Astral projection

Astral projection

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Astral projection (or astral travel) is an interpretation of out-of-body experience (OBE) that assumes the existence of an “astral body” separate from the physical body and capable of traveling outside it. Astral projection or travel denotes the astral body leaving the physical body to travel in the astral plane.

The idea of astral travel is rooted in common worldwide religious accounts of the afterlife in which the consciousness’ or soul’s journey or “ascent” is described in such terms as “an… out-of body experience, wherein the spiritual traveller leaves the physical body and travels in his/her subtle body (or dreambody or astral body) into ‘higher’ realms.” It is therefore associated with near death experiences and is also frequently reported as spontaneously experienced in association with sleep and dreams, illness, surgical operations, drug experiences, sleep paralysis and forms of meditation.

It is sometimes attempted out of curiosity, or may be believed to be necessary to, or the result of, some forms of spiritual practice. It may involve “travel to higher realms” called astral planes but is commonly used to describe any sensation of being “out of the body in the everyday world, even seeing one’s body from outside or above. It may be reported in the form of an apparitional experience, a supposed encounter with a doppelgänger, some living person also seen somewhere else at the same time.

Through the 1960s and 1970s, surveys reported percentages ranging from 8 percent to as many as 50 percent (in certain groups) of respondents who state they had such an experience. The subjective nature of the experience permits explanations that do not rely on the existence of an “astral” body and plane. There is little beyond anecdotal evidence to support the idea that people can actually “leave the body”.

“Astral” and “etheric”

The expression “astral projection” came to be used in two different ways. For the Golden Dawn and some Theosophists it retained the classical and medieval philosophers’ meaning of journeying to other worlds, heavens, hells, the astrological spheres and other imaginable landscapes, but outside these circles the term was increasingly applied to non-physical travel around the physical world.

Though this usage continues to be widespread, the term, “etheric travel”, used by some later Theosophists, offers a useful distinction. Some experiments say they visit different times and/or places: “etheric”, then, is used to represent the sense of being “out of the body” in the physical world, whereas “astral” may connote some alteration in time-perception. Robert Monroe describes the former type of projection as “Locale I” or the “Here-Now”, involving people and places that actually exist: Robert Bruce calls it the “Real Time Zone” (RTZ) and describes it as the non-physical dimension-level closest to the physical. This etheric body is usually, though not always, invisible but is often perceived by the experiment as connected to the physical body during separation by a “silver cord”. Some link “falling” dreams with projection.

According to Max Heindel, the etheric “double” serves as a medium between the astral and physical realms. In his system the ether, also called prana, is the “vital force” that empowers the physical forms to change. From his descriptions it can be inferred that, to him, when one views the physical during an out-of-body experience, one is not technically “in” the astral realm at all.

Other experients may describe a domain that has no parallel to any known physical setting. Environments may be populated or unpopulated, artificial, natural or abstract, and the experience may be beatific, horrific or neutral. A common Theosophical belief is that one may access a compendium of mystical knowledge called the Akashic records. In many accounts the experiencer correlates the astral world with the world of dreams. Some even report seeing other dreamers enacting dream scenarios unaware of their wider environment.

The astral environment may also be divided into levels or sub-planes by theorists, but there are many different views in various traditions concerning the overall structure of the astral planes: they may include heavens and hells and other after-death spheres, transcendent environments or other less-easily characterized states.

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The Subtle Body and Chakras

Originating in ancient India, and adopted by many alternative healing systems (including crystal healing), in the concept of the subtle body, which shares many of the principles of the aura. Linked to, but transcending the physical body, the subtle body is a scientifically undetectable network of channels (nadis), through which flows life-energy (prana). Our physical mental and spiritual well-being depends on prana flowing smoothly to all parts of the subtle body. If flow becomes sluggish, owing to a congested channel, or, on the other hand, too vigorous, then the likely result is physical illness or mental or spiritual unease. Identifying and correcting inappropriate energy patterns helps the body to regain balance, release stress and repair damage.

We can optimize the flow of prana by influencing the main receptors and distributors of life-energy in the subtle body, which are known as chakras (from the Sanskrit, “wheel”). The seven principal chakras are located in a line running down the centre of the body from just above the top of the head to the base of the spine. Each of these chakras governs certain physical, mental and spiritual aspects of our being and when functioning well, each chakra is believed to vibrate at the frequency of one of the colours of the rainbow spectrum. A malfunction in one chakra affects all the others, so it is important that the whole system is in balance.

Balancing chakras is at the heart of crystal healing. We can use crystals to “feed” each chakra with its main energetic colour. At the simplest level, placing one stone of the appropriate colour on each chakra for a minute will help to balance the whole system. This is by no means the only way to work with crystals and chakras, but it will be helpful in most cases.

Daily OM for Monday, May 9 – Ascension

Ascension
Spiritualizing the Planet

As we ascend, we gain consciousness of the more subtle aspects of our being and begin to connect with all that is. 

We are one with the cosmos whether we realize it or not. Realizing it, though, quickens our spiritual energy and allows us access to higher realms. In those higher realms lies the awareness that we are more than just finite physical beings living one life in one place at one point in time. Connecting with this awareness is to awaken to the truth and take a step forward, and upward, on our soul’s journey. This upward movement is known as ascension because the more we remember who we are and embody that truth, the higher our energy vibrates; we ascend up the scale from the gross physical plane to the subtle spiritual plane. As we ascend, we gain consciousness of the more subtle aspects of our being, with the ultimate outcome being a complete identification with the light body, an experience of unification with the cosmos.

As you look around you, you will see that many people are not even interested in these ideas. Others are open and paying attention. Still others have devoted their lives to deepening their understanding of the truth. All these people are on the path of ascension, but they will ascend at different rates. Each soul chooses its own path. The more devoted a person is to remembering and being guided by spirit, the more quickly the soul will ascend. These people are at the forefront of an important process of raising the energetic vibration of the whole planet. The earth, made of the same energy we are, is undergoing this shift along with us. This evolutionary process, while seemingly chaotic at times, is as natural as the process that unfolds a flower from a seed and we are all part of it.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that the earth too is on her own ascension path as she is sentient. The best way to support this process in yourself and in the world is simply to relax and be open to its unfolding. Listen to your inner guidance, and let it guide you to the path that brings your heart the most joy.