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Is Astral Projection Real? Perspectives of a Longtime Practitioner

Is astral projection real? Are you talking to spirits and other beings? And are you entering another world? I have been having OBEs for over a decade and I still ask those questions sometimes. In this article, I will explore this question and will try to give you an answer. However, bear in mind that this isn’t easy and you will see why.

The question “is astral projection real?”, might sound like a simple question. After all, something is either real or it isn’t. In physical waking reality, answering this question is already hard enough. That’s why scientists have to be extremely strict in how they gather and interpret evidence. Astral projection on the other hand needs to be studied more.

Why astral projection isn’t studied enough

Astral projection hasn’t been sufficiently studied by scientists. Astral projection’s sibling, lucid dreaming, has been studied extensively. That’s because there are far more lucid dreamers than astral projectors. This makes lucid dreaming much easier to study than OBEs.

Furthermore, lucid dreams are plausible in the eyes of the scientific community. Dr. Stephen LaBerge proved the existence of lucid dreaming while doing his doctorate. He did this by communicating with the waking world during a lucid dream.

During dreaming your eyes move around as you view objects in the dream world. That’s why it’s referred to as Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. LaBerge used deliberate eye movements during his lucid dreams. This was picked up by sensors during REM. That was confirmation that you can be conscious and aware during a dream.

Astral projection on the other hand is treated as a pseudo-scientific oddity in many cases. I can understand why. Astral projection is often misrepresented as a “psychic ability” instead of a meditation skill. Occultists and New Agers with little to no experience in astral projection badly misrepresent it. You only have to look at the misconceptions about the dangers of astral projection to see the results.

New Age literature provides bizarre descriptions of what you can do during astral projection. These include everything from spying on people and entering people’s dreams, to pulling them out of their bodies. The fact that 10% of the world’s population has had an OBE, rules out these fantastical tales.

If 10% of people could spy on others or had other powers, the world would be a very different place.

There have been many experiments that tried to see whether you can accurately see or interact with the physical world during an OBE. These involved a person astral projecting in a closed room while trying to identify pictures in another room. These have all failed.

These experiments are seen as confirmation that there is no such thing as an OBE. The results have been articles like this one, that doesn’t explain an OBE, but tries to explain it away. Lucid dreaming is seldom treated in this fashion in the scientific literature. Lucid dreaming is also often used to explain OBEs away, instead of explaining them.

If a person asks “Is astral projection real?” and the answer is always “No, it’s just a brain process” then we have a problem. You may as well say “you don’t love your mother, its just a brain process”. Trying to explain mental processes by denying their existence, tell us very little about them. Furthermore, this approach has encouraged scientists to avoid studying OBEs.

Why the scientific attitude needs to change towards astral projection

The lack of research into OBEs has resulted in very little useful information. Both on the nature of OBEs and how they’re related to physical reality. If OBEs are the brain’s version of virtual reality, then show it and study it, don’t just write it off. Until we study OBEs in-depth with reason and evidence, we will never truly know what they are. 

I don’t reject neurological explanations of OBEs. We have to know how the brain produces the experience to understand OBEs better. The studies of Dr. Stephen LaBerge and the findings of Dr. Olaf Blanke are invaluable. Using these studies to dismiss OBEs is short-sighted and results in unhelpful and unimportant answers. 

This myopic attitude resulted in OBEs being sparsely researched. That in no way furthers our scientific understanding of OBEs. The best way to combat this problem is for more people to learn astral projection. If more people practice astral projection it will be easier to study. 

The studies of Stuart Twemlow have shown the positive effects of OBEs. By studying them further we will know why. We can then explore astral projection’s therapeutic benefits and other side-effects realistically. Free from bizarre fantasies and wishful thinking. If you want to try it for yourself, this article will show you how.

Is astral projection real? The different interpretations of reality.

Until we have more information, astral projection’s reality is a matter of making an educated guess. The reason for this is that there is no rock-solid definition for the word real means with regards to astral projection. There are several interpretations of what constitutes this reality, and they all have problems.

The first interpretation of what constitutes this reality is for it to be real it must make use of accurate sensory observation. This has led to the aforementioned experiments involving identifying objects in another room during an OBE. As I said, these experiments have failed under laboratory conditions. 

The role of the mind

The problem these experiments highlight is that astral projection doesn’t make use of senses like the physical body. You experience seeing, touching tasting, hearing, and smell, during an OBE. You don’t have eyes, skin, a tongue, or any other true sensory organ. These experiences don’t originate from outside the mind. All your sensory experiences while astral projecting is created by your mind.

However, the distinction between the physical mental experiences is not so clear cut. How do you distinguish between what is observed by the physical senses and the sensations produced by the mind? You can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell, while being awake or astral projecting. But if you define reality purely through the senses, then Morpheus in The Matrix was right. Reality is nothing more than electrical signals interpreted by your brain.

The problem with this definition comes to the surface when we look at hallucinations caused by drugs, brain injuries, and mental illness. We know that hallucinations aren’t real because they have no external cause, they are all produced internally and are purely subjective. If the brain creates both hallucinations and accurate sensory observation, then what is the thing that truly separates them?

We can define reality as something that exists beyond our minds. That reality is something external to us, it enters our senses and is not a mental creation. In this sense, reality is objective and entirely separate from us. We cannot affect or change physical reality with our thoughts. But the world you experience through astral projection ties together with your thoughts and expectations. You can change the experience with your mind. 

Astral projection and the mind-independent world

Every culture experiences the spiritual world differently to a degree. If scientists experimented in Russia, it will yield the same results as experiments performed in China. Culture does not affect the findings of a scientific experiment. With regards to astral projection, this isn’t the case. The experiences of an indigenous Australian karadji will differ from those of a Tibetan dream yogi. Even if they use the same techniques. Culture has a dramatic impact on the content of the astral projection experience. Due to this phenomenon, many argue that astral projection isn’t real. 

However, arguing that there is a world independent of the mind has one huge problem: scientists have realized that we can only experience the world through the brain. Dr. Stephen LaBerge argues In Exploring the World of Lucid, that the brain uses the same structures to observe the physical world as in dreams. Neurologist Dr. Anil Seth from the University of Sussex argues that it’s the same for hallucination. Seth goes so far as to state that what we call the objective world is hallucinated by the brain, and that’s all we can ever experience. What we call reality is a mass hallucination that we all share. The fact that we are all hallucinating the same thing in the waking state creates our experience of a shared reality.

Buddhism has argued the same thing. In Buddhism, the world is a dream created by our minds. Our waking states are as illusory as our dreams at night. To realize and directly experience this fact is to attain mystical enlightenment.

Reality as a shared experience

This brings us to our final definition of reality: that reality is a shared experience among different individuals. This is in theory testable when it comes to astral projection. If two or more people astral project together and they have the same experience, then it fits the criteria of being real.

Unfortunately performing this type of experiment is incredibly hard to do. First, you will need two or more people that can astral project at will. People with this level of skill are very, very rare. Assuming you can find people with this level of skill, these people need to be able to astral project at the same time. Furthermore, they need to be able to find each other in that world and be able to interact with that world together. 

They must then be able to return with enough recollection of the experience to accurately communicate it to scientists. For this reason, proving that astral projection is factually, scientifically real due to shared experiences has a huge problem.

However, as Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell noted, there are overlapping mythological themes that stretch across cultures. Jung explains this phenomenon by stating that humanity has shared unconscious content. He called this the ‘collective unconscious’. Mental structures that all humans share are located in this place. This is why different cultures can have similar themes in their spiritual experiences. So, there is a degree of shared reality across cultures.

Conclusion

But let’s suppose that we find out that astral projection is entirely subjective; that it exists only in our minds. Does this invalidate the experience? The answer is a loud resounding NO! If an OBE is purely a creation of the mind, then it’s still very real, but differently.

It’s real because your mind is real; it’s real because your thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams are real. Everything you experience, every god, angel, and spirit is real, because it comes from you, and you are very real. All the knowledge, insight, and personal power you get from astral projection exists inside you. That world of beauty, majesty, and grandeur is in essence you, and it exists inside everyone.

But in the end, the only way you will know is if you have your own OBEs regularly. By living the reality of astral projection, whatever that reality might be, you will be in the right position to decide for yourself.

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