Astral Projection

In the advisory board’s answer to astral projection while sleeping,
(see ‘Is it possible to do “astral traveling” while sleeping?’)
the phenomenon is explained away.

While I don’t have proof, per se, I did some experiments back around 1992 where I would meet a person astrally then get up in the morning and we would email each other before we read our incoming emails and relate our experiences.

While we did not have 100% synchronicity in our experiences (it was more like 90%) we certainly felt that our experiences went far beyond chance occurance. Not that we were the most objective witnesses, but we were convinced that what we were experiencing was real.

Attempts in subsequent years to duplicate the experiments with others have proven unfruitful, which, if it doesn’t say anything about he phenomenon, at least attests to my honesty.

My take on the whole matter is that astral projection or remote viewing certainly is a real occurrance, but that some people are better at it than others (like yoga, martial arts, acrobatics, etc., it takes skill, knowledge and practice).

I have been a meditator for years, and this is only one of numerous psychic phenomenon that I have experienced. I went through a period where I would have a dream, and the dream would become manifest in excruciating detail three days later (excruciating detail such as going to my girlfriend’s house and she introduces me to a man in her living room in his underwear reading the newspaper who is named Robbie and is a friend of her brothers!). Problem was, not all my dreams were prophetic, and I didn’t know which ones would be. Since 1972 I have kept a nightly log of my dreams, so I have the experience recorded, but last I saw my witness, she as in the Patricia Stevens’ School for Girls in Boston. (Marilyn Kanhai, where are you?) Oh, in case you are wondering, her family was from India, it was a hot summer in Greenwich, Connecticut where I grew up and I just viewed it as cultural differences.

Yes, my experiences have “proven” the reality of psychic phenomenon to me, but since it’s all anecdotal all I can say is “Believe it or Not!”

People willing to believe in astral projection in the first place are also more willing to liberally interpret the results of their experiments to support their belief system. So it doesn’t surprise me that you think it worked for you.


Good point, and I certainly did not apply adequate scientific controls to my experiments.

However, I take issue with your generalization of “people who believe in astral projection” comment. In my case it does apply, but it is a false assumption to hold that all people who believe “are also…” what you said.

Personally, I think it’s all bunk, but I invite you to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. If you can prove any of the abilities you’ve mentioned under proper scientific scrutiny, you could earn a cool $1 million. I won’t hold my breath, though. No one has taken the prize yet, though many have tried.

Funny, I don’t remember saying “all”…

But, in general, people who have already come to conclusions about things (paranormal, politics, whatever) reinterpret data to mean completely different things than what other people see. That’s human nature.

Beyond that, the more outrageous the belief the more likely the thinking had to be quite alternative in order to come up with it in the first place.

To the absolute and utter astonishment of everybody on the SDMB, no, nothing ever came of it. Though technically, according to the time limit established for the challenge, something still might. I, personally, will not, just for the record, be holding my breath.

The thread in question was this one.

You didn’t say all, but it seemed to me it was inferred. This statement I agree with, that is, preconceived notions (as I have aquired in this case) would temper my perception.

The idea that people who think differently than the “norm” are somehow to be disregarded (which I do not accuse you of saying, but which the words “outrageous” and “alternative” used together would seem to infer) is a divisive and dangerous notion. Many of our advances in science came from open-minded, free thinkers, many of whom were persecuted by closed-minded “normals.”

To question the scientific efficacy of a study is productive. To debase an idea as outrageous because it is different than yours or hasn’t yet been proven is counterproductive to the scientific process.

Thanks for your comments!

An interesting point, here. When Einstein came up with his theories of relativity, he was doing good science. And when “mainstream” scientists attacked his theory, they were doing good science, too. The attacking of new ideas is an integral part of science. In fact, it’s quite possibly the most integral part of science. The key is to see how the new idea stands up to the attack. In the case of Einstein’s relativity, for instance, it held up admirably against everything that could be thrown against it, and so it is now generally accepted as true, and is a part of mainstream science. Astral projection, however, cannot withstand any of the attacks made on it by mainstream science, and so is now generally accepted as false. Just remember, they may have laughed at Galileo and at Einstein, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. Sometimes a new idea is a revolutionary advancement to science, but the vast majority of times, it’s bunk.

There’s a difference between challenging an idea/theory and ridiculing it. One is good science and the other is tantamount to religious persecution. (Remember Galileo?) I have no problem accepting that the experience of “astral projection” is yet unexplained, but I’m not going to ricule people that believe in it. Granted, as far as I know it is yet unproven and attempts to “prove” it should be subject to intense scientific scrutiny. Is it bunk? Well, whereas we can disprove individual attempts, no general disproof exists either (unless you care to enlighten me on this one). So I’ll toss it into subjective experience colored by my belief system for the time being.

Thank you all for your well-thought-out, answers.

Thanks for the redirect, bonzer, interesting, though tedious, thread that devolved into petty squabbling.

Interesting this should come up just now, I think I must have missed the column, but I’ve been wondering about the whole astral thing recently.

Disregarding any evidence for and against, theres a more fundamental logical problem with astral travel:

If all physical objects possess an “astral body” and astral objects are as real and solid to each other as physical ones (as I believe the theory goes) then although astral travel may be possible, you would not be able to do it from your room as the astral walls of your house would prevent you from leaving astrally.

Of course you could get around this by saying that only living things have an astral body, but i’m not sure if that fits with the rest of Vedantic philosophy (which is where the idea comes from if i’m right).

My God! You must be psychic!

The thread linked to in this post was one where Glee proposed a test of astral projection, and Cityboy916 volunteered to perform it, claiming he had done it before and could do it again.

Cityboy916 is to astrally project himself to Glee’s desk and describe in sufficient detail ten objects on it. Mod DavidB is holding the list of objects in secret until the test is completed.

Unfortunately, no time limit was placed on the test, which conveniently makes it impossible to say it failed unless we wait for an infinite time. Cityboy916, when pressed for results after a few months, reminded us that AP can’t be hurried, just happens when it happens, and it would come all in good time. It’s been seven months now, I think, and the chances of AP, which were nearly nil at the start, are rapidly receding.

All I have on astral projection is a rather anecdotal account from my roommate about how she lived a week of school before it actually happened, but given my own experiences with wonky memory I tend to take that with a large grain of salt.

I can, however, attest to the phenomenon explained in the staff report. I’ve been lucid dreaming since about the fourth grade, so I often find myself trying to prepare for the day as I’m waking up in the morning, only to discover that it was wishful thinking on my part. I usually clue in when I’m trying to drag my inexplicably heavy body across the floor–I mean, I know I’ve gained some weight in college, but I wasn’t that obese. :rolleyes:

I wish there was some sort of dream recording device. Then I can relive all of my really cool dreams, like that one time I was charging up Mount Doom with the Fellowship of the Ring. :smiley:

Maybe if Glee leaves the window open there would be a greater chance of success?

Not really. You should read more scientific history.

An idea that cannot withstand fierce attack is an idea not worth considering.

Everybody says “remember Galileo,” or some variation thereof. Doesn’t help your case.

Actually, it sounds like what you have a problem accepting is that the experience of “astral projection” is completely explained. Goes like this: “The brain is capable of manufacturing extremely realistic hallucinations.”

I won’t either, presuming they’re simply uninformed; but I will if they continue stubbornly defending it even after being introduced to the overwhelming evidence on the other side.

Which it has been, repeatedly and without success. How many times are you going to flip a coin before you recognize it isn’t going to come up “shoulders”?


Try this: The burden of proof is not on the disprovers. The burden of proof is on those who assert there is something more to the phenomenon than potent hallucinations the individual finds convincing. And in thousands and thousands of attempts, that burden of proof has not yet been met. Now, it is true that, strictly according to the scientific method, in the absence of said proof the only solid conclusion one can draw is that the phenomenon is unproven after much effort, that it’s only probable that there’s no phenomenon to prove, but that it’s possible a predictable, measurable, and repeatable example of the phenomenon remains to be found. I’ll give you that much. But— and this is important— the same can be said for pretty much everything else in the scientific canon. I’ll give you as an example the inverse square law of gravity, which is about as solid and well-documented a natural law as we know. We consider it a law because not a single counterexample has surfaced in all of our empirical observations, and because a lot of other physical dependencies rely on the law working in just that formulation. If such a counterexample were to be found, the law (and its dependencies) would need to be subjected to thorough reexamination. However, it’s safe to say that no reputable physicist expects such a counterexample to materialize; and yet the responsible scientist is always willing to reevaluate common assumptions when presented with a powerful piece of evidence to the contrary of established dogma. In short, if you think the phenomenon is real, then present your evidence. Until then, ya got bupkis, and the safe, indeed the only reasonable, assumption is that “astral projection” is an abstract construct of the human imagination and nothing more.

That, at least, is defensible.

You’re welcome.

That and the geographic co-ordinates. APs carry GPSs, you know.

I realize that this post is an attempt at humor and I have been aptly informed about the lack of standing for astral projection. OK. Probably best to move this to the “opinion” folder, but since it’s brought up here…

In my experience this is unnecessary. All my travel, er, hallucinations, have been accomplished without regard for walls, etc, and even seem to occur relatively instantaneously or at the speed of electrical impulses anyway.

I don’t know anything about Vedic philosophy, and besides if it counters my experience I’ll go with my experience.

If you want more about my experience, try find me elsewhere, like “In my Humble Opinion.” My question here has been adequately answered.