The term ‘astral’ is basically something that I have always assigned to those folks at a ‘lobby level’ of awareness – that is to say I generally dismiss it as romanticism, fantasy or to be blunt, yet another form of escapism from an otherwise unhappy life. With that rather narrow categorizing as my knowledge on the subject I figured I had better delve into it a bit deeper and compare the information I found online to my own experiences going from a beginner to Self aware.
The term ‘astral’ is a generic term that covers the states of existence from the grossly physical to the subtle or etheric – or human to the ‘divine’. The first mention of a concept of higher states of being that I could find online were from the teachings of Socrates and Aristotle. They did not use the term ‘astral’, but hinted at a level of experience higher than this physical plane of existence. Similar doctrines were commonplace throughout the mystery schools and gnostic sects of the Roman Empire and influenced the early Christian church.
As is the case with most concepts, whether built on fact or fantasy, each successive generation it seems added their own personal touches and flavors or changed it to fit their particular ideas of this ‘astral realm’. Once science came into vogue and there was no evidence of heavens populating the nighttime sky through telescopes the idea fell out of fashion. It was resurrected by Theosophists who seem to have coined the word ‘astral’ to signify the aether – a place rife with ‘planes’ of existence, from the etheric to the astral to the mental. Theosophy apparently got its ideology regarding planes of existence from Eastern teachings, but tweaked it a bit to fit their own emerging philosophies.
I am guessing that the usage of the word ‘astral’ stems directly in this day and age from the late 60′s and early 70′s new age spirituality movement. In his book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda – a must read for any blossoming flower child new ager – Yogananda provided details given to him by his resurrected guru. I do not think any definition or description of the ‘astral plane’ is of any greater or lesser value than any other. In my opinion all information regarding the topic is suspect at best, and anyone using the term is likely expressing it knowing nothing of its history or its myriad of descriptions over the centuries since Plato and Aristotle’s time.
What I do know is this…there is the physical body and there is the Self. There is only one body in this reality and that is the physical body. There are no other bodies here. There is no such thing as an ‘emotional body’ either. The ‘aura’ is the extended Self at its natural state slightly outside of the body. Emotions are the result of chemicals flushing into the bloodstream which sets off all sorts of physical reactions. That heightened electrical chemical charge is not a separate body – it is the effect of the chemicals and electrical impulses on the one body that is real. The Self, which is not a body, can and does frequently experience beyond the physical body’s skin. The body after all is the point of entry to this reality for the Self, but the skin is not its limit to perceiving or sensing the greater world beyond its eyes and ears.
People who are astral traveling are really just moving their own awareness outside of the physical body to anywhere they are capable of expanding to. I can readily be present anywhere on the planet that I am capable of going. Not as a body, but as an extension of my own awareness. People sense me as presence, or vibrating energy. Any regular to the chat room has experienced me in their homes. The presence they feel is not online – it is not in a cyber place such as a chat room…if they feel me it is because I am there with them, or we are meeting somewhere in between. Much of the mystery of distance healing, remote viewing, psychic abilities, and other metaphysical ‘gifts’ are brought down to simple mechanics once one understands the nature of the extending Self.
I dismiss the use of the label ‘astral plane’ as it has too much baggage attached to it. It is not a one size fits all plane of existence either, as you will only experience what you resonate with – so the use of the word ‘plane’ is likewise next to useless. Once you free yourself from just the confines of your physical body and expand your awareness at a distance you are likely to meet up with all sorts of characters in your travels. Obviously if you are capable of extending your awareness past the body’s skin, then so too are other people looking for an ‘out of body’ experience. Do keep in mind however, that the eyes, ears, and skin are all back in the bedroom still connected to the physical body. That means any sensual experience that is derived from the use of physical senses is going to be your own imagination…it is your brain filling in the details. The Self has intuitive qualities, but not physical senses outside of the body.
If you have a lower level of awareness you will likely encounter spirits roaming around looking for any witness to the memories of their lifetimes. You will also likely draw the attention of any parasitic entity that you happen to be in the vicinity of that is attracted to your energy. A parasitic entity that has some experience moving from body to body likely always has an eye out for new and improved hosts to feed on. If it deems you worthy, it will likely follow you back home to the physical body.
One of the benefits of waking up is you fly too high for spirits, and parasitic entities find your energy very uncomfortable. There is nothing else populating the higher vibrational realities closest to this one. No person, spirit nor entity should be of any interest to you no more than going door to door to get to know strangers. You choose your company in life carefully, and you should do the same when exploring beyond the body in unknown territory.
Since most people that I have ever heard using the term ‘astral travel’ have base or vulgar intentions as their reason for visiting others, I am guessing their knowledge of the mechanics of expanding awareness beyond the body are limited to nonexistent. Sex is the most common goal I have heard others using this ‘ability’ for. Obviously if there are body appetites and behaviors at play then the experience has little to no value for Self awareness, and much potential for being a potential danger, or in the least a distraction ready made for easily distracted people.
~ DC Vision