Out of Body
The out-of-body experience is also know as astral projection, because it represents the projection of the inner layer of the body - the astral or etheric body - into the astral world without hurting the physical body. When the inner body is projected outward into the world outside the physical body, it gains a degree of freedom that it does not enjoy while encased in the physical body. Today, however, we tend to use the more accurate term 'out-of-body experience'. The reason that this is a more accurate term is that projection as such - that is to say, a wilful outward movement out of the physical body - is rarely the means by which the phenomenon occurs. Rather, it takes the form of a feeling of dissociation between the physical and the etheric bodies - a floating sensation during which the inner self seems to be leaving it's physical counterpart and travelling away from it. The movement toward the outside is by no means rapid or projection-like. In most cases, it is a slow, gradual disengagement. Occasionally there are dramatic instances in which astral projection occurs spontaneously and rather suddenly. But such cases usually involve some form of shock or induced trauma, such as surgery, anaesthesia, sudden grief, sudden joy or overwhelming fatigue.
Out-of-body experiences can be divided roughly into two categories: spontaneous cases, in which they occur without being induced in any way and are usually a surprise; and experimental cases, in which the state of dissociation is deliberately induced by various means. The defining issue of astral projection, whether voluntary or involuntary, is the question of whether the traveller makes an impact on the other end of the line, so to speak. If the travel is observed, preferably in some detail, by the recipient of the projection, and if that information is made available only after the event itself, it constitutes a valuable piece of evidence for the reality of this particular psychic phenomenon.
An umbilical cord, silver in appearance, that is attached between the astral body and the physical body has been reported as being observed by persons during out-of-body experiences. In research of astral body projection this phenomena seemed common; however, later data tend to show it to be rare. It is said that if the silver cord is cut whilst the astral body is out of the body, then physical death will occur. The astral body will then float freely to the next dimension.
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