What are the dangers of astral projection? We will take a look at some of the safety concerns surrounding astral projection and see whether they are true. This is important due to the massive amounts of misinformation and hearsay that surrounds these issues. I need to be address this misinformation so that you can practice astral projection without any misgivings. The reason is that the dangers of astral projection are vastly overstated.
We need to look at two statistics: the world population, and the percentage of people who have had OBEs. The world population is 7.53 billion people, and 10% of people have had at least one OBE. This means that 753 million people have had an OBE.
In the 1980s, psychiatrist, Dr. Stuart Twemlow, conducted extensive research on OBEs and their connection to mental disorders
Keep these numbers in mind when reading further or addressing any issue concerning astral projection and psychological disturbances. This included a survey of 339 people who experienced an OBE and an extensive review of the scientific literature surrounding OBEs. He found that OBEs are psychologically healthy and can be clearly distinguished from mental disorders. There is no evidence to suggest that OBE practitioners are mentally unhealthy, or need psychiatric treatment.
In the survey, 55% felt joy, and 60% felt their life had changed, with 78% seeing a long-lasting benefit. Also, 43% called their OBE “the greatest thing that has ever happened to me”. 86% felt they developed a greater sense of reality. At no point did Twemlow discover an increase in mental illness among those who have OBEs. This means one simple thing: virtually all the horror stories about astral projection are untrue. We will look at the three most common questions about safety. These observations are based on years of personal experience as well as the observations of other researchers.
Can I get lost on the astral plane and not come back?
One of the biggest problems in learning astral projection is not getting back to your body, but staying outside it; even experienced astral projectors have this problem. You can snap back into your body at the slightest provocation; think about your body, and you will snap back, get too tense or excited, you snap back; if your physical body experiences discomfort, you snap back. If your alarm goes off, or a noisy neighbor puts on loud music, you will also snap back.
Getting lost on the astral plane and not coming back is not at all a problem; returning to your body too soon is though. Consider this: if people got lost on the astral plane and never came back, then how did the stories emerge? If astral projectors didn’t come back, there wouldn’t be anyone to tell the stories to begin with. Keep in mind, that if this was true Twemlow would’ve noticed an increase in unexplained catatonia among practitioners. He didn’t.
What if someone wakes you up during astral projection?
One common fear of the dangers of astral projection is waking up during the experience. I’ve woken up during astral projection by alarms, family members, loud noises, and many other things. Every single person who can astral project has experienced this as well. A common concern is that if you wake up during an OBE the astral cord can break and leave you stranded. If this was true then there wouldn’t be any astral projectors. Because at some point something or someone will wake the practitioner up and they will die. This is not the case, and there are many people who astral project. Consider what I said previously: if people died from waking up during astral projection, then how did the stories emerge? How would people know astral projection killed them?
Can demons or other negative entities harm you?
This particular concern is that the spiritual world is inhabited by predatory beings that can harm you. In this case the dangers of astral projection range from demons, and astral parasites, to other beings that prey on humans. Other variations include powerful beings that aren’t overtly negative but can nonetheless still cause a lot of harm. Yet another variation, are dangerous places in the spiritual world that can damage the practitioner.
I noticed that occultists or similar spiritual approaches tend to emphasize this ‘danger’. If this ‘danger’ was real then we would see a sharp spike in severe mental disorders among practitioners of astral projection. The simple fact is we don’t. The studies by Twemlow showed no evidence of psychiatric problems among people who had out-of-body experiences.
Ask yourself this question. If these dangers of astral projection were real why are the authors who write about them all seem okay? The author might describe some unverified anecdote of a spiritual attack that harmed someone they know. Yet the author is always miraculously okay. I have come across authors describing interactions with gods, demons, angels, and everything in-between. It’s always some friend or student who is attacked. However, the author through their extreme mystical knowledge escaped unscathed or saved the day. Another example is how they entered hell, or crossed the abyss, or entered the abode of gods; places they claim to be very dangerous for the uninitiated, but not for them.
If attacks by negative entities were harmful, and there were dangerous places, then we would have clear evidence of this. 753 million people have had an OBE. If what these authors claim was true then the psychiatric profession would’ve seen a massive increase in very severe mental orders stemming from OBEs. The diagnoses may not read “attacked by a demon”, but would still be stated terminologies such as paranoia, delusion, or psychosis. No evidence that points in this direction.
Although negative experiences during astral projection are possible, these are rare and are due to severe stress or other emotional problems in waking life. In over a decade of personal experience, I’ve been ‘attacked’ several times. I realized very quickly that being attacked during an OBE is harmless. Robert Monroe in Far Journeys and William Buhlman in Adventures Beyond the Body have noticed the same thing. Authors who state otherwise are the exception, and their theories are highly, questionable.
Why astral projection horror proliferate
Astral projection is a safe practice, but horror stories proliferate. But why? There are several reasons. The reasons are an overactive imagination, and an inability to correctly interpret an experience, in other words, self-deception. These horror stories are still with us because many practitioners don’t fully understand what is happening to them.
At its core, astral projection is a journey into the mind, your mind. Mystical paths such as the hermetic kabbalah might describe the mind as a metaphysical place, but it’s still your mind. Everything you experience there is you. This is why most prominent spiritual paths respect this practice. Astral projection conveys the simple truth that you and reality are one in a very simple and direct manner. All the trees, buildings, entities, sounds, feelings, etc. during an OBE are a part of you.
OBE practitioners don’t realize is how important the unconscious is in astral projection. It can make your fears appear very real. Many mystical paths concluded that the spiritual world is a world of the mind. Because the unconscious is an integral part of your mind, it will bring its content to the surface.
The unconscious is extremely powerful during astral projection and you need to be aware of this. If you have fears or personal problems that need to be addressed your unconscious will bring these fears to the surface. This will make them appear as demons or other threatening figures. For most people, this is quite rare, but they do happen.
When confronted with the rare occurrence of negative entities or experiences, some people mistakenly believe that they are in danger. At this point, an overactive imagination takes over. They begin to ascribe every negative thing in their psyche or life as being due to negative spiritual influences. They are completely unaware of the fact that their problems are self-created. It has nothing to do with negative entities or experiences. However, this phenomenon also happens to people who have positive experiences.
Self-deception and the danger of egotism
Self-deception is a very real danger that can happen during astral projection. However, this tends to lean more toward positive OBEs. A practitioner might experience bliss, or meet a deity or angel. They then conclude that they are special, evolved, or that they are ‘spiritually advanced’. This form of wishful-thinking is a form of egotism. Unfortunately, it’s very common among spiritual practitioners and is not unique to astral projection. This can cause immense problems for a person. It can affect their work and interpersonal relationships and can cripple their ability to better themselves. Always be aware of your own, ignorance, shortcomings, and flaws. Also, be aware of this simple fact: 753 million people have had at least one OBE. Many people have had a similar set of experiences.
The great Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was well aware of the fact that he was just a man. For this reason he sought to constantly improve himself. As a result, the Oracle of Delphi proclaimed him the wisest of men, because he knew that he knew nothing. The author David Gemmell said it best: “When a fool sees himself as he is, then he is a fool no longer; and when a wise man learns of his own wisdom, then he becomes a fool.”
Always be critical with regards to your own astral projection experiences. Never take anything at face value, but also never reject an experience out of hand. There is always a chance that your experiences while astral traveling isn’t what they appear to be on the surface. They might hide a completely different meaning that isn’t apparent. Always practice caution while interpreting your experiences. Dr. Charles T. Tart author of Altered States of Consciousness stated the following in Open Mind, Discriminating Mind:
“Knowledge or experience of the psychic, meditation, lucid and ordinary dreams, altered states, mystical experiences, psychedelics: All of these can open our minds to new understandings, take us beyond our ordinary limits. They can also temporarily create the most convincing, “obviously” true, excitingly true, ecstatically true delusions. That is when we must practice developing discrimination. Otherwise, the too-open mind can be worse off than a closed but relatively sane mind.”
In short: the dangers of astral projection are false, the only real danger is human error and self-deception. If you want to know more about astral projection, but don’t know where to start, here is a step-by-step how to guide for beginners.