Astral Projection. Real or Not?

The way I’ve always figured it, great minds would remain open to various possibilities in life, yet have a healthy amount of skepticism. Many people will claim to have had out-of-body experiences through near death or simply through voluntary astral projection. A near death experience is by no doubt a very traumatic experience and very few of us have actually had one.

The people who claim to have had out-of-body experiences share many similarities in their experiences. Now, I’m aware of how the power of suggestion works. I’m also aware of how people claimed to have seen aliens, whom remarkably look much like the aliens on TV. Many, or even most, of these people could be completely making everything up, or actually believe it happened when it was simply a quite vivid dream. Does that mean that it is impossible?

I’m also quite aware of the experiments where various drugs are used to induce these same experiences. One would claim that because of this, these vivid experiences would actually be hallucinations or various chemical imbalances in the brain.

This may not be the best website, but it contains various other possibilities:

Now, one could also argue that these drug-induced experiments would make the physical body weaker and easier to project, though unhealthy and dangerous. Even if in some cases it is simply a hallucination, does that mean it’s absolutely impossible for any such case to ever be an actual out-of-body experience?

I don’t want this to turn into a religious debate, because that won’t solve anything. I don’t think you have to even believe in any religion to accept the possibility of an out-of-body experience. Although, you would have to be open to the possibility of there being some sort of spirit or energy, which various religions refer to as a soul; though you wouldn’t even need to agree entirely with the religious definition of the soul.

Anyway, I try to argue both sides, but would like to hear some educated thoughts. Unfortunately, I feel this is not a subject that can be “proved,” although information can always be provided to back one’s own understanding or belief.

Check this out:

Well, if you’re not going to debate on the basis of “proof”, then unfortunately you are going to have a “religious debate”, whether you like it or not.

Skepdic on astral projection.


Also, James Van Praagh & Co. is already being discussed in this thread, but since it’s up to 20 pages by now, we might as well continue here.

And there’s a “John Edward” thread around GD somewhere…

Thanks, begbert, I wasn’t aware of that being posted on here.

Now, I definately don’t want to get into a “talking to the dead” debate.

It’s obvious that James Van Praagh and John Stewart are complete morons trying to make a buck off of people’s dead relatives.

Now, there’s no doubt that there are many known facts discovered through these experiments, but if it were an “actual” case of astral projection, would the scientists have been able to somehow “see” the spirit, or astral body? No. They wouldn’t be able to, as far as I know, see or register any paranormal body, leaving or even existing within the physical body. They can only make note of the physical actions taking place (ie. REM, heart and respiratory, actual physical movement, etc.). That’s why I said that I don’t feel that it can be proved.

Also, many people who claim to quite frequently Astral Project, often times don’t make many claims, if any, to religion.

I meant John Edwards…sorry

Yes, Astral Projection exists. It is one of the finest Israeli trance bands around, and it produces trance that easily meets the international standard. Their album Another World is a personal favorite of mine, though I have yet to hear their newest, Amen.

Unless for some strange reason none of the Astral Projectionist want the million dollars offered for anyone who can prove paranormal abilities, then astral projection probably doesn’t exist.

I certainly think that it is possible.
I also think that it is improbable.
I’ve not come across any info that would lead me to think it is real.
I don’t think that spirit is necessarily the same as soul.

Let offer you my theory on Astral Projection.

People are visual creatures. They see everything and temporarily store the images away but retain only the ones significant to the person. These images, as anyone who ever had a really vivid dream, can sometimes be mistaken for reality when asleep, half asleep or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Lets say that for one reason or another a person closes his eyes but vividly sees not only what he recently saw but certain images he has detailed memory of. Suppose, again, that he manipulates these images in his head and fills in the details (as far as perspective and distance) to make himself “float” over his own body. He still hears whats going on, so he fills in and manipulates images to correspond to the sounds he hears and where he determines the sound is coming from. He has a vivid lucid dream. With his hearing, there is some basis in reality but all of what he “sees” and from where are all in his head.

I cant provide a cite but I did hear of one hospital that created an experiment in one of their surgical bays. They’ve had their share of surgery patients who profess to having looked down on their own operation. So what they did was put a flashing sign on top of one the instruments that cannot be seen from the patients point of view (lying down on the table) but can easily be seen if you are “floating” on top of the patient looking down. The sign reads “If you can see this tell us when you wake up” Thus far, no one has mentioned seeing the sign.

But I think you are misunderstanding what “healthy skepticism” entails. You have presented 2 possibilities: (1) That some people have the ability to remove a component of their being, and travel while leaving the body behind, but are left with no objective evidence of the event. -or- (2) It’s just another of the many, many dubious beliefs that people have a propensity to hold, such as the aliens example you gave. You have to ask yourself which is more likely. Since there is a huge amount of evidence that people tend to believe in dubious things, and very little evidence that astral projection is a real phenomenon, I have to go with (2). It doesn’t mean (1) is impossible, just that it it unlikely given the current body of evidence that we have.

What I mean by “healthy skepticism” is that I feel that if people do not remain somewhat skeptical on certain issues, they would simply accept it as true and not be inspired to inquire into the truth when the truth is readily available. An example of this would be those who believed James Van Praagh to be actually communicating with the dead and not be inspired to looking into the authenticity of his claimed talent.

Without a certain amount of skepticism, one would also be closed minded as to only believing one side of an argument without even hearing the other side, or refusing to listen to the otherside, thus only hearing what they want to hear. These are the same people who believe the earth is only 6000 years old, despite all the facts that proove otherwise and refuses to listen to any of it.

I agree that there is much more evidence to back the latter, possibility (2), which would make one more inclined to take that side. The only “evidence” on the side of the former, possibility (1), would be testimonials, and we all know how easy it is to get those.

Many people I’ve seen in the past whom take the side of the latter, will argue that the former is impossible, which to me seems a bit closed minded. Many things in life that we now take part in on a regular basis, or at least have proved possible, were once considered impossible (ie. Flying, Space Travel, Cloning, etc.)

So, I do agree with you that all evidence points in one direction, which makes it more likely to accept, though I myself, do not like attaching the word “impossible” to too many things, since impossible is such a strong word, unless by impossible, I mean “impossible according to mordern science.”

In that case, I agree. But there are things that, while perhaps not literally impossible, are improbable to the point that they no longer merit serious consideration. So what is the point of discussing such things?

James Randi once said “If I throw a hundred reindeer off of a cliff, I haven’t proven that reindeer can’t fly. I’ve only proven that none of those reindeer can fly.”