So the trains are cancelled again, the buses hunt in packs at random times and fuel for the car seems to cost more each month. On the bright side, you’re on the verge of discovering a whole new way to travel. The flight of the projector is nothing to do with the little girl in the exorcist or the angry disposal of a malfunctioning piece of presentation equipment. Potentially, it’s about you. Should you decide to take some tentative steps into the world, or worlds, of astral projection.
Astral projection is a deliberate form of out of body experience. The theory on which it’s based, simplified for the purposes of a blog post that I doubt you’ve set aside a day to read, is as follows. Along with your physical body you have another formed entirely of energy. Being thus formed it is able to occupy the same space, and may possibly provide the blueprint on which your physical body is formed. However, it doesn’t have to stay there. It may leave and wander it’s own way and your consciousness may go with it.
You may have heard warnings about potential dangers associated with this activity but honestly, don’t sweat it. I’ve spoken to many other people who’ve experimented with this and none have ever mentioned they were dead as a result, and let’s face it they’d have to disclose something like that if only for insurance purposes. I know I’m being flippant but really, the scare stories are not worth taking seriously. The human body has something called the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which takes care of all essential functions without the intervention of your conscious self. Getting back into that wonderfully autonomous body is very easy, it’s getting out and staying out that takes practice.
I finished my previous post by mentioning that lucid dreaming is a possible gateway to astral projection and indeed it is. Having achieve lucidity, the awareness within the dream that you are in fact dreaming, you then need to bring yourself more fully into awareness. One way is to simply demand, out loud, in the dream, “More clarity”. Another is to start asking yourself questions as to where you are in the dream, what you’re doing here, what are your intentions or what would you like them to be and so on. Simply focusing on a part of your body or an artifact within the dream may also do the trick. When this works there should be a feeling of becoming awake within the dream. Thus, you have brought your conscious self out of your physical body.
There are other ways to produce the out of body experience at will. Raising awareness of and clearing and therefore invigorating the energetic body is an excellent, if not essential start. Look for and perform appropriate meditations. Chakra meditations along with some Kabbalist meditations are good ways of doing this but any search engine should yield a plethora of links and this can be a useful way of finding one that suits you. This is one area in which I would urge caution. Raising energy is something that should take a little time and practice. Personally I would avoid exercises that promise shortcuts and quick ways of doing this. Raising energy too quickly and without due care and clearing can lead to imbalances. I impatiently tried some of these years ago and while I came to no physical harm the effect on my mood was unpleasant. The whole point of this is to enjoy the experience and enjoy the journey, so slow down, smell the incense, and be well prepared for take off.
When you feel ready to make your first attempt, the most important part of preparation is to achieve a state of deep relaxation, this cannot be over emphasised. Wear loose, comfortable clothing, or if you choose to wear none, drape a thick sheet or blanket over yourself as your body temperature will drop. You are aiming for a hypnogogic state, a place on the edge of sleep, between sleeping and wakefulness.
Once you have achieved this, there are various techniques for taking leave of the physical body. A very effective one was developed by Robert Bruce, (no not that one, this one’s still alive) who has done a lot of work in this field and written a book, Astral Dynamics, on the subject. Imagine a rope suspended from the ceiling above you. Now see, and try to feel, the hands and arms of your energetic, or astral, body reaching up and grasping the rope while your physical hands and arms remain by the side of your reclining body. Using a hand over hand technique, begin to pull yourself up the rope. Pulling your energy body free of the physical one. You may feel dizziness and vibrations while you do this. That’s good, it’s working, keep climbing until you are free of the physical body and are feeling the liberated weightlessness of an out of body experience.
Another technique, once in the deeply relaxed state, is to visualise the room around you while your eyes are, of course, closed. Then imagine rotating yourself through 180 degrees on a horizontal plane. So you head is where your physical feet are. Visualise the room during the rotation and from the new position. The aim is to disorientate yourself and thus lose connection with your physical body. Now begin to imagine yourself floating towards the ceiling, all the time aware of your changing view of the room around you, make this visualisation and associated feelings as real and as detailed as possible. Again, you may feel dizziness or experience vibrations at any time during this process, and again, this is a good thing. If this technique works for you, what you are imaging may suddenly become very real and you will indeed be out of your body and on your way.
My experiences with these experiments have been wonderful and there is certainly nothing to fear. In fact if you do feel afraid at any time you’ll just snap back into your body before you know it. This may happen a few times until you learn to trust the process and experience. Once you do, the possibilities are truly limitless.