The splitting of your consciousness, into two separate, but identical minds, happens every time you go to sleep or have any kind of out of body projection. This splitting happens for a very good reason:
If you read the case histories in books on astral projection, lucid dreaming, OOBE's and near death experience; you will find many accounts illustrating the splitting effect. It is common, during an out of body experience, to be aware of your physical body while also being aware you are existing in a separate, finer body. This is due to a telepathic link between your two bodies. In the case of astral projection this link serves the purpose of monitoring the physical body, so no harm comes to it.
When you project, your astral double leaves the physical body and the mind splits. One part is centred in the astral body and the other in the etheric body, which must stay with the physical. When the astral form is generated, it has a mirror image of your mind. It is YOU, in every respect, like a tape recording of a tape recording; both identical, both YOU!
Often, during sleep, the mirrored minds mix in a kind of telepathic dream sharing. The physical, etheric minds are also capable of having dreams. This dream mixing results in a kind of dream memory schizophrenia, caused by having more than one point of consciousness. For those of you unfamiliar with schizophrenia, sufferers of it can have more than one set of thoughts in their mind at the same time.
If the astral and the etheric bodies, when they are both fully aware, concentrate on each other at close range during a projection; a two way telepathic link is formed. This is very disturbing and I don't recommend you try it too often. The physical/etheric YOU and the astral YOU will see each other clearly, and at the same time. You will be looking out of each others eyes at the same time, aware of both sets of vision simultaneously.
On top of this, making it even more confusing, you are also aware of each others thoughts, as well as your own, simultaneously. This is telepathic feed back, like holding two mirrors facing each other to give you a glimpse of infinity, a reflection of a reflection of a reflection etc.
This uncomfortable and confusing state can be avoided by not looking too closely at each other and not thinking of each other when you are projecting.
This, in a way, goes a long way to explaining why dreams are sometimes so confused and chaotic. The mind splits for a VERY good reason and the two parts are meant to function separately.
I have experienced this phenomena many times during projection. I studied it because I was curious of the way I could feel my physical body when in close proximity to it. I also kept getting confusing memories of doing two things at once while projecting. ie. Being aware of events and noises, in the house and in the street, as well as remembering the projection. This duality has been reported by other projectors, but never properly explained or understood.
Here is an account of the first time I experienced duality and telepathic feedback:
I had been meditating in my chair by the fire and returned to normal awareness as the rain started drumming on the roof. The wind was getting up and it was shaking the windows. I looked at the clock, it was three in the morning. This was not unusual, sometimes I meditate all night. I felt well rested and full of energy. I thought to myself, `I've never projected in the rain before, I wonder what its like?'
Closing my eyes once again, I soon projected out of my body.
Moving through the wall, I went out into the rain. What a gloriously wet feeling it was. I could feel the rain passing through me. The smell of rain and wetness was everywhere, it seemed to fill me with energy. I floated up to the roof, sat on the chimney and looked out over the town. I watched the rain dancing on the roofs and streets, swirling down gutters and gurgling into drains. It seemed to have a friendly voice and rhythm all its own, it said "drink me, splash me, gurgle me, slosh me." It was funny at the time.
Sitting on the roof, I noticed I could feel my body below me in the chair. This had often intrigued me, how I could feel my physical body when I was near it but not when I was further away. Sliding back through the roof, I decided to study my it more closely.
Suddenly, I could see myself floating through the wall as well as seeing myself sitting in the chair. It was ME, sitting in the chair looking at myself floating through the wall, but also ME floating in front of the chair ten feet away watching myself sitting in the chair. This was not only confusing, it made me feel quite ill.
I had two sets of vision, two sets of thoughts, all the same and all joined together, it was fascinating. It also made sense. Just because my astral was separated from my physical, why should the physical have to stop thinking.
The astral ME moved around the room, observing my body in the chair while it was watching me. I could still see the astral ME, even when I was behind the physical me. I could feel myself in the chair, trying to follow my astral body around the room. It took a real effort, as if I had no energy to move. I felt as if I were huge and was moving against enormous pressure. I was moving my viewpoint but I wasn't physically moving at all.
My awareness was existing in both my etheric and astral bodies at the same time. This was how my physical ME was able to see the astral ME so easily, and from any angle. My etheric was, literally, turning around in my skin. This ability to see through closed eyelids and from different perspectives is often described by projectors and meditators.
This duality seems remarkably similar to how schizophrenics describe what they feel during an attack: The nausea, lack of energy, multiple sets of thoughts and feelings of disorientation. This terrible disorder may be caused by a dislocation of the astral body? The only way to find out if this is the case, would be to study a schizophrenic during an attack, from the astral viewpoint.
After studying the etheric/physical bodies from my astral form I have come to the following conclusions:
During normal sleep, the etheric, better described as the energy body or vitality sheath, expands and acts like an energy sponge or solar accumulator. It swells and opens, allowing the astral body to float free, while it absorbs some kind of energy (cosmic energy?) from the universe.
When it expands, all the chakras, both major and minor, slowly open up like the flowers in a garden, catching and absorbing energy. When we awake, the etheric body contracts and re-absorbs the astral body; forming a dense etheric sheath, or skin, which holds within it our stored energy and subtle bodies.
According to some sources we have 300 chakras, if you count all the minor ones.
The swelling of the etheric body, while awareness is centred in it, also appears to be responsible for the sensation of swollen hugeness in the body coupled with a feeling of smallness in self. This strange mix of sensations is often reported by people during astral projection or meditation. It appears to be caused by the etheric body swelling and interacting with the universe.
Robert Bruce © 1998 All rights reserved.