Astral projection is an occult art that was commonly practiced by ancient mystics. Apollonius of Tyana, Yeheshuah (Jesus Christ) and many other mystics often used the ability in their ministry and work. In centuries past and up to this very day, Wicca, or the tradition of witchcraft, teaches its adherents the secrets of astral projection. The superstition that witches rode on broomsticks to their covens actually stems upon the fact that witches were adepts in the art of astral projection and astral travelling. The art of astral projection was kept secret throughout the centuries until the inception and commencement of parapsychological research in the previous century by reputable and eminent scientists. What was once shrouded in mystery and transmitted secretly to initiates, are now being rediscovered or taught openly to the public through the mass media.
This occurred because early parapsychological findings paved a way for the revelation of such arcane knowledge. People were made ready for the knowledge and power that occultism had to confer. In contemporary times, Carl Jung, the great psychoanalyst, experienced many OBEs and commented on the “absolute objectivity” of his experiences. Other famous persons who had OBEs were among others, St. Augustine, Goethe, Plato, Aristotle, Wordsworth, Alfred Tennyson, and Ernest Hemingway.
Astral projection, like NDEs, is one of the ways that an individual may prove to him or herself of the truth of the survival of consciousness at the time of transition–that the self, the personal consciousness may function independently of the physical brain and organism. Death is no longer feared, and in a sense, may be said to be “eradicated” once a single astral projection is experienced and apprehended.
Hypnotic-Regression of the Soul
Hypnotism has come a long way since the days of Anton Mesmer and his concept of “animal magnetism.” It has passed through many changes of techniques and used for various purposes such as entertainment, self-improvement and healing. Certain principles or tools of psycho-transformation such as affirmation, or “subtle suggestion” are linked to the Mesmeric tradition. In recent years hypnotherapy, or hypnotism used as a therapeutical tool, commenced a new line of probing into the depths of the human psyche. This occurred when certain individuals had spontaneous recollection of their past-lives. If hypnotism could be used to stir and dig up the memory of the present life, could it not also be used to probe deeper into the memory of the psyche to acquire information of a life lived in a past identity or incarnation? This question asked by experts in hypnosis was based on the concept of reincarnation. The underlying premise was that if reincarnation were true, the results of deeper probings into the psyche would offer clues as to its reality. In this section we will not discuss the results of such findings, suffice to say that many case studies of soul-regression into past lives were found to be plausible and later discovered through research to actually be historically-based. What we will consider briefly here are the findings of soul-regression through hypnosis–in the theta-state-pertaining to soul-memory of the transition state and the life beyond the Great Change. This field of study and investigation is just another logical step from the previous probings into past life experiences.
Our main (and only) source of information concerning this subject is derived from Michael Newton. After investigating the matter for several years along the lines that we have delineated above, he published his findings in the Journey of Souls. One of his main discoveries is that not all souls are of the same spiritual age; that souls may be classified as to their soul-age or evolutionary status. This spiritual principle is actually the origin of the caste system formed in ancient India. Broadly speaking, souls of the same class or spiritual age usually conform to a certain set of experiences during transition and in their “placement” which souls of a higher class usually bypass or do not normally undergo. This corresponds to the general idea of Bardo experiences where one may liberate oneself at any stage, relinquishing the need to experience the following phases–and this usually conforms with soul age and experience. Newton discovered that there was a “homogeneity of experience” among his subjects in the transitional experience, especially when it progressed through further stages.
Subjects of soul-regression declare that after the initial surprise of being alive during and after transition with its concomitant deathbed visions, a certain white light emerges and attracts their attention. This stage is often accompanied by divine music. From the point of view of Tibetan metaphysics, this white light is none other than the Clear Light of the Void manifesting in the secondary stage of Chikai. Ignorant of what is to be accomplished at this stage, some of the subjects of Newton simply passed on to another stage of the bardo where the judgment or the “tunnel effect” was experienced. Some report of having hovered over the dead body for several days because of confusion, anger or bewilderment. This usually occurs to those who were killed or murdered unexpectedly. We may equate this experience with the latter part of the Chonyid or Sidpa bardo.
Almost all subjects of deathbed visions describe the “tunnel-effect” where one feels oneself travelling through a long dark tunnel to an uncertain destination represented by a point of light at the distance. This light gets closer and closer as one approaches its source. In occultism, this light is actually the light of the astral realms and should not be confused with the Clear White Light of the Bardo, which is essentially a state of illumination. The tunnel-effect is an experience of the crossing of the veil that separates the physical from the astral regions. It is a “movement” into a different dimension, a birthing into a higher world. After the tunnel effect, and while still being a little disoriented, subjects report on experiencing vibrations of love, comfort and companionship emanating from what they later discovered to be a reception committee comprising of close friends, relatives and their personal, spiritual guide. This “reception committee” Newton found, is always planned well in advance of the soul’s transition by the soul’s personal and spiritual guide to assist it in adjusting to new conditions. Advance souls; however, according to certain case studies, go through the white light experience and the tunnel-effect very quickly. Most of these souls often go straight to their destined realm without undergoing the preliminary stages of meeting with loved ones. Newton believes that these souls do not require the comfort and solace from other beings that young souls usually crave for. After adjusting to the vibratory condition of the astral realm, Newton’s subjects marvel at the remarkable sight awaiting them, and they are usually at a loss for words. Newton comments on this:
“I enjoy hearing from subjects about the first images of the spirit world. People may see fields of wildflowers, castle towers rising in the distance, or rainbows under an open sky . . .” (1995:24)
And he continues:
“Regardless of their state of mind right after death, my subjects are full of exclamations about discovering marvels of the spirit world. Usually, this feeling is combined with euphoria that all their worldly cares have been left behind, especially physical pain.” (1995:25)
After meeting beloved ones, most souls are brought to special places designed to heal past traumatic experiences. In these healing centers subjects describe themselves as being bathed in swirling light. Those who are seriously damaged in a psychological way, and who possess negative, or evil tendencies, are brought to rehabilitation centers by their guides and secluded for a period of time.
After the required healing, souls are sent to the realm corresponding to their spiritual attainment. This is described in the Journey of Souls as “placement.” Subjects describe riding on a beam of light, a current of energy, to their destination whether it be in the upper astral or the lower mental. In placements, souls are brought to their spiritual group comprising of individuals of a similar evolutionary status, and they normally do not wander form their group to join other associations. According to Newton’s subjects, in the subtle spheres, the age of the soul manifests in a certain colour or hue in their aura; these souls of a certain evolutionary status (colour) congregate together to form their spiritual group, which is presided or directed by a higher soul functioning as guide and teacher. In these groups discussions take place concerning experiences in the newly-terminated life. The discussions that take place are not unlike the group discussions that occur in a psychotherapeutical meeting where one’s attitudes, motives and feelings for a certain action are analyzed and where one’s behavioral pattern or habit is rationalized by the psychotherapist, or others within the group. The spirit world, as we can see from this, is a time for evaluation, assimilation, and analysis. According to subjects, some of the activities that souls engage in are research and study in libraries or spiritual work undertaken at the direction of their spiritual guides. Similar to the teachings of the Occult Tradition, the case studies of Newton indicates an active life in the higher planes where one may study the various fine arts and sciences or express one’s creativity in the art of mental creation, or alchemical precipitation. In the heavenly worlds a soul must learn how to utilize the mental and psychic faculties effectively in order to accomplish creative works.
In these fraternal groups of the astral regions, plans are also made for new challenges in the physical world through incarnation. Sometimes agreements are formed between members of these group-minds to incarnate together to carry-out certain tasks or for certain experiences beneficial to soul-growth. For instance, the marriage-made-in-heaven concept is actually formed by souls in the higher worlds who are karmically connected or spiritually related. Choosing a soul-entity to be one’s earth marriage partner is done out of free-will as is the choice to reincarnate–though within the bounds of karma. These chosen partners may or may not come from the same group; however, as it all depends on the lessons that the soul wishes to learn. Before incarnating, these married-couples-to-be formulate certain signs that they would have to look for or to be aware of in the circumstances of their physical plane meeting and in each other to realize the soul-agreement existing between them and that they are, in fact, “soul-mates.”
These signs are not usually known or remembered on the conscious level. It is triggered into conscious knowing and feeling from the subconscious mind level through the actual manifestation of those signs on the physical plane. Although gender manifests universally in the physical plane, souls are described by Newton’s subjects to be androgynous and manifests in the male or female form in the astral worlds out of preference. Lacking any permanent sexual form, it is thus possible for a soul-entity to embody in the physical world as a male or a female human being.
In contradistinction to “placement,” some soul-entities are “displaced.” Newton describes them in the following:
“There are two types of displaced souls: those who do not accept the fact their physical body is dead and fight returning to the spirit world for reasons of personal anguish, and those souls who have been subverted by, or had complicity with, criminal abnormalities in a human body.” (1995:45)
Indeed, this is an interesting subject, we will therefore discuss this briefly. Paranormal researchers have found that some souls are not aware of their transition. This is usually the result of violent deaths where the permanent atoms are expelled from the physical form simultaneously causing consciousness, or self-awareness to be retained throughout the experience. One of the reasons that makes it so difficult for such souls to accept their condition is that they feel their astral form to be no different from the physical–that, in fact, it feels solid and very much alive. Another reason is that they are unattended and ungreeted by those on the Otherside to give comfort, solace and appropriate information. As a result, these souls become confused, frustrated and “lost.” These souls are trapped in time and space and sustain their entrapment in the physical plane because of their ignorance. In spiritualism, these are called “earthbound spirits.” The motion-picture “Ghost” and many others illustrate this earthbound condition. Only after certain discoveries–at times with the aid of spiritual guides–do these earthbound spirits discover their position and condition. At times the help of guides are rejected thus prolonging the soul’s earthbound condition. Such souls usually bind themselves to a certain geographical location. They often seek contact with three-dimensional physical beings, thus commencing and producing a “haunting” condition.
They usually live in darkness–their field of vision being murky–they are, therefore, attracted to any coloured illuminations that might appear in their vicinity. Not understanding the nature of these illuminations or lights–which are actually the aura of living beings–they tend to merge or attach themselves with it. They often find themselves trapped in people’s auras. Unknowingly they may reach into such depths as to consider the physical body of their victim as their own and the original tenant as the victimizing spirit. This is technically called “possession,” and causes much needless suffering to both parties involved. Possessions of this non-intentional, non-demonic variety may be exorcised effectively and morally only through helping both possessor and the possessed. In this method, the earthbound soul is given information and advice as to the nature of its plight and the way out to freedom. In this manner both sides involved in the possession are liberated. In this psychological counseling, the earthbound soul is made to realize that it belongs to another dimension; the simple awareness of this truth on the part of the invading spirit is sufficient enough to release it from its bondage and entrapment between worlds. Generally speaking, calls for help–and acceptance of such help, together with a release of desires and attachment to familiar surroundings of the earth plane on the part of the earthbound soul, gradually and automatically raises its vibration and moves it on into the astral world where it may find its placement and once again interact and relate with others of its kind.
The methods for exorcising demonic possessions are a little different from the above method where the principles of psychology are used to advise the victimizer. The so-called “demons” in such possessions are most often human souls with very negative and violent propensities. Such earthbound spirits are usually attracted to others of similar temperament, idiosyncrasies, habits and desires. They often seek to satiate their own earthly desires through a human channel. These souls are often stubborn, arrogant, and malevolent. Spiritual advise given to them in any way is often ridiculed and rejected. It such cases, assuming a wrathful and authoritative attitude with a definite command directed to them often helps to extirpate these entities. There is a principle that assists in this rite of exorcism–in expelling demonic beings from their human victims that psychic researchers have discovered: these negative beings are intensely afraid of pure radiant light, especially the pure light within the aura of pure and holy persons. Aside from the natural light-radiance of holy beings, in experiments it was discovered that visualized white light was equally effective. This light is visualized by the exorcist surrounding everyone present involved in the exorcism, especially the victim. Evidently, radiant white light causes some pain to these beings with demonic natures. Such luminescence is therefore avoided by them and causes their hasty retreat. When circumstances permit, these negative souls are brought to special places in the astral realm by their spiritual guides for rehabilitation. These places may be thought of as “hell” by its inhabitants. They are not there for eternity, though. They either progress from there to purgatory or incarnate once again in the three-dimensional world. In the end, all earthbound souls must submit to their rightful placement. In should be understood that in most cases of possessions the underlying cause is not by invading entities or malicious thoughtforms but by the assertion or projection of a personality (perhaps from a past life) from the subconscious. In psychiatry this is called schizophrenia.
Souls are sometimes earthbound because of their attachment to their relatives or friends. There are times when these earthbound souls contact earthlings through a medium. Usually they bring an important message which they feel themselves obliged to pass on to relatives or to certain individuals. This then may be a cause of their earthbound condition, or in other cases, they seek to enlighten humanity concerning life after death. It should be noted here that not all communications through mediums are from disembodied human souls. Some of the communicating beings are in fact elemental spirits, elementary beings, astral shells or even the medium’s own subconscious mind–all mischievously deceiving ignorant humans. But nevertheless, sifting the information derived from communicating spirits through mediums, from the reliable to the questionable, psychic researcher Ernesto Bozzano states the following principles as affirmed by spiritualistic communicators (cf “Life, Death & Consciousness”):
“1) That all of them found themselves in human form in the spiritual world.
“2) That for some time, or even for a long period of time, they did not realize they were dead.
“3) That during the pre-death crisis, or even a little after, they passed through the trial of summarily recalling all the events of their existence (`panoramic vision’ or `epilogue of death’).
“4) That in the spiritual world they were welcomed by the spirits of their relatives and friends.
“5) That nearly all of them passed through a more or less lengthy phase of reparatory sleep.
“6) That they nearly eventually found themselves in a radiant and marvelous spiritual environment (in the case of morally normal deceased), or in a shadowy and oppressive environment (in the case of morally depraved deceased).
“7) That they had found the spiritual environment to be a new world that was objective, substantial and real, a spiritualized version of the earthly environment. During the separation of the astral from the physical body, it first assumes a cloudy nature which slowly assumes the shape of a physical body.
“8) That they had learnt that this was due to the fact that thought was a creative force in the spiritual world and thus enabled a spirit living in the astral plane to reproduce around himself the environment of his memories.
“9) That it had not taken them long to learn that thought transmission was the language of spirits, even though newly arrived spirits delude themselves that they converse by means of words.
“10) That they had found that the faculty of spiritual vision enabled them to perceive objects simultaneously on all sides, just as they could see inside them and through them.
“11) That they had discovered that spirits could instantaneously take themselves from one place to another–even when they were very far apart–by virtue of an act of will; nevertheless, they could walk in the spiritual environment or float a short distance above the ground.
“12) That they had learned that the spirits of the deceased will fatally and automatically gravitate to the spiritual sphere to which they belong, this by virtue of the ‘law of affinity.'”(1991:88)
Copyright © 2006 Luxamore