Astral projection is a phenomenon where the conscious mind transcends the human vessel during sleep and has out of body experiences. One is perfectly aware of their surroundings and their physical body during the event. It is something you can exercise during a lucid dream or even while awake.
During these experiences, the physical body is still connected to the person by what resembles an umbilical cord, which is reported to be a thin silver string and often is referred to as the “lifeline”. Interestingly, in cases where one dies in a particularly gruesome way, it is thought that the cord is severed so that the spiritual body does not feel the pain. Even more interesting is its mention in the Bible itself in Ecclesiastes 12:6-7:
“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.”
Astral projection is not limited to a few religious individuals. In fact, one can learn how to have one of these out of body experiences through practice, although it is not always a voluntary action. Approximately 5-10% of the world has reported to have had done so at least once in their life.
Out of body experiences have been reported for centuries and testimonies have been taken from Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Chinese and “about 95 percent of the world’s cultures” . Egyptians believed that several components make up the soul. The ka, is able to extend itself out from the physical body and travel autonomously. The ba is one’s personality, what makes someone uniquely an individual and is immaterial. The ka is the vitality or spark that leaves one in death. Interestingly, the ka was depicted as a bird and could enter the spiritual realm at will but return to the body of the living safely. Sects of Buddhism with tantric traditions have similar understandings of the soul or a double of a being traveling beyond the physical through yoga and other meditative practices.
During these out of body experiences, the lucid projector has the freedom to go, see and meet anyone or anything until they are brought back to the physical realm. They have clairvoyant awareness and can look down upon their sleeping body. This alternate dimension even allows for those to “command” the dead, communicate with angels, or even travel to other planets. What brings one from the spiritual realm back to this realm of space and time is sensations that bring their attention to their human body.
Astral projection is a way the living can transcend the living dimension and see beyond, something we seem to reserve to those no longer existing in our present one. Regardless of it being a fantastic experience in itself, some exercise astral traveling to connect with their “higher self”. Your higher self is believed to be a genderless entity that has the ability to access an ethereal plane while holding a connection with you. In a way, they are your guide and look over you in your conscious state, your intuition, and hope to lead you along the path that was intended for your life on earth. Though we believe our intuition to be inside ourselves, the higher self is considered to be a totally separate being, but can only be met when brought to a higher state of consciousness.
Out of body experiences and astral projections certainly allow one to consider a life beyond the immediate one we recognize. One can feel physical sensations, hear, see and experience in vivid detail an existence that is unlike this one. It serves as a hint that perhaps we as beings have something waiting for us post-mortem and that the soul or the essence of an individual can maintain itself without a vessel. Though it is easy to dismiss these out of body phenomenons as purely imaginary, it is important to consider the profound curiosity mankind has had in accessing other dimensions for years and years across the globe.