Astral Travel

In astral travel, you can visit distant lands in an instant. People have reported visiting other planets like Mars or Jupiter with no recollection of getting there or back. It's also known that you can visit other times in your astral dreams—the past, for example.

Some people actually see their souls as they were hundreds of years ago and mistake the vision for a future event. Others make astral visits with their spirit guides, who give them advice. Still others see things happening on the other side of the earth. Astral travel is the most intense, enlightening part of dreams. It's a gift, once you recognize it for what it is.

Why do we sometimes jerk out of sleep?

If you're just waking up and you feel heavy or half-paralyzed, it's an indication that you've been astrally traveling. An American named Sylvan Muldoon coined the term “astral catalepsy” for the feeling that your “cord” is being extended and then pulled back when you wake up from an astral travel dream.

When you experience astral catalepsy, don't panic. The invisible cord that attaches your soul to your body will jerk you back into consciousness, but there is no limit to its length. As mentioned, you can astrally travel to the moon and back. Don't worry when you feel the jerking sensation. Your cord always comes back to you, and it never breaks.

Astral Catalepsy

There are three speeds at which you can astrally travel: normal, intermediate, and supernormal. Normal speed feels like the pace at which you would walk. Intermediate speed can feel a bit scary because everything seems like it's passing by you. Streaks of light are projected off the objects. By the time you get to supernormal speed, though, you're almost completely unaware of traveling. The speed is unfathomable. Within seconds, you can astrally travel to the other end of the universe, into the future, or back to the past.

These are the signs of astral catalepsy:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Confusion

  • Temporary paralysis

  • A buzzing vibration

  • The feeling of being pinned down

  • A sense that there's something evil nearby

A Short Astral Trip

One Sunday afternoon in 1958, Robert Monroe, a Virginia businessman and electrical engineer, lay down on the couch for a short nap. His body began to shake violently, but he couldn't move. Terrified, he finally forced himself to sit upright on the couch. The vibration faded away and he stood up and walked around.

This experience was repeated a number of times during the following months. Monroe thought there was something physically wrong, like epilepsy or a brain tumor, but his family doctor gave him a clean bill of health.

Monroe committed himself to exploring the sensation, which continued to occur over the next few months. Then one night when the vibrations started up, Monroe realized he could move his fingers. His arm was draped over the side of the bed and his fingers were brushing the rug, so he pressed down with his fingertips. His fingers seemed to penetrate the rug, so he pressed down harder and his hand sank into the floor.

He returned to his doctor, who advised him to lose some weight, smoke less, and to look into yoga. Some practitioners of yoga, the doctor said, claimed they could travel out of their bodies at will. The very notion struck Monroe as absurd. The vibrations came and went six more times before he mustered the nerve to explore. Then, one night, with the vibrations in full force, he thought of floating upward, and did.

For Monroe, this was the beginning of a lifelong exploration into astral travel. He wrote three books on his experiences and started the Monroe Institute, a research and educational facility. At the institute, people are taught how to travel out of their bodies and to gather information objectively in these inner realms, using maps and landmarks that Monroe charted during his thousands of out-of-body experiences.

Out-of-body experiences, astral dreams, and flying dreams are quite often related. While flying dreams are often considered from a symbolic perspective, it's also worthwhile to consider their relationship to out-of-body experiences.

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