Astral projection or astral travel as it is sometimes called, is the inducement of a subtle body to leave a physical body into the subtle plane of Reality, usually labeled as the 5th dimension. It can be done both intentionally and spontaneously but usually happens spontaneously.
Astral projection is often confused with lucid dreaming. These two practices have some similarities, but they are two entirely different practices. Another confusion occurs between the difference in out of body experiences (OOBE or OBE) and astral projection. These two processes are nearly identical. Both involve one’s consciousness to leave the body to a certain extent.
In an OBE, consciousness remains on the dream plane. Most often spontaneous projections or partially conscious projections happen in the dream plane, that is, a person’s consciousness projects and the person is somewhat aware of being projected, however, there is no fully conscious realization of the projection event. In other words, the person projects but does not take control of the projection to propel oneself on to the astral realms in a fully conscious projection. The person often will retain full control of the subtle body to create events in the dream plane, similar to lucid dreaming, except that one’s consciousness will have access to AP associated phenomena such as ‘spirit guides’ or knowledge.
Astral projection is the complete conscious realization and full control of a projection and the exploration into the astral (and higher) plane. AP is most likely intentionally induced but can happen spontaneously as well. In the case of spontaneous AP, a person recognizes the trigger signs for projection and takes control. Most people use the terms interchangeably for both types of projection.
A person may spontaneously or intentionally experience any combination of projection and lucid dreaming. This is understandable since all three processes occur in similar ways and the methods of conscious control are pretty much the same for all three. The main difference in the three is environment. Lucid dreaming is purely in the dream plane. A person is conscious but the intent in lucid dreaming is to remain in the dream plane and create whatever one wants to create. Astral Projections can occur spontaneously or intentionally although AP proper is more likely to occur with intentional practice. Spontaneous projection is more often going to be an OBE rather than AP because of the partial consciousness already mentioned. AP is more likely with intentional practice because it requires full consciousness to fully appreciate and take advantage of the state of existence.
Astral Projection is a Disciplined Practice
The reason astral projection is necessarily a disciplined practice is because it takes skill to fully realize the potential available from a projection. One of the most common ways to induce AP is from a sleeping (dreaming) state. If you think that sounds easy, it isn’t.
The reason inducing AP from a sleeping state can be tricky is this: You need to become mentally conscious without waking up the body.
Still not convinced this is too hard? Try this then: the next time you go to bed, as you fall asleep try to remain mentally awake while your body falls asleep. If you succeed at this the first night, you are lucky, because for most people they will either fall completely asleep or else they will keep waking up their body in the effort to keep the mind awake. It takes practice to keep the mind awake while letting the body fall asleep.
Another common method is to become conscious during dreaming sleep and induce AP from the dream. Once you are already soundly and solidly asleep, it takes practice to get the mind to awaken without also waking the body. Once disciplined practice leads to the ability to induce projection, the challenges aren’t over. Controlling the astral body takes practice, too. For one thing, the body does not like it when the spirit goes traveling. One has to learn how to keep the body quiescent after consciousness has left for some adventuring. Then there is the astral body itself.
It takes practice to become skilled at maneuvering the astral body and learning the intricacies of astral projection. The astral body is very literal in its understanding of commands. This detail is usually one of the first things you run across while learning to control the astral body. But even before that, there is getting started at all. Many novices have run into the experience of becoming conscious, inducing projection only to get stuck half way through the process of leaving the body and unable to complete the process.
Then there is the experience of complete darkness. These are a few examples of some of the intricacies of projection. Discipline and practice can lead to perfected skill and control of the AP process. This disciplined practice is evident in some religious practices. The ascent experiences of early Jewish mystics appear to be induced out of body experiences, especially since disciplined training came into use for the strict purpose of initiating ascent experience. These mystics used repetitive prayer to create a meditative state to induce the ascent experience in which they believed it was possible to come before “the throne of god” as some of them came to call it.
It is not unreasonable to suggest the possibility that the ascent experience was an induced AP to some higher level of Reality. Although these mystics believed the ascent experience was potentially dangerous, AP is a safe and natural process. The only people usually cautioned against attempting AP are those people who have mental instabilities or mental illness because they may not be able to fully understand or assimilate the AP experience.
There are many wonderful sources of information on AP. William Buhlman’s book Adventures Beyond the Body is an excellent source of information concerning astral projection and it’s finer points. It is full of useful information as well as having charts which have a listing of common problems and experiences with AP and how to overcome them. Also Robert Peterson’s book Out of Body Experiences is a great resource. His book covers not only how to learn to project but he also talks about experiences which occur as a by-product of regular AP which is rarely mentioned in most sources.
Astral Projection in Ancient Texts
There are several documented instances of astral projection in ancient history. Dean Sheils, in research published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research in 1978 ‘A Cross-cultural Study of Beliefs in Out of Body Experiences’, compared the believe systems of over 60 different cultures and found that fifty four of them had some concept of astral projection or astral travel and that half of them had also believed that it is possible for this to happen consciously and while alive. Almost half claimed that certain members of their cultures could do this at will. Only three cultures seemed to have no concepts or beliefs about this subject. Those that did seemed to accept it as a normal and natural part of human existence.”
Astral travel has been practiced throughout history – and there have been thousands of documented scientific experiments confirming that astral travel is real. People seek therapy because they ‘wake up paralyzed and rigid’ (sleep paralysis, a close component of astral travel) ‘Wake up and see strange beings around them’ (entities found in the astral plane) ‘Find themselves floating or vibrating violently, or engulfed in a bright light’ (sensations felt as the astral body leaves the physical body) Some people have even gone so far as to say their astral experiences are alien encounters.
Benefits of Astral Projection
- Discover and know for yourself the answer to humankind’s oldest mysteries, such as “Do we continue after death” or “What is the meaning of life?”
- Answer the basic questions of your existence such as “What am I?”, “Why am I here?” and “What is my purpose?”
- Solve the mystery of your final destination, which will answer questions such as “Where do we go at death?”, “Does ‘heaven’ exist?”, “What does it look like?” and “Why is it a mystery?”
- Observe and solve current physical problems from a ‘higher perspective.’
- Gain a greater understanding of the challenges and lessons you experience daily.
- Observe and understand the incredible, unseen power of thought-energy at work.
- Step beyond the labyrinth of beliefs and discover the truth yourself.
- Accelerate your personal evolution beyond the dense limits of matter.
- Confront and remove your personal fears.
- Gain a far clearer understanding of your life, your relationships, and your world.
- See and experience the magnificent beauty of our multidimensional universe.
- Realize your unlimited personal potential and power.
- Recognize and understand the unseen reasons for the past and present events in your life.
- Enjoy absolute freedom of movement without limits.
- Gain a far greater understanding of modern religions.
- Discover and experience absolute, firsthand verification of your personal immortality.
- Observe and comprehend the subtle energy currents that shape your life and your world.
- Receive the knowledge and wisdom that comes only with experience.
- Recognize and free yourself from inaccurate opinions, conclusions, and belief systems.
- See a clearer vision of the universal plan.
- Observe and understand the natural process of birth and death.
Worries and Concerns About Astral Projection
There are those who resent astral travel and/or refuse to believe it is possible at all. Perhaps for one or more of the following reasons:
- They believe that astral experiences are actually dreams. (Wrong. Astral travel is a fully conscious experience, as thousands of people have confirmed worldwide.)
- They believe that those who claim to astral travel are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. (Wrong again. Drugs or Alcohol actually hinder astral travel. Furthermore, most people who astral travel began astral traveling at a very young age – 6 to 12.)
- They believe what people describe as an astral experience is actually an alien abduction. (Thrice wrong. Although, waking paralyzed, seeing strange entities, and being engulfed in a blinding white light may be likened to an alien abduction, such symptoms are components of the first stages of astral travel.)
- They believe people claim to be able to astral travel for publicity, money, or attention in general. (Indeed, some people may use astral travel for such a purpose, or claim that they are able to astral travel when in actuality they cannot. However, astral travel is an enlightening spiritual experience, and he or she who has astral traveled normally understands the importance of keeping such a controversial hobby quiet. Furthermore, it is commonly known that if one astral travels for selfish or evil purposes, they are likely to find themselves attracting unpleasant entities.)
- They believe astral travel is “evil”, and a “sin unto god”. (A misconception. As said above, astral travel is a spiritually enlightening and developing experience, not an evil or sinful one. The bible actually talks about astral travel on several occasions; it describes people as being “in the spirit” while receiving prophecy. Terminology of astral projection is also found in:
The Judeo-Christian book of Ecclesiastes: “Remember (your Creator) before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
The ancient passage can be interpreted to be discussing what happens after death. The silver cord this passage talks about exists when one projects. It links the physical body to the astral one. Don’t worry – It can only be severed if we die in the physical world. The golden bowl refers to the ‘crown chakra’ which is the main energy center of the body, used to project. Those are some of the more common reasons people resent or refuse to believe astral travel is possible.
How to Astral Project (A Tutorial and Guide)
Here is a technique for astral travel. It is called the “4 in the morning technique” It has been tried by many people who have said it works great. It involves getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning – a little extra effort, but it is by far worth it. The reasons for waking up at 4 in the morning are:
- You will be drowsy and it will be easier to clear your head.
- You will drift off to sleep much faster.
- You will have gotten up for a purpose; your body and mind will be tuned to what you are trying to achieve.
You must keep an open mind while attempting to project. Any negative thoughts or feelings will certainly hold you back. Stay positive, open, and willing.
The technique is as follows:
- Set your alarm for 4 o’clock in the morning.
- Allow yourself to drift asleep.
- At four in the morning, the alarm will wake you. Get out of bed turn on the light, and splash water on your face. Dry your face with a towel.
- After about two minutes, get back in bed. Lie on your back.
- You will most likely be feeling groggy and tired. Your mind will be eager to get back to sleep.
- Close your eyes, and clear your mind. This should be easy because you are so tired.
- Imagine you are standing somewhere in your room. Perhaps in the far corner. Vividly see yourself standing there. Know that you are standing there, and that your body is still lying on the bed. Focus your whole mind on this concept.
- Begin a simple affirmation in your head. “I am going to astral travel. I am going to leave my body.” Say it in your head, over and over, while imagining you are on the other side of the room. You will begin to drift back to sleep. Slowly, your mind will begin to cloud. Make sure that the concept of standing elsewhere in your room is the last thing that goes through your mind before you are asleep.
You may experience one or more of the following sensations:
- A bright white/blue light
- A rushing or popping sound
- Strange noises; someone calling your name
- A jolt
If you experience one or more of these sensations for the first time, it may be frightening. But know that they are positive signs; signs that let you know you’re about to project. Almost always, upon feeling a strange sensation, the person trying to project gets such a fright that he/she is jolted back into their body. If this happens to you, allow yourself to fall asleep and try again the next night, knowing presently that there is nothing to fear.
If you find yourself outside your body, do not stay out for too long the first time. Float about your room, become used to the physics of the astral plane, and then will yourself back into your body. You can start exploring after a 24 hour break. There may be a guide waiting for you. This guide will watch over you and take you where you please. Talk briefly with the guide, and say you will project again in 24 hours. When 24 hours pass, you will be ready to explore and venture further than your room. You may not even have to use drifting off to sleep as a medium for astral travel.
If, after several attempts, you still have not projected, do not be deterred. It is likely you will have felt some of the sensations above while trying, and this is a positive sign. You must remember that it is a matter of willpower. You can’t just casually attempt to project in a one-off scenario. Think about astral travel throughout the day. Buy a book on astral travel. Attempt to astral travel everynight. Eventually, you will succeed.
Astral Dynamics: A New Approach to Out-of-Body Experiences by Robert Bruce