There’s a good amount of controversy when it comes the place of astral projection in religion. Of course, there are – and have always been – supporters on both sides. Some argue that astral projection doesn’t contradict religion at all, or that it is even a part of deep religious experiences.
Examples of these experiences exist in some of the world’s most established religious texts; the Bible, the Quaran, the Torah. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those whose views are traditionally more dogmatic and generally find anything that goes outside of their own religious “reality” as heretic or sinful.
If you really think about it, out of body experiences in general can be extremely powerful experiences that can alter a person’s spiritual perspective. This, in turn, can threaten their established religious beliefs, which, of course, actually threaten the power of the religion itself. This may be why most of the world’s religions may find the practice occult or dangerous.
Others claim that disconnecting your soul from the body on purpose makes it vulnerable to being attacked by outside forces or even demons. This, again, may just be a way for organized religion to maintain their control and keep you in a little spiritual box.
The truth is, ancient religious texts are filled with incredible out of body experiences, hallucinations, and supernatural encounters that actually form the basis of many of the dogma and belief systems.
We’ll take a look at both sides of the coin and consider examine some historical examples of people who experienced or referred to astral projection with regard to their religion. Our focus will be on three widespread religions in today’s world: Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Astral projection in various religions
In the Talmud, more specifically Gemara in Sanherdin 101a, there is a description of the soul traveling around the world while a person sleeps, and then coming back during their dreams, showing them what it saw during its travels.
It’s assumed that if this happens voluntarily, then there’s nothing wrong with it. Whether or not this is exactly a description of astral projection is up to you, though. Kabbalist tradition, which stems back about 4,000 years all the way to ancient Babylon, sees astral projection as an integral aspect of its practices and beliefs. Kabbalah generally acknowledges and teaches things that would be considered occult or supernatural by mainstream Judaism, so this should come as no surprise.
In Sufism, or mystical Islam, the practice of astral projection is generally accepted and even taught. These mystic practitioners often experience close contact with supernatural realms, and in fact, these experiences are key to their religious beliefs.
In the Quran itself, the prophet Muhamad is reported to have been taken by angels from Mecca to Jerusalem, then to heaven where he met some other prophets and even God himself. According to his wife, his body didn’t leave his bed the entire time this was happening, which points to the notion that this was actually an example of astral projection.
What does the (christian) bible say about out of body experiences?
The Christian Bible is filled with supernatural, prophetic and other-worldly anecdotes and descriptions. Whether or not these involve astral projection is another question, as some would argue that yes, in fact they do. Dreams definitely play a large role in the various contacts of God with his prophets, who seem to experience visions in the form of lucid dreams.
In Corinthians 12:1-4, the Apostle Paul gives us an intriguing anecdote in which he says, “I know a man in Christ, who fourteen years past was caught up in the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body, I do not know. God knows…He heard inexpressible things…” This sounds mighty close to astral projection, or an out of body experience at the very least.
Visions like the ones that Saint Augustine of Julian of Norwich had also seem to be inexplicable within our normal boundaries of traditional Christian tradition. They definitely appear to be extremely mystical in nature and perhaps even examples of astral projection.
Many steadfast Christians argue that only what God himself sends you or shows you is okay. This means, that they don’t believe in voluntary astral projection or any other form of supernatural or alternate practices. If God takes you with him and decides to give you an out of body experience Himself, however, then that’s a different story.
Is astral projection going against god?
It’s interesting to note that many accounts of astral projection describe the subject coming into contact with a primary religious figure from their own religion, whether that be Jesus, Buddha, or the Hindu deities. In fact, many people say that experiencing astral projection and other out of body experiences, actually made their religious beliefs even stronger.
The fact is, astral projection has existed and continues to exist in every culture and in every corner of the world. If you look at it as a kind of unique gift to humanity to gain even deeper spiritual insight and to possibly even strengthen their religious beliefs, then it doesn’t seem to be a problem. The problem arises when dogmatic rules and traditions, which are usually just in place to create more.
Perhaps if the concept of astral projection and out of body experiences were more normalized, like it was in say, ancient Egypt, then today’s major religions wouldn’t have so many issues with it.