1.3.8 Separation from the physical body
Very common is the experience of floating, sometimes on the ceiling, looking down on the body – a sense that the essential part of the person has separated from the physical body. In Michael Sabom’s survey of near-death experiences among non-surgical cases everyone had this sensation, but other studies indicate it is not universal. One woman recorded these feelings in a poem.
Hovering beneath the ceiling, I looked down
Upon a body, untenanted – my own
Strangely at peace, airy, weightless as light,
I floated there freed from pain-filled days and nights
Until a voice I heard, an urgent call,
And again I dwelt within my body’s wall.
This out-of-body experience was typically accompanied by alertness and clarity of thought.