Judging from the number of books and YouTube videos now available on the subject, out-of-body experiences (OOBEs) seem to be enjoying a contemporary revival, and there is surely no hobby more ontologically controversial.
In October 2012, the pop star Ke$ha claimed she once had sex with a spirit. The announcement came while she was promoting a new song, “Supernatural,” and coincided with Halloween. Many dismissed it as a headline-attracting media trick. But there may be something to her claim.
To the extent that these experiences are convincing, detailed, explorable, real, they make fluid the line between the visionary and the everyday worlds. Perhaps they teach us to de-reify the world, to personify, to mythologize — to obliterate the boundaries, construct a visionary world from the detritus of the everyday, let us see through, turn the world into metaphor, into magic.