Astral projection is the ability to move the consciousness deliberately into the plane of reality known as the ‘astral.’ This plane exists at a subtler level than the physical and so in this plane it is easier to create and receive mental manifestations. If for example we wish to see a particular person we can move to them instantly, without the usual physical process of getting transport to meet them, or making sure that they are home. Knowledge and information too is created at a faster speed without the friction of the physical to slow it down.
The planes of the astral work in densities. The higher planes have a lesser density and the lower planes have a heavier density. This is the reason why mastery of the mind and emotions is important for higher level astral work. All thoughts and emotions have a particular density and form. These forms act quite literally as obstacles to moving into the subtler realms. The harder that we push, the more impatient and ‘power’ that we try to muster, the more these realms elude us. The impatience, tension and force that we create has a density that prevents us from entry. Ironically it is by diminishing the effects of desire, impatience and force that we enter these gates. This principle holds true all the way from the most simple astral projection to the most deep and subtle.
The main pre-requisites to astral projection are relaxation and focus, although in truth all that is really required is focus. In the beginning we learn to control our bodies to the extent that we can effect a complete and deep relaxation. The body literally falls asleep, yet part of the mind remains conscious and awake. This is simply a shift from what we normally do, which is to allow the mind to move into the sleep state with the body. In this case we are training the mind to be awake while the body sleeps. This simple practice develops aspects of mind control in that the mind must learn to not fall asleep and instead focus. Each time the mind tries to fall asleep with the body, we will it remain conscious.
It is interesting that many modern people are not actually ‘embodied.’ So much of our lives are spent thinking and living in the future of possibilities or in the past of happenings, thoughts and emotions. What is interesting about this is that when it comes to splitting the consciousness from the body a reaction sets in that seeks to prevent us from projecting or leaving. It is not so much an intellectual fear as a primal one, yet it is not at the unconscious level as much as at the conscious and subconscious.
Our bodies do quite well with out the interference of the conscious mind. Our heart beats, our lungs breathe, our immune systems fight off disease – none of these require our direction ~ they simply does what they do. The fear that we will die if we leave our body does not come from the fear that our body will die. It comes from fear of the unknown. Of what will happen to our mind if we leave our body. The more that we face this threshold, the more that we face this fear, the easier it becomes to cross it. Slowly, like babies we venture further and further until we realize that we are in fact safer leaving our bodies as we are safe to leave the house.
What is also interesting is that we all leave our bodies every night that we sleep. It is just that we are unconscious of this and we do not remember. Our subconscious plays out its reactions and interactions within the astral realm which is why dreams can be so crazy. Flying pink elephants can and will appear instantly if this is what is required in a dream. The difference between the dream and astral projection is being conscious. Being consciousness in the astral just as in life is what provides the opportunity for deliberate choice and intention.
The importance of being conscious ties right back to the foundational process required to astral project. At the moment the body sleeps, if we lose consciousness then we lose deliberate choice and intention. If we remain conscious then we keep choice and intention. This is the difference between simply falling asleep and astral projection.