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zhang
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  10:39:34  Show Profile Send zhang a Private Message
Hi, I'm doing research on Astral Projection and I need some arguements against it. Couldn't think of a better place to ask than at a place called Skeptic Friends! Any arguemnts against it will do, and personal opinions are needed as well. Thanks in advance

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  11:06:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Hi zhang, and welcome to SFN!

You are in luck: I have first hand experience, never mind that the docs called it a severe concussion from being hit on the head with the chain bucket on a jib crane. Gave me double vision for hours, it did, and that's proof enough for me....

Here's a skeptical rundown on this interesitng, little bit of widely-believed rubbish:

quote:
astral projection
Astral projection is a type of out-of-body experience (OBE) in which the astral body leaves its other six bodies and journeys far and wide to anywhere in the universe. The notion that we have seven bodies (one for each of the seven planes of reality) is a teaching of theosophist Madame Blavatsky. On its trips, the astral body perceives other astral bodies rather than their physical, etheric, emotional, spiritual, etc. bodies. In an ordinary OBE, such as remote viewing or the out-of-body near-death experience, there is a separation of a person's consciousness from his or her body.

It continues to explain that there is no evidence in support of AP, and gives some good links for further review.

Again, welcome!


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  11:09:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Well first we need to know what exactly AP is supposed to do for you, there are far too many Woo-Woo subjects to keep track of them all.

Ahem, Skepdic http://skepdic.com/astralpr.html

This one is WAY out there...

quote:
Astral projection is a type of out-of-body experience (OBE) in which the astral body leaves its other six bodies and journeys far and wide to anywhere in the universe. The notion that we have seven bodies (one for each of the seven planes of reality) is a teaching of theosophist Madame Blavatsky. On its trips, the astral body perceives other astral bodies rather than their physical, etheric, emotional, spiritual, etc. bodies. In an ordinary OBE, such as remote viewing or the out-of-body near-death experience, there is a separation of a person's consciousness from his or her body.


EDIT: Damn your speedy responses Filthy

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Edited by - BigPapaSmurf on 06/23/2005 11:10:07
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  11:29:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
EDIT: Damn your speedy responses Filthy


"Ah gits thar fustest with the mostest!" -- Stonewall Jackson (Or so the legend goes.)


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  11:31:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Well, start out with the complete lack of evidence that anyone has ever actually projected themselves "astrally".

As we all know, it is pointless to attempt to prove a negative (i.e. <insert word here> doesn't exist). Instead, to remain within the realm of logical consitency we require claimants to present evidence for claims they make.

Then we have a go at evaluating the evidence. If it holds up under scrutiny, then we can say that the claim has merit. If it doesn't, we can say that the claim remains unsupported by evidence.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  11:52:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Crystallinks is an interesting site. The present with a sort of neither pro nor con attitude on this sort of thing. Here's their take on it:
quote:
In astral projection the conscious mind leaves the physical body and moves into the astral body. The astral body is one of our subtle bodies.

Some people can astral project naturally. Others are afraid to leave the physical body and never are able to astral project. An alternative approach is remote viewing.

In astral projection you remain attached to your physical body by a silver "umbilical type" cord. Some people see the cord and others do not.

You are aware of things you encounter along the way while out of your body.

To astral project, as with all out-of-body experiences - one must feel totally relaxed, clothing fitting comfortable, reclining is best. Often a comforter is best over the body as the physical body sometimes gets cold when you travel out.

It's a fairly long article covering various 'methods' of leaving the body. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to do such a thing, short of being a prisoner at Gitmo. Or having a hot tip on the location of Eddie Teach's stash and wanting to check it out inconspiciously.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  12:07:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy

quote:
EDIT: Damn your speedy responses Filthy


"Ah gits thar fustest with the mostest!" -- Stonewall Jackson (Or so the legend goes.)





Wrong person. Gen. Bedford Forrest, CSA


Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  12:14:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by zhang

Hi, I'm doing research on Astral Projection and I need some arguements against it. Couldn't think of a better place to ask than at a place called Skeptic Friends! Any arguemnts against it will do, and personal opinions are needed as well. Thanks in advance



I've actually experimented with AP as part of my religion. I first believed I was doing it. But after starting to question other beliefs, I tried to pull more detail from my AP visits to remote places and then traveling there to see if the changes were accurate. I found they were not. My miss ratio to hits was appalling. Most things I remembered and wrote down were never in proximity to the area in the first place, and those that were present were not in the position I saw.

It's little more than creative visualization.


Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  14:53:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
I have had numerous diifferent experiences that one can label Astral Projection...Although mine were never willfull...I never liked the feeling I felt...
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  15:33:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

quote:
Originally posted by filthy

quote:
EDIT: Damn your speedy responses Filthy


"Ah gits thar fustest with the mostest!" -- Stonewall Jackson (Or so the legend goes.)





Wrong person. Gen. Bedford Forrest, CSA



Rats! Scrooed it up again!

At first, I thought it might have been J.E.B Stuart, but that didn't feel right and I was too lazy to look it up.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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solidsquid
New Member

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2005 :  16:26:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit solidsquid's Homepage  Send solidsquid a Yahoo! Message Send solidsquid a Private Message
AP and OBEs most likely have the same or similar neurophysiology involved. Severe migrane sufferers have reported OBE experiences during some of their migranes. Some meditators have reported OBEs and OBE-like sensations.

In their research and detailed in their book Why God Won't Go Away, Andrew Newberg and (the late) Eugene D'Aquili they worked with Tibetan meditators. They found certain association areas that deal with the spatial references of perception. In deep meditation, these "filters" break down and what is perceived as your body and everything else becomes more blurred and less concrete. That would explain the sensation some report of "being at one with the universe".

Also, a often citated case, Dr. Olaf Blanke that he was able to elicit a full OBE in a patient by stimulating her right angular gyrus.

Such instances would imply that it is the perception of the person being interpreted incorrectly and is a just a physiological occurrence.

Here's some information that I typed on another forum:

quote:
One such structure is the orientation association area -- the part of the brain that helps us distinguish the self from the rest of the world and orients that self in space -- which requires a constant stream of sensory information to do its job well. When that stream is interrupted, it has to work with whatever information is available. In neurological parlance, the orientation area becomes deafferented -- it is forced to operate on little or no neural input. The likely result of this deafferentation is a softer, less precise definition of the boundaries of the self (87).[1]


The exact anatomical area they are referring to is the posterior superior parietal lobe. One of the parietal lobe's main jobs in the complex task of spatial orientation of the self.

View it here: http://www9.biostr.washington.edu/cgi-bin/DA/imageform

In patients with damage to that area they have difficulties with spatial tasks.

quote:
Such a patient has difficulty with spatial orientation to everything on the left [color=red][they are speaking on lesions to the right parietal lobe][/color] and may completely ignore the halves of objects to the left as well as the left half of his own body...the patient may deny that anything is wrong with the affected limbs and may even maintain they are someone else's limbs (526).[2]


And there is many other items to support this structure of the brain being involved in this important task:

quote:
The evidence supporting the role of PPC [posterior parietal cortex] in spatial processing, and particularly spatial attentional processing, comes from a variety of experimental methodologies and measures. These include human lesion studies...and monkey lesion studies...that show an inability to redirect attention to the contralateral field...ERP studies in humans carried out using magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) scans of individual subject's brains that show increased negativity over the PPC 15-190 ms after a visual event has occurred...and cerebral blood flow studies that indicate increased activation in the superior parietal cortex during visuospatial tasks...and during spatial cuing task (654).[3]


So what Newberg and D'Aquili found was that meditation and deep prayer serve to breakdown this activation of the parietal lobe, basically inhibiting it's function to an extent.

Now, interestingly a structure right next to the inferior parietal lobe has been implicated in the production of OBEs. In an article in Nature in 2002, Dr. Olaf Blanke found that by stimulating a woman's right angular gyrus at certain mv, he could elicit a full OBE (seeing one's self from above, a feeling of floating, etc).

View it here: http://braininfo.rprc.washington.edu/Scripts/indexothersite.aspx?ID=91&type=h&term=angular_gyrus&thterm=&city=Seattle&country=USA&institue=University%20of%20Washington&namesite=Digital%20Anatomist&URL=/URL/angular_gyrus.html

quote:
These observations indicate that OBEs and complex somatosensory illusions can be artificially induced by electrical stimulation of the cortex. The association of these phenomena and their anatomical selectivity suggest that they have a common origin in body-related processing, an idea that is supported by the restriction of these visual experiences to the patient's own body (269).[4]




References:

1) Newberg, A., D'Aquili, E., & Rause, V. (2001). Why God won't go away: Brain science and the biology of belief. New York: Ballantine Books.

2) Nolte, J. (1999). The human brain: An introduction to its functional anatomy. St. Louis: Mosby.

3) Laberge, D. (1995). Computational and anatomical models of selective attention in object identification. In M. S. Ganzzaniga (Ed.), The cognitive neurosciences (pp. 649-663). Cambridge: MIT Press.

4) Blanke, O. (2002). Stimulating illusory own-body perceptions. Nature 419, 269-270.
Edited by - solidsquid on 06/23/2005 16:39:51
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zhang
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2005 :  11:51:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send zhang a Private Message
thanks for the welcome and the responses! I'll continue to check back and will reference this site in the research. It's nothing big really, I'm not writing a book on it or anything...its more of a collaborative effort to present topics such as astral projection, in a balanced view, and it was my job to find the negatives.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2005 :  12:24:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by zhang

thanks for the welcome and the responses! I'll continue to check back and will reference this site in the research. It's nothing big really, I'm not writing a book on it or anything...its more of a collaborative effort to present topics such as astral projection, in a balanced view, and it was my job to find the negatives.

De nada...

Why not hang out a bit now and again, if you have the time. We're always interested in the input of others, and I've no doubt you'd have something to add.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2005 :  12:27:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Sometimes the balanced view is the problem, really. (WARNING COPOUT NAZI COMPARISION INCOMING) Should Holocaust deniers get equal time with those discussing the Holocaust?

P.S. "The Problem" for me is that Astral Projection is not dismissed with minimal thought.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2005 :  07:34:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
Originally posted by SolidSquid

quote:
(seeing one's self from above, a feeling of floating, etc).



When I had my experiences I did not have any feeling.. of floating, did not see my self from above... but I did see myself...laying on the couch...on the bed... i used to know when one was going to happen..for I would feel very very heavy...like I could not move...yet my mind was very aware...I stopped having them because I do not like the way they make me feel...so stopped myself from doing it... but a word of warning...if you ever experience it ..do not eat...the food... if some is available...
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2005 :  15:45:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Storm
but a word of warning...if you ever experience it ..do not eat...the food... if some is available...

Why not?

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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