Astral projection is closely related to the out-of-body experience (OBE), near-death experience (NDE), lucid dreaming, and even remote viewing. The difference between them is that astral projection is a consciously induced OBE. Such OBEs provide an excellent argument when it comes to evidence for the survival of consciousness. Some astral projections and OBEs are termed “veridical” (verified) where the experiencer accurately describes events and conversations from an observation point-of-view removed from normal observation — sometimes far removed. Such veridical OBEs cannot be explained in conventional physiological terms (e.g., as a relatively infrequent neurological phenomenon) or in conventional psychological terms (e.g., as a dissociative hallucination). They also cannot be explained in terms of ordinary ESP or mental telepathy. For these reasons the most plausible remaining explanation, and according to Occam’s Razor, the simplest solution, could arguably to be that mental activity can occur “non-local” to one’s body. This means that such non-local mental states are distinct from bodily states; and, according to the survival hypothesis, one’s characteristic mental activity can continue in the absence of corresponding bodily activity, even after bodily death.
Table of Contents
- Scientific Evidence Supporting the Reality of Astral Projection and OBEs
- Evidence from Lucid Dreams Supporting the Reality of an Astral World
- Sylvan Muldoon’s Astral Explorations Are Similar to NDEs
- Sylvan Muldoon’s Method of Conscious Astral Projection
- Observations by Sylvan Muldoon While Consciously Astral Projecting
- Contemporary Studies of Out-of-Body Experiences
- The Various Types of Induction Methods for Astral Projection
a. Astral Projection Induced by Mental Stimulus
b. Astral Projection Induced by Mechanical Stimulus
c. Astral Projection Induced by Chemical Stimulus
- A Brief History of Astral Travel
1. Scientific Evidence Supporting the Reality of Astral Projection and OBEs
Concepts found in interpretations of quantum mechanics and the philosophy of mind supports the phenomena of astral projection and OBEs. The rigorous mathematical support for parallel universes and the Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics also supports the multidimensional phenomena of astral projection and OBEs. String theory, and its corresponding M-theory and Holographic Principle, is an attempt to create a “Theory of Everything” – a theory unifying all the physical forces in nature – states that there are 11 dimensions of which 7 of these dimensions are “curled up” into an extremely tiny ball which curled up just after the Big Bang. The concept of parallel universes suggests it is possible for the so-called “astral plane” – which is currently undetectable to modern scientific tools – to exist in these mathematically supported other dimensions.
According to string theory, everything (including atomic particles) are made up of strings which are vibrational in nature. Those who have experienced astral projection, OBEs and NDEs, have described how they feel enormous vibrations and “popping” or “clicking” sounds when detaching themselves from their physical body. It is this increased level of vibrations which allows experiencers to access these higher dimensions. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity mathematically describes how time slows down as a person is traveling closer and closer to the speed of light. At the speed of light, time actually stops altogether. The realms of the OBE and NDE have been described as dimensions of the mind, in the same way the dream world has been described. In these realms, travel has been described as instantaneous – that is – the moment an experiencer thinks of a location, they are instantly there. These realms have been described as timeless realms where time no longer exists as we know it in the physical world such as found in OBEs and NDEs. A few seconds in these dimensions can feel like an eternity because there is no measure of time there. Read a more detailed description of how science supports astral projections, OBEs, and NDEs at the Scientific Evidence of the Afterlife Page.
2. Evidence from Lucid Dreams Supporting the Reality of an Astral World
The realm of lucid or vivid dreams is a realm of objective experience where social contacts have been made between conscious personalities in the form of veridical dreams. Two of the best examples of veridical dreams, that I am aware of, is the veridical dream case of Sylvia Claire and a case described in a study by Japanese researcher Watanabe Tsuneo in a March 2003 paper entitled, “Lucid Dreaming: Its Experimental Proof and Psychological Conditions” in the Journal of International Society of Life Information Science (Japan) 21 (1): 159–162. In Tsuneo’s study, four selected test subjects were able to signal while they were lucid dreaming of particular dream actions having observable concomitants which were performed in accordance with a pre-sleep agreement. The conclusion emerging from such cases is that a dream world (or astral world) which is invisible to the five senses of the physical body, does in fact exist.
NDEs are identical to accidental astral projections when the NDE is spontaneous and accidently triggered. Accidental astral projections have been described in veridical dreams as well. A classic example of a dream projection was reported to the Society of Psychical Research. In 1863, Mr. Wilmot of Bridgeport, Connecticut described a veridical dream involving his wife:
“I sailed from Liverpool for New York, on the steamer City of Limerick … On the evening of the second day out … a severe storm began which lasted for nine days … Upon the night of the eighth day … for the first time I enjoyed refreshing sleep. Toward morning I dreamed that I saw my wife, whom I had left in the U.S., come to the door of the stateroom, clad in her night dress. At the door she seemed to discover that I was not the only occupant in the room, hesitated a little, then advanced to my side, stooped down and kissed me, and quietly withdrew.
“Upon waking I was surprised to see my fellow passenger … leaning upon his elbow and looking fixedly at me. He said at length:
“‘You’re a pretty fellow to have a lady come and visit you this way.’
“I pressed him for an explanation, and he related what he had seen while wide awake, lying on his berth. It exactly corresponded with my dream.
“The day after landing I went to Watertown, Connecticut, where my children and my wife were … visiting her parents. Almost her first question when we were back alone was:
“‘Did you receive a visit from me a week ago Tuesday?’
“‘It would be impossible,’ I said. ‘Tell me what makes you think so.’
“My wife then told me that on account of the severity of the weather … she had been extremely anxious about me. On the night mentioned above she had lain awake a long time thinking about me, and about four o’clock in the morning it seemed to her that she went out to seek me … She came at length … to my stateroom.
“She said, ‘Tell me, do they ever have staterooms like the one I saw, where the upper berth extends further back than the under one? A man was in the upper berth looking right at me, and for a moment I was afraid to go in, but soon I went up to the side of your berth, bent down and kissed you, and embraced you, and then went away.’
“The description given by my wife of the steamship was correct in all particulars, though she had never seen it.”
3. Sylvan Muldoon’s Astral Explorations Are Similar to NDEs
Some of the most interesting accounts of astral projection come from Sylvan J. Muldoon (1903-1969) in his classic books Projection of the Astral Body (1929), The Case for Astral Projection (1936) and The Phenomena of Astral Projection (1951). These books contain records of many years of experimenting with astral projection which bears the stamp of authenticity. In the world of astral projection, Muldoon was one of the early pioneers in the field. As an astral projection researcher, Muldoon’s discoveries all started with personal experience. When he was 12 years old, Muldoon attended a spiritualist’s gathering with his mother in Iowa. During one of the nights there, he woke up and found himself looking down on his physical body. He found that a cord connected him with his physical body and thought he may be dead. He traveled around the house trying to wake some members of his family, but had no success. Finally, he was pulled back into his physical body. This was his first astral projection out of hundreds he would later experience.
Dr. Hereward Carrington, the researcher of Muldoon, wrote an introduction to the first book. Muldoon’s accounts of astral travel describes in detail his ability to leave his physical body at will and to retain full consciousness in a subtler “astral” body. He testifies to becoming aware of events and things while in this subtle body of which he had previously no knowledge, and later to be able to verify the facts. These are called “veridical astral projections.” In some instances he describes how his subtle body can pass through solid physical objects. This phenomenon agrees with NDE testimony (see Dr. Dianne Morrissey’s NDE). Muldoon also gives details about the mechanism of projection which enables others who seek to experiment in astral projection to attempt the same thing.
Sylvan Muldoon has reported having hundreds of such conscious astral projections. He has gathered and published more reports of such projections by other people than has any other investigator. His reports about the astral world are particularly interesting because they are similar in description to NDEs. As an example, Muldoon once wrote:
“There are no words to express the feeling of ‘prodigiousness’ which overwhelms the projector when he becomes perfectly conscious in the purgatory of the dead – sees earthbound phantoms, rides upon the air, sustains himself by thought, passes through material beings and objects (which offer no more resistance than the air itself) and listens to the chatter of those [still physically embodied persons] who suspect not his presence … And yet, for all the marvelous things upon the astral plane, it does feel good to get back into the physical body again and ‘touch!’ If one could only ‘feel’ things in purgatory! That is the ‘hell’ of it, speaking seriously! It is a wonder to me that some of the case-hardened earthbound phantoms, under a super stress of habit or desire to make ‘touchable’ contacts, do not go insane. There is but one cure for his condition, and that is to turn away from the earthly – to ‘will’ to break the stress of habit and desire to make contact with the earthly …”
Muldoon’s comments on earthbound spirits are similar to descriptions of earthbound spirits in NDEs such as the one by Dr. George Ritchie. Muldoon’s description of the strong desire to “touch” things in the astral world, corresponds with statements made by Dr. Dianne Morrissey during her NDE where she returns to life because of a profound desire to “touch” things once again.
“Everything in the astral plane seems to be governed by thought – by the mind of the projector … As one is in his mind he becomes in reality when he is in the astral body … Most of the time, even before you can complete a thought, you have already attained what you are thinking about … It seems that the mind creates its own environment – yet the environment is real! This condition could not possibly last indefinitely; it is a sort of purgatory wherein one must learn to think correctly.”
Muldoon and Dr. Carrington in their book, Projection of the Astral Body wrote that the astral plane can be reached by dreaming:
“When you are dreaming you are not really in the same world as when you are conscious – in the physical – although the two worlds merge into one another. While dreaming, you really are in the astral plane, and usually your astral body is in the zone of quietude.”
4. Sylvan Muldoon’s Method of Conscious Astral Projection
Many techniques for conscious astral projection involve regaining consciousness within the dream state. However, it is suggested that a person should not engage in conscious astral projection if you often experience great discord within yourself.
One technique is offered by Sylvan Muldoon is described in his book, Projection of the Astral Body:
(a) Develop yourself so that you are enabled to hold consciousness up to the very moment of “rising to sleep.” The best way to do this is to hold some member of the physical body in such a position that it will not be at rest, but will be inclined to fall as you enter sleep.
(b) Construct a dream which will have the action of self predominant. The dream must be of the aviation type, in which you move upward and outward, corresponding to the action of the astral body while projecting. It must be a dream of something which you enjoy doing.
(c) Hold the dream clearly in mind; visualize it as you are rising to sleep; project yourself right into it and go on dreaming.
(d) Through the use of properly applied suggestion, prior to the dream, you will be able to remember yourself in your dream and bring your dream body (i.e., your astral body) to full waking consciousness. This technique may require months of gentle persistence.
5. Observations by Sylvan Muldoon While Consciously Astral Projecting
Muldoon’s book, Projection of the Astral Body, offers a wealth of information based on the hundreds of astral projections he had over a period of many years. In one projection experience, Muldoon found himself in a strange house watching a young lady who happened to be sewing at the time. Six weeks later, by coincidence, he recognized the woman on the streets of the small Wisconsin town where he lived. Upon his approaching her, she was startled to discover that he was able to accurately describe the inside of her home. She eventually became a very close friend of his and participated with him in a number of projection experiments.
By observing his own condition in the astral world, Muldoon was able to develop some interesting hypotheses. For example, he made a number of measurements of the “silver cord” which connects the astral body to the physical body, stating how it varied in thickness from about 1 1/2 inches to about the size of a sewing thread according to the proximity of the astral body to the physical. At a distance of from 8 to 15 feet, the cord reached its minimum width. It was only at this distance that Muldoon was able to exercise complete control over his astral body. He also noticed that his heartbeat and breath seemed to travel from the astral body through the cord to the physical body.
Muldoon also noted that physical disabilities seemed to provide an incentive for projection. Muldoon himself was very frail and sickly during the years when his projections were most pronounced. He hypothesized that the unconscious will – motivated by habits and desires – would otherwise resulted in sleep walking, would led to astral projection for him because of the frailty of his body. For example, if he was thirsty at night, he might discover his astral body travelling to the water pump.
In one instance, it occurred to Muldoon that his heart was beating unusually slow. He visited his doctor who told him his pulse was only 42 beats per minute and gave him a cardiac stimulant to correct the condition. For the next two months while Muldoon took this stimulant, he was unable to induce a projection although he normally averaged at least one astral projection per week. But once he stopped taking the medicine, he was again able to perform astral projections. He also noticed that whenever he experienced intense emotions while astral projecting, it would cause his heart to beat faster. Later in life, as Muldoon’s health improved, his ability to astral project diminished and practically disappeared. Nevertheless, he certainly made the most significant contribution in research involving astral travel his time. Since then, several other people have contributed to astral projection research.
Some researchers have argued that Muldoon’s frailty and sickliness was the result of his numerous astral projections. This is supported by research into the life of Edgar Cayce and his astral projections. Cayce gained national prominence in 1943 after the publication of a high-profile article in the magazine Coronet titled “Miracle Man of Virginia Beach” (see America’s Alternative Religions by Timothy Miller, 1995) In the middle of World War II, Cayce said he could not refuse people who felt they needed his help, and he increased the frequency of his readings to eight per day to try to help those on his ever-growing pile of requests. Cayce’s “Source” informed him that performing so many astral projections would take a toll on his health as it was emotionally draining and often fatigued him. His Source would scold him for attempting too much and that he should limit his workload to just two readings a day or else they would kill him. In the spring of 1944, Edgar began to weaken. While his Source advised him rest, Cayce felt compelled to continue to assist those who called him. Finally, exhaustion overcame him and, like his first reading he had made for himself in 1901, was issued last in September 1944. Cayce’s Source urged him to suspend their activities. When his wife asked Cayce’s Source for how long, the answer was, “Until he recovers or dies.” Cayce almost immediately suffered a stroke and became partially paralyzed. By the end of the year, his friends feared the worst. Edgar was told he would “heal” after the new year, but his family and friends realized his Source was actually announcing his death, which occurred on January 3, 1945.
6. Contemporary Studies of Out-of-Body Experiences
Cases of OBEs were collected by the Italian OBE researcher Dr. Ernesto Bozzano and by Dr. Robert Crookall in the UK. Crookall approached the subject of OBEs from a spiritualistic position, and collected his cases predominantly from spiritualist newspapers. The first extensive scientific study of OBEs was made by Celia Green in 1968. She collected first-hand accounts from a total of 400 subjects to provide a taxonomy of the different types of OBE. In 1981, the Brazilian physician Dr. Waldo Vieira proposed a new field in parapsychology called projectiology in which researchers would study the subjective dynamics of the OBE directly through systematic self-experimentation rather than through verbal testimonies. He also founded The Center of Continued Consciousness which was later renamed to the International Academy of Consciousness (IAC) to promote discussions about the subject.
In 1999, at the 1st International Forum of Consciousness Research in Barcelona, International Academy of Consciousness research practitioners Wagner Alegretti and Nanci Trivellato presented preliminary findings  of an online survey about OBEs answered by internet users interested in the subject. Of the first 1,185 respondents, 1,007 (85%) reported having had an OBE. 37% claimed to have had between two and ten OBEs. 5.5% claimed more than 100 such experiences. 45% of those who reported an OBE said they successfully induced at least one OBE by using a specific technique. 62% of participants claiming to have had an OBE also reported having enjoyed nonphysical flight; 40% reported experiencing the phenomenon of self-bilocation (i.e., or “autoscopy” – seeing one’s own physical body whilst outside of the body); and 38% claimed having experienced passing through physical objects such as walls. The most commonly reported sensations experienced in connection with the OBE were falling, floating, repercussions (e.g. myoclonus – the jerking of limbs, jerking awake), sinking, numbness, intracranial sounds, tingling, clairvoyance, oscillation and serenity.
Another reported common sensation related to OBEs is temporary or projective catalepsy, a more common feature of sleep paralysis. The Waterloo Unusual Sleep Experiences Questionnaire revealed a correlation between sleep paralysis and OBEs. The sleep paralysis and OBE correlation was also corroborated by the OBE and Arousal study published in the scholarly journal Neurology by Dr. Kevin Nelson et al (2007). Dr. Nelson is a Professor from the University of Kentucky whose study revealed that people who have OBEs are more likely to suffer from sleep paralysis. Dr. Nelson’s study also revealed a correlation between people who have had an NDE and their above normal experience with REM intrusion. However, in the humble opinion of the webmaster, Kevin Williams, Dr. Nelson is merely “putting the cart before the horse.” People who are more apt to remember their dreams (which REM intrusion does) may also be more apt to remember an NDE. Near-death studies have shown that some people have NDEs but don’t remember them, as was discovered by the late Dr. Maurice Rawlings in his book, To Hell and Back (PDF) Also, Dr. Nelson’s conclusions have been challenged by NDE experts such as Dr. Jeffrey Long and Jan Holden (PDF).
William Buhlman (www.astralinfo.org), an astral projector and author on the subject, has conducted an informative online survey as well. Based on 16,185 responses, for example, he discovered that the most commonly reported phenomena associated with OBEs include: 98% experienced a jolt or jerk awake; 85% experienced sounds such as buzzing, humming or roaring; and 56% experienced vibrations or high energy sensations, to name just a few of the phenomena.
OBE-like experiences have been induced by stimulation of the brain – the posterior part of the right superior temporal gyrus in a patient (download this scholarly paper entitled Visualizing Out-of-Body Experience in the Brain (PDF). The term OBE-like experiences is used to refer to experiences described in such experiments because they either lacked some of the clarity or details of normal OBEs, or were described by subjects who had never experienced an OBE before. Such subjects were therefore not qualified to make claims about the authenticity of the experimentally-induced OBE.
Research by Dr. Olaf Blanke in Switzerland found that it is possible to reliably elicit OBE-like experiences by stimulating regions of the brain called the right temporal-parietal junction (TPJ) which is a region where the temporal lobe and parietal lobe of the brain come together. Blanke has explored the neural basis of OBE-like experiences by showing how they are reliably associated with lesions in the right TPJ region (download the scholarly article by Dr. Blanke entitled Out-Of-Body Experience and Autoscopy of Neurological Origin (PDF). But no such experiences were found by stimulating any other area of the brain suggesting the mental imagery of TPJ stimulation is of one’s own body (download Linking OBE and Self Processing to Mental Own-Body Imagery at the Temporoparietal Junction by Dr. Blanke (PDF). Olaf Blanke’s Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience has become a well-known laboratory for OBE research.
Dr. Michael Persinger has performed research similar to Olaf Blanke using magnetic stimulation (using the so-called “God Helmet“) applied to the right temporal lobe of the brain and has discovered a telepathic link to OBEs in his laboratory (see also this article.) This area of the brain is known to be involved in visuo-spatial functions, multi-sensory integration and the construction of the sense of the body in space. Persinger found evidence for objective neural differences between periods of remote viewing in two individuals believed to have psychic abilities. Persinger undertook his research on Sean Harribance and Ingo Swann, a renowned remote viewer who has taken part in numerous studies (see this article “The Neuropsychiatry of Paranormal Experiences”). Examination of Harribance revealed enhanced EEG activity within his right parieto-occipital region which is consistent with evidence of early brain trauma in these regions. In a second study, Ingo Swann was asked to draw images of pictures hidden in envelopes in another room. Individuals with no knowledge of the nature of the study rated Swann’s comments and drawings as identical to the remotely viewed stimulus at better than chance levels. Additionally, on trials in which Swann was correct, the duration of electrical activity over the right occipital lobe was longer. An MRI examination found anomalous white brain matter signals focused in the perieto-occipital interface of the right hemisphere that were not expected for his age or history.
The first clinical study of OBEs in the near-death experiences of cardiac arrest patients was by Dr. Pim van Lommel a cardiologist from the Netherlands, and his team (see Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A Prospective Study in the Netherlands, The Lancet, 2001). Of 344 patients who were successfully resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest, approximately 18% experienced classic NDEs which included out-of-body experiences. The patients remembered details of their conditions during their cardiac arrest despite being clinically dead with flatlined brain stem activity (see the case of Pam Reynolds). Van Lommel concluded his findings by supporting the theory that consciousness continues despite lack of neuronal activity in the brain. Van Lommel conjectured that continuity of consciousness may be achievable if the brain acted as a receiver for the information generated by memories and consciousness, which existed independently of the brain, just as radio, television and internet information existed independently of the instruments that received it.
In the autumn of 2008, 25 hospitals in the UK and US began participating in a 3-year study called The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) Study which is coordinated by Dr. Sam Parnia and Southampton University. Following up on from the research of Dr. Pim van Lommel in the Netherlands, the study aims to examine the OBEs of 1,500 cardiac arrest patients who had an NDE to determine whether people without a heartbeat or brain activity can have documentable OBEs.
The Monroe Institute has the oldest and most established facility specializing in OBE induction. It is called The Nancy Penn Center. The International Academy of Consciousness (IAC) in southern Portugal features the Projectarium, a spherical structure dedicated exclusively for practice and research on OBEs.
7. The Various Types of Induction Methods for Astral Projection
Astral projection assumes the existence of one or more non-physical realms of existence and an associated astral body beyond the physical. Evidence of an objective reality of an astral realm for projecting is sometimes suggested when people, such as patients during surgery, have an NDE and describe having OBEs in which they see or hear events or objects outside their sensory range – called “veridical NDEs” or “veridical OBEs.” One case which is often cited is the veridical NDE of Pam Reynolds who reported experiencing an OBE during brain surgery and described a surgical instrument she had not seen previously, as well as conversation that occurred while she was under anesthesia and in a state of brain death.
The term “out-of-body experience” was introduced in 1943 by George N. M. Tyrrell in his book Apparitions, and was adopted by researchers such as Celia Green and Robert Monroe as an alternative to spiritualistic terms such as “astral projection,” “soul travel,” or “spirit walking.” Researcher Waldo Vieira described the phenomenon as a projection of consciousness. Astral projection can be induced by: (a) OBE techniques, (b) sensory deprivation, (c) near-death experiences, (d) dissociative and psychedelic drugs, (e) dehydration, (f) extreme stress, (g) dreams, (h) sleep paralysis, (i) electrical stimulation of the brain, and (j) forms of meditation among others.
Mainstream science, which knows little about the phenomenon, currently considers all OBEs to be merely hallucinations despite the growing evidence of (a) veridical astral projections, (b) veridical OBEs, (c) veridical NDEs, (d) veridical deathbed visions, (e) veridical dreams, (f) veridical after-death communications, and (g) veridical apparitions of the dead, all of which suggests a “subtle body” (the astral body) exists which can detach itself from the physical body and visit distant locations. Consciously controlled and pre-meditated astral projection methods have been well documented as this article has mentioned.
a. Astral Projection Induced by Mental Stimulus
I. Method 1: Falling Asleep Physically Without Losing Wakefulness
The “Mind Awake, Body Asleep” state is widely suggested as a cause of astral projection. Thomas Edison used such techniques to tackle problems while working on his inventions. He would rest a silver dollar on his head while sitting with a metal bucket in a chair. As he drifted off, the coin would noisily fall into the bucket, restoring some of his alertness. Salvador Dalí was said to use a method similar to Sylvan Muldoon’s method to gain odd visions which inspired his paintings. Deliberately teetering between awake and asleep states is known to cause spontaneous trance episodes such as those by Edgar Cayce. By moving deeper and deeper into relaxation, one eventually encounters a “slipping” feeling if the mind is still alert. This slipping is reported to feel like leaving the physical body.
II. Method 2: Waking Up Mentally But Not Physically
This related technique is typically achieved through the practice of lucid dreaming. Once inside a lucid dream, the dreamer either shifts the subject matter of the dream in an OBE direction or banishes the dream imagery completely, in doing so gaining access to the underlying state of sleep paralysis ideal for visualization of separation from the body.
III. Method 3: Deep Trance, Meditation and Visualization
The types of visualizations vary. Some common imageries used include climbing a rope to “pull out” of one’s body, floating out of one’s body, getting shot out of a cannon, and other similar approaches. This technique is considered hard to use for people who cannot properly relax. One example of such a technique is the popular Golden Dawn “Body of Light” Technique.
b. Astral Projection Induced by Mechanical Stimulus
I. Method 4: Brainwave Synchronization Via Audio/Visual Stimulation
Binaural beats can be used to induce specific brainwave frequencies, notably those predominant in various mind awake/body asleep states. Binaural induction of a “body asleep” 4 Hertz brainwave frequency was observed as effective by The Monroe Institute, and some authors – such as William Buhlman and Robert Bruce – consider binaural beats to be significantly supportive of astral projection initiation when used in conjunction with other techniques. Simultaneous introduction of “mind awake” beta frequencies (detectable in the brains of normal, relaxed awakened individuals) was also observed as helpful. Another popular technology uses sinusoidal wave pulses to achieve similar results, and the drumming accompanying native American religious ceremonies is also believed to have heightened receptivity to “other worlds” through brainwave entrainment mechanisms.
V. Method 8: Sensory Deprivation
The sensory deprivation method attempts to encourage intense disorientation by the removal of space and time references. Flotation tanks or pink noise played through headphones are often employed for this purpose.
VI. Method 9: Sensory Overload: the opposite of sensory deprivation
The subject can for instance be rocked for a long time in a specially designed cradle, or submitted to light forms of torture, to cause the brain to shut itself off from all sensory input. Both conditions tend to cause confusion and this disorientation often permits the subject to experience vivid, ethereal out-of-body experiences.
c. Astral Projection Induced by Chemical Stimulus
I. Method 10: Astral Projection Induced by Hallucinogenic Drugs
There are several types of drugs which can initiate astral projections, primarily the dissociative hallucinogens such as ketamine, dextromethorphan (DM or DXM), and phencyclidine (PCP). It has also been reported under the influence of tryptamine psychedelics including dimethyltryptamine (DMT) from Ayahuasca. The plant Salvia divinorum has been known to produce symptoms in which the user is said to be able to leave his or her body and travel to many places at once. Many users also claim that they feel as if their “soul” falls out of their body.
II. Method 11: Astral Projection Induced by Side Effects of Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine has also been known to initiate astral projections, not in itself but through lack of sleep. It has been reported that it felt like the person was talking above and behind them and, being under the influence of the drug, had no idea what was happening.
III. Method 12: Astral Projection Induced by Galantamine
Galantamine is a nootropic that can increase the odds of success when using along with OBE or lucid dream induction techniques.
8. A Brief History of Astral Travel
The idea of astral travel is rooted in worldwide religious accounts of the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians were perhaps one of the first cultures to record beliefs about astral projection. Hieroglyphics in tombs display prayers which were to be said over the body of the deceased to guide the spirit on its way. They believed that the soul (or “ba“) was housed in a spirit body (the “ka“) which is an exact replica of the physical body. At death, these etheric bodies gave way to the “sahu” (the true spirit body) which would house the “ba” forever. Egyptians believed the “ka” could leave the body during life. They drew graphics of people sleeping with their “kas” floating above them which is very similar to the modern day descriptions of NDEs.
Tibetan Buddhists believe in the “bardo” body which can leave the physical body, not only at death; but while still alive and able to pass through physical matter. The bardo body can be directed wherever by will. Tibetan Buddhism and their “Tibetan Book of the Dead” (Bardo Thodol), is a description of the bardo realms the bardo body travels through upon death.
Ancient Greeks believed in a “double body,” which housed the soul. Plato believed the soul was freed upon death but could also leave the body during life. and when it did it perceived the physical world as dimly lit.
The Hebrew and Christian Bibles contains references to astral projection:
The Book of Ecclesiastes states:
“Remember him – before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7)
Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians is more generally agreed to refer to the astral planes:
“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. And I know that this man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows – was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)
According to classical, medieval and renaissance Neo-Platonism, Hermeticism, and later Rosicrucian and Theosophist thought, the astral body is an intermediate body of light linking the soul to the physical body while the astral plane is an intermediate world of light between heaven and Earth, composed of invisible astral realms which are physically represented by the planets. These astral realms are believed to be populated by angels and spirits. These concepts agree with the cosmology revealed by Edgar Cayce.
Astral bodies, and their associated planes of existence, form an essential part of the esoteric beliefs which deal with astral phenomena. For example, in the Neoplatonism of Plotinus, the body of an individual is a microcosm or self-similar fractal of the universe as a whole. Often these astral bodies and their planes of existence are depicted as a series of concentric circles or nested spheres, with a separate body traversing each realm. The idea of the astral world figured prominently in the work of the 19th century French occultist Eliphas Levi. Afterward, it was adopted and developed further by Theosophy, and used afterwards by other esoteric movements.
Emanuel Swedenborg was one of the first practitioners to write extensively about astral projection.
Carl G. Jung, an NDE experiencer, saw the astral journey as a paradigm of “modern man’s search for a soul”, and pictured a collective unconscious memory, driven by archetypal forces and knowable in the symbolic language of dreams and visions. Jung saw this archetypal world as, like the astral plane, an “objective psyche”, extending in the world at large, bridging mind and matter. Jung worked with physicist Wolfgang Pauli in an attempt to correlate quantum mechanics with the astral world.
In his book “Autobiography of a Yogi,” the Indian yogi guru Paramhansa Yogananda (1893-1952) — himself a NDEr — provides details about the astral planes. Yogananda reveals that nearly all individuals enter the astral planes after death. There they work out the deeds of past karma through astral incarnations, or (if their karma requires) they return to Earthly incarnations for further refinement. Once an individual has attained the meditative state of “Nirvana” in an earthy or astral incarnation, the soul may progress upward to the illumined astral world of Hiranyaloka. After this transitionary stage, the soul may then move upward to the more subtle causal spheres where many incarnations allow them to further refine until final unification.
Astral projection author Robert Bruce describes the astral world as having seven astral planes separated by immensely colored “buffer zones”. These astral planes contain endlessly repeating grid coordinates system grids that are tiled with a single signature pattern which is different for each plane. Higher planes have bright, colorful patterns, whereas lower planes appear far duller. Every detail of these patterns acts as a consistent portal to a different afterlife dimension inside the astral plane, which itself comprises many separate dimensions.
Other notable astral projectionists include William Buhlman, Robert Peterson, Bruce Moen and the former NASA Aeronautical Engineer Albert Taylor have written extensively about their theories and experiences in astral projection.
Dr. Raymond Moody, M.D., although not an astral projectionist, is thought of as “the father of the near-death experience” and has written a very popular book, Life After Life, on the subject of out-of-body travels associated with the dying.
Modern biologists, such as Rupert Sheldrake, influenced by Jungian ideas and by vitalism, have theorized the existence of organizing fields of life called “morphic fields” consisting of memories and drives.