopez was able to determine that the out-of-body experience was not a spiritual or paranormal occurrence, but a physical one related to the inner-ear. The research found that OBE in patients with dizziness were directly related to peripheral vestibular disorders, which directly impacts the ability to process sensory information and control balance/eye movements. When this is damaged, it can create the sensation of floating.

No Definitive Answer

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While this study is not the definitive answer to what astral projection is and why it occurs, it definitely is an interesting scientific solution to OBE’s. Whether it’s physical, spiritual or even paranormal, it is hard to deny that these experiences exist, regardless of the cause. Maybe one day we will know the definitive truth, but until then it shall remain one of the great mysteries of the universe.