Susan Blackmore -- Neutral Monist or Idealist?

#1
A lot of people automatically assume that Susan Blackmore is a materialist because she attributes NDEs as dying brain phenomenon. Indeed, a surface reading of Dying To Live would seem to confirm that.

But Blackmore actually identifies as a neutral monist. She doesn't believe that matter or consciousness is primary over the other (although, she does say that consciousness is an illusion).

But on closer viewing of Dying to Live, particularly in Chapter 7 -- Realer Than Real, she says some interesting things. In this chapter, she examines why the NDEs seem real. In talking about why NDEs seem real, she gets into an interesting discussion on what reality is, and whether there is any reality.

Finally, there is the question of whether the things seen and events experienced during the NDE were part of an objective measurable world or whether they were products of the individual and private to them. This means contrasting 'real' with 'imaginary'. It is this that causes all the problems.

The problems lie not in making the distinction itself. After all, it is a distinction we have to make all the time to survive. The problem seems to be this: in our culture at least, the 'real' is associated with reliable, understandable, measurable, interesting and worthwhile while the 'imaginary' is associated with unreliable, illogical, crazy and worthless. An experience is only seen to be valid if it is real.

...NDEs are experienced as a valuable, insightful and realistic and so to justify their obvious importance adults think they must be objectively 'real'. In other words they answer 'Yes' to the first two kinds of question and then think they must answer 'Yes' to the last as well. I think NDEs are real in the first two senses: they happen to people and they seem as real or more real than any experience. I think they are 'unreal' in the third sense; though still valid and life-changing.
She goes on to talk about the theories that perhaps the NDEs take place in alternate realities:

There are cosmic realms and dream-times, parallel universes and many other derivations from physics and psychology. All these are held to be 'other realities' that people can travel to in altered states of consciousness. To avoid the obvious problems of making these into concrete other places a slightly more subtle step is sometimes taken. This is to argue that the distinction into 'real' and 'imaginary' is false and that there is some third additional category. One author argues that we wrongly divide experiences into either real ones or 'products of fantasy, delusion, hoax or hallucination' (all words denigrating the imagination!) and offers instead a third 'imaginal' realm that 'in some sense truly exists outside time and space'. Such imaginal realms are found in many other fascinating accounts, such as the explorations and drug experiences of Carlos in his meetings with the Indian sorcerer Don Juan.

However, they are not really a third category at all. Any theory of this kind is asserting that the NDE is real in all three senses.

If we believe the proponents of any of these views then it makes sense to talk about experiences in 'another reality'. The job of the various theories is then to describe that reality and explain NDEs in terms of it. If they succeed they can end up concluding 'There you are, you see, the experiences were real.' Often they will add to this 'and the scientific establishment was wrong all along!'

I don't think it works and I don't think it is necessary to dungaree the private world of imagination this way. I have read many theories offering some kind of alternative reality where NDErs go. I don't think any of them make any sense or can do the job of explaining the NDE.

This is a wide and sweeping dismissal but I believe it is justified, not least because all these theories start from confused assumptions about the difference between reality and imagination.
She goes on to talk about the holographic theory that when we die, our consciousness shifts from the ordinary world of appearances to a reality of pure frequencies where time and space have collapsed and locations become irrelevant. She talks about why she doesn't think the theory works and ultimately rejects it.

Then she talks about about the mystical view and Bohm's theory of an implicate order:

I have rejected holographic theory as helpful for understanding NDEs and would now like to discuss its relevance more generally to mystical experience. I have been using this term as though it were self-evident what a mystical experience is. In fact it is not easy to define and one of the problems comes from the fact that it is difficult for people who have these experiences even to describe them. The experiences are often ineffable. Nevertheless, there are some common themes. Oneness is the most obvious. People often describe a sense of certainty that the universe is one, including themselves and all the objects in it now and for ever. Space and time seem largely irrelevant, even though an order of events may still be apparent. Love seems to spring naturally out of everything, as though from oneness comes universal love. From this vision, priorities can be changed for ever and a person's attitudes towards death, self and others altered.

Such experiences can come about entirely unexpectedly in the midst of ordinary life; through prayer, fasting, meditation or, as we have already seen, through taking such drugs as nitrous oxide, LSD or mescaline. Whatever their origin, they carry with them a conviction of rightness, that this is how it is and this is somehow more real than the rest of ordinary life...

...Like NDEs, these experiences carry with them the sense of rightness, or being obviously 'real'. One of the appeals of the holographic theory is that it seems to account for the quality of mystical experience by pointing out that we live in a constructed world; that all the objects of our familiar experience are constructed holographically by our brains. The ordinary world of appearances is not solid, given, self-existing fact. It is a world of illusion or, to use the Hindu term, maya. Underlying this is another interconnected realm out of which these experiences are constructed. In the case of the holographic theory they are constructed from the interference of frequencies.

There are other theories that try to do a similar thing. A good example is Bohm's theory of the implicate order. A physicist at London's Birbeck College, David Bohm developed his ideas as a way of dealing with the fragmentation and confusion apparent in particle physics. This physics regarded the universe as made up of particles which were not really particles but also waves and which could only be described by equations and not in terms of a satisfactory world view. Bohm argued that we could not dispense with an overall world view. He proposed that underlying the explicate order, or world of manifest appearances, there is an implicate order. All the structures which make up the world of appearances unfold out of the enfolded implicate order. All that ever was or will be is, in some sense, already there in a timeless and spaceless other order. He talks about

"unbroken wholeness in flowing movement, for in the implicate order the totality of existence is enfolded within each region of space (and time). So whatever part, element, or aspect we may abstract in thought, this still folds the whole and therefore intrinsically related to the totality from which it has been abstracted."

Ring quotes Pribram as follows:

"As a way of looking at consciousness, holographic theory is much closer to mystical and Eastern philosophy. It will take a while for people to become comfortable with an order of reality other than the world of appearances. But it seems to me that some of the mystical experiences people have described for millennia begin to make some scientific sense. They bespeak the possibility of tapping into that order of reality that is behind the world of appearances."

In this way, both Pribram's holographic theory and Bohm's implicate order propose an underlying order out of which the world of objects manifests itself. In both cases this underlying order is an unbroken flowing whole, or oneness, out of which separate objects or thoughts come into being. From this point they take the same three steps (although it is often others who do this in the most extreme ways).

Firstly, they conclude that mystical experiences are seeing through the illusion that the ordinary world is 'real'. Secondly, they conclude that they are therefore a glimpse or direct vision of an underlying reality and, thirdly, they conclude that if everything is, underneath, connected to everything else, then paranormal events are explained.

These three arguments are often mixed up, as though they are the same, or as though one follows from the other. Claims of miracles worked by mystics and true visions in mystical states seem to confirm the connection between the mystical vision and paranormal events. But there is no real connection here.

I want to consider the three steps of the argument separately to see which are helpful and which are not. The basic principle is very simple -- that the world of appearances is a constructed one. Indeed, I believe this is the heart of the mystical insight. However, the two further arguments do not necessarily follow from it. And although the insight can follow from either Bohm's or Pribram's theories, it follows equally well from many other views of the universe. So one does not need to adopt either of them to share it. Moreover, a more conventional approach to brain function can, I believe, do even better in laying the foundation for understanding mystical experience and without adding on any 'underlying reality' or paranormal phenomena. I shall work backwards and try to demolish both these unwarranted steps before coming back to the basic idea of a world of constructed appearances
She goes on to say that Bohm's theory doesn't explain things like telepathy, clairvoyance and psychokenesis. Then she writes:

Having rejected the argument for the paranormal, we are now down to two steps: that the world of appearances is a constructed illusion and that once you have seen through the illusion you can see the underlying reality.

Even if the first statement is true, the second is both unnecessary and misleading. It implies dualism. It implies that consciousness is a separate thing that can look into a new reality. It implies that this reality can be seen independently of construction; that although all our normal experience is 'unreal', this mystical glimpse is 'really real'. This seems to me to be having one's cake and eating it; accepting the difficult insight that all of experience is constructed, without letting go of the idea that somewhere something is 'real' and we can get hold of it and 'really' know about it. However, we cannot since anything we 'got hold of' would be part of our experience and also constructed. So we should not -- and cannot -- take this step. We are now down to just one: the idea that the world of appearances is a constructed illusion.

The joke is that psychologists have been saying this for decades but no one seemed to take on this discovery as though they really believed it; perhaps because it is so hard to accept and so much easier to think there is something else that is 'really real'. I do not think there is. So, I shall present an alternative view of how we construct reality. This builds on much of contemporary cognitive psychology and requires no 'other worlds' or 'underlying realities'. It faces up to the mystical insights and accounts for why the NDE seems so real.
Then she goes into more technical things about how we do live in a world constructed by our brains. She gives examples of illusions that we experience in our vision, how our brain takes information through our senses and to create a representation of what the outside world looks like, etc. She also talks about "psychic illusions" caused by random, coincidental events. She spends a long time talking about this.

Then she goes on to talk about mental models:

Reality is a vast set of mental models.

If everything experienced is mental models, who or what am I? Presumably, 'I' am one of those mental models; a model of a self who appears to be in charge and to 'inhabit' this body. Just as the robot must have a representation of its own 'body' with its wheels and grippers and the position of its television camera, so must I (this brain-based information processing system0 have a model of 'myself'. 'I' am no more and no less than a mental model.

This makes it clear that we can use the term 'I' in two senses that are normally confused; I the physical person, the whole system of body-brain, and 'I' the mental model it constructs. To make things clearer I shall refer to these as I and 'I'. In other words, people (systems) construct 'selves' (models). I build 'I'. My brain builds 'me'.

Does this help us understand who or what we are and why we are conscious and seem to live in a real world? Can it explain why some things seem real to me and some not or why I am conscious of some things and not others? Does it provide answers to questions such as -- who has NDEs? why do they seem so real? who dies? It does. I have answers to these questions which, unlike all that I have been saying so far, go somewhat beyond what is commonly accepted in cognitive science or psychology, but they are answers that will help us greatly in understanding the NDE.

First we need to ask why some of the models in my system are conscious and some not. My answer is that consciousness is just the subjective aspect of all this modelling. It is how it feels to be a mental model. Of course, 'I' am only one of the models. For all I know all the other models in the system may be equally conscious but they are not conscious of me. Since 'I' am probably the most complex and intricate model being built by my brain 'I' do have some kind of special status but not by being anything essentially different from the others. The only thing that makes any of them conscious to me is being made a part of 'me'. In other words any model that is linked up to or made a part of the self-model automatically becomes conscious to 'me'. All the other mental models being used in the system are unconscious to 'me'.

I am not a special being inside the head directing attention to one thing or another. Rather 'I' am just one of many models built by this system and 'my' awareness is just a product of the way that system builds its model of reality. The model describes 'me' as a separate being, perceiving the world, making decisions and acting independently. Actually that is all illusion too.
This is very difficult to accept but I think it may be true.
Sounds pretty materialistic, doesn't it? Yet, she's always railed against materialism and idealism because in her view, both imply a kind of dualism. But anyway, she goes on to talk about how the brain determines what mental model are real and what mental models are not real. Now here is where it gets interesting:

What [the brain] can do is check up on any model to see how it behaves. A model that stays there for a long time, that successfully predicts future input from the eyes and ears, that keeps track of plausible movements and so on, is a model that is likely to be based on the world 'out there'. A model that keeps on changing, that can be a black cat one moment and a bird the next, is likely to be an imaginary one. So my proposal is quite simple: that the system takes the most stable of its models an attributes to it the status of 'real'. Our 'reality' at any time is the brain's collection of stable mental models built largely out of sensory input and integrated to form a model of self in the world. It is, if you like, a 'me-now model'. It describes me and my place in an apparently real world.

And is there a real world out there? Well, if we adopt this view we can never know. We assume there is in the way we talk about brains and what they do. But it is only an assumption -- a useful working model. It is just another of those ubiquitous mental models. Indeed, everything we experience, including ourselves, is a mental model. Every attitude or belief we hold about an outside world or about anything at all, is a description in a mental model. This is all we have. Indeed, it is all we are.

This is where we come back to the notion of alternate realities. From this point of view there can be no alternate realities. Whatever underlies the world of appearances is unknown and unknowable. Any attempt to describe it is creating more mental models, not penetrating into any underlying reality. The best we can say is that it is the formless, the unknowable ground or the void. And even this might be just another mental model.

I said that this theory would be better able to account for mystical experiences and the 'realness' of the NDE. Is it? Both Bohm's and Pribram's theories, and many others like them, claim that the world of appearances is an illusion and that in mystical experiences one sees through to the underlying reality. My view shares with them the idea that the world is all illusion, or maya, but differs from them over the underlying reality. It is not that I propose a totally different underlying reality. Rather that there is not one. Once you see that all 'you' are is a collection of mental models, you see the illusion. Imagine you can see through the illusion to an underlying reality and all you will see is more models of reality -- more illusion. Mystical insight is not having a great psychic self that can penetrate through illusion to ultimate reality. Rather it is simply not needing to construct either 'self' or 'reality'.

To do science, to control the world, to predict what will happen, we need to assume there is a world and we need to construct space and time. But all we can ever experience, in mystical states or ordinary having-a-cup-of-coffee states, are mental models. There is nothing beyond this that can be known.

This idea can be just too horrible to accept and we will go to enormous lengths to invent something more substantial to hang on to. 'If I see through this there must be something more!' or 'Now I understand the creation of illusion, I can see the "real" thing.' I believe all these attempts are missing the truly scary truth: that there is nothing substantial to hang on to -- not even oneself.

I think this way of seeing things is well expressed in the Buddhist notion of form and emptiness. Behind all forms lies emptiness -- not lack of something, but emptiness. Form and emptiness are both aspects of each other. If you try to hang on to form you will find only emptiness. If you try to hang on to emptiness you will keep on finding form. The Buddhist Heart Sutra tells of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, a follower of the Buddha, who one day perceived that all sensory experiences are empty. In this way he transcended all suffering. His realization is explained like this: Form is precisely emptiness and emptiness precisely form. So also are sensation, perception, volition and consciousness. Although the language is entirely different and we cannot enter into the assumptions of the people it was written for, I think this is what I have been saying about sensation, perception, volition and consciousness, based on contemporary cognitive psychology.

It was for intellectual reasons that I came to this view but it has strange effects on how you live your life. If there is nothing to hang on to, if self is just another model, then experiencing the world is different from the way it is when you live in the illusion that there is a real world out there, or even that there is an underlying reality which can be found. This way there is nothing to find and no self to find it. The only path is just going on being one model after another.

...And what about NDEs? Who experiences them and who dies?

If there is no underlying reality then the NDE, like every other experience, is a matter of the mental models being constructed by the brain at the time. Therefore to understand the NDE we need to understand the mental models created by the dying brain. To understand why it seems so real we have to see why it is that the brain attributes reality status to those models. To understand who dies we have to ask what model of self was being constructed at the time.

In fact, we have already completed some of this task. We have seen why it is that the brain creates tunnel and bright lights when it is dying or under stress. We can now add that with random firing in the visual cortex and little sensory input, the tunnel form may well be the brain's most stable model of reality at the time. So that is why it seems so real.

This means that we can answer the question put at the benign of the chapter, 'Is the NDE real?' In the first two senses 'Yes', in the third sense 'No': it happens, it seems real, but the experiences are actually mental constructions.
One thing the reader may overlook here is that the brain creating the mental models is itself a mental model, and it is a mental model that the mental model creates mental models! So if reality and NDEs are both mental models, then it doesn't really matter if NDEs are "real" within the context of the mental model of reality.

Blackmore actually sounds more like an idealist, but a materialist within the idealistic view.

So, is life, experience, consciousness... is it all just an never ending flow of mental models?
 
#2
Please don't take this the wrong way... But why exactly should we inquiry any further? She is hardly a notable researcher and is, instead, a media personality more than else. To me, it seems like her flamboyant personality is more notable than the research that she completed (on that same line, I'm sure that the procedural issues in her work have been discussed as well).
 
#3
Please don't take this the wrong way... But why exactly should we inquiry any further? She is hardly a notable researcher and is, instead, a media personality more than else. To me, it seems like her flamboyant personality is more notable than the research that she completed (on that same line, I'm sure that the procedural issues in her work have been discussed as well).
Did I say anything about her research? I was making an observation that her views seem fundamentally idealistic.
 
#4
One thing the reader may overlook here is that the brain creating the mental models is itself a mental model, and it is a mental model that the mental model creates mental models! So if reality and NDEs are both mental models, then it doesn't really matter if NDEs are "real" within the context of the mental model of reality.
Exactly what I was thinking. There are some interesting ideas but maybe she overlooks it? Models are not real in the common way either they are representations. I don't think she deals with the contradiction very well or at all.
What are the source of the mental nodes? Emptinesss? Formlessness? The void? The infinite? She ends up where all other line of thought leads. A paradox, an infinite regress.

But yeah definitely some elements beyond materialism, but then I don't see the logic of the conclusions at all, it seems quite particular about certain points of view, some subtle "modeling" of arguments for dismantling purposes.
 
#5
Did I say anything about her research? I was making an observation that her views seem fundamentally idealistic.
Well then, why are you so taken by her philosophy or ideology? Is it the self-contraditions that you find appealing? I'm sorry, but I'm not sure why she seems so interesting to some and really want to understand. My comment was more about her entire philosophy revolving around her media presence instead of her old research.
 
#6
I am not a special being inside the head directing attention to one thing or another. Rather 'I' am just one of many models built by this system and 'my' awareness is just a product of the way that system builds its model of reality. The model describes 'me' as a separate being, perceiving the world, making decisions and acting independently. Actually that is all illusion too.
This is very difficult to accept but I think it may be true.
She gives her reality over to a "system" that builds. It describes her, in representation. She gives it power to her perception of free will. I agree there is an illusory concept of the self, it is the ego.

Yet the ability to build models requires choice contingeny. All of science relies on the ability of the experimenter to make choices. If she gives her illusory control to a system that builds, all of her speculation is a result of the system that builds and not Susan Blackmore.

She is of course a construction of her experience and her own system within the system that builds. One she has co created as a part of the system. The other I the biological representation is not anything that could be related to the I of the ego. She blurs with ambiguity a bit.

She is missing some profound features of her own points of view I think. Her conclusions are not warranted or even logical IMO. She also touches on some aspects of incompleteness. We can only know as much about the mind as it assumes to know about itself, anything you can put a circle around and call separate owes its existence to something outside the circle.

That would be the system that builds. Some people call it God.
 
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#7
She gives her reality over to a "system" that builds. It describes her, in representation. She gives it power to her perception of free will. I agree there is an illusory concept of the self, it is the ego.

Yet the ability to build models requires choice contingeny. All of science relies on the ability of the experimenter to make choices. If she gives her illusory control to a system that builds, all of her speculation is a result of the system that builds and not Susan Blackmore.

She is of course a construction of her experience and her own system within the system that builds. One she has co created as a part of the system. The other I the biological representation is not anything that could be related to the I of the ego. She blurs with ambiguity a bit.

She is missing some profound features of her own points of view I think. Her conclusions are not warranted or even logical IMO. She also touches on some aspects of incompleteness. We can only know as much about the mind as it assumes to know about itself, anything you can put a circle around and call separate owes its existence to something outside the circle.

That would be the system that builds. Some people call it God.
This seems like a very reasonable assessment of the material quoted.
 
#8
I think Rory has put quite a bit of work into that post so I'm not knocking him. However, personally I believe Blackmore just talks rubbish, psychobabble . I didn't like her silly explanations for NDE that pissed off a great many people who'd had these profound experiences.

And I don't believe we build models, we all either look out of our heads (as a spirit in a body) through our eyes.... onto the world... that is just as it appears ...or our brains (no spirit) are fed true information which is assembled and it's the same for all of us with the difference that we may interpret that information slightly differently depending on what we may notice as being most relevant.

Maybe I shouldn't have commented I suppose but the woman with the green hair has always annoyed me
 
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#9
And I don't believe we build models, we all either look out of our heads (as a spirit in a body) through our eyes.... onto the world... that is just as it appears ...or our brains (no spirit) are fed true information which is assembled and it's the same for all of us with the difference that we may interpret that information slightly differently depending on what we may notice as being most relevant.
Even before reading Blackmore's book, I suspected that there was no external, objective reality. I go to design school. I learn about colors, visual illusions, blind spots, how the brain processes vision, etc. I can tell you that Blackmore is right on about living in illusion. We do essentially live in a Matrix.

I waver between idealism and dualism. I think I may be a dualist, but not in the sense that I believe there is a spirit inhabiting the body, piloting the body around. Just a few years ago, there was a girl who could, at will, experience leaving her body. But she knew that was not what was actually happening. Scientists did MRIs on her and saw brain activity associated with that experience. My problem with OBEs is -- where is your X-ray vision or ultraviolet vision or infrared vision or your 360 degree vision? Why does it seem like people with OBEs still seem to experience human limited vision? The self may very well be an illusion, but the question is... WHAT is experiencing that illusion? I think the spirit is more of a vacuum for subjective phenomena. It can never be empty. But it may falsely identify with the experience (analogous to a video game player playing Super Mario Bros. and believing he really is Mario).
 
#10
I've no time for her myself. IMO she has no idea of what she is talking about.
Sure, she squawks like a parrot for the pseudoskeptik audience, who are taken in by her non sense.

not that I know what I'm talking about myself, but there you go..
 
#11
Even before reading Blackmore's book, I suspected that there was no external, objective reality. I go to design school. I learn about colors, visual illusions, blind spots, how the brain processes vision, etc. I can tell you that Blackmore is right on about living in illusion. We do essentially live in a Matrix.

I waver between idealism and dualism. I think I may be a dualist, but not in the sense that I believe there is a spirit inhabiting the body, piloting the body around. Just a few years ago, there was a girl who could, at will, experience leaving her body. But she knew that was not what was actually happening. Scientists did MRIs on her and saw brain activity associated with that experience. My problem with OBEs is -- where is your X-ray vision or ultraviolet vision or infrared vision or your 360 degree vision? Why does it seem like people with OBEs still seem to experience human limited vision? The self may very well be an illusion, but the question is... WHAT is experiencing that illusion? I think the spirit is more of a vacuum for subjective phenomena. It can never be empty. But it may falsely identify with the experience (analogous to a video game player playing Super Mario Bros. and believing he really is Mario).
Interesting thoughts. So our personality is a illusion but something is experiencing this illusion? Is it us? Im not really sure how to articulate that thought, but granted there is something like that spirit that you are talking about - isnt that pretty much something that would be the same as that what we describe as "i"? Personality may or may not be a part of that, but it would still be "me"(me in a context that is not related to personality). Something like that? In some sense it wouldnt be me, but at the same time it would be me. Its the same for your video game example, right? I believe i really am Mario for a certain amount of time, but at some point i stop do that. Now, was i Mario for that period of time?
 
#12
Even before reading Blackmore's book, I suspected that there was no external, objective reality. I go to design school. I learn about colors, visual illusions, blind spots, how the brain processes vision, etc. I can tell you that Blackmore is right on about living in illusion. We do essentially live in a Matrix.

I waver between idealism and dualism. I think I may be a dualist, but not in the sense that I believe there is a spirit inhabiting the body, piloting the body around. Just a few years ago, there was a girl who could, at will, experience leaving her body. But she knew that was not what was actually happening. Scientists did MRIs on her and saw brain activity associated with that experience. My problem with OBEs is -- where is your X-ray vision or ultraviolet vision or infrared vision or your 360 degree vision? Why does it seem like people with OBEs still seem to experience human limited vision? The self may very well be an illusion, but the question is... WHAT is experiencing that illusion? I think the spirit is more of a vacuum for subjective phenomena. It can never be empty. But it may falsely identify with the experience (analogous to a video game player playing Super Mario Bros. and believing he really is Mario).
Why features like "colors I've never seen before" (which, I have always interpreted as them becoming aware of the entire spectrum and then some) and 360° vision are often reported in NDE-related OBEs, but not in "regular" OBEs, is indeed an enigma. Perhaps it is due to the fact that the brain is entirely functional in the latter? I guess the diverse "conciousness field" theories tackle this to an extent, but not entirely, as I am not convinced that it is a field per se. There were telepathy experiments where shielding of all sorts were used to "block" outside signals, but telepathy was reportedly unaffected.
 
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#13
Why features like "colors I've never seen before" (which, I have always interpreted as them becoming aware of the entire spectrum and then some) and 360° vision are often reported in NDE-related OBEs, but not in "regular" OBEs, is indeed an enigma. Perhaps it is due to the fact that the brain is entirely functional in the latter? I guess the diverse "conciousness field" theories tackle this to an extent, but not entirely, as I am not convinced that it is a field per se. There were
Read more "regular" OBE accounts I guess.
 
#20
Regarding 360 degree vision being reported in OBEs, I have seen a few popular OBErs describe just such a phenomenon occurring during their experiences. The one that immediately comes to mind is William Buhlman, who has mentioned his ability to experience this type of vision a few times in interviews and whatnot.
 
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