AP_01.TXT FILE 1 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994 Astral P

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AP_01.TXT ------------------------------------------------------------------- FILE 1 of 15 - CompuServe Astral Projection Class by Don DeGracia, 1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Astral Projection Class on CompuServe by Don DeGracia: 72662,1335 Copyright 1994 None of this material may be reproduced without explicit permission from the author. WHAT IS ASTRAL PROJECTION? PART 1 Introduction: Before saying anything else I would like to thank and congratulate everyone who is taking this class. Whether you know it or not, by taking an interest in achieving the types of experience we will discuss here, you are opening yourself up to a greatly expanded view of yourself and the life and world around you. Hopefully, by the end of this class you will have a deep appreciation of what I mean in saying this. I wish everyone the best of luck! 1. What Is Astral Projection? Part 1 Just what exactly is astral projection? Well, we can get very academic and erudite about this, and we will do this to some extent below. But for now, for starters, what we want to do is lay out a definition of astral projection that is *practical*. There are numerous ways we can view and define astral projection, but the most central point is that it is an *experience*, a special type of experience. No matter how you look at it, astral projection is an *altered state of consciousness*. So, what is an altered state of consciousness? Well, it is a state of consciousness that is NOT our normal waking state of consciousness. There is one altered state with which we are all very, very familiar and that is the dreams we experience when we sleep at night. Dreaming itself is an altered state of consciousness. And, as we will see as we progress, dreaming and astral projection are very closely related states of consciousness. Now, astral projection goes under a variety of names. Some other names for the astral projection experience are the following: 1. lucid dreaming, and 2. out-of-body experiences (OOBEs). Some people will debate that astral projections, lucid dreams and OOBEs are different things. We will discuss these distinctions below. However, I want to stress that such distinctions amount to splitting hairs, and are not that important. For our purposes, I will use these 3 terms interchangeably. That is, whether I say "astral projection", "lucid dream" or "OOBE", I am refering to the same thing. Actually, I will probably use OOBE a lot since it is the easist to type. What is really important is not what we call the experience, but LEARNING FOR YOURSELF HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS EXPERIENCE. And everything I will stress here is geared to this all important end. So, for the sake of gearing all this to helping you actually have an OOBE, there are two main things we will focus on: theory and practice. You need to understand both. Either alone is useless. Theory by itself is just empty talk. Practice without theory just leads to confusion, and in the case of OOBEs, it can lead to real psychological danger as well. By themselves, OOBEs are NOT dangerous. However, if you don't know what you are doing, they can be. So, you need the theory to understand what is going on, and you need the practice to put the theory into action. So, in this course, we will cover both: theory and practice. However, as you will see, I personally lean much more towards the practical, and this is what I will stress throughout. We will pay lip service to theory, but again, theory is useless without putting action behind the ideas. Finally, I want to say this: I will attempt in these lessons to make the information I provide as self-contained as I can. That is, I want to really try to provide a comprehensive overview of OOBEs and really give you your money's worth. However, there is just a tremendous amount of information related to OOBEs. For example, some related topics are the following: human psychology, dreams, occultism, religion, mysticism and science. I hope, that after reading these notes, you will get some idea that all of these topics are related to OOBEs. I am providing an annotated bibliography of books that I feel provide useful study. And I really encourage everyone to look through this bibliography and to actually read some of the books listed there. The more you know about OOBEs, the better. That's all there is to it! 2. Different views of astral projections. So, having said my introductory remarks, let's look at the various ways people define astral projections/OOBEs/lucid dreams. Basically, we can divide up the various viewpoints as follows: 1. occult views, and 2. scientific views. Within each of these broad views are a number of sub- viewpoints, and we will mention each of these at least briefly. A. Occult views Within the camp of occult views, we can divide this into Western and Eastern occult views. However, what is nice here is that Eastern and Western occultism are very similar. One may find differences in small details, but the general viewpoints are very similar. Now, the term "astral projection" comes from occult views of this expereince. This term implies that what the experience is is the projection of one's self to the astral *plane*. Occultists teach that the universe is a series of planes of matter and that the physical world we perceive with our senses is but one of a series of, usually seven, planes. This is one assumption of the occult view of the world. Here is a list of the important ideas in the occult world-view that will allow us to understand what the term "astral projection" means: 1. Occultists teach that our consciousness transcends our physical body. 2. Occultists teach that each of us is an immortal soul who has temporarily incarnated into the physical world. 3. Occultists teach that the universe is a series of planes. Each plane is a world unto itself. 4. Occultists teach that each of us has facilities for interacting with at least 4 of these planes. These facilities are called "vehicles" or "bodies" and we have four of them: a physical body for interacting with the physical world (or plane), an astral body for interacting with the astral world/plane, a mental body for interacting with the mental world/plane and a buddhic body for interacting with the buddhic world/plane. Before we go into these ideas in more detail, let me say this. To an occultist, the act of astral projecting entails transferring ones consciousness to the astral body and exploring the astral plane. And also let me say that, as far as theory goes, this is the theory I ascribe to. Generally speaking, the occult ideas are the most practical ideas you can use to understand what is happening to you when you have an OOBE. So, let's go into these ideas a little deeper and spell out their implications. For further reading on these topics, see the books by Charles Leadbeater and Annie Besant in the bibliography. First thing that needs to be said: the occult ideas fly in the face of everything we've been taught about what it is to be a human being here in America in the late 20th century. According to our *common* social beliefs, we are either atheists/materialists who do not think there is any such thing as a "soul", or we were raised with simple-minded ideas about God, Heaven and Hell. Occult ideas challenge both of these viewpoints, and the beauty of learning to astral project is that you put yourself in a position to determine who is right and wrong on these issues. So, if the following ideas are unfamiliar to you, please be prepared to have your concepts about reality greatly expanded! The basis of occult teachings is this: the senses of our physical body; our ears, eyes, taste, feeling, senses of heat and balance, smell, these senses define for us the physical world. That is to say, our physical senses, *by definition*, only allow us to perceive the physical world. However, according to occult teachings, THERE ARE ENERGIES THAT EXIST THAT WE CANNOT PERCEIVE WITH OUR PHYSICAL SENSES. In a nutshell, this idea underlies all of occultism, including whatever particular school of thought you like best (i.e. Theosophy, Hermitics, Paganism, Alchemy, etc., etc.). Now, the idea that energies exist that we cannot perceive is no big news. Everyone knows about x-rays, about radioactivity, about ultra-violet radiation. These energies we can detect with machines, but not with our physical senses. However, where the occultist "goes over the edge", so to speak, is with the claim that WE HUMANS CAN PERCEIVE THESE ENERGIES WITHOUT THE AID OF MACHINES. However, to understand this we need to go into the ideas of the vehicles/bodies, ideas that fall under the heading of "occult anatomy". Occult anatomy is the idea stated above, that we humans have more bodies than we can directly perceive: that we have, not only a physical body, but an astral body, a mental body and a buddhic body, as well. Each of these bodies exists on its respective plane. So, before we can go off about the bodies, we must discuss the idea of the planes. The occult planes of nature can be thought of as occult physics. For the idea of the planes posits that there are whole worlds of energies beyond the ken of our perception, energies of which modern scientists are completely ignorant. Again, we are flying in the face of common knowledge. Sure, scientists grant that there are x-rays, radioactivity, ultraviolet radiation, and even infinitely minute worlds of subatomic particles and neutrinos. But to say that there are whole worlds, full of life and activity and strange creatures, that exist beyond the ken of our physical senses is a complete absurdity to the modern scientist. However, this is exactly what the planes are. Each plane is a world, a giant world full of all kinds of strange and exotic places and creatures with sights and sounds that dwarf anything we know of here in the physical world. I should point out too that there are other names you might hear of that refer to the planes. Such terms are: "dimensions", "aethyrs", "lokas". "realms". Each of these terms essentially means "plane" or "world". Now, again, and to keep your interest at this point, let me remind you that once you learn to astral project for yourself, then you can determine whether or not this is all so much fantasy and bs. Keeping this in mind, let's define these planes a little better. In the most commonly accepted schemes of the planes, it is taught that there are seven planes and that we humans can access the 4 lowest planes. The common names of the seven planes are: 1. Physical Plane (which includes the Etheric Plane) 2. Astral Plane 3. Mental Plane 4. Buddhic Plane 5. Atmic Plane 6. Anupadaka Plane 7. Adi Plane Now, let's define each of these planes. 1. Physical Plane. This is the world you are sitting in right now. The physical plane is the familiar world of our everyday life. In the occult scheme, there are aspects of the physical worl that are invisible to our senses, and these invisible aspects of the physical plane are called the "etheric plane". Above I mentioned x-rays, radioactivity, ultra- violet radiation and subatomic particles. In the occult world-view, these energies are "etheric" energies, and again, this simply means these are energies of the physical plane that we cannot perceive with the senses of our physical body. As we will discuss below, and is actually quite important to the endeavor of astral projecting, occultists claim we have a body made of etheric energies and they call this our "etheric body". It is very likely that many of you will actually have experiences in your etheric body once you start attempting to project. Again, this will all be explained in due course. 2. The Astral Plane. The astral plane is described of as a world of emotion and desire. On this plane our emotions and desires are actually *living creatures*. Also, according to occultists, the astral plane is where people go immediately after they die. "Dead people" (actually, "discarnate" people) do not stay forever on the astral plane, it is only a temporary stop after death. In this regard, the idea of "purgatory" is related to the idea of the astral plane. Also on the astral plane are a whole host of creatures and inhabitants that are native to that plane, such as faires, devas, and other such things. Believe it or not, according to occultists, the astral plane is also where we go at night when we dream. When you are in a dream, you are quite literally in the astral plane. This is a very important idea, and later on, when we begin discussing techniques for astral projecting, you will see how important this idea is. 3. The Mental Plane. The mental plane is the world of all thoughts and ideas. On the mental plane, thoughts are *REAL OBJECTS*, and these objects are called "THOUGHT-FORMS". "Thoughts are things" is a common idea in occultism, and this idea refers to the fact that thought-forms exist as real live things on the mental plane. The mental plane is a dynamically brilliant world of ever-shifting abstract landscapes of color, sound and sights that would probably make the ordinary person go stark raving mad if they could actually see the mental plane for what it is. The mental plane overlaps substantially with the astral plane, and there is every good chance you will see numerous thought-forms as you learn to astral project. However, chances are very good that you will NOT ever perceive the mental plane as distinct from the astral plane, so chances are good you will never see the stuff that could make you lose your mind. The reason this is so is because it takes a lot of talent to get to the mental plane. I personally have never been there and am only describing to you what I have read about it. Again, we will say more about this throughout these notes. 4. The Buddhic Plane. According to occult ideas, this is the highest plane that we can access as humans, within the context of what we understand as a "human being". In effect, the buddhic plane is the realm of our soul. The energies of the buddhic plane that we use in our daily life are the following: inspiration, great creativity, compassion, wisdom, will-power. It is by these types of behaviors that the buddhic plane "leaks" into our regular physical lives. In and of itself, the buddhic plane is supremely abstract and extremely powerful. Just like the mental plane, it is very unlikely that you will ever go to the buddhic plane in a projection. It takes even more talent to focus your consciousness exclusively on the buddhic plane than it does for the mental plane. However, learning to access the energies of the buddhic plane will be critical for your continued success astral projecting. In a nutshell, the buddhic plane represents everything that makes human life good. The more of this you have in your aura (we will discuss aura below), the "lighter" you will be in your consciousness, and therefore, you will be able to travle through a broader range of the planes than otherwise. On the other hand, the less buddhic energy you have in your aura, the harder it will be for you to astral project, and as well, you will project into ugly regions of the planes, and in general, probably hurt yourself in the attempt to project. Maybe not hurt yourself physically, but emotionally and mentally. Before going on about the "highest" three planes, I want to digress on what will be an important theme throughout these notes, and this is the place to do it; in the context of the buddhic plane. In effect, the buddhic plane is related to morals, wisdom and creativity. These are very important qualities no matter what activity you want to undertake. In this regard, astral projection is no exception. Now, above, I said astral projection is only dangerous if you are ignorant about what is going on. Now it is time to explain what this means. You have to realize straight up that astral projection takes you into realms where the subjective becomes *ABSOLUTELY REAL*. All your ideas, fears, fantasies, become real things outside of you when you project. See, when you project, you will be somewhere, and in this somewhere (whether we call it a "plane" or whatever) all the things you think are subjective will become *objective*! What this means in practical terms is that, when you astral project, you will confront yourself, your own personality, in ways that are totally different than how you relate to yourself when awake here in the physical plane. For example, if you have phobias in your personality, these may become monsters that try to attack you in your astral projection. Such an experience will more likely than not scare the **** out of you, and, if you don't understand what's going on, such an experience may completely scare you away from astral projecting ever again. So, its EXTREMELY important that you understand that, in a sense, during a projection, your personality is "outside" of you, and not "inside" of you as it appears to be here in the physical world. In a very strong sense, astral projecting is a form of therapy, of self-therapy. When you intitially begin to project, the first things you will encounter will be things of your own creation. Some authors refer to this as meeting the "dweller on the threshold". Again, this "Dweller" is all the petty, all the bad, all the fear that you have in you. I'm not lying about this either - it has happened to me. It's a stage you very likely will encounter. In a sense, all these negative elements of your personality are like a wall or room in the astral plane, that you will go to when you first begin to project. It is imperative that you realize that this is YOU. There is nothing to be afraid of because it IS you. You have complete control over these elements. YOU CAN BANISH THEM SIMPLY BY UNDERSTANDING THEM FOR WHAT THEY ARE. Your consciousness of your self is like a healing fire that can burn away these negative elements by understanding them. Once you confront these negative aspects of your self, they will disappear and you will have grown with new self-insight. This growing is called "maturing", and occurs because of buddhic plane energies. It takes will-power to confront these things in yourself, and it takes wisdom and compassion to see them for what they are and to accept them. So, one way or another, anyone aspiring to astral project will very likely be confronted with this "dweller on the threshold". By dealing with it, you get past it, and you grow. And then, after this first stage is passed, your experiences on the planes will not be as contaminated by personal factors. As the personal factors become less a part of your astral projection experiences, then your experiences there will reflect more clearly these planes as they objectively exist, uncontaminated by your subconscious influences. This process is like cleaning off a window. The cleaner the window is, the better you can see through it. Likewise, when you project, the cleaner your personality is, the better you will be able to see through it into the planes. Which leads me to state an important idea I have not stated yet, and that is that the planes are extremely plastic. They are moulded by your slightest emotion, desire or thought. The second you think something, a little piece of the mental plane is shaped exactly into your thought pattern, making a thought-form. This is exactly why your initial experiences projecting will be so extremly colored by your personality. So, that's it for an introduction to the moral side of astral projecting. Unlike almost any other activity we humans know of, you CANNOT be a moral retard and succeed at projecting. You can be a moral retard (i.e. have no moral values whatsoever) in art, science, buisness (where you actually have an advantage!) or other activities of life, but you cannot if you want to succeed astral projecting. If you DO try to project and at the same time stay morally poverty stricken, well, it is then that astral projection *can* be dangerous. It is just built like this. Though morals seem like subjective gobbly goop in our physical life, they are, in reality, the laws upon which our entire human existence is based. Just as we need to know the laws of gravity to build a spaceship, we likewise need to know the laws of moral behavior to succeed at ANY occult task. The only time occultism is dangerous is if you use it in an amoral fashion. And don't worry, you don't need to follow a particular creed or dogma or anything like that. The beauty of astral projecting is that you will find out EXACTLY what YOU need to grow. You are unique, your needs are unique and so will be your projections. The messages they will contain will be EXACTLY what YOU need at whatever stage you are at in your life. Simply trust the process, go with it, and it will work fine. All you have to do is be honest with yourself. So, that said, let's get back to describing the planes: 5. Atmic plane. On this plane, what we think of as "human" no longer makes any sense. There are no indivdual personalities on this plane. Seth, from the Seth material by Jane Roberts, reflects what the atmic plane is like. Here, consciousness exists as the simultaneous experience of a number of incarnations. Sure, we can say the concept easy enough, and even understand intellectually the idea. However, the actual direct experience of this state of consciousness is totally outside of our scope. Over our head! If you can get your consciousness to focus on this level, then "you" will no longer exist! Good Luck! 6. Anupadaka Plane. Even more abstact than the atmic plane. Here everything bleeds into everything else. Extraordinarily abstract! Again, we might conceptualize the idea of everything being a part of everything else, but on this plane, that's the way it *is*! No dualisms either - all the contradictions are inside of each other! Mind Candy! Overload!!!!! Again, good luck out here! 7. Adi plane. God is here. If atmic and anupadaka were weird, well, this is the weirdest of 'em all. Completely beyond anything we humans can say, do, feel, think, etc. Yet, adi is the very essence of everything. Look for the billboards with all the great mystic's names on them! I can say this though, the more buddhic energy you have in your aura, the better a feel you get for adi. So, that's a rough run down of the 7 major planes of our universe according to occult doctrine. Again, if you've not heard these ideas before, then its quite a mindful to swallow all at once - and what's worse, I'm not done with the occult ideas yet! For those of you familiar with these ideas, forgive me if I've left out a detail or two from your favorite schemata. It was not my intention to be all encompassing here, but simply to provide enough background for later discussions. And I'd like to quickly say that I've included attempts at defining the atmic, anupadaka and adi planes simply because I'm sick of seeing lists of the planes that state simply "we cannot understand these last 3 planes" or "beyond human comprehension". Sure, in terms of our direct experience, these statements about the 3 highest planes are true. However, as my experience with occult matters has progressed, I have developed the above intuitions about the nature of these planes, and, you can take them for what they are worth to you. So, according to occult ideas, there are these 7 planes. We can't see them, but they are there nonetheless. And, to repeat, occultists use these ideas to explain the nature of both death and dreams, as well as astral projection and all other psychic powers, including clairvoyance, psychometry and whatever other favorite psychic powers you want to add to the list. (discussion continued in FILE 2) ------------------------------------------------------------------- END OF FILE 1

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