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An out-of-body experience occurs when a person temporarily feels like their spirit or soul has left their physical body. It's often the unintentional result of an accident or near-death experience.
Astral projection, on the other hand, is an intentional out-of body experience in which the subtle body travels outside the physical body at the whim of the individual. Some say astral projection is very much possible, while others say it's not. We dug into this mysterious spiritual phenomena to learn more about what its believers have to say and if they could ever be validated by science.
In a 2014 case study (University of Ottawa's School of Psychology),a woman who said she could astral project was put under a fMRI machine. The patient was physically stationary for an hour but guided in and out of astral projections in which she was prompted to move her nonphysical body in different ways. Researchers monitored the activity in different regions of her brain throughout the exercise and found that they did show activity that correlated with motion during the times she claimed to be astral projecting.
Psychiatrist Roxanna Namavar, D.O. says that there is no real way to definitively measure astral projections or compare them to a control group. Not to mention, studying these things requires someone with funding to have interest. These are some reasons why, she says, "There tends to be this split between science and spirituality."
Well, we may never know for sure. "I don't think you can prove or disprove astral projection or out-of-body experiences," Namavar says in closing. Whether you choose to believe in astral projection or not will ultimately come down to your own experiences and beliefs in the potential of human consciousness.
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