Astral Projection FAQs (To accompany BBC Radio Solent Broadcast)

Astral Projection FAQs :  In Brief - What is Astral Projection?

Astral Projection is a conscious attempt to experience being outside of one's physical human body, while being both alive and preferably awake at the time.  It is an attempt to have a controlled OOBE or (out of body experience).  It is not linked in any way to ritualistic magic and does not rely on any particular religious or belief system.  There are techniques for achieving an OOBE.  As yet I haven't heard of it being at all dangerous.  However attempting to leave one's physical body under the influence of medication or hallucinogenic drugs is seriously not recommended!

What happens when people Astral Project?

They have what is commonly referred to as an OOBE or out of body experience where a 'part' of them, be it the soul or consciousness, rises up from their physical body and either travels on the physical plane or on the astral plane.

What is the astral plane?

A topic of debate: The astral plane however can be likened to the Akasha, namely a place where all the thoughts, memories, fantasies and dreams of everyone in the world exist. The astral plane is thought to be a fantastic place to travel in, with many different travellers, entities and levels to it.  It is said to operate at a much higher frequency than the physical plane we inhabit.

It is thought that the etheric body, spirit or mind can travel on the astral plane, which is said to appear more solid than the physical plane we all inhabit, this is because in order to travel it, the etheric body has to be existing and operating at the same higher frequency.  According to some the astral plane is far more mutable than the physical and can be changed and altered simply by the power of thought.

Can people learn to Astral Project at will?

Yes there are techniques that can be learned but what degree of success is achieved depends solely upon the individual.

Why would anyone want to have an Astral Projection?

�      Some people find it reassuring.  If it is possible for your consciousness to exist outside of your body, then it is also possible that your consciousness may be able to survive physical death.

�      Some people like to use the technique for spiritual reasons, maybe wanting to be at one with the universe or for some religious reason.

�      Some people like to try it, simply to prove that it can't be done - a negative approach.

�      Some people like to use it for their own ends.  They use it as a tool for clairvoyance to leave their bodies and go and seek out information or even spy.  The CIA set up experiments to see if people could leave their bodies to glean information from the enemy.  The CIA did it because they were convinced that the Russians were doing it.  There term for this kind of Astral Projection is called Remote Viewing.  After mixed success and possibly a lack of funding the project was eventually abandoned.  We don't know how the Russians fared.

�      Some people want to try it just because they can try it and they just want to see what it feels like.

Who first discovered Astral Projection?

�      The ancient Egyptians were possibly one of the first cultures to record beliefs about the soul.  Hieroglyphics in tombs recorded hundreds of prayers that were to be said over the body of the deceased to guide the spirit on its way.  They believed that the soul ba was housed in a spirit body the Ka an exact replica of the physical body.  This on death gave way to the sahu the true spirit body that would house the ba forever.  In life the Ka and sahu were one of the same but the ka slowly diminished until only the sahu housed the ba.  However the Egyptians also believed that the Ka could leave the body during life and drew pictures of people sleeping with their Kas or souls floating above them.  This is very similar to the modern day descriptions of NDE's (Near Death Experiences).  Here the soul leaves the body at the point of death only to return again if the person is resuscitated.

�      The Tibetans believe in the bardo body, which can leave the physical body while still alive and can also pass through physical matter because it is made of psychic material.  The bardo body can be directed wherever by will.

�      Ancient Greeks believed in a 'double body', which housed the soul.  Plato believed that the soul was freed on death but could also leave the body during life and when it did it perceived the physical world as dimly lit.

�      "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." Source: (A Beginners Guide to Astral Projection by Richard Craze - Hodder & Stoughton 1999 - ISBN: 0340 737557

What does modern science make of it?

A man called Raymond A. Moody PhD. M.D. is often thought as the father of NDEs and has written a very popular book 'Life after Life' on the subject. According to Richard Craze in his book 'A Beginners Guide to Astral Projection' over the last 45 years there has been a more scientific approach taken.  The first major study was done in 1951 was by someone called Muldoon and Carrington.  They collected and collated over 100 cases of OOBEs.  They found that their research did indicate a 'double' that could live consciously outside the physical body and that could also survive the death of the individual.  Richard Crookhall has also written many books on astral projection, and he states a number of recurrent themes.

What are these recurrent themes?

�      Some form of double.

�      A white light or illumination.

�      Ability to travel at will.

�      Inability to move or use physical objects.

�      Feelings of tranquility and detachment.

�      A 'clear' consciousness of what is happening.

�      A sense of realness.

How is an OOBE most likely to be brought about?

�      By a NDE due to illness or exhaustion.

�      By an NDE due to accident.

�      Deliberately by people trying to leave their physical bodies.

�      By the application of drugs such as anesthetics.

�      By trauma or shock.

What do the sceptics think?

�      It is purely a mental state explained by complex chemical reaction.

�      An autoscopic hallucination.

�      Cerebral anoxia or lack of oxygen to the brain.

How common is the phenomena?

�      Possibly between 5 and 10% of the population, which suggests around 6 million in the U.K or as much as 30 million in the United States.

Have there been reports of people seeing OOBE people while they were 'out'?

�        Yes, which increases the likelihood that OOBE's are not purely 'tricks of the mind'.

How many types of OOBE are there?

�        Two - voluntary and involuntary, one involves a conscious effort to leave ones body where the 'double' is rarely or only faintly seen; and involuntary, say through an accident or trauma where the 'double' is usually seen.

What is a typical OOBE?

�        A typical OOBE only usually happens once in a lifetime.

�        Most often occurs lying down either resting or just before sleeping.

�        There is a feeling of floating or soaring, usually upwards.

�        It is mostly adult women who experience the phenomenon although if you are a student you are even more likely to do so.

�        A typical case suggests some form of connection to the physical body, possibly by way of a silver cord.

�        There are few reported cases of leaving the room, but there is a sense of realness and viewing the normal world.

�        Feelings of pleasantness, detachment and calmness often accompany an OOBE.

�        The person feels that the experience is real and although they feel the ability to go anywhere they rarely wish to do so.

�        No ability or desire to change or move physical objects in their vicinity.

Who has OOBEs?

�        Many women and more often than not students probably due to their lifestyle and interests.  They are more likely to have heard about OOBEs and possibly more keen to try it.

Are OOBEs simply a form of dreaming?

�        Definitely not because the sense of reality experienced is far too strong.

�        Scientific results show that people undergoing OOBEs are not dreaming and they are not experiencing REM. Briefly, alpha waves decrease indicating a calm state and beta waves increase indicating that the volunteer is awake.  There is an increase in heart and respiration rates suggesting the presence of some stimulus or activity.

Are OOBEs like NDEs?

�        An NDE or Near Death Experience is really just a different form of OOBE that is brought about when a person is at the point of death or just 'died'.  It is more akin to passing over to the other side, seeing one's life flash before them and traveling down a dark or light tunnel towards the light, God or whatever you wish to call it.

What is a typical NDE?

�        People who are seriously ill hear themselves being declared dead, upon which a series of events are triggered, such as moving quickly down a tunnel and hearing unfamiliar noises.

�        They find themselves at the end of the tunnel and can usually see their own bodies being worked on by medical staff.

�        They sense that they have a form of 'body' somewhat different to the one that they left behind and also become aware of deceased friends and relatives coming to help them cross to the other side.

�        They report an entity or being of light that plays their life review and every second that they have lived, but not judgmentally.

�        The beings of light are always described as full of love.

�        They are often told to return to their bodies and that their time on earth is not yet over.  Often there is a reluctance to return.

�        On their return they find words difficult to express the magnitude of the experience that they felt.

�        There views on life after death, tend to be radically altered and fear of death tends to diminish.

How many types of NDE are there? 

�        There are two - PNDEs (perceived NDEs, where the person has a suspicion that they are about to die) and UNDEs (unexpected NDEs, where the person is quite shocked to find themselves in a near death situation).

Is the experience the same for both?

�        No PNDEs tend to be associated with an accompanied journey with deceased loved ones to another world with another 'body' replacing the one left behind. UNDEs are associated more with near fatal falls, electric shocks or drowning to elicit a response.  From here the person usually has a flashback of their life accompanied by feelings of happiness or peace.  There are not usually reports of a 'body' instead feelings of just being that the person becomes pure thought or mind.  There is often a sudden return to their physical body.

Is Astral Projection a popular topic on your website?

Yes - my monitoring software suggests that it is very popular.

Do you have any good reference sources?

Yes - please visit my website and view astral projection alternatively see below.

Sources: Any excerpts for this FAQ section taken from a book by >Richard Craze - A Beginners Guide to Astral Projection by Hodder & Stoughton 1999 - ISBN: 0340 737557


Afterlife Knowledge 

College of Psychic Studies

International Association for Near Death Studies

Life After Life - Raymond A. Moody PhD. M.D. 

Near Death Experiences & The Afterlife  


Recommended Reading

Richard Craze - A Beginners Guide to Astral Projection by Hodder & Stoughton 1999 - ISBN: 0340 737557

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