Astral projection, the soul and the spirit
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In astral projection (sometimes called astral travel) the conscious mind leaves the physical body and moves into the astral body.
The individual ceases to consciously experience things in the physical body and experiences them, instead, in the astral body - that is out of the physical body and in the fourth dimension. These experiences, therefore, are sometimes referred to as out-of-body experiences, or heightened states of consciousness.
During astral travel the individual is aware of things encountered on the astral plane and retains a coherent recall of those encounters in various degrees of detail and vividness/vagueness depending, to some extent, upon his personal state of spiritual evolution and training.
In astral projection the individual's astral body remains attached to his physical body by a long, thin, silver cord. Sometimes this cord, or astral umbilicus, can be seen during the out-of-body experience. It is reported that if this cord is severed permanently, the physical body dies.
Sometimes the astral body is described as one of our resurrection bodies. The mental body might be described as another.
Astral projection, out-of-body-experiences and lucid dreams complexly overlap each other in their essential characteristics. They may well represent different paradigms for conceptualising very similar, or even identical, experiences. In each case, the person is asleep, the person is conscious, and the person has the ability to compare his present heightened state of awareness with his "normal" waking state of awareness.
Understanding the nature of conscious experiences which occur during sleep, and learning how to manage and respond to them, is important for spiritual growth. Such understanding and learning is also necessary for engaging in active spiritual work during sleep.
Conscious sleep phenomena have discrete sensory, emotional and mental content which exist in direct subjective awareness while the physical body is "fast asleep" on the bed or in the chair.
It is worth repeating that the vehicle which leaves the physical body during astral projection is the astral body. The astral body is neither the soul nor the spirit.
From our point of view in physical plane waking consciousness, the human being can be thought of as having a tripartite constitution: it has three bits to its makeup. The three bits are the "incarnation module", the soul and the spirit. The incarnation module is itself made up of three components: the physical body, the astral body and the mental body.
Establishment western religiosities are in error in positing a bipartite constitution for the human being.
The physical body has seven levels of organisation within it, of which solid, liquid and gas are the three densest. The other four levels, not yet formally investigated, recognised or taught by western orthodox science, are sometimes referred to as the etheric levels.
The physical body is our vehicle of transport on the physical plane (sometimes called the third dimension); the astral body is our vehicle of transport on the astral plane (sometimes called the fourth dimension), and the mental body is our vehicle of transport on the mental plane (sometimes called the fifth dimension).
Within the incarnation module, the astral body and the mental body (together) are sometimes referred to as the personality. From our point of view in physical plane waking consciousness, it is the incarnation module which comes into being at conception or birth, and which later leaves the physical plane at "death".
The soul is quite different from the human physical, astral and mental bodies. The soul is an individuated expression of the spirit which provides animation for the incarnation module. The incarnation module is a temporary vehicle used by the soul to express itself in the world of matter.
Our spirit is our divine spark, our core star. It is the highest level of our being; it is that part of us which partakes of the divine nature; that part of us which is perfect and infinite; that part of us which has always been, is now, and will always be, one with the being of God.
Spiritual practice, among other things, seeks to align the energies of the incarnation module with those of the soul and the spirit so that the energies of light, love and abundance can be anchored on Earth.
Meditation is a spiritual exercise which seeks to align the physical brain with the soul.
Gottfried de Purucker's Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary can be found here.
Share International has an introductory glossary of esoteric terms here.
And a useful introductory book on all things astral is "The Astral Body and other astral phenomena" by Arthur Powell (1927). The full text of this work can be found online here.
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Astral Body Awake
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Meditation - the direct encounter
A dream is a portal
The emergence of the transpersonal soul
The resurrection of the shaman
Jesus said: "You must be reincarnated"
Information about near-death experiences
Index of blog contents
Spirituality websites worth watching
Labels: Astral body, Astral projection the soul and the spirit, Astral travel, Dimensions, Emergence of the transpersonal soul, Esoteric spirituality, Meditation, New Age spirituality, New spirituality