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What is Astral Projection?

Astral Projection and the Nature of Reality: Exploring the Out-of-Body State
John Magnus

There are as many definitions of what astral projection is as there are astral projectors. I think it is a good idea to give my definition before we delve into the topic.

Projection, in this case, is the process by which you select a physical or nonphysical object and turn (or shift) your awareness (or attention) to it. It can also be viewed as the process of drawing an object, or the concept of an object, into your awareness, but those are just two different ways of looking at the same process. Every thought you have is a projection of awareness.

For example, one second you may be projecting your awareness to a memory of an article on strawberries that you read two weeks ago. The next second you are projecting your awareness to a memory of the sweet taste of a strawberry. As another example, if I have to sharpen a pencil, during the sharpening procedure I project my awareness to the pencil, then to the sharpener, and then back to my usual daydream. Projecting one's awareness to other realities takes a bit more effort, but it is the exact same procedure.

Awareness is the point of your mental focus. It is the clearest part of your conscious mind. The functions of the mind can be divided into two major parts: the conscious and the subconscious. The subconscious controls the autonomic nervous system, beliefs, and memories. The two parts cooperate to implement complete mind functions. For example, if you decide to move your arm, you are consciously aware of the arm moving, but you have no idea how the subconscious manipulates the muscles. Likewise, you can consciously access memories but can't control how they are stored or fetched. You have no conscious control over your memories when the subconscious prevents you from remembering the names of people you meet.

Awareness allows access to the conscious parts of your mind, but not all at once. You can only turn your awareness to a small portion of the conscious mind at one time. For example, if you are listening to music and, out of the corner of your eye, see something moving, you turn your awareness to your eyesight to investigate whether the movement is a threat. For a few milliseconds, the hearing function slips out of your awareness and you can't hear the music.

Astral is trickier to define, and everyone seems to have his or her own idea of what it is. The American College Dictionary from 1967, for example, says the astral is "a supersensible substance supposed to pervade all space and form the substance of a second body belonging to each individual." That is a good definition (although not necessarily correct), but it still does not tell us what that supersensible substance is, how it relates to the physical, or how to reach it. Perhaps the confusion stems from attempts to define the astral with words that are commonly used to describe physical space. Or perhaps the confusion is caused by the fact that humanity has not even defined the physical, and we can't tell what the astral is without knowing what the physical is.

Some say the astral contains all the nonphysical realms. Others say that there is a continuum of energy frequencies reaching from the physical to the divine, and the astral is one of those frequencies, neatly tucked in between the physical and mental frequencies. Since there are too many unknowns, I will not attempt to specifically define the astral; I will only say that the astral is the realm where thoughts come to life. It is the dimension where dreams live, where we hang out when we are taking a break from physical reality. We are multidimensional beings. Our consciousness exists in many dimensions, and the astral is one of them. Later in this book, we will get into the details of what the astral might be, and you will experience it for yourself.

Astral projection (sometimes referred to as AP) is the process by which you turn your awareness into the astral realm. The astral includes many different types of experiences, everything from dreams to the afterlife, and there is a plethora of ways to get there: dreaming, daydreaming, fantasizing, dying. We will be using the projection type that is known as out-of-body projection, which means that we interact with the astral as we do in waking physical reality: from a first-person view and with senses similar to the physical senses.

I am not too thrilled with the term out-of-body because it implies a physical part of you somehow escapes the physical body. In my opinion, out-of-body travel involves directing your attention to a nonphysical part of yourself that was never locked down by the body in the first place. It also implies that projections take place in the physical world, as the word ?out? may be interpreted as a physical location relative to the physical body. Astral projection is not merely the process of leaving the physical body and floating around in physical reality, although it is quite possible to do so. The astral is a realm of its own which is very much larger (in nonphysical terms) than the physical. It contains millions of worlds that may or may not resemble our physical universe. We would miss out on too much if we were to limit our journeys to only our physical world.

Every being in the universe can practice astral projection. Whether you are young or old, short or tall, rich or poor, you can astral project. The ability to astral project is a consequence of how the physical body is constructed and how the nonphysical parts of your being connect to it. It is a natural skill. There is nothing supernatural about it. Astral projection is not a freak occurrence of nature; it is an expression of who we are. In fact, everyone astral projects all the time. If you could not project your awareness, you could never sharpen your pencil. If you could not project your mind to the astral, then you could never have dreams. What we will do in this book is not too far from dreaming, although I admit it is vastly more exciting. ...

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