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Astral Projection and the Nature of Reality goes beyond preconceived notions about how to get out of the body and then back in, as well as the dimensions to which the out-of-body adventurer can travel.
Magnus starts with a brief history of astral projection and then guides the reader through a step-by-step course for reliable projection. He explains how, once out-of-body, we create our own astral world, and he offers techniques for understanding our mind and the nature of reality.
Magnus offers detailed exercises and proven techniques for reliably exiting your body; confronting the basic fears that can hold you back; taking advantage of psychic side effects; taming your mind; navigating a world in which you have the ultimate power to create; integrating the lessons you learn from OBEs into your everyday reality; replenishing your energy . . . and much more.
Plus, incisive journal entries of his many out-of-body adventures will convince you that it can be done and give you the inspiration to go farther than you ever thought possible.
|Publisher:||Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||8.58(w) x 5.54(h) x 0.85(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Astral Projection And The Nature Of Reality
Exploring the Out-of-Body State
By JOHN MAGNUS
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2005 John Magnus Johansson
All rights reserved.
Preparing for the Astral
Get your mind and body in shape for the big exit.
If you ask a good quantum physicist what the true nature of physical matter is, you will get the answer that it is nonphysical.
—Deepak Chopra, Body, Mind, and Soul
In this Circle, we will discuss some preconceived notions of what astral projection is and, frankly, shred them to bits. We will pave the way for you to form your own opinion of the astral from your own astral experiences (which will come in the next Circle), rather than from what you have read in books.
What Is Astral Projection?
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.
The History of Astral Projection
Astral projection in one form or another appears throughout age-old literature. The earliest account I have found comes from Ramtha, a spirit channeled by JZ Knight. Ramtha describes how, around 33,000 B.C., he had an out-of-body experience (OBE). If this channeled information is to be trusted, it hints that people have practiced astral projection since prehistoric times.
Between three thousand and five thousand years ago, Egyptian priests were so familiar with the ability to leave the body that they wrote the Book of the Dead to guide the departed awareness to the afterlife:
Moreover, grant ye that the Ba-soul of the Osiris Ani, whose word is truth before the gods, may come forth with your navel cords in the eastern part of the sky, and that it may follow Ra to the place where he was yesterday, and may set in peace, in peace in Amentet. May it gaze upon its earthly body, may it take up its abode and its Spirit-body, may it neither perish nor be destroyed for ever and for ever.
Astral projection was also used in priesthood initiation rituals. The priest apprentice could, for example, be assigned to present himself partially or totally materialized in front of a group of people while in an out-of-body state. He would leave his khat, his physical form, and step into his kha, the astral double. The astral double was thought to be the personality appearing as a subtle copy of the physical form, attached but capable of roaming free.
At the dawn of Greek philosophy, astral projection spread from the religious into the intellectual realm. Plato proposed that what we see in this life is only a dim reflection of what the spirit could see if it were released from the physical. In The Republic (circa 360 B.C.), he illustrated the idea by saying that life was like sitting chained in a cave with our backs to a fire. We can only catch the shadows of the people passing between us and the fire. In time, we would come to assume that those shadows moving across the cave wall were the only reality. If we were released from the chains and turned around and saw the people passing by, we would not understand what we were seeing; we would continue to think the shadows more real than the people who cast them.
Plato also relayed the story of a warrior named Er, who died in battle but came back to share his experience of the afterlife:
When Er and the spirits arrived, their duty was to go at once to Lachesis; but first of all there came a prophet who arranged them in order; then he took from the knees of Lachesis lots of samples of lives, and having mounted a high pulpit, spoke as follows: "Hear the word of Lachesis, the daughter of Necessity. Mortal souls, behold a new cycle of life and mortality. Your genius will not be allotted to you, but you choose your genius; and let him who draws the first lot have the first choice, and the life which he chooses shall be his destiny. Virtue is free, and as a man honors or dishonors her he will have more or less of her; the responsibility is with the chooser—God is justified."
Through the account of Er, Plato presents the soul's opportunity to choose the details of its lifetime and the amnesia placed upon the newly born. These are concepts confirmed by near-death and prelife hypnotic regression accounts more than two thousand years later.
In his essay, "On the Delays of the Divine Vengeance," bundled in Moralia, the Greek historian Plutarch shares the story of Thespesius, also known as Aridaeus, a man of illrepute, who had a bad fall in A.D). 79. Thespesius ended up in a two-day coma, during which time he found himself outside of his body. Thespesius spent the time exploring another inhabited dimension. His body pulled him back just in time to prevent his burial. The experience prompted him to turn his life into one of ethics and values.
The Greeks contemplated a subtle body similar to the Egyptian kha. Plotinus suggested that all souls must be separable from their physical bodies. Aristotle taught that the spirit can leave the body and is capable of communicating with other spirits. Homer spoke of three components: the body (soma); the impersonal psyche; and the seat of intent, will, and feelings known as the thumos.
The ability to leave one's body influenced the Greek language. The English word ecstasy is derived from the Greek word ekstasis, which means "to stand outside oneself." This may very well carry the literal meaning of leaving one's body. The fact that it later came to mean an exalted state of mind attests to the fact that people leaving the body would find themselves in a euphoric state.
Astral projection accounts are also plentiful in the Bible. The prophets seem to receive visions in altered states of mind, often away from their bodies:
Then the spirit lifted me up and I heard behind me the noise of the Lord rumbling as the glory of the Lord rose from its place. (Ezekiel 3:12)
The Spirit which had lifted me up seized me, and I went off spiritually stirred, while the hand of the Lord rested heavily upon me. (Ezekiel 3:14)
The accounts carry on into the New Testament. After the crucifixion, the apostles set out to spread the new religion. In the midst of political turmoil, Paul gave a second sermon to the Corinthians. He relayed the following story about a heavenly trip to drive home a point:
I know a certain Christian man who 14 years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was snatched up to the highest heaven ... and there he heard things which cannot be put into words, things that human lips may not speak. (2 Corinthians 12:2–4)
It is believed that Paul was referring to himself. This example hints at the difficulty in formulating astral experiences into words. Telepathy is widely used outside the physical, and the emotions and understandings that are transmitted between minds are not easily translated into words.
The Apostle John's revelation took place in an altered state, in a strange world, most likely outside his body. This can be considered an astral projection of impressive length and content.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea." (Revelation 1:10-11)
After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, "Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter." And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. (Revelation 4:1-2)
So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. (Revelation 17:3)
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. (Revelation 21:10)
Bible accounts resemble both modern astral projection and alien abduction experiences. It would be reasonable to assume that the prophets made an interpretation of the experiences according to the beliefs and culture of their time. Ramtha spoke about becoming the wind, the Greeks about standing outside themselves, and John and Paul about rising to the heaven in the spirit. From the sparse wording, we can only speculate about what really happened.
In the seventh century A.D., Muhammad, the founder of Islam, enjoyed an equally impressive projection through what he terms the seven heavens. Sahih Bukhari, full name Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail bin Ibrahim bin al-Mughira al-Ja'fai, put the story in writing sometime during his lifetime (A.H 194-256 or A.D. 809-869), roughly 200 years after the event occurred.
While I was at the House in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness, [an angel recognized me] as the man lying between two men. A golden tray full of wisdom and belief was brought to me and my body was cut open from the throat to the lower part of the abdomen and then my abdomen was washed with Zam-zam water and [my heart was] filled with wisdom and belief. Al-Buraq, a white animal, smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey, was brought to me and I set out with Gabriel. When I reached the nearest heaven, Gabriel said to the heaven gate-keeper, "Open the gate." The gatekeeper asked, "Who is it?" He said, "Gabriel." The gate-keeper, "Who is accompanying you?" Gabriel said, "Muhammad." The gate-keeper said, "Has he been called?" Gabriel said, "Yes." Then it was said, "He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!" Then I met Adam and greeted him and he said, "You are welcomed O son and a Prophet." (Hadith of the Night Journey and Ascension Al-Isra' wa Mi'raj, volume 4, book 54, Number 429, as narrated by Malik bin Sasaa)
In each of the seven heavens he visited, Muhammad conversed with well-known personalities from the Bible. It is interesting to note that his experience took place in the border state between sleep and wakefulness. This is the state most beneficial for astral projection.
The Egyptians are not the only ones who have compiled a book to ease transition into death. The Tibetan Book of the Dead or Bardo Thodol (meaning "liberation through hearing in the intermediate state between death and rebirth") was written by Padma Sambhava in the eighth century, 100 years after Bukhari's book. It is composed from teachings delivered orally for many generations. The Bardo Thodol is read to the dying to give them a preview of what is to come and to warn them of the danger of getting entangled in dream-like worlds of their own creation.
The idea of the subtle double from Egyptian and Greek beliefs resurfaces in Tibetan Buddhism as the bardo body, which is thought to be an invisible and ethereal copy of the physical body containing a psychic nervous system. The bardo body is capable of traveling anywhere instantly, simply by desiring to be at the destination.
The wealth of projection knowledge kept by Tibetan Buddhists was exported to America by Paul Twitchell, who became the first American ECK master in 1965. Twitchell promoted a movement known as Eckankar, which includes the knowledge of ECK (the God consciousness) and what he terms Soul Travel. Soul Travel is a skill that utilizes astral projection to reach the ECK realm in order to assist people such as astral projectors and the newly deceased.
Excerpted from Astral Projection And The Nature Of Reality by JOHN MAGNUS. Copyright © 2005 John Magnus Johansson. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Preface: The Rise of a Book,
Circle 1—Preparing for the Astral,
What Is Astral Projection?,
The History of Astral Projection,
Prepare for Adventure,
Between Ego and Soul,
The Belief System,
Astral Projection Fears,
Circle 2—Getting Out There,
The Energy of Intent,
Putting It All Together,
If at First You Don't Succeed ...,
Simplified AP Technique,
The Reality of Astral Projection,
Personal Challenges for the Projector,
Psychic Side Effects,
Circle 3—"Mind" Your Step,
Needs for Growth,
Taming the Mind,
Realities and Beliefs,
Astral Sex Urges,
Causes of Addiction,
Prolonging the Projection,
Circle 4—The Nature of Reality,
The Meaning of Life,
The Worlds Beyond,
The Nature of Reality,
Appendix: Astral Troubleshooter,
What People are Saying About This
"The things that I liked are the unique methods that are outlined in this book. A successful astral projection does not happen in five minutes. It takes time and patience. There is nothing more amazing than to be transported astrally and to feel that feeling of being out of the body . . . our soul out traveling around like a bird with huge, magical wings. I recommend this book to everyone who desires a successful astral projection experience, or OBE."--(Marie-Claire Wilson, Oracle 20, author, Clairvoyant and Poet)