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Out-Of-Body Experience Test
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When a hospital patient is about to enter a state of near- death where an OOBE is typically experienced, a sticker of random color with a random number printed on it should be placed on the patient's forehead. After the patient is revived, if they claim to have had an OOBE, they shall be queried about the color/number combination of the sticker. If they claim they didn't see a sticker, I think it's safe to say they were either hallucinating or making it up.

Note on research: I did some searching, and the closest I've found was a news story about some UK hospitals hanging pictures, face-up, from the ceiling. I couldn't find any results from this type of test, however, and there could well be an issue of knowing exactly how high the person is supposedly floating.

This test should alleviate that concern.

21 Quest, Nov 14 2012


       I am sure I have read, that the reason for there not being very many results, is that the results are usually negative, and the researchers then feel disinclined to publicise the results.
pocmloc, Nov 14 2012

       I saw a video recently where James Randi (for anyone not familiar with him, he is the archetypal skeptic when it comes to matters such as this one) talks about an event he could only describe as an out of body experience. He couldn't honestly say with any certainty that he hadn't really had one, until his son pointed out that he had seen the wrong color bed sheets while he was floating over his bed.
ytk, Nov 14 2012

       There was a halbake on this topic about placing some sort of unusual object for the disembodied observer to identify as proof.
rcarty, Nov 14 2012

       And in a separate but linked study, webcams are setup pointing at chimneys all around the world on Christmas Eve.
zen_tom, Nov 14 2012

       "Oh, what a beautiful light, I know I'm dying, I see my whole life like a movie, I must see the sticker in my forehead just in case"
piluso, Nov 14 2012

       Does anyone ever see fire and pitchforks? (just curious)
xandram, Nov 14 2012

       /fire and pitchforks/ Probably you could get some press if you claimed to. Especially if you claimed to have mooned the lake of fire lifeguards as you were whisked back to the mortal plane.
bungston, Nov 14 2012

       BTW the light people see is probably ambient light, but made very bright because their pupils are dilating.
bungston, Nov 14 2012

       "Orderly, why have you seated all the comatose patients around a card table ?"

       "They're playing Out-of-Body Poker, sir".
FlyingToaster, Nov 14 2012

       There's a game where people around a table each has a card stuck to his/her forehead and must figure out what the card is. OOBE would be considered cheating here? (No nearly choking oneself to death - against the rules.)
sqeaketh the wheel, Nov 15 2012

       The best explanation for the "moving through a tunnel towards a bright light" is that it's the mind's recollection of birth, recycled.

       I haven't heard an explanation for the "meeting dead people" part of many near death experiences.
DrCurry, Nov 15 2012

       Ah yes [squeaketh], I have played that game with my family many times, but it is played with all participants slumped on easy chairs in the living room after a boozy festive meal, rather than at the table.
pocmloc, Nov 15 2012

       Is there any reason to speculate on the hazy rememberings of almost dead people? Did they see the bright light when they were at their most almost dead, or in the seconds before regaining consciousness. Is the narrator not the least bit unreliable about matters of perception such as time. Was the light ambient or the perception of light from the visual cortex. Isn't it much like a morning conversation about someone's recent dream that admittedly is a little interesting but not a source of any real certainties.

       Personally I can't wait to die and find out for sure. I'm a little skeptical that everyone just teleports to safety once their bodies die. There is comfort in the near certainty that perception dies, but it is the opposite belief that informs some about the afterlife. The safest way to face eternity in my opinion would be to be without perceptions at all. Time and all that can carry on while the dead blissfully ignore it like eternal badasses. Nonexistence may be something really stupid and relieving anyway like individual minds are just the individual perceptions of biological entities and when they die the relative importance of things also die, and we just go back to being floaty stuff that nothing is really important to especially being alive, because that was really just an inconvenient way for matter to be organized together in the first place.
rcarty, Nov 15 2012

       Imminent meaning certain but it will be as much of a surprise to me as anyone.

       But on this point about the relative importance of things the fear of death stands out. Isn't fear the death feeling itself? Isn't it that thing that is of the utmost importance to a living being that can grow way out of hand, and can be used to manipulate and control the mind? If fear is anything, isn't it a functional thing, something that protects a living thing from death? What is the fear of death to someone who has already died or is about to die? Something of little importance, just as everything your biological entity needs and loves that will be difficult to let go of. I've found that some people tend to prey on the death feeling and use cunning poisonous afterlife threats tied to religious antidotes that they control, but in all exactitude they can be guaranteed to not know a damn thing, and deserve what they promise for others.
rcarty, Nov 15 2012

       I don't fear death. I only fear the bits leading up to it.
sqeaketh the wheel, Nov 16 2012

       Why can't we just assume that we expire completely, just as all living things seem to.

       Afterlife: Does every cell that is born get one? Plasmodia? Protizoa? Is the afterlife limited to chordates? Only humans? (what hubris) Or can we just apply Occam's razor and say that no living thing gets one without some evidence to the contrary.
WcW, Nov 16 2012

       The biggest practical reason not to assume we expire completely is that it will develop into a sort of fatalistic philosophy that can become religious. People will eventually start to worship ultimate destruction or something stupid like that as people are apt to do (remember the stupid idiots called people?). One benefit of the rejection of religion is free speculation on the nature of existence. As long as the mind is open to free speculation and doesn't get trapped in only one way of thinking about things religiosity can be avoided. I view complete expiration as a sound possibility and to some degree accept it. However, I also like to speculate that within a universe or cosmos of infinite possibilities my existence, and yours, might again be possible. Or even that minds can exist in some other quantum arrangement in some other dimension or something like that. The ability to freely speculate without reaching the conclusion that a diety has affirmed it, the community has affirmed it, or even discursive regimes have affirmed it.

       Revisionism is one of the biggest indicators of absurdity in the history of systems of thought. That people so strongly base entire epistemes on certain systems for producing knowledge and rational ways of thought that are later discovered to be nonsense provides for an anti-episteme of "justified true doubt", for any kind of systematically contrived conclusion.
rcarty, Nov 16 2012

       Not only that [wcw] but what about the afterlife of the light bulb that failed last night? The mobile phone you bricked by dropping it in the bath? The piece of paper you shredded?

       I suppose, though, that all the people in the afterlife will be glad to have the use of modern conveniences such as light bulbs, writing paper and mobile phones.
pocmloc, Nov 16 2012

       //I did some searching, and the closest I've found was a news story about some UK hospitals hanging pictures, face-up, from the ceiling.// Nice to see the National Health Service is on the cutting edge of medical research.

       If the hospital decided to administer this test to me I'd declare that I'm having an "out of hospital experience" as I walked out the door. Or crawled if I had to.

       I'm gonna bun this assuming it's based more on a quest for humor than the answer to the eternal question.
doctorremulac3, Nov 16 2012


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