Reproduced with permission from "God doesn't talk to me when I wear my purple hat" by John Broken Willow.
1. Psychedelic Trance music act from Israel who were one of the acts to pioneer the style in the early to mid 1990's. One can only assume that their name was inspired by the yoghurt weaving concept of the same name.
2. Simply put, this is a way of spiritually leaving your body, travelling through other dimensions, and returning to your body with no harm done. Religious devotees, philosophers and scientists have been arguing for many centuries over the question of the mind/body duality – does the mind exist independent of the body or is it merely a function of the brain? Plenty of people over the centuries have been convinced that
they have the answer and no one can argue with it. Naturally, many people still argue about it as the question has by no means been put to rest. Clearly, this is a subject that most people would have an interest in – if Astral Projection is a real phenomenon then it answers this centuries-old fundamental question about humanity.
So why then, do very few people discuss it? Of course, the subject of out of body experience is widely debated – many people claim to have these kinds of experiences during serious accidents, medical operations, or other times when they are near death. It feels, apparently, as if the mind has spontaneously left the body and becomes free to float around of its own free will.
But Astral Projection is a little different. It is more about being in control of the phenomenon – to be able to click your fingers and leave your body at will. I mean, think of it! You can float anywhere in the Universe! You can even travel through other dimensions! The Astral realm is supposed to be the next “dimension” beyond our own (if you accept this notion that the four dimensions we experience are only one). There are many schools of thought on the different places one can travel; the most common idea is that there are six realms, of which the reality we experience here on Earth is one. Each has a primary negative emotion that drives its inhabitants. This theory is a brilliant way for religious folk to tell us that we are all driven by greed. Nonetheless, imagine how our society would be transformed if everyone could do this! There would be little need for aeroplanes or telephones for a start. Global communication would be revolutionized
overnight. People with speech impairments and mental illnesses could communicate fully with others in a spiritual manner, without having to rely on dodgy care assistants asking, “are’y’allright, chook?”
Instead of depending on telescopes for astronomy, we could plunge the mysteries of the depths of the universe just with our minds. We would all be communicating with spiritual beings and be able to perceive our true nature and place in the universe on a daily basis. Humanity would be transformed overnight.
Ever met anyone who claims to be able to do this? I mean, people who don't take lots of psychedelic drugs? There are not many of them about. Even among yoghurt weavers it is a niche activity. Astral travelers claim that almost anyone can learn the techniques, but most agree that it takes some patience and lots of practice to learn. You need to master deep physical relaxation, maintaining trance, and serious mental focus. So why can't I learn it at the local college then? They teach T'ai chi.
The main reason that the concept of Astral Travel (and its conspiracy theory-related cousin, “remote viewing”), seems so unconvincing, is that it is very hard to provide any proof that it is real. Even when travelling in the “real-time” world (the “dimension” that is purely a reflection of our normal space-time) it is impossible to influence events in any way that may be tested scientifically. The projected double is a nonphysical entity that cannot interact with the real world. Similarly, projectors say that it is very difficult to make reliable observations while projecting that can be tested. For example, one might think it possible, while projecting, to, say, pay a visit to a laboratory elsewhere, observe a setup scenario, such as a staged conversation; then after returning to the body and waking, the projector could report on what had happened. It can't really be done, say the projectors, because of “reality fluctuations” while travelling and “memory download errors” when your projected double reintegrates with your body. Some projectors talk about a similar experiment they do themselves involving playing cards placed face up
on top of a wardrobe...but they only ever mention it vaguely and say they get mixed results.
It's amazing really that even though very simple experiments like this, if conducted under proper scrutinous conditions, could provide the ultimate proof of mind/body duality: it is very difficult to find any valid research data that verifies the phenomenon of Astral Projection.
In fact, the more you ask these projectors to justify their practice with any kind of proof, the more they sidestep and shimmy around, carefully failing to provide any solid basis of fact that might be used to verify what they are saying. It's almost exactly like talking to
people with paranoid psychosis. e.g.:
“So, can't my body be invaded by another projector while I'm out?”
“No. Your etheric body always stays in the physical body until you
die. When you project you are not an empty shell.”
“While projecting last night, my partner heard me talking in my sleep. How is that possible if my consciousness was elsewhere?”
“Your Astral consciousness is only a split reflection of your physical
consciousness: both operate simultaneously and independently, so
you can be conscious in two bodies at once. You only normally
remember one of them though.”
“When attempting to project I felt the vibrations and all the other symptoms, but did not manage to project. Why not?”
“You did project but your memory wasn't downloaded properly on reentry,
as you fell asleep. Your trance wasn't deep enough.”
“Can I arrange to meet my friend/lover/DMT dealer at a prearranged place in the Astral realm?”
“No, that doesn't work, you will both have your own sensory conception of the place but they will be different points on the astral plane.”
One might almost say that Astral travel has nothing to do with out of body experience but is more akin to dreaming. This is of course fiercely denied by Astral travellers.