So, what's up with the Astral?

  • Thread starter Sciborg_S_Patel
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#1
When I was a kid I recall reading about astral projection and how it could take you to fantastical realms. Apparently focusing on particular geometrical shapes associated with elements could allow you do this*, but I tried it out without any success.

Curious about people's experiences - what did you see? Did you get any veridical info? Meet any cool entities? Is there a way to distinguish astral projection from lucid or regular dreaming?

What about the silver cord?

And what is the "astral body" and how does it related to the flesh and blood body?

*Silver Crescent - Water
Indigo Egg - Ether
Yellow Square - Earth
Red Triangle - Fire
Blue Circle - Air
 
#2
With the exception of lucid dreaming, I have nothing to offer here as far as personal experience, although I've found the topic to be very interesting. Tom Campbell and the MBT forum are good resources I suspect. From what I gather, like most other things it takes a lot of experimentation, practice and repetition to become a reliable out-of-body traveler. Unless, of course, one is a natural.

I would also be very curious to hear what folks have to say about their experiences.

How about this, Sci? --
http://blavatskyarchives.com/theoso...astral_plane_its_scenery_inhabitants_1895.pdf
 
#5
This isn't an area which I'm actively exploring nowadays. But many years ago it was something which I attempted. My initial goal was merely to discover whether such experiences could really take place, or whether all the stuff I'd been reading was some sort of elaborate fantasy.

Eventually I succeeded, though each time the experience was somewhat spontaneous, and I had little or no control over what took place. I'm sure with practice I could have gained more expertise. On my first couple of OOBEs I didn't meet any other beings, though I did get a feeling of the overwhelming vastness of the universe, as compared with the rather constrained reality we encounter in ordinary daily life. On one occasion I did see other beings, one was a man, he looked very serious and focussed on his way somewhere. He paid no attention to me, and I didn't feel threatened. However I did start to feel a little like a pedestrian who has suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves wandering in the middle of a multi-lane highway, with fast-moving vehicles passing on all sides. Though I was in no particular danger, I did feel I was out of my depth, in a place where I didn't belong, and after that I put less effort into trying to have these experiences, though I did still have some more, again spontaneously.

For me the initial effort was difficult, in part because it required the opposite of effort. I had to learn to relax and let go, as I lay down prior to sleep. The aim was to stay awake, but to enter a type of meditative state. After the first experience I recognised the phases, and could tell when I was about to release from the body. It was like a doorway, once I'd found the door and stepped through it, metaphorically speaking, it became very very much easier. Prior to that, I didn't even know what the door looked - or more importantly, felt like.
 
#7
Cultish? New agey? Philosophically illiterate? A Campbell-worshipping zoo?
Too much yellow? Boring?
Thanks for the help. A bit cultish, a touch Campbell worshipping, and a dash up themselves ?

Yes you do.
No, not really. I joined and posted a bit a while ago but rarely do now. I think there must be value in Tom's experience's but I am skeptical as to how he can know basically everything including the detail ? They are very hard on anyone who goes there with any 'non MBT' ideas, and they probably won't last long. Jurgen Ziewe on the other hand seems much more modest in his outlook ? Maybe he has gained a 'knowing' but he doesn't try to convince anyone as far as I can tell. I would like to meet Tom personally, maybe I would get a different sense then ? I had a dream that I met him and he seemed a nice guy.
 
#8
... whether all the stuff I'd been reading was some sort of elaborate fantasy.

...I did feel I was out of my depth, in a place where I didn't belong....
You have piqued my curiosity. What was the decision on the possibility of "elaborate fantasy"?

Was the perception of being where you didn't belong the sole reason for not following up over the years?
 
#9
You have piqued my curiosity. What was the decision on the possibility of "elaborate fantasy"?

Was the perception of being where you didn't belong the sole reason for not following up over the years?
As soon as I had the very first of these experiences, as far as I was concerned, these experiences were real. That's not to say that I believed everything I read of course.

As for not following up, initially I slowed down my attempts to induce these experiences because I considered I might be biting off more than I could chew. But in the longer term, it was more a matter of having other interests and ideas to research. I'd verified to my own satisfaction, that these things were real, which in a way was what I'd set out to achieve. I'm not suggesting that my fairly limited experiences would be sufficient to convince anyone else. However I would definitely recommend that other people do try it for themselves. In my own case, and perhaps for other people too, sometimes the stresses of daily life, earning a living, maintaining relationships and so on can also make it difficult to achieve the calm and peaceful state which I found most conducive to having such experiences.
 
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chuck.drake

#10
As soon as I had the very first of these experiences, as far as I was concerned, these experiences were real. That's not to say that I believed everything I read of course.

As for not following up, initially I slowed down my attempts to induce these experiences because I considered I might be biting off more than I could chew. But in the longer term, it was more a matter of having other interests and ideas to research. I'd verified to my own satisfaction, that these things were real, which in a way was what I'd set out to achieve. I'm not suggesting that my fairly limited experiences would be sufficient to convince anyone else. However I would definitely recommend that other people do try it for themselves. In my own case, and perhaps for other people too, sometimes the stresses of daily life, earning a living, maintaining relationships and so on can also make it difficult to achive the calm and peaceful state which I found most conducive to having such experiences.
So when you say the experiences were "real", what exactly do you mean by that? Do you feel convinced that you were experiencing an objectively real other dimension or plane of existence? Was the experience radically different from a vivid lucid dream with full conscious awareness? Aside from the odd physical sensation of "leaving the body" how would you differentiate the OBE experience from a very vivid lucid dream with fill conscious awareness? What is your gut feeling about what the experience says about the metaphysical nature of the structure of reality?

Chuck
 
#11
So when you say the experiences were "real", what exactly do you mean by that? Do you feel convinced that you were experiencing an objectively real other dimension or plane of existence? Was the experience radically different from a vivid lucid dream with full conscious awareness? Aside from the odd physical sensation of "leaving the body" how would you differentiate the OBE experience from a very vivid lucid dream with fill conscious awareness? What is your gut feeling about what the experience says about the metaphysical nature of the structure of reality?

Chuck
No, I didn't feel I was experiencing some other dimension or plane, I considered I was still right here in this one. I think it was more a case of being able to see things which would normally not be visible.

I can't comment on lucid dreaming as it is something which I've read about but not experienced - for me it's still in the box labelled 'possible elaborate fantasy'.

"The metaphysical nature of the structure of reality" - whoah slow down. I can't comment on that. All I experienced was that part of me which I call 'myself' existing at a different location to my physical body.

Perhaps my answers don't seem very helpful, or even consistent with what I described. All I can really say is that my experiences were too limited - and too long ago now, for me to deduce anything more significant. This is why I repeat, I would definitely recommend that other people do try it for themselves.
 
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chuck.drake

#12
Lots of people who can OBE or lucid dream still have these same questions, it seems. There seems to be an experience of consciousness that is removed from the physical body. Some practitioners become absolutely convinced that they are traveling the astral planes, or the Imaginal realm, or other dimensions. Others who are equally as comfortable in the non-physical are unable to state definitively that the experience is anything other than an altered state of consciousness. How do we divorce our conceptions, expectations and beliefs from these experiences in order to reach some conclusion about their objective nature? Can we use the techniques of inquiry, meditation, mindfulness and concentration to both clarify our experience of everyday reality and increase the power and depth of these travels in alternative states of consciousness?
 
#13
No, I didn't feel I was experiencing some other dimension or plane, I considered I was still right here in this one. I think it was more a case of being able to see things which would normally not be visible.

I can't comment on lucid dreaming as it is something which I've read about but not experienced - for me it's still in the box labelled 'possible elaborate fantasy'.

"The metaphysical nature of the structure of reality" - whoah slow down. I can't comment on that. All I experienced was that part of me which I call 'myself' existing at a different location to my physical body.

Perhaps my answers don't seem very helpful, or even consistent with what I described. All I can really say is that my experiences were too limited - and too long ago now, for me to deduce anything more significant. This is why I repeat, I would definitely recommend that other people do try it for themselves.
Would you just continue with your own experiments and report back to us with your findings? I mean, since you already got the skillz... This would be much more convenient for me, and I suspect for others as well.

Okay, I look forward to hearing about your future travels. Watch your back and try to avoid the void. We don't need a marooned consciousness on our conscience. Go get 'em, Typoz!
 
#14
Would you just continue with your own experiments and report back to us with your findings?
I'm sure your post was intended as tongue in cheek :)

But still, it's been over 30 years since I last consciously attempted this so it's hardly a matter of simply "continuing my experiments". At that time I was pretty skilled at various other things, such as setting up studio lighting, colour printing from a negative by hand, and all sorts of other things. Although I still remember the overall background, I can hardly claim to be skilled in those things now.

Seriously, though I think one or two members here have tried this without success, I would encourage anyone who finds this subject sufficiently interesting to have a go. It will require reading up on how to go about this, and then persistent effort over a period of time. Don't be discouraged if nothing seems to happen. That can be the frustrating part, initial attempts may seem futile. But give it time...
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#15
On his blog Prescott notes an instance of Life Review that predates publication of Moody's Life after Life, and the wider reporting of NDEs, that mentions the "astral body":

“Soon after shedding the etheric body and waking fully on the astral plane,” he said, “one's thoughts begin to be much concerned with the life of earth which has been left behind. The clear-cut memory has been lost with the etheric body, and yet as one begins to use the astral body and it grows in strength, the scenes and events of the past life begin to come vividly back in terms of their feeling content and in a manner never experienced before. In the course of one's life on earth, experiences are reflected in consciousness and one never doubts that one has realized the whole of them. But the impressions of people, events and acts which now come crowding back are far more real and comprehensive than when they were actually experienced.
“Not only is it justice,” said E.K., “but it is redemptive suffering. It breaks up once and for all the hard core of selfishness and cruelty which earth life often forms and which would make a man unchanged in this respect an immense misery to himself and his world. It is a purely natural process, set going by the astral body itself which thus works to rid itself of impurity and disease. All these things which it has to re-live have been real events of this astral world and so are part of the unconscious experience of the astral self. As this is our actual, visible body now, and its reactions are no longer veiled by the physical, we have to know them intimately and the moral law is set for us now in physical terms.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#16
Might be of interest:

The Work of the Angels In Man's Astral Body


'The following lecture was given by Rudolf Steiner to an audience familiar with the general background of his anthroposophical teachings. He constantly emphasized the distinction between his written works and reports of lectures which were given as oral communications and were not originally intended for print. It should also be remembered that certain premises were taken for granted when the words were spoken. “These premises,” Rudolf Steiner writes in his autobiography, “include at the very least the anthroposophical knowledge of Man and of the Cosmos in its spiritual essence; also of what may be called ‘anthroposophical history,’ told as an outcome of research into the spiritual world.” '
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#17
I liked this post a while back. I found it informative for someone like me who doesn't much about the OBE-AT field.
There is verifiable data from OBE, quite a lot of fit, here is one.

The differentiation between OBE and AT is that OBE may include the physical realm (flying around your hometown) or the replication of the physical realm which exists in the first vibrational states outside the physical. These states of consciousness exist by collective and personal thoughts and are, again by definition, very much like the physical and can be expected to have many of the physical aspects to them.

There is nothing verifiable in astral travel. AT by definition is not of any plane of consciousness that would entertain verifiable data as it is disconnected from the physical plane.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#19
I dont know Jim. That post would seem to indicate not, that that would likely occur instead in the replication of the physical realm (existing "in the first vibrational states") that can be visited in the OBE.
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This also:
Debates over OBE/LD terminologies when the experiences are so varied, so personal and so often outside the limitations of language are pointless boxing matches. I'll give my view and move on.

Sometimes I sense that the dreamer feels as if his experience is less important or privileged and wishes to align more closely to the OBE. By squeezing the two into the same spiritual room, equality is achieved.

Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no inequality in your experience, my experience, his or her experience. In a dream, a LD, an OBE or an astral travel. They are different manifestations of spiritual need and progression, each unique, necessary and important to that individual.

I separate dreams, LD, OBE and astral travel because my experiences divide them easily and completely. You will find many OBErs and ATers who share these not-so-fine, lines of demarcation, method of classification.
 
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Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#20
Zerdini:
In sleep state the spirit body is attached to the physical body and, for most people, hovers about six to eighteen inches above the physical body. Through the silver cord the body's energy is recharged and revitalised. If you drift in and out of sleep i.e restless you will wake in the morning completely washed out and tired.

A knowledge of spiritual realities will enable you to move away from the physical body and visit loved ones in the spirit realms often bringing back memories of that visit.
http://www.spiritualinspiration.org/t379p20-the-silver-cord

Zerdini posted a few times in the old Skeptiko forum.
http://zerdinisworld.com/
 
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