(--JustLikeAPill @ Dec. 29 2006,6:56)
Is it a metaphysical experience or just a biological function most people havn't tapped into? The jury is out on that.
Systematically gathering information you couldn't otherwise know (e.g. descriptions and exact placements of objects in a faraway room you've never set foot in or seen pictures of) is how I would go about verifying that sort of thing. If a correct description is reliable and repeatable, it wouldn't necessarily mean that it's being gathered through astral projection, but it would be astronomically unlikely that the experience, whatever it is, is all just in your head.
I have a lot of problems with the new age world, and one of them is how often they accuse science of persecuting them and being "closed-minded" when they don't lift a finger to back up their claims. Their arguments can be boiled down to "just trust me on this." Of course most of them don't do it because they'll be exposed as the frauds they are, but the select few who can actually demonstrate something interesting have something valuable to contribute if they'd just approach it more empirically.
That paragraph wasn't directed at anyone in particular... I just want to encourage people who have success with this sort of thing to test themselves rigorously and try to weed out all the self-deceit they possibly can. The jury doesn't have to be out... there are just too many lunatics making things difficult for those with something to show. It's worth proving if you're good enough at it to become a test subject.