Date: July 17, 2007
<Rainsong> Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
<Rainsong> The topic for tonight’s seminar was requested last week. The original request was for a seminar on “the astral”. Further questioning brought it to “projection, and doing stuff while projecting.”
<Aphanas> Good evening, Rain.
<Rainsong> Even before I gave any serious thought to the lesson plan for the seminar, various family members were making slightly snide comments about the fluff-potential of this topic.
<Rainsong> The obvious place to start this class is with the question of what – or perhaps “where” – the Astral is.
<Rainsong> There are several terms used in Psionics which are easily and relatively-consistently defined, such as “telepathy” and “remote viewing”.
<Rock> Not Walnut?
<Rainsong> “Astral Projection” is not one of them.
<Rainsong> He doesn’t care much about “astral” stuff one way or the other
<Rainsong> You will find that there isn’t much agreement on exactly what it is, much less where.
<Rainsong> There are some people who will tell you that you are projecting into the astral plane any time you dream.
<Rainsong> Some will insist that only lucid dreams qualify as astral projection.
<Rainsong> Others will insist that it is a purely imaginary psychological construct.
<Rainsong> Still other folks consider the “astral” to be analogous to (or even synonymous with) the subspace/matrix of remote viewing fame.
<Vladimir> I think the whole point of the astral is that it’s very abstract and subjective. So maybe there’s nothing to agree on anyway
<Rainsong> Vlad: perhaps.
<neveza> Vlad, wouldn’t that make it fluffy? Since it’s not real. I mean, something has to agree.
<Rainsong> I don’t have a definitive answer for you on this one, except to say that it probably doesn’t usually look like a blue void with white topographical lines and sawed-off stalactites floating around randomly, the way it is sometimes illustrated in the X-men cartoons.
<Rainsong> The concept of the astral plane shows up in several traditions, including Theosophy and the New Age guys.
<Rainsong> However, there is dispute even amongst the Theosophists as to what exactly it is, and they tend to have a fairly united front on that kind of thing.
<Rainsong> Short version: “astral” is used to describe an assortment of states of mind, conditions, and (theoretical) places. It is possible to travel into and through some of the places, and it is possible to use some of the places and conditions for meetings, general communication, and various other interactions.
<Rainsong> For our purposes, tonight, the lack of precise definition is merely an inconvenience. It is not a problem.
<Rainsong> It’s been a few years since I’ve had any reason to engage in serious “astral projection”, and I’ve only ever really used one approach.
<Rainsong> Therefore, I’m only going to explain one approach.
<Rainsong> You’ll find that there are lots of them if you run a web-search for “astral projection”; be aware that much of what you’ll find is fluff, of course, but the fluff can sometimes give you good ideas, too.
<Rainsong> Normally, I would be lying down (aka “sprawled on the bed”) or semi-reclined, when doing this. Otherwise, I tend to fall over and face-plant. You might prefer to stand up, or sit in a bean-bag chair, or assume some kind of yoga position.
<Rainsong> Close your eyes, or gaze quietly at something if you prefer (flickering candle, spot on the wall, etc).
<Rainsong> Pay attention to your breathing, and let your attention turn inward and down to your belly.
<Rainsong> If you think this is just a basic trance/meditation exercise at this point, congratulation: you’re right.
<Rainsong> Here again, if you prefer another method to accomplish the same basic objective, fill your boots.
<Rainsong> The Traditional Chinese Medicine guys call that spot in the belly the “lower dantian”, and they also use it for a focus in some kinds of energetic activities.
<Rainsong> The “upper dantian”, in case you are curious, is between the eyebrows and below the surface of the skin, by a couple kun/thumb-widths.
<Rainsong> (The English-Chinese Encyclopedia of Practical Chinese Medicine, Volume 8; Medical Qigong, page 28-29. Higher Education Press, Beijing, China. 1990)
<Rainsong> Now, gather your consciousness in a little ball there in your belly, push it upwards a little, and toss it out and forward from the area of your xyphoid process (the little bone at the bottom of your sternum, which itself is the flat bone where your ribs come together in the front of your chest).
<Rainsong> It feels a bit like tossing a spear from an atl-atl or chucking up your lunch (or a fur-ball).
<Rainsong> Apparently, some people prefer the slightly less violent approach of pretending to climb a rope out of your own body
<Rainsong> ….I think that method is taught by Robert Bruce or Robert Munroe, in one or another of the works by whichever of them suggested it….
<Rainsong> ….(Aphanas is telling me it was Robert Bruce.)
<Rainsong> (“The Rope Technique”, from Treatise on Astral Projection, Volume II, by Robert Bruce. Version 1.1, part 6. August 24, 1994. ? Thanks for finding that, Aphanas. Check out astraldynamics.com for more Robert Bruce stuff. )
<Rainsong> BTW, an atl-atl is a spear-throwing device.
<Rainsong> So far so froody?
<Aphanas> *nods* All good here.
* melikai has a small question
<Ally> Yes ma’am
<melikai> When you say “toss it out and forward”, do you mean outward from your body into the air, or up your chest/throat?
<Rainsong> outward into the air
<melikai> okay, thanks
<Rainsong> (or, I suppose, into the mattress or carpet, if you are lying on your belly)
<Rainsong> At this stage, it seems to me as though I am suspended in a thick grey substance somewhere between fog and cotton batting, and I “pretend” to swim through it toward where-ever I’m going.
<Rainsong> You might find this a useful visualization, if nothing else.
<Rainsong> And if not, you could try similar sorts of transportation….jumping through a sci-fi star-gate, or flying through that X-men cartoon thing I mentioned earlier, for example.
<Rainsong> Concentrate on your objective and move toward it.
<Vladimir> I have trouble once I get to this stage, and I end up too drowsy to concentrate on a goal.
<Rainsong> Vlad: yes, if you are too far down, you won’t be able to maintain your concentration. Don’t go too far into trance, unless you want a nap
<Rainsong> Generally speaking, when you get reasonably close, the place becomes discernable. If you’re planning to meet with someone, you could call out to them in your mind: “Hey dude, ya there?”
<Rainsong> If you are trying to sneak up on someone, calling out to them is not advised.
<Rainsong> Getting back in your body is generally easier than finding your way somewhere else.
<Rainsong> However, if you run into difficulty, use the same navigation method you used to get away from it.
<Rainsong> Don’t be alarmed if you do not see the fabled “Silver Cord”. It is not always visible, whether it is there or not.
<Rainsong> How do you do something once you are “there”? Same way you’d do it anywhere else.
<Rainsong> If you normally use any gestures, “pretend” to gesture in your mind or actually gesture with your body if you are still sufficiently aware of it to do so.
<Rainsong> You may find that psionic effects use what seems to be a different amount of oomph than usual. It might be more; it might be less. Don’t worry about it.
<Rainsong> Any questions?
* Jael raises her hand
<Jael> The pretending to move bit… if you _actually_ move, does that do anything negative?
<Rainsong> However, much like Vlad’s problem, it is often more difficult than it sounds
<Rainsong> Particularly, if your mind is in Chicago and your body is in Moncton
<Jael> ah, okay
* melikai raises her hand
<melikai> Is astral projection a form of out of body experience, or are they the exact same thing, or totally different in their purpose?
<Rainsong> Hmmmm….that goes back to the comments at the beginning of the seminar, about terminology.
<Rainsong> Many people regard Astral Projection as a subset of Out-of_Body experience
<Rainsong> Some people regard OOBs as a subset of Astral Projection.
<melikai> *nods* okay
<Rainsong> And some people think the two concepts overlap, without one including the entirety of the other
<melikai> so it’s really up to individual experience/opinion
<Vladimir> Bit like most psionics reall?
<Rainsong> The type I was describing is out-of-body….I’ve used it to do something in Chicago….and was able to verify what happened in Chicago afterwards
<Rainsong> Also, I was seen there at the time.
<melikai> I read about another technique, but don’t know if it works or not
<Rainsong> Which one?
<Rainsong> (There are many)
* Rock raises a hand.
<melikai> I read it online, but anyways, the person recommended trying to leave your body in a groggy state, so she recommended over-sleeping, and then that same state of mind would help you to more easily leave your body.
<melikai> I didn’t explain that well.
<Rainsong> Hmm….I suppose it is worth a try. I do not know whether it is effective.
<Rock> What if your “presence” is “detected/noticed” at the remote “spot” but you can’t see anything yourself? Is that “asteral Projection” or something else? (Assuming you were trying to get there.)
<Rainsong> Rock: still projection.
* melikai has another question
<Rock> And, does it take significantly more energy to “visually” manifest than otherwise?
<Aphanas> Actually, melikai, I have done an OBE using a similar method to the one you mentioned. It’s described as the state you get in on a Saturday morning where you are well-rested, but haven’t gotten up yet. While you’re still relaxed, try “getting out” then.
<Rainsong> Rock: the usefulness of the activity for observation does not limit whether it worked
<melikai> aphanas: yes that is the same technique. Good to know there’s potential there, then.
<Rainsong> Yep, good to know. Thanks, Aphanas.
<Rainsong> Melikai: question?
<melikai> Rainsong: when you are projecting, can you describe the sensation of “seeing” what you are seeing? Is it like having your eyes closed and looking around you…?
<Rainsong> I believe my eyes were generally closed. The sensation of “seeing” was no different from seeing normally
<Rock> I understand that Rain – I was just curious to know if visually manifesting was just a different way – or did it just require more “oomph”.
<Rainsong> I didn’t intend to manifest visually, actually. It just happened.
<Rainsong> Also, there doesn’t seem to be a connection between amount of oomph and whether you are “felt” there
<Rainsong> Any other questions?
<neveza> Is seeing in 3rd person…bad?
<melikai> no more questions here
<Rock> Neveza, do you mean like you see yourself, and over your shoulder at other stuff?
<Rainsong> Neveza: no, it’s not a problem…unless it makes you dizzy
<Jael> I don’t have any questions either.
<neveza> Rock, at times.
<Aphanas> Rain, did you have issues when doing OBEs with the “Alice in Wonderland” effect? Where reality starts distorting, doors are on different walls, or you get visual stimulu that isn’t there in the “real world”?
<Rainsong> I didn’t get that in the projections I did to Chicago, as far as I know. I don’t know, for sure, that all the details of the room are accurate, however
<Aphanas> *nods* Point.
<Rainsong> I _do_ get that kind of distortion in clairvoyant visions, though
<Rock> Is a “clairvoyant vision” more where you “bring the picture to you” rather than go an dlook at it?
<Aphanas> Was a problem for me the few times I’ve managed to get an OBE to happen. We’re going along in familiar territory and then… “Oh, look at that… the wall’s moved.”
<Rock> Thanks. Wondered what to call it.
<Rainsong> Rock: I get all sorts of weird distortions when I’m looking at things from here.
<melikai> hm I wonder why
<Rock> I’ve gotten “mirror” setups.
<Rainsong> Aphanas: That is often reported…and as I mentioned, there are details about the place in Chicago which I simply do not know
<Aphanas> I’ve read that part of the problem may be that we’re not used to keeping our perceptions focused (our eyes do that for us), but you can get 360 degree “visual” information when in an OBE, and the brain gets confused and starts trying to stitch it together incorrectly.
<Rainsong> That could be it. I look at things as though through my eyes….so there is a certain amount of blurriness, and it is only two-dimensional….and I have to deliberately change my point of reference to look around
<melikai> I can’t even get perception right in my dream worlds
<Rainsong> Dream worlds usually distort
<melikai> Hopefully that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be good at OBE’s
<neveza> Ever think that techniques for OBEs generally used are…wrong? sort of pushing yourself into a Clairavoyant Lucid dream. That’s how I always saw it. Reason I never trusted OBEs.
<Rainsong> Melikai: I’m not sure there is any established connection, one way or the other.
<Aphanas> neveza: *nods* Unless you can get someone to verify your prescence elsewhere in the ‘real world’, I’d consider OBEs more of an interesting perceptual experience, myself. It is very hard to sort out whether you are actually projecting or simply gathering information clarivoyantly.
<Rainsong> For some purposes, it doesn’t make a difference, of course.
<neveza> Aphanas, I suppose, but it just very odd to me that people that get out of body doesn’t see anybody else out of body with me…I mean, it can’t be that rare of an experience.
<melikai> yeah, if you get the desired outcome
<Rainsong> But without a third-party witness, how could you establish it?
<Aphanas> Actually, in the literature it is reported that seeing others out of body isn’t uncommon. Monroe and Bruce both report it, at the least.
<Rainsong> I believe Sherman had that sort of experience also.
<Rainsong> Any further commentary, or shall we call it a night?
<Aphanas> None here… thanks very much for the class, Rain. Was interesting.
<melikai> no questions here. Thanks so much Rainsong
<Jael> Twas a good class. Thanks
<Rainsong> Thanks for participating.
<Rainsong> Be well, all