The Nonphysical Component

Mind-Brain Problem | Out-of-Body Experience

By Darryl E Berry Jr | 7/2/20 Updated

The topic is whether a human being is only “stuff” or if there is something beyond the physical components of a human being (Hoofard, 5:40-6:10). The question is: “Do you think that humans have minds/souls distinct from their bodies? Thoroughly explain why or why not” (Hoofard, 1:09:00-1:09:45).

Given my previous writings you may already know where I’m going with this. The question is easily solved for me. I’ve had experiences of being separate from my physical body, as a nonphysical entity that in my experience enters or enmeshes with the physical body during our waking physical states. It/we survive death, and live multiple lifetimes. To me it is an observable and experienceable fact that we have minds or souls or consciousness or what have you, that are vital to yet distinct from our physical bodies.


First, I’ll share an experience of mine. This is an account of my first out-of-body experience:

My First Exit. My introduction to the out-of-body experience occurred quite spontaneously. I hadn’t read anything on the subject, nor seen or heard anything about it. I simply experienced getting up from bed but leaving my physical body behind! One night, when I was 4 or 5 years old, I suddenly felt very heavy and lethargic, and went to lie down in bed. It was earlier than my bedtime, yet later than afternoon – around dusk. I was so lethargic by the time I got to my bed that I had to just plop myself down and pull the covers over me. After some time, I started feeling better, and got up to tell my mother. But I found that my hand went through the doorknob as I tried to open my bedroom door. I looked back to see a lump on the bed under the sheets that I concluded was my physical body. I walked through the door and through the intervening walls into the kitchen, to contact my mother. I tried to yell for help, but no sound came from my mouth. I was able to observe her actions in the kitchen and confirmed her actions later. A few years ago, wanting to confirm my memory of this incident, I asked my mother if she recalled this. She confirmed me as a kid running up to her, telling her of having been “out of my body” (Berry, 19).

This experience, among others, showed me that we exist separate from our physical bodies.

It is of note that I wasn’t introduced to this topic intellectually. It was totally new to me. And no one around me – at least to my awareness – had any awareness of or interest in the topic or experience. This to me supported my experience as being valid and real, rather than something I’d dreamt up because of something told to me, or something I’d read or seen.


To me the experience would be enough. But I understand further reasons may be warranted. And perhaps I should be much more demanding of myself and have a host of reasons for my position. Some might point out that there’s a discernable difference between the physical body/brain and the consciousness/mind, in that I can conceive of the mind/consciousness surviving without the body, but not the brain surviving without the body (Hoofard, Discussions). Simply that it’s conceivable for the one (mind), but not the other (brain), demonstrates some difference between the two (Hoofard, Discussions). Or some might argue that there is some aspect of experiential learning, or qualia, that is different than what can be learned by data acquisition alone (Hoofard, Discussions). Thus, there is some quality or state that is beyond purely physical material; something uniquely a part of awareness or experience itself (Hoofard, Discussions). Yet the philosophical argument that I am most partial to is the idea that consciousness hasn’t been demonstrated to be caused by the physical brain or by physical matter.

My understanding is that the physical brain is not fully understood. So yes, it can be said that some consciousness-making dynamic in the brain is yet to be discovered. And that is the point! It’s yet to be discovered. Thus, it’s also conceivable that gross physical matter simply cannot and does not make or produce consciousness, and that there is some nonphysical aspect to the human being that is consciousness. This notion is supported by my experiences. Unless someone can definitively show that matter can and does produce consciousness, and/or that the physical brain can and does produce consciousness, then it seems unreasonable to discount the notion that consciousness could be something beyond the physical brain or physical body.


A rebuttal to experiences like mine that seems common among academics is that the experiences are brain generated illusions – or other type of hallucination – and that there is no indication that the experiences are anything other than that.

I believe that people have these memories of these [out-of-body experiences when near death]. It’s just about the interpretation… All we have is a story constructed after the fact… any weird kind of experience you could imagine, if you accept this level of evidence then you have to believe every paranormal claim out there. Because we have that level of evidence for thousands of stories that are conflicting and mutually exclusive, often culturally dependent. It’s simply not acceptable. And we know, we know for a fact that the brain could absolutely manufacture those memories and come to absolutely believe a story like that that’s definitely not true (Debates, Novella, 1:03:32-1:04:21).

This is a good point. How can we know if the experience is real at all? Or whether the experience is some brain generated hallucination?


Even earlier on I approached these experiences more from a scientist’s perspective – insomuch as I could. I understood to some extent the ideas of falsifiability, and experimentation, and evidence. And it seemed reasonable and logical that:

  1. If the out-of-body experience is a real experience of leaving the physical body in a nonphysical state,
  2. And if others can generate this state as well,


  1. Then two people who are in this state should be able to meet and interact and validate the interaction later.

And this is exactly what I endeavored to do. I enacted a blind experiment with my friend Louis:

I’d decided to visit him and to make it so I could validate the experience. I didn’t tell him I was planning to meet him. And before going OBE I imagined myself in a long white robe, with a golden band around the chest/ torso area of the robe. I went OBE and had a groggy experience of meeting and communicating with him in the nonphysical. The next day we talked on the phone as usual, and I didn’t mention the experience at all. Louis volunteered that he saw me in the OBE state, that I was wearing a big white shirt with a gold ring around it, and that when we talked, I seemed drunk (Berry, 33).

I want to stress that in this experiment I did not inform my friend that I was going to visit him in the out-of-body state. I just knew he frequently traveled out-of-body, so I’d likely be able to find him. Not only did I not tell him that I would visit him to test the experience, but I also didn’t tell him that I’d alter my appearance in a strange way, with the big white shirt with a gold band around its center.

So, unless scientists can explain or demonstrate how his brain could somehow hallucinate exactly what I intended to do in the out-of-body state; correlating exactly with the hallucination my brain had of the interaction; and with his brain having no foreknowledge of it at all, then this seems to be evidence that the experience is real.

As quoted earlier, Dr Novella has said: “I believe that people have these memories of these experiences.” So, given that my account is not a fabrication but a valid memory, then how is this explained as a brain generated hallucination? Or if my friend’s account is a fabrication, how did he manage to fabricate the experience exactly when he had no foreknowledge of what I intended to do – including the aspects of my appearance and state of awareness? And when I have my own valid memory of the interaction; with both our accounts matching exactly?

I’ve learned that I still have much more work to do – as far as developing and exploring the out-of-body state; and as far as establishing veridical evidence for the out-of-body experience. And I’m actively engaged in doing so! For example, I’ve founded a research organization named Darryl E Berry Jr’s Next Density Center (DEBJ-NDC) where I’m currently training people to out-of-body travel. I’m organizing a team of conscious out-of-body explorers. And we’ll complete the aforementioned – among other things! But this experience with my friend is certainly a great start towards adding evidence to the validity of the out-of-body state and to the reality of the independence of mind or consciousness.

Works Cited

IntelligenceSquared Debates. “Death Is Not Final”. Steven Novella quote, YouTube upload, 21 June 2020,

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. Personal discussions, 1 July 2020.

Hoofard, Nathan Michael. “The Mind Brain Problem”. YouTube upload, 21 June 2020,

Berry Jr., Darryl E. Travel Far: A Beginner’s Guide to the Out-of-Body Experience, Including First-Hand Accounts and Comprehensive Theory and Methods, 1st ed., (V4 2020), Darryl E Berry Jr / Next Density, 2015 (

Copyright © 2020 Darryl E Berry Jr, Founder of DEBJ-NDC.

This article may be re-posted provided: 1) re-posted in full, 2) full attribution, including active link to this webpage (if on a website), and 3) prior notification of and confirmation from Darryl E Berry Jr. Contact me at

Dream Levels & Berry’s Gradations

By Darryl E Berry Jr

Written: 6/14/20 | Last updated 5/13/24

Ecsomatics | Dreams | Lucid Dreams | Out-of-body Experience | Astral Travel | DEBJ-NDC Course

In practicing and teaching what I’ve come to call Ecsomatics, or the out-of-body experience or astral travel, I’ve established various ways of categorizing experiences. I’ll introduce a few of the gradation scales here, which are very relevant to the ecsomatics courses I teach[1]. Such categorization:

1) makes it easier to process data from experiences,

2) helps with motivation and focus on practices,

3) allows one to ascertain immediately, and categorize easily, the type of ecsomatic experience one has had.

Dream Levels

This Dream Levels metric is utilized to categorize the level of dreaming one experiences. It’s based upon a metric organized by Kurt Leland, but which I have since updated and expanded. A version of my update of this metric has already been published in my first book Travel Far (Berry, 165-166). I’ve adjusted them slightly since then, so I present here the most up-to-date version:

  • Level Zero – no recall of dreams or even that you’ve had dreams
  • Level One – recall that one has dreamt but without remembering any details of what was dreamt
  • Level Two – recall of disjointed fragments of dreams, or isolated images and feelings from the dream
  • Level Three – the experience of watching oneself in the dream rather than participating in it
  • Level Four – full participation in the action of the dream
  • Level Five – very vivid colors and sounds, detail begins emerging in first-person dream recall
  • Level Six – the presence of sensations, textures, smells, and/or tastes in the dream
  • Level Seven – long and involved dream plots; dream continuity from previous dreams; recall of waking dream elements within the dream
  • Level Eight – the ability to think rationally within the dream framework, and actively use mental processes such as performing a task; remembering or incorporating previous physical or nonphysical occurrences into the dream
  • Level Nineactive dreaming – at-will rational application of supernormal powers in the dream, such as flying or environment alteration
  • Level Nine and a Halfsemi-lucid dreaming – near-lucidity in the dream – questioning an aspect of the dream for example; close to lucidity; near waking level of cognizance.
  • Level Tenlucid dreaming – one is fully conscious in the dream state, and fully aware that one is dreaming

The student recalls and/or journals dreams and then assigns an appropriate dream gradation in journals and/or in training charts (Berry, Chapter 9). Over the course of training students gradually progress up the gradation scale in their experiences, until eventually they are having lucid dreams regularly.

Berry’s Gradations

A metric that I’ve formulated, and also introduced into my courses within the last several years, are Berry’s Gradations. These gradations are related to altered states, the ecsomatic or out-of-body state, and the distance one is from the physical body. Just like with the Dream Levels, these gradations add progress and pedagogical benefits to one’s practices. I’ll present the gradation and then expound upon each very briefly. You can learn more about the first ten gradations – with some illustrations included – in chapter 7 of Travel Far.[2]

Altered States

  • Beta 0 – refers to the waking physical state, such as the state you’re likely in while reading this article.
  • Light Alpha 1 –refers to a very light altered state.
  • Alpha 2 – may entail various vague monotone light patterns.
  • Deep Alpha 3 – may entail alterations in mind chatter and some light tingling or vibrations.
  • Light Theta 4 – may include vague multi-colored imagery flashes.
  • Theta 5 – more sustained and full screen visual imagery, and more pronounced tactile sensations.
  • Deep Theta 6 – immersive visual imagery; psychic perceptions and experiences.
  • Light Delta 7 – more pronounced and visceral sensations including any of the senses, usually audial, visual, and/or tactile.
  • Delta 8 – numbness, heaviness, and more pronounced energetic sensations.
  • Deep Delta 9 – total paralysis, sinking or falling, chest heaviness, perceived difficulty breathing.


  • Semi-Lucid Dream 9.25 – semi-lucid dream state; near-lucidity in the dream – questioning an aspect of the dream for example; close to lucidity; near waking level of cognizance; equivalent to 9.5 on the Dream Gradation scale.
  • Lucid Dream or OBE Phenomenon in Dream 9.5 – a full lucid dream state, equivalent to 10 on the Dream Gradation scale; OBE phenomenon experienced during dreams as background sensations, such as floating or difficulty moving.
  • OBE Partial or Semi-Conscious 10 – a partial or near OBE (within 10 feet of the body) or semi-conscious out-of-body experience.
  • OBE Full and Fully Conscious 11 – an out-of-body experience that is at least 10 feet distant from the physical body and fully conscious.


  • Neighborhood or Lower Nonphysical 12 – fully conscious travel within the area of one’s physical neighborhood, and/or the lower nonphysical dimensions.
  • District / City 13 – fully conscious travel within the area of one’s physical city or district.
  • State / Country 14 – fully conscious travel within the area of one’s physical state or country.


  • Continent / Interstate or Mid Nonphysical 15 – fully conscious travel within the area of one’s physical continent, and/or the mid-level nonphysical dimensions.
  • Planet / Intercontinental 16 – fully conscious travel within the area of one’s physical planet.
  • Solar System / Interplanetary 17 – fully conscious travel within the area of one’s physical solar system.

Far Distant

  • Galaxy / Interstellar or Higher Nonphysical 18 – fully conscious travel within the area of one’s physical galaxy or galaxy cluster, and/or the higher nonphysical dimensions.
  • Universe / Intergalactic 19 – fully conscious travel to other galaxies or galaxy clusters.
  • Multiverse / Inter-universal or Transcendent Realms 20 – fully conscious travel to other universes, including alternate timelines and/or travel to transcendent realms of existence.


I often start the title of my journal entry with the relevant gradation number, and then a title representing the primary aspects of the experience, and then details such as the times of practice and such, and then the detailed journal entry.


I hope this helps! You can register to this site and reply with any questions and/or comments to this post. If you’re not already a DEBJ-NDC student, if you’d like to join high-level courses/classes on ecsomatics and other higher vibrational phenomenon, visit and go to Courses page.

Works Cited

Berry Jr., Darryl E. Travel Far: A Beginner’s Guide to the Out-of-Body Experience, Including First-Hand Accounts and Comprehensive Theory and Methods, 1st ed., (V4 2020), Darryl E Berry Jr / Next Density, 2015, 165-166, Chapter 7, Chapter 9).

[1] I accept students at a modest fee for ongoing instruction. You can register at

[2] Travel Far is available in various print and digital formats, including being published freely on the Darryl E Berry Jr’s Next Density Center (DEBJ-NDC) website.

Copyright © 2020-2024 Darryl E Berry Jr, Founder of DEBJ-NDC.

This article may be re-posted provided: 1) prior notification of and confirmation from Darryl E Berry Jr, 2) re-posted in full, and 3) full attribution, including active link to this webpage (if on a website).

Contact me at