Is the soul a real thing?

Discussion in 'Religion & Spirituality' started by Svíar, 24 March 2014.

  1. Svíar

    Svíar Heroic Member Sustaining Member

    What do you guys think?
    Any authenticity to this statement?

    Out Of Body Experiences Validated By Scientific Study

    Are out-of-body experiences valid? Dr. Crookall at the University of Aberdeen has written 9 books on out-of-body cases due to the overwhelming amount of evidence in their favour. A survey of 380 Oxford students showed that 34% had an OBE. A separate survey of 902 adults revealed that 8% have had an OBE. In a study of 44 non-Western societies, only 3 did not hold a belief in OBEs. Another study showed that out of 488 world societies, 89% had at least some tradition regarding OBEs. So this phenomenon is familiar and lots of people claimed to have experienced it before, but is there any scientific credibility to this phenomenon?

    A fascinating experiment was done by Dr. Charles Tart, who was a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California. He had also served as a Visiting Professor in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and as an Instructor in Psychiatry at the School of Medicine of the University of Virginia. A study he published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research may be the most infamous OBE study ever done.

    - See more at:


    He documented the out-of-body experience of a young woman who was one of his research subjects. She was in a room with nothing but a bed, a shelf, a clock, and an observation window where Dr. Tart observed from another room. She also had electrical devices hooked up to her head to detect brain wave activities, which can be seen in the diagram below. - See more at:


    What makes this particular out-of-body experience remarkable is that she was able to leave her physical body as Dr. Tart watched from the other room and read a 5-digit number of 25132 off of a piece of paper that was on a shelf in the corner of the room. The number was at a significant distance above the bed so that she would not be able to read the number even if she was standing, and she reported seeing the correct number him upon return to her physical body which remained attached to the bed as she was being watched. EEGs, REMs, and galvanic skin response were all recorded before and during her OBE which indicated a significant alteration in the readings during the time she left her body. Her OBE a good example of “veridical perception” which is where verified events are observed while in an out-of-body state.

    As Dr. Tart concluded: “While the physiological data are limited by dependence on her retrospective report in correlating physiological pattern with the experience, it seems as if her out-of-body experiences occurred in conjunction with a non-dreaming, non-awake brain wave stage characterized by predominant slowed alpha activity from her brain and no activation of the autonomic nervous system. Two incidents occurring in the laboratory provide suggestive evidence that the out of-the-body experiences had parapsychological concomitants. In summary, this brief study found a fairly clear-cut correlation between several of Miss Z’s reported OOB experiences and a physiological pattern characterized by a flattened EEG with prominent alphoid activity, no REM or skin resistance activity, and normal heart rate”

    This is huge, because not only does it show that the experience of leaving your body is correlated with abnormal changes in brain-body activities, the test subject was also able to go and read a 5 digit number. She also reported the correct positioning of the piece of paper that had the number on it, which as flat on the shelf as opposed to leaning against the wall which is what she was expecting. By the way, the odds of guessing a 5 digit number first try are less than 1 in 59000, so to claim that she just so happened to guess it right on her first try is out of the question.

    I have had 2 out-of-body experiences myself, one of which I observed real events happening in a different location in my house, so I can personally testify to their validity. I saw exactly what my dad was doing and wearing, and I saw exactly what was on television at the time, all of which were verified to be true after I awoke.

    What skeptics are really good at is leaving out pieces of evidence that they can’t explain, and point to how some scientific studies have replicated the feeling of being out-of-body by some virtual means. There is a difference between the illusion of being somewhere else, and actually seeing real events happening in locations that your physical body has absolutely no access to. This study is another piece of evidence that gives serious scientific credibility to the idea of a soul.

    For more on veridical perception:

    - See more at:


    Original Study:

    The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot

    - See more at:
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  2. Longinus

    Longinus Senior Member

    I confess that I didn't read the article (I have a irrational aversion to scientific experiments over non-material matters), but summarizing my opinion about the soul: it is the supernatural element of our personality (body-mind) it is far more wonderful than or gross-body but it cannot survive the death in normal conditions. What I don't know is if exist the possible to make the soul immortal, or if in order to achieve immortality we must transcend the soul.
  3. Svíar

    Svíar Heroic Member Sustaining Member

    A thought provoking opinion indeed.
    How do you yourself think one achieves these goals?
  4. Longinus

    Longinus Senior Member

    As is wrote in Emerald Tablet :
    "The Father of all the Theleme of the universal world is here"
    " That Which is below is like that Which is above & That Which is above is like that Which is below to do the miracles of one only thing"
    And quoting a phrase whose author I do not remember " A stone is a stone just because it does not know that it is God "

    Basically one who succeed in remove completely the Ignorance is Liberated.

    The ways that lead to the Path are many , eg in Tantrism they manipulate occult forces of the body in order to transpose the consciousness into higher planes , In Classical Buddhism we are taught to follow the way of contemplation and detachment , The devotes of Semitic religions have an inclination to follow the "wet way " the way of devotion and submission to God ...
    In other Ages we could have had the possibility of enter in some initiatic order within which we would receive instructions from a Master in direct contact with the "Kingdom of Heaven " but in this Age and mainly in the West, this is a very remote possibility. Personally I believe in the possibility of achieving liberation through a solitary and heroic effort but as it is said "He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master".

    Maybe our friends JosephRex and Plantagenet could make a good contribution in this subject :).
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  5. Svíar

    Svíar Heroic Member Sustaining Member

    Interesting explanation, it gave me a lot to consider.

    Haha yes I believe they would excell in this topic.
  6. VedicViking

    VedicViking Third Lieutenant Sustaining Member
    1. Britons

    Well it's definitely possible. As I pointed out in another thread; one of Britain’s leading academic ‘sceptics’ or ‘debunkers’ Richard Wiseman made the following concession as quoted in the Daily Mail [near the very end if you’re checking the link.]

    "I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven, but begs the question: do we need higher standards of evidence when we study the paranormal? I think we do."

    He elsewhere then added:

    "It is a slight misquote, because I was using the term in the more general sense of ESP-- that is, I was not talking about remote viewing per se, but rather Ganzfeld, etc as well. I think that they meet the usual standards for a normal claim, but are not convincing enough for an extraordinary claim."

    Dean Radin's my go to guy on these kinds of matters. (Here's a talk of his I don't think I've posted before.)

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  7. Plantagenet

    Plantagenet Heroic Member

    I personally don't know much about out of body experiences and what it would mean in relation to the concept of soul if verified by science. A lot of Hindu and yogic texts speak of the subtle body which is capable of OBE, but then even this subtle body isn't considered ones essence or true nature. Rather, the supra-individual Atman is considered as ones Self:Ātman_(Hinduism)

    Based upon my own limited experiences and the cumulative reading of various metaphysical texts, spiritual masters, etc. I'd say the soul, in the sense of the Atman, or in the sense of an uncreated, unborn, timeless, indestructible, changeless, blissful, serene, etc. principle of ourselves certainly exists, but not in the sense that it is an existent phenomena that can be spacially or temporally located of course. Hence this animative principle cannot be scientifically verified because science relies on empirical data to reach their conclusions, whereas of course this Self is pure subject and cannot be found or located anywhere in the objective world, though it can be said that the entire objective world really is That. From the perspective of the relative creature, the objective world could best be called an expression or emanation of That, but from the perspective of the Absolute or the enlightened master, they are identical.

    While I think scientific verification of various spiritual, mystical, or occult phenomena would be beneficial, especially at changing people's materialist perspectives, I think such a method will always remain limited. Evola explains this really well here, certainly worth a read (in the quotes):
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  8. Longinus

    Longinus Senior Member

    I usually discriminate the terms Soul and Spirit using the word Soul to refer to the supplementary subtle body of our gross body and Spirit to our innermost essence the True Self.
    Last edited: 25 March 2014
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  9. The Fool

    The Fool Second Lieutenant Sustaining Member
    1. Lumine Boreali Gentlemen's Club
    2. Neoplatonism

    Seems worth chipping in here: in my understanding, in the west, the idea of the soul as a distinct, intangible "thing" which is separate from the body and yet individual to that body, and worse the idea that this is what does all the thinking and that the body is just a flesh-container for the soul, which is equivalent to the person, originates with Descartes' mind-body dualism. If it doesn't originate there (it might be found in the Gnostic heresies, for instance), Descartes certainly made it current. Thinking along the lines of what Son of Sviar posted seems to be relying on this flawed conception of the soul.
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  10. Svíar

    Svíar Heroic Member Sustaining Member

    A wee continuation on the subject:

    Thought this was really interesting and think that Plantagenet and Josephrex might perhaps have something interesting to say about it!
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