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Differences and Commonalities Among Various Types of Perceived OBEs

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Phase 1 of the NDE OBE Research Project began on April 13, 2020 and ended on October 15, 2020. Its objective was to (1) identify and define differing types of perceived out-of-body experiences (OBEs), and (2) discover the differences and commonalities among them, focusing on any possible catalysts, the event itself, and the process from beginning to end. This retrospective study was exploratory in nature. This study based the primary categorization of perceived OBEs first on intent as either not self-induced or deliberately self-induced. Not self-induced perceived OBEs were then further subcategorized based on the experient's condition or state, which included physiologically near-death perceived OBEs (NDOBEs), life-danger perceived OBEs (LDOBEs), life-danger-to-near-death perceived OBEs (LD-NDOBEs), and other spontaneous perceived OBEs (OSOBEs). While this study was not able to identify with certainty any specific catalysts for perceived OBEs, it resulted in suggesting a hypothesis that the catalyst for perceived NDOBEs, perceived LDOBEs, and perceived LD-NDOBEs may be an unconscious, adaptive, reactionary process triggered by various psychological and/or physiological stimuli initiating a non-pathological dissociation or detachment. Furthermore, this study found that there were both commonalities and differences among different types and subtypes of perceived OBEs as categorized in this study. One such finding was that most of the features reported in perceived OBEs that took place during real physiological conditions of near-death were also found in some perceived OBEs in which individuals were not actually near death. In particular, this included features such as perceptions of seeing one's own physical body, experiencing a lack of pain, feeling a sense of peace, experiencing different perceptions of time, having a visual life review experience (VLRE), seeing perceived OBE personages, observing a bright light, encountering tunnels, and experiencing a transcendental otherworldly type of environment.
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