Sal S's Experience
This was a
small OBE arising from sleep paralysis. I had three instances of sleep paralysis
upon waking in the morning within a period of a few weeks. On this occasion, I
was sleeping with my then-fiance. It was morning, and I woke up unable to move.
I was trying to wake my fiance up so she could help me wake up, but I couldn't
move or make myself heard. Suddenly I realized that I could get closer to where
she was lying, a couple feet away, by simply "willing" myself closer. I tried
doing that in increments until I was right up on her visually, just inches
away--then suddenly I was back on the other side of the bed, awake and in my
body. Sometime in that process I realized I was out of my body. That part wasn't
frightening--just the paralysis part was frightening.
On one of
the other occasions, I tried clapping my hands to wake myself up, and I felt as
though I was clapping over my chest, but my physical arms weren't moving.
one described above was a small OBE experience, but I was fully conscious and my
"movement" toward my fiance was under my voluntary control. I would say that I
definitely was not hallucinating, nor was my brain creating the visual illusion
of seeing my fiance, with her back turned toward me. As I recall (and I can
still see the image in my mind's eye as I write this) what I saw when out of my
body corresponded exactly with what I saw once I woke up, i.e., she was in the
same position, the bedsheets were in exactly the same position, etc. Had my
brain been manufacturing a replica of this scene when I was paralyzed,
presumably it wouldn't have matched exactly what I saw when I woke up. (I don't
recall if my physical eyes were open, but I don't think so. I was lying on my
believed in life after death and out-of-body experiences, but this personal
experience deepened my conviction that I am not just my physical body.
associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the
the kind of experience difficult to express in words?
the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening
was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience?
awake and able to think calmly and make decisions.
experience dream like in any way?
No, like being
awake but unable to move my physical body.
you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body?
not see my own body.
emotions did you feel during the experience?
Fear at the
initial paralysis, changing to practicality of figuring out how to solve the
you hear any unusual sounds or noises?
Did you recognize any familiar locations or any locations from familiar
religious teachings or encounter any locations inhabited by incredible or
you see a light?
you meet or see any other beings?
you experiment while out of the body or in another, altered state?
to the degree of figuring out how to move, and I didn't get very good at it,
just a matter of a couple feet with a few tries.
you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience
that could be verified later?
you notice how your 5 senses were working, and if so, how were they
noticed vision, since it was a quiet room in the morning. One interesting thing
in hindsight, I was only inches from my fiance's back, and as I recall I was
able to see in sharp focus, closer than I might have been able to with my
you have any sense of altered space or time?
you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?
an increased certainty about life existing apart from the physical body, adding
to my current beliefs.
has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices?
affected me except that I can speak with personal conviction that the teachings
that man is not just a physical body are correct.
your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?
Inasmuch as it gave me intellectual certainty based on personal experience.
you shared this experience with others?
few occasions, with like-minded people mostly. Since it was not an impressive
experience as OBE's go, little reaction. I assume that people who have a
materialistic set of world assumptions would assume it was a hallucination.
emotions did you experience following your experience?
mostly, and afterwards intrigued.
was the best and worst part of your experience?
coming right out of sleep is frightening. Knowing I could calm myself and figure
out a way to handle a crisis was helpful. Afterwards, it was interesting to
reflect on the implications of the experience.
there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience?
gained was the absolute intellectual conviction that man is more than a physical
body. I am sure I was not hallucinating, and that the reductionistic
interpretation that the brain manufacturers a substitute experience during sleep
paralysis is incorrect. I can't prove it to anyone else, but the experienced
definitely proved it to me, personally.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life,
medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?
the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively
describe your experience?
Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire.
21 asks if there have been any changes in beliefs. But you might want to ask
what the previous belief system was, the purpose being to try to isolate
previously "naive" subjects who had no previous knowledge or belief about the
type of experience. The ideal subject would be one who had no previous belief or
understanding, and who experienced something verifiable in their environment,
with credible witnesses. You might then want to see if you can get affidavits
from those witnesses as well.