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How out-of-body experiences could transform yourself and society Nanci Trivellato TEDxPassoFundo with English subtitles  
  

Is the reality we live in the actual reality?

But, what is reality?

Could we say it is what we detect with our senses

or with the help of technology?

But, if we would say so,

then what about the period when microorganisms were not known?

They were real at that time, of course, even though they were not acknowledged.

And what about our sky?

Does it look like this?

Or like this?

Perhaps like this?

Or this?

It turns out that all of these are real pictures

of the exact same region of the sky,

but the cameras used to take them

captured different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.

But would a non-informed person consider this our real sky?

I’d say, most probably not.

So, we see that defining reality is not so easy.

My own understanding of reality happened to be challenged

when I was very young.

And that one experience made me become a researcher

of paranormal phenomena and non-ordinary reality.

But I must say that it's, somehow, a challenge for me,

because as a researcher

I see how complex it is to explain this sort of phenomena

and even more complex it is to find concrete evidences [of them].

But, as a person, I cannot deny the experiences that I had.

So, that's kind of a dilemma,

and I deal with it thinking, "This is something that needs further study."

And I and try to contribute to this.

My experience happened when I was very young, about 7 or 8 years old,

and an uncle and aunt of mine went on a trip to São Paulo,

a big city I had only heard about at that time.

A few nights later, during my sleep, I felt myself floating upwards,

and somehow I ended up in São Paulo,

in a room where my uncle was lying on the bed.

And I saw he had some little tubes inserted into his nostrils

and there was a bag with a liquid that would be injected into his arms.

I also saw something even stranger.

He had a thin clear tube that was connected

from his abdomen, as far as I could tell, to a glass jar placed on the floor,

which held a slightly reddish liquid.

That blew my mind.

I didn’t have a clue of what that was,

because I'm from a very small town in Brazil, that you can see here.

This is the whole town,

compared to a little part of São Paulo, which you saw before.

Wonderful people live there,

but at that time, almost 50 years ago,

it had no book stores, no libraries, no movie theatres,

of course, no universities.

But I must say I had a very happy childhood,

because I grew up with six siblings,

we were always playing around, but we had no illnesses in the family.

We didn’t have either money enough to have a TV in our house or to buy books.

So, I had never seen anything like that before.

When they came back from their trip I just said to my aunt,

"Hey, I saw uncle Gino laying down on bed and in such room,"

and I described what I had seen.

She was baffled and just changed the subject.

But later that day, I overheard her telling my mother,

"How on earth could Nanci have known that if not even you or anyone else knew

he was going for a bladder surgery?

Because we didn’t tell anybody, as we didn’t want you to worry about it."

So, that experience, as well as others I’ve had,

compelled me to seek further studies in this [field].

I found out that this experience is called

an OBE or out-of-body experience,

which is a phenomenon, according to the current model,

in which the consciousness moves away from the human body,

being able to experience a reality that is subtler than this ordinary one.

In my search for serious studies I found that science was

- I'm afraid maybe it still is -

far from understanding or even acknowledging a reality

that is beyond the boundaries of this standard material world.

So I thought,

"How are meaningful experiences such as mine examined?"

And then I decided that one day I'd join the small group of individuals

who were dedicated studying it.

Among the bodies of work that I researched,

one that I found to be among the most scientific at that time

was that of Robert Crookall.

He compiled thousands of OBE accounts

in order to compare them and see if there were common elements.

He concluded that these experiences are not a result of beliefs of any kind

and are independent of cultural aspects.

Now, we must say that interpretation of the experience, yes,

that may be influenced by one’s beliefs

because, unavoidably, most individuals would interpret their experiences

according to their own belief system.

This is where current research on OBEs and expanded states of consciousness

comes into play, because it may help reveal

which elements make an experience reliable.

And I’d say that education on this topic

could also reduce this degree of subjectivity

in the interpretation of the experience.

There have been a number of surveys and laboratory experiments

under controlled conditions to investigate OBEs.

I also have conducted several of them, with published results -

interesting results, but no conclusive evidences yet.

I'd love to share them with you, but we don’t have time.

But, perhaps I can at least share with you what are some of the common sensations

that one would experience

when in partial or complete separation from the body.

I myself have experienced many of these sensations

since I was very young.

For example, I vividly remember moments

when I was relaxed, just lying in bed,

and I would feel a very strong vibration inside my body,

unusual, powerful,

as if all my cells were connected to some sort of electricity

or being activated by a live energy.

And I came to learn later that this vibrating sensation

is referred to as "vibrational state"

and is quite common among those who have had OBEs.

In many instances, also, I would see my body

from a third person vantage point.

Especially when I was a kid, in a childlike manner of thinking,

I would wonder,

"How can I be sleeping if I'm awake?"

Because that state was totally different from a dream,

but I still didn’t know it was an OBE.

Common sensations also are those of floating, swaying,

sometimes falling or jerk awake.

But a stranger sensation that I have had many times

was that of feeling I couldn’t move my body,

as if I were paralyzed.

Well,

I wouldn’t exactly call it pleasant,

especially when you don't know what it is.

But I came to learn later that this is a natural sensation,

that it's part of the first stages

of detaching from the body or returning to it.

These are just some examples.

But I must say that fear of these sensations

may hinder the OBE occurrence.

I would like to say

that all of my out-of-body adventures were very enjoyable.

However, sometimes,

in my regular waking state,

I would sense some sort of subtle energies

or invisible presences around me.

That made me scared as a child.

This led me to study

sensitive kids to find out

why they experience these kind of phenomena;

how they interpret them;

what sort of consequences they would face

both during childhood or later, in adult life, because of this;

and how parents and society normally react to their sensitivity.

But I must say that, it's obvious,

not only kids have out-of-body experiences.

As adults we can have them too.

This is a natural phenomenon

that arguably can be learned and developed.

So, it is not only "special" people who can have it.

But the problem here is:

how do we go about studying this type of phenomena,

with a true scientific spirit?

To start with, we must stop

just dismissing the phenomena or saying there's something wrong with the person

because these are not conventional perceptions.

And we must acknowledge

that there may be facts about human manifestation

that we don’t know or understand and we must search for explanations

with no presumptions or preconceived ideas.

So far, most of the academic research

has been dedicated to the study of the so-called physical world,

which is of essential importance, of course, and must be the first step.

However, if we even consider the possibility of the existence

of a reality that's subtler than this one,

but which is just as real,

even though it may escape our regular senses,

we must find ways to research it.

If OBEs allow the direct observation of it, then, maybe,

until proper technology is developed,

OBEs are the natural tools

because they would allow researchers

to witness this reality

and verify its possible interaction with our reality.

If we were ever to get to this point

- let’s imagine we could have this type of research -

what sort of consequences would that bring to science?

Well, this knowledge could bring very useful insights

into many different domains of scientific research,

from medicine to physics.

In turn, this could promote a scientific view

that would acknowledge our individuality, us as individuals,

as consciousnesses that exists beyond the brain,

which would encourage the integration of variables and factors

that are not strictly physical into the scientific process.

For example, medicine.

Medicine could benefit from identifying

when these more subtle elements could be interfering

with patients’ health or inexplicably curing them.

Physics could examine phenomena and their outcome

taking matter and energy into consideration

from a multidimensional perspective.

But we face three big challenges, at least, on this process.

First: how can we separate

those who only dream, fantasize, imagine, or, maybe, have brain characteristics

that gives them perceptions that they consider to be non-physical

from those who have real experiences,

with lucidity, awareness,

clarity of thought, and detachment from preconceived notions or beliefs?

Probably, what we need here is to identify

which elements separate real, non-ordinary experiences,

from fantasy or brain creations.

But without acknowledging the phenomenon,

not even this first step scientists can take.

Second, we also need to learn how to separate or distinguish

serious scientific initiatives

from unsubstantiated information, or worse, I must say.

Because unfortunately, there are individuals or groups

that all together disregard the basic scientific principles

or the scientific knowledge

when studying the so-called "non-physical phenomena."

This is not good,

because besides not furthering scientific progress at all,

this may give the impression

that all of those who dedicate themselves

to study these non-ordinary phenomena and reality have the same attitude.

This is not the case, I can assure you.

And we also need to develop appropriate methodology

to investigate this intangible reality and its related phenomena.

At this point, we could wonder, why bother?

Why bother at all studying them?

If science is about understanding ourselves and the universe

or pursuing knowledge of the natural world,

then, verifying this reality could enlighten us

about what we and the world actually are.

And in turn, maybe this could change

the core paradigm upon which our society and knowledge are based.

But, it's interesting to remember

that OBEs are not only a tool for gathering scientific observations.

It's also a tool for personal exploration.

What would be some of the personal uses of OBEs?

What would you say?

Checking up on the spouse?

Spying on the neighbor?

Not quite. At least it was not for me.

In my case - let me share with you how I feel about my case.

In my case, I feel that I have a better sense

of what being in this world is about.

Somehow I feel that I follow my own personal principles,

I don't need an external or imposed set of beliefs to guide me.

And my principles are a result of conclusions and observations

that I’ve made also during these experiences.

The first conclusion, a logical and natural one, I guess,

is that we are not only this body.

This idea can make us think about the hypothesis

that we do not cease to exist at the point of death.

But, please understand I'm not saying this so you take this to be your truth.

I'm just saying what is my relative truth at this moment

and how I deal with this reality or what I think about it.

Also, although this tends to give us a sense of tranquillity

and peace of mind, at the same time,

it kind of gives us an urge or desire

to take meaningful steps in our lives,

so that when we finish this life, at the end of it,

we look back and we feel that we have accomplished

the greater goal that we had always had.

I also observed

that there is some sort of multidimensional energies

that interconnect us all.

This notion tends to make us think about the consequences of our actions

and, eventually, leads to realizing

that being ethical really matters.

These are not only my conclusions,

because research on OBEs

and near-death experiences points to the same results.

But, what would be the social implications

if we had a society in which the majority of the individuals would know about this,

- but know for a fact, based on their experiences,

not just following a set of rules -

know that the world is not purely physical?

What would this imply?

If we just conclude from what we’ve discussed,

they would probably polish their personal principles,

they would mind the lasting effects or consequences of their actions,

forming a society with greater humanitarian and planetary concerns,

where goals would be more than only becoming wealthier,

maybe more about altruism.

While I have a few seconds left

let me propose that we let our minds run free for a moment and conjecture.

Would we, one day, evolve from Homo sapiens

to Homo projectius,

meaning that we would become individuals or beings

who would naturally project outside of our bodies

also having some sort of multidimensional awareness?

Well, that's an intriguing thought, at least.

Thank you for your attention.

(Applause)

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