Sunday, April 13, 2008

Out of Body - Autoscopy - doppelganger

A few years back I was having a conversation with my friends and family about that feeling I am sure everyone has when "floating above oneself" sort of as an observer. To my astonishment everyone DOES NOT have those episodes.

After being laughed at and called weird, I decided not to speak of it again. It happened just the other day as I was driving from work on I-90 westbound.

The first time I remember it happening vividly was when I was about 13-14-15-16???? I was to play a song on the piano for a Church Recital. My older brother (13 months - to protect identities in this public forum .... lets just call him Michael R. White) was screwing with me trying to mess up the tune in my head that I had practiced for this prestigious even in front of maybe 12 people.

Mike succeeded and as I walked to the piano - the song I was about to play left my brain completely. I sat on the bench ... placed my hands on the keys ...... and thought about crying and running out the back choir door.

Then as I seemed to elevate over myself and look down from about 6 feet or so - someones hands started playing the rehearsed song.

This autoscopy, out of body, doppelganger, visuo-spatial, egocentric, extrcorporeal, evil-twin phenom ..... is not at all evil cold or bad, just a feeling that happens once every few months. I bring it up because it has also happened on the motorcycle a time or two - before I snap it back to reality since alertness of surroundings is of critical importance on two wheels.


Autoscopy is defined as an experience in which a person while believing to be awake sees her/his body and the world from a location outside her/his physical body. More precisely, autoscopy experiences are characterized by the presence of the following three phenomena:
disembodiment (apparent location of the self outside one's body);
impression of seeing the
world from an elevated and distanced visuo-spatial perspective (extracorporeal, but egocentric visuo-spatial perspective); and impression of seeing one's own body (autoscopy) from this perspective.

A doppelgänger (pronunciation (help·info)) or fetch is the ghostly double of a living person, a sinister form of bilocation.
In the
vernacular, "Doppelgänger" has come to refer (as in German) to any double or look-alike of a person—most commonly an "evil twin". The literal translation of the German word is "doublewalker", meaning someone who is acting (e.g. walking) the same way as another person. The word is also used to describe the sensation of having glimpsed oneself in peripheral vision, in a position where there is no chance that it could have been a reflection. They are generally regarded as harbingers of bad luck. In some traditions, a doppelgänger seen by a person's friends or relatives portends illness or danger, while seeing one's own doppelgänger is an omen of death.

2 comments:

Whitney said...

i can't say i've ever experienced this type of thing, but it sounds kind of cool, so i wish i could experience it. great blog. and i can totally picture uncle mike taunting you, but you pulled it off. :-)

Lady Ridesalot said...

This sounds like something you take very seriously, and here is my thought on it. I sort of know what you mean, but when I seem to sense this "observation of myself" when I'm pretty pumped up with decongestants or antihistamines. I get these "out of body feelings" when I'm sick, and I always thought my medicine was making me feel this way. Maybe, I'm just more open to it in a weakened state? You just gave me too much to think about! Lady R