As I was reading a story about Carlos Alvarado, I found his account of an out-of-body experience to be very interesting. An out-of-body experience is one in which someone feels their consciousness outside of their body, as if it is floating above them, and in some cases, they may be watching themselves from above. I found this to not only be a very interesting experience, but also a somewhat important finding. Being that it was experienced by a police officer in her first night on patrol reflects the fact that it is a prominent finding, and it can be experienced in a variety of situations. Personally, I have never experienced or known someone to have experienced an OBE. As I understand, people that are the most perceptible to experiencing this phenomenon are those who have experienced other unusual sensations, are on medication or using drugs, or are on the extremities of being either very relaxed or very stressed out- which may be one of the reasons that 25 percent of college students claim to have had an account of an OBE.
Relating an OBE to myself, although I have never experienced it in an everyday situation, I can recall that many of the dreams that I have I am not in my body or playing the part of myself, but actually watching myself perform the tasks or whatever I may be doing in my dream from above. This leads me to believe that what I see in my dreams is comparable to what those who experience OBE's see in real life. The following picture is an example of what an OBE might appear to be like to someone who is experiencing it:
Ultimately, the fact that the consciousness of the person experiencing it is not within them (aka out-of-body) is somewhat confusing to me. I do not understand how, going back to the example of the police officer, that her body could perform something while she watched it? I also question if this experience is actually real or rather a mere hallucination? The reasoning behind my misunderstanding of this topic is most likely due to the fact that I have never experienced it myself, and I am hoping that further research and assessment of OBE's will better help me understand the experience and what it is like to the person who is affected by them.