This is part one of a series of articles that will endeavour to define the astral world and the projection process.
Please keep in mind, while reading v1.x of this Treatise, that it was my first attempt at serious writing. That is, I was learning to write while writing them.
I have been studying the astral plane, in my astral form, for most of my life. I have attempted, by careful observation and critical thinking, to understand it, and hopefully, to shed a little light on it.
Everybody, without exception, leaves their body in a low powered projection, when they go to sleep. I call this sleep projection. The astral body hovers a few inches above the physical like a balloon on a string, mimicking the sleeping position and going no further. Once the astral body has separated, it is free to create dreams. This is the natural (sleep, dream) process we are all familiar with. During this, you sink into the collective dream consciousness of the world. This `dream pool' settles into layers. According to what type of person you are, spiritual, moral advancement etc, you will tune in to a level you have affinity with. These levels are commonly called the `Planes' or sub Planes. There is nothing wrong with this analogy except that it can confuse things when you try to grasp the whole concept.
If you become aware during sleep projection you can take some control over it as in a lucid dream, and move amongst the levels. If you do take control though, you cannot return to the real world and function as an astral form in it. You are in the topsy-turvy world of the dream pool or astral planes, where everything is possible, but not very plausible.
When you do a `fully conscious' projection of the astral form you project into the physical world, not any astral world. This has long been misunderstood. What is usually thought of as astral projection today is better called `Lucid Dreaming' which is completely different.
Many authors suggest we all race about the universe in AP every night. This is simply not true. You will find the world a lonely place in your astral form and will rarely see anyone else projecting there. If you do see someone, often they are just standing, confused and befuddled, caught in a `between' state of projecting and creating. This is what happens when you lose control during a conscious OBE. I call it `The Alice and Wonderland Effect' It is an effective barrier to the untrained mind.
In the astral form you have an incredibly strong creative ability, normally used to create dreams. Once free of the fetters of the physical world, you can create an entire world, and often do. This creative ability is the problem, and the cause, of all the misunderstandings about AP.
There is a natural barrier in AP just as there is with any other form of psychic ability. The `Alice' effect, limits projection time in the real world to a few minutes, in most cases, unless you can control your mind and energy level well. If there was not a barrier - think about it - millions of people flitting around the world every day and night, no privacy, no secrets. This would be a very unhappy world to live in.
What happens during a fully conscious AP if you can't control your mind and energy? Well, at some point during the AP you will start to lose control over the experience and well known things will be found in wrong places. Doors, windows, furniture; extra rooms will appear etc. Your subconscious mind has started creating or you are tuning into a dream plane. Once this happens it is impossible to know what is real any more. Some of the dream pool levels, or planes, are a carbon copy of the real world. You may tune into one of them and think you are projecting in the real world - until you meet a Cheshire cat.
One final thing, the Eastern concept of the levels; physical, astral, mental, buddhic, atmic etc are very real. They have been confused though and mixed in with the Western concept of astral projection. They are different levels of consciousness, not planes as such. When you AP you don't raise your consciousness, it is the same as when you are awake. These `higher' levels can only be reached by raising your consciousness, you can't just project into them. It is a different kind of `projection'. I have been in these higher levels but it is difficult to explain them, they really have to be experienced. They are normally reached during deep meditation.
In order to reach these higher levels, some clairvoyant ability is required. This can be developed, or natural ability.
Robert Bruce © 1998 All rights reserved.