Consider the Christmas spirit officially crushed — by a team of Bible-wary researchers from UCLA.
They oversaw a recent study by the Out-Of-Body Experience Research Center in Los Angeles. Shockingly, of 30 volunteers taught to enter an out-of-body sleep state called a “lucid dream” and instructed to look for angels in their bedroom (then eat some food, a la Elijah), 24 had the vision.
So much for miracles. The study's conclusions give us a post-holiday E hangover of “Santa Clause is fake” proportions. Via the Daily Mail:
The study concludes that the experiences gained by their volunteers and practitioners of angels and food were caused by the individual's 'general interests or thoughts before falling asleep, and not external stimuli,' such as an actual heavenly ore religious visitation.
'A comprehensive investigation of this possibly found no fact indicating that this was not the case. Indeed, nearly every indication and fact supports this conclusion,' the study concludes.
Sounds about as absolute as a study on angel visions can get.
Really though: Why now? This is like proving that toaster burn patterns will inevitably resemble Christ once in a while. No wonder religious zealots won't shut up about atheists ruining our country. (Presidential-candidate zealots included.)
Debbie H, one participant, describes her light-as-a-feather experience to the Mail:
“The vibrations were very strong and I know my breathing got heavier and deeper. I tried levitation and I got flashes of being out of my body. I thought, 'This is it,' and immediately went to look for the angel. … In the corner of my bedroom, it definitely felt like it was there… I asked the angel for any information, and it said it was Gabriel! It was a fairly traditional looking angel – large and with wings. I then went to look for food, found an apple in the kitchen, and took a bite…”
Wait, what? That sounds awesome. We've contacted Out-Of-Body director Michael Raduga for more details about the L.A. research center. Because that's really the exciting part of this big old buzz kill — world capital of lucid dreaming, right here in our own backyard! And world alien abduction headquarters, to boot.
Until then, here's some cheesy animated instructions to get you started:
We're still waiting on the Taiwanese celebrity version.