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Discussion about the reality and meaning of "Astral".

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posted on May, 2 2010 @ 09:58 AM
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Hello ATS members,

I've been interested in this phenomena for quite long time; I've read so much about here and elsewhere. I am curious to hear about people's thoughts and experiences about the matter and have some real inquiry about the nature of the phenomena. I was unsure whether to post this in Paranormal studies, but as I am inclined on psychological explanations of this phenomena, I started it here - mods move if necessary.

In the beginning I want to announce my personal standpoint in this matter. I don't deny the existence of this "astral" phenomena itself, but I am unsure whether it is merely psychological "event" or is it some kind of "matrix" structure, underlying structure of some higher (or lower) dimension, which may have real physical implications.

My own observations so far has led me to think that it is a psychological phenomena, hence it is "real", no matter how you look it (real in the same manner as is real for example dreams, thoughts and so on). Is the "astral" same thing as C.G Jung concept of active imagination?

If it would be objectively confirmable phenomena, one should be able to meet someone in astral, one whom you know in physical world, exchange words (i.e speak) and the person you met in astral, would be able later to reproduce the message you told him/her in physical world?

I'd try out myself, but unfortunately - even though I've tried - I've found myself unable to enter the astral so far. Believe me, I've given it sincere effort for many years already. Don't come tell me that it don't happen because I don't believe it - I'd believe in anything of which I can have personal experience. I am merely attempting to personally inquire the matter. I truly hope that "believing" is not required, because I am totally uncapable of believing anything I cannot experience (or to reason). Well, I have to add that few times I've had dream where I've almost gained consciousness, for example I jumped through the roof, but as soon as I conscioulsy realized it, I woke up.

Many mystic sources say that we travel in Astral every time we sleep - so does it mean that Astral travelling is same as conscious dreaming (lucid dreaming)? Also, many of renowned mystics claim that Astral Plane is a plane of illusions. I understand this so that it might only be psychological. I'll quote some of them:


The astral plane is the plane of illusion, of glamour, and of a distorted presentation of reality.
(Bailey, Alice; A Treatise on White Magic, p. 221/3).


The secret of the Master is the discovery that there is no astral plane; he finds that the astral plane is a figment of the imagination and has been created through the uncontrolled use of creative imagination, and the misuse of the magical powers."
(Ibid. p. 614/5).


As I have said elsewhere, there is no such thing as the astral plane or the astral body. Just as the physical body is made up of matter which is not regarded as a principle, so the astral body -- as far as the mind nature is concerned -- is in the same category. This is a difficult matter for you to grasp, because desire and emotion are so real and so devastatingly important. But -- speaking literally -- from the angle of the mental plane, the astral body is a "figment of the imagination"; it is not a principle.
(Esoteric Healing, p. 409).

And it is also contemplated in Qabalah:


Occultists associate Yesod with the Astral plane, because if the sephiroth above Malkuth are regarded as a map of the unconscious psyche, Yesod is the most accessible area of the mind.
Source

Those sincerely interested in this psychological point of view, I also invite you to read this thread of mine, where I've made an attempt to explain occult powers in profane terms of psychology.

Well then, now that I've stated my own position, I am eagerly looking forward to hear other opinions - and I hope that they'll be well defined, not just in style "I know". And if you can travel in Astral, I invite you to come and take me along


-v

[edit on 2-5-2010 by v01i0]




posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:16 AM
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"If it would be objectively confirmable phenomena, one should be able to meet someone in astral, one whom you know in physical world, exchange words (i.e speak) and the person you met in astral, would be able later to reproduce the message you told him/her in physical world?"

Well this is easy for any trained magician.

You must have entered the Astral plane via dreams.


[edit on 2-5-2010 by Tiger5]



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:26 AM
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Thats quite interesting.

All the books I have read on this subject, and the esoteric also somewhat hint at this possibility. But they also go in alot more deeper.

Dion Fortune says that anything you want to obtain magically speaking, will first have to develop on the other realms on human conciousness before it can materialize in this realm. Now shes says the human body is 7-fold, but Im inclined to think only 3.

Franz Bardon and plenty others say that theres the mental, physical and spirtual. Franz Bardon also says that to Astral travel you have to separate the other 2 from the physical, and that it is very dangerous.

Robert Monroe and Rob Peterson (questionable) Also talk of having astral meetings, meeting dead relatives, and the infamous astral sex. Now for the groups of people meeting there to be able to have collaborating stories must mean that there is some sort of connection.

I dont doubt for a second that the astral realm is the 'realm of illusions', because everything is based on thought. You want a cookie, Boom , you got a cookie.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:33 AM
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Thanks for the replies,

About what scorps said, more precisesly the connection you mentioned, I once had a dream where my aunt's ex-husband called me on a phone, saying that he'll visit us soon - and few days later he was found dead (he died in solitude, had been dead about a week before he was found and nobody really expected him dying anytime soon). And I must say that I've not dreamed about him before that occassion. So I am also inclined to think that there exists some kind of "connection", other than the physical one.

-v

[edit on 2-5-2010 by v01i0]



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:56 AM
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reply to post by scorps
 


Scorps you have mentioned two of my favorite occultists writer and a couple of idiots. I will leave you to work out which is which.

You are on the right track IMHO


[edit on 2-5-2010 by Tiger5]



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:59 AM
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reply to post by v01i0
 



Well even Jung had the same conclusion. Basically humanity is like a servies of Oceanic Islands. If we look at them from sea level they look unconnected. But from the perspective of the sea bed they are all connected.

Actually all life is connected.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by Tiger5
 


Lol, Im assuming your a fan of Bardon and Fortune. Im personally not a fan of Fortune but the Cosmic Doctrine is a great occult book. I dont care much for Peterson or Monroe, but Monroe is alot more credible then many of the other Astral Travellers. Dont even get me started on Bardon... I love that guy.

And v01i0 I know what you mean, Ive never had any experience with my dreams like youve descibed but I have used some of the Bardons practices, so I do believe that there is a astral realm but it can contain what you want to see. Paracelsus believed firmly in the elemental forces and the spirts that inhabitated them. From my understanding when you astral travel everything opens up, the dead, the demons and the elementals, but you never hear about them, So im inclined to believe that its based on your personally being and what you want to see. Hope I made sense...



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by scorps
 


Yep I love Frabato and Fortune. Fortune was a product of her time and I believe her fault was that she was a product of her time and had absorbed certain vierws that I would not agree with but on Balance she was very good. The Cosmic Doctrine is tough going and needs to be read with a legal pad or blackboard.

The Mystical QBL is fantastic. Throught the gates of death is extremely relevant to this thread. The astral has levels and has everything that has or will ever be.

[edit on 2-5-2010 by Tiger5]



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:10 PM
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reply to post by Tiger5
 


No one could of said it better Im afraid. That definetly seems very true. And that also explains why I have such a hard time with her books. I am guilty of not reading Mystical Quabala, even though it is in my library.

Frabato is a excellent book, definetly one of my favorites and it does a very good job in making the Occult path look very rewarding. Ive actually been hunting around for a vintage hardcover Practice of Magical Evocation and Frabato the Magician.

Im actually looking for a good book on Paracelsus, I cant seem to find anything worthwhile though. Manly P. Hall did a very good summary on him in Secret Teachings of all Ages, but id like to learn more, if you know of any good books that would be great.

Im happy to see someone else on ATS who knows something about the Occult. Not many people here read into it unfortunatly.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by Tiger5Actually all life is connected.


Actually, everything is connected.

That's the whole basis of magic.



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 01:23 AM
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reply to post by scorps
 



Originally posted by scorps

Im actually looking for a good book on Paracelsus, I cant seem to find anything worthwhile though.


Have you read 'Archidoxes of magic'? It might not be written by Paracelsus (but rather his followers, based on his ideas), yet I am not sure. I got that one in the shelf; under the garment of devout appearing christianity underlies many interesting ideas - for example, I think that Paracelsus was first of psychians who thought about placebo medicine.

-v



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by Tiger5
 



Originally posted by Tiger5
Basically humanity is like a servies of Oceanic Islands. If we look at them from sea level they look unconnected. But from the perspective of the sea bed they are all connected.


I liked that analogy


Unfortunately I am now in hurry, so no indepth replies right now. Just wanted to ask, because you kinda appear to be confident in your opinions, that how to objectively reproduce this phenomena? There's plenty of literature and advice available both on- and offline, tried most of the tricks, but to no avail. Should I just keep banging my head against the wall which appears impenerable or is there a way through which I haven't noticed?

-v



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 04:06 AM
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Is the "astral" same thing as C.G Jung concept of active imagination?

That's hard to answer yes or no. Obviously, one theory of "astral" experience is that "where you go" is into the unconscious, which is the territory intentionally examined in active imagination. Someone whose practices resemble active imagination, but who was unfamiliar with that concept, might attribute the results to a literal separation of consciousness from the body, followed by the consciousness going somewhere.

Also, there was some evolution in the concept itself, which is not unusual in anything developed by Jung. He had a long career, and learned as he went along.

The original thing, emerging around WW I, was apparently full-blown waking hallucination, personal to Jung himself. He had had overwhelming spontaneous hallucinations (famously, two almost Biblical visions of the devastation of the war still to come), and thought, reasonably enough, that he was going insane.

Active imagination, then, was a method for Jung to "keep his head" (retain conscious ego-awareness) and explore the world of these visions. But, did he keep his head? Apparently, Jung met a spirit guide during his explorations, and would walk around his garden talking to this fellow. That is to say, he interacted with an "imaginary friend," in broad daylight, even when Jung apparently was not pursuing any special practice during the "visit."

On the other hand, Jung kept up his professional practice and scholarhsip throughout these years. There is something stereotypically Swiss about all of this. One imagines his schedule:

4:30 Therapy session with Frau Schmidt

5:30 Supper with the family

6:30 Go stark raving mad

7:30 Finish lecture for Friday's seminar

The contemporary practice is much tamer, although still not entirely safe. It is a close relative of other "free association" methods, but distinctive in that it emphasizes the ability of symbolically rich images to suggest one another. It is also sometimes described as a form of meditation, which is fair, I think.

The conscious ego is there and wide awake, but watches the play of symbolic thought without interference. That much is a meditation method, except that meditators typically seek mental quiet, while the active imaginer wants the play of images to follow its course, however raucous.


so does it mean that Astral travelling is same as conscious dreaming (lucid dreaming)?

Couldn't really be lucid dreaming, could it? By definition, you think you're dreaming when you dream lucidly. If you think you're really going somewhere, then you don't think you're dreaming.

For all the ink (and electrons) spilled about lucid dreaming, there's stil a lot about it that's murky. It is not at all clear that it is one phenomenon. There are people who routinely dream lucidly as part of their personal "dreaming style," in many cases, they have done so since childhood. Some of them are even surprised when they learn that other people dream without realization. Other people fall into lucid dreaming without seeking to do so. And of course the web is crawling with people who actively pursue lucid dreams.

There is no prize for noticing that the advice given to the would-be lucid dreamer is often much the same as the advice given to the would-be astral traveler: sleep poorly.

So, the two phenomena may well be linked. Also, it would be handy if there were a word for dreaming while remembering your waking life and realizing that this isn't it - without necessarily proceeding all the way to the realization that you are dreaming.



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 11:58 AM
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Have you read 'Archidoxes of magic'?


No I haven't, but I just did a quick look for it and Ill definetly be buying it. He was the one to invent the placebo effect. He believed everything was 2 fold. So if you were sick, you would have to treat the spirit and the body. Same went for plants, water, basically the 4 elements. Definetly a brillant man.




On the other hand, Jung kept up his professional practice and scholarhsip throughout these years. There is something stereotypically Swiss about all of this. One imagines his schedule:

4:30 Therapy session with Frau Schmidt

5:30 Supper with the family

6:30 Go stark raving mad

7:30 Finish lecture for Friday's seminar


Lmao!

Sounds like another man Ive heard of. Can't remember which name, Swedenberg or Stiener, but apparently one of them were fooling around with advanced tantric(?) meditation and some how reversed the ejaculatory process and sent the semen into his bladder therefore opening the all realms before his eyes. However it did not end well, the person was seen jibbering to themselves in church and not far after had a stroke in a ditch and died.

And what about the man who entered the lottery 700 times with the four numbers of his mothers death because he had a dream about her?

I still believe that the astral is a instrument, sounds rather bleak, but everyone seems to be able to see what they want. Christians see the pearly gates with jesus handing out brochures, Mormons see Joseph Smith, my point is is that, it seems to serve every person individually, you never hear about about a muslim seeing Jesus or vice versa, so I guess one could say that it could be caused by a over active imagination... this is a tough subject.



posted on May, 5 2010 @ 03:35 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


Hey 8-bits!

I found your reply interesting, as usual. Jung was pretty well aware of the mystical literature (at least according to his own account) and was supposedly very well aware of meditation and so-called sidereal dimensions, but he approached the subject from viewpoint of psychology and perhaps wanted to make all that more coherent in terms of psychology.

When Jung was exploring these things and made an attempt to link his findings to the historical context, he found that alchemy was closest in describing this phenomena. He had obviously read his Paracelsus.

While unsure if in reality these things (active imagination [i.e contents of subconsciousness] and experiences of Astral) are in fact one and same phenomena, we might conclude that they have lot in common.

-v



posted on May, 5 2010 @ 03:52 AM
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reply to post by scorps
 


Hey scorps!

I found your following statement relevant:


Originally posted by scorps
(bold by v01i0 for emphasis)

I still believe that the astral is a instrument, sounds rather bleak, but everyone seems to be able to see what they want. Christians see the pearly gates with jesus handing out brochures, Mormons see Joseph Smith, my point is is that, it seems to serve every person individually, you never hear about about a muslim seeing Jesus or vice versa, so I guess one could say that it could be caused by a over active imagination... this is a tough subject.


I think it was J. Krishnamurti that described his own spiritual/psychological processes regarding religious visions, that when he was but a young lad who was indoctrinated in Brahminic religion, he had visions of Krishna, when he was adopted in Theosophical movement and indoctrinated into it's dogmas, he had visions that included sacred figures related to Theosophical movement (can't really remember right now whose images they were). All this indicating the same phenomena you've mentioned. And all this he acknowledged. Too bad I couldn't find the exact link to text where he said this. Will post if I find it.

Basically, Christians will experience visions of Christ, or attribute their visions to him or God himself, sometimes Satan of course. Hindus would experience visions those about Krishna and other figures of those religions, as would muslims experience Allah. This may be part of the reasons why religions gain so much power; it is all just indoctrination, abusing psychological properties of human mind?



-v

PS. Link to a documentary film about J.K for those who might be interested.



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