If a tree were to fall in the forest and there were nobody there to hear it, would it make a sound?
Some may say definitely yes or no for whatever reasons but what you think all depends on your perspective. If you firmly believe that the universe would exist without anything or anyone there to experience it, then you would have to be in favour and the falling tree would make a sound. If on the other hand, you are from the school of thought that the universe is a manifestation of thought and mind and that without objective experience, manifestation is impossible, then you would say no sound is possible without someone there to hear it. Reality is what you make of it. If you think that you can, then you can and if you think a concept is absurd then it is.
Astral projection today is seen as an obscure concept in western society and has long been attributed to mysticism and spirituality. People either view it as a belief or in the same light is the abstract. It seldom gets taken on with any kind of serious ambition from the scientific community because it is an abstract notion. Astral projection is a fully experienced based practice and mindset and is fully dependant on the objective audience so the scientific method is less if not completely ineffective in its exploration.
There have been formal studies done on the other hand to assess the validity of out of body experiences. In 1968, Charles Tart conducted what is known as the “Miss Z Studies” where numbers were place out of sign of the subject while she attempted to project her conciousness to read the numbers. On the 4th night she correctly identified the numbers but the studies were met with much scepticism as the experiments controls were criticised. Producing consistent controls has long been a problem when studying astral travel because of its subjective nature.
Other peer reviewed studies have been done but replicable results have been hard come by yet people all over the world have claimed to experience this mind state. Robert Monroe wrote in great detail of his experiences and founded a school that teaches ordinary people how to achieve extra ordinary states of mind. It seems to be an example of the practical outpacing theory. We seem pretty confident that it is possible but because we don’t understand it, it is dismissed as myth and anecdote. Patents were even granted to Mr. Monroe for his invention of Hemi-Sync which is designed to encourage such states of mind. Some form of mind altercation has been proven through the use of Hemi-Sync with the approval of such patents.
A popular belief is that astral projection is a form of dream and that dreams are a form hallucination. Hallucinations, derived from the Latin word, alucinary, meaning “wander in the mind” is the perception with the absence of physical stimuli. This means seeing something that’s not physically there or hearing something that wasn’t physically produced. Freudian psychology says that hallucinations are the mental constructs of your unconscious desires, fears and stresses but other schools of though exist.
Shamanistic tradition in indigenous societies view hallucinations and dreams as the entering of the spirit world. There is a sort of acknowledgement within shamanistic cultures that all that is to be perceived is real regardless of physical stimuli or what is to be experienced in everyday living. It’s seen as a sort of melody to life that experiencing extra dimensions through various forms of altered conciousness is our way to connect with mother earth and in essence the universe. Life and conciousness is seen as a universal manifestation.
One could easily denote that astral projection is a form extra sensory perception. If we only had 4 senses; let’s say, sight, hearing, feel and sound how would we know that taste exists? If you could communicate with a deep water fish, how would it describe water?
Many practitioners of astral projection believe that there are many layers to concious living and that we simply live on a narrow band of what is infinite frequencies that are accessible through altered states of conciousness. Typically these bands are referred to as the “Focus Levels”, a term which was coined by Robert Monroe. The body that we live in is simply a manifestation your conciousness within this band.
In regards to whether astral projection is real or not, all I can say is they are about as real as your thoughts. I think my thought are pretty real. The tree on the other hand, wouldn’t make a sound without an objective and conscious perspective. Or maybe the tree is just concious on another level? What do you think?