By George A. Boyd ©2008
The term astral projection is used in a variety of New Age, Occult and other spiritual groups to denote the phenomenon of the astral body separating from the physical body and traveling in the physical universe, or in the Astral Universe that lies beyond that. As we study this phenomenon, we see there are eight major states of projection; only some of them affect the astral body and produce the astral projection. These eight states are shown below:
- Attentional projection – You move your attention progressively through a series of focal points in the conscious or unconscious bands of the mind. This method is used in Raja Yoga. In this practice, the astral body does not move.
- Passive astral projection – The astral body moves out of confluence with the physical body due to the influence of a psychotropic medication, anesthetic, or hallucinogen; or during delirium or coma. In this case, you do you will or intend for your astral body to move, but it disengages due to exogenous or endogenous influences upon the physical-etheric matrix.
- Intentional astral projection – You command your astral body according to your suggestion, often to carry out a specific task of viewing (e.g., remote viewing) or listening (e.g., telepathic communion with a guide).
- Conjoined astral projection – this type of projection occurs when the astral body moves out of conjunction with the physical body while your attention is held within it. This gives rise to the classic out-of-body-experience (OOBE), where you are “in” your astral body, looking down at your physical body from above. You can passively induce an OOBE with drugs, or you can actively train your attention using relaxation with suggestion in self-hypnosis. Some contend that exposure to brain entrainment equipment or specially designed music can also produce an OOBE.
In an OOBE, you have little control over where your astral body goes—this type of astral projection gives rise to dream-like experiences. The dream-like nature of these experiences has led some people who have studied astral projection to speculate that the astral body separates from the physical body during the dream state and wanders.
- Guided astral projection – The suggestion of another person using hypnosis or “guided meditation” guides you into states of astral projection. Through suggestion, you are led to visit a physical location such as a beach or forest. You might receive a suggestion to visit an earlier time in the present life or in a past life (past life regression). You might be asked to interact with an unconscious personality element, a symbol or an archetype, or to encounter your spirit of your Higher Self. In this type of projection, you give permission for another person to guide your astral body, who guides your astral body and attention to accomplish a specific therapeutic or insightive purpose.
- Direct projection – In this method, you place your attention on the attentional principle. When attention is united with the attentional principle, the attentional principle travels upward out of its ground state in the pituitary center of the Subconscious mind into higher states of consciousness. The astral body assembles around the attentional principle during its ascension and rises with it. It will travel with the attentional principle, until it reaches the top of the Psychic Realm; here the astral body is dropped into its origin. This is an advanced practice of Raja Yoga.
- Projection of the spirit – in this method, your spirit opens the channels of the Nada. In these meditations, you place your attention upon the spirit, as it journeys upward in the Nadamic current. Here you become aware of an astral body that encapsulates your spirit; this form is dropped at a particular location on the Path.
- Command projection – In this type, you use a higher octave of your will in the Superconscious mind to command your astral body to carry out a specific task. These command centers include the center of Magical Will, which is activated by Occult initiates on the Lower Astral Plane; the Psychic Will, used by psychic guides; the Solar Angelic octave of will, empowered by Ascended Masters and their disciples; and the Cosmic octave of will, which Yogi Preceptors and their disciples stir into activity to perform miraculous powers (siddhis).
It is important for the aspirant to identify each of these types of projection. We teach types (1), (6) and (7) in the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the Accelerated Meditation Program. We also use type (5), guided astral projection, during our training of a technique for self-hypnosis in the Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the Accelerated Meditation Program.
Through your study of projection, you will ultimately gain complete control over your astral body; you may then use it as readily as you do your physical body. Once you achieve this mastery, your astral body will become a valuable tool for your Soul’s Great Work and you will be able to utilize all eight forms of projection.