i will post the link to each page i read and try to include some interesting quips from each of them
start page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astral_projection
The idea of the astral figured prominently in the work of the ninteteenth-century French occultist Eliphas Levi, whence it was adopted by Theosophy and Golden Dawn magical society. The Theosophists also took note of similar ideas (Lin'ga S'ari-ra) found in ancient Hindu scriptures such as the YogaVashishta-Maharamayana of Valmiki.
However, the expression "astral projection" came to be used in two different ways. For the Golden Dawn and some Theosophists it retained the classical and mediaeval philosophers' meaning of journeying to other worlds, heavens, hells, the astrological spheres and other imaginal landscapes, but outside these circles the term was increasingly applied to non-physical travel around the physical world rather than the astral. Though this usage continues to be widespread, the "etheric travel" label coined by later Theosophists such as Leadbetter and Bailey is more appropriate to such scenarios.
Other neo-Theosophists include Steiner's contemporary Peter Deunov and Samael Aun Weor, who introduced theosophical teachings to Latin America. Dion Fortune and Aleister Crowley were also influencers of (and influenced by) the leading edge of the theosophical movement, which in turn influenced Anton LaVey's Satanism, L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology, Wiccanism, and the modern New Age and New Thought movements. (Alice Bailey introduced the term New Age).
The "I AM" Activity was founded by Guy Ballard (pseudonym Godfre Ray King) in the early 1930s. Ballard was well-read in theosophy and its offshoots, and while hiking on Mt. Shasta looking for a supposed Esoteric Brotherhood, he said that he had encountered a man who introduced himself as Comte de Saint-Germain, a historical 18th century alchemist and a regular component of theosophical religions. The Ballards said they began talking to the Ascended Masters regularly.
Thru the Mirror is a Mickey Mouse cartoon short film produced by Walt Disney Productions, released by United Artists in 1936. In this cartoon short, Mickey has a Through the Looking Glass-type dream that he travels through his mirror and enter a topsy-turvy world where everything is alive. While there, he engages in a Fred Astaire-type dance number with a pair of gloves and a pack of cards, until the cards chase him out of the bizarre world.
That complex things are created in nature is not in question by Creationists (Abrahamic religions, etc.), Emanationists, or nihilists and atheists; rather, the two principles that are in question are the locus for creation and whether a sentient, self-aware Absolute (‘God’) is a necessity for creation. Emanationists such as Pythagoras, Plotinus, and others argued that complex patterns in nature were a natural consequence of procession from the One (Hen, Absolute).
According to Emanationism, the Absolute, its nature and its activity must be inseparably one thing only, namely will, such that the nature and activity of the Absolute is both one and the same (again, will) and by its very nature is also its activity ‘to will’ and wills things to be or occur, thereby maintaining the center of the logical system of Emanationism.
The ontologically transcendent yet immanent Self is seen as being one's unactualized nature, and this nature will remain unactualized until contemplation is brought to fruition, thereby bringing into actuality what had been merely potential.
According to this paradigm, creation proceeds as an effulgence from the First Principle (the Absolute or Godhead). The Supreme Light or Consciousness descends through a series of stages, gradations, worlds or hypostases, becoming progressively more material and embodied. In time it will turn around to return to the One (epistrophe), retracing its steps through spiritual knowledge and contemplation.
Creation itself is merely a logos (Republic 509d-511) of the Absolute which "pours forth" as lesser and lesser potencies of the One, proceeding from the One, to the Nous, then to the Soul, and lastly as utter privation, matter (hyle), or, as Plotinus called matter, "an image of an image" (cf. Plato's Allegory of the cave). Emanationists see this paradigm for the cosmos as the model that most logically corrects the supposed inconsistencies, paradoxes and philosophical incongruities that are found in Creationism and nihilism.
It was mainly under the influence of the Cappadocian Fathers that the terminology was clarified and standardized, so that the formula "Three Hypostases in one Ousia" came to be everywhere accepted as an epitome of the orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity. This consensus, however, was not achieved without some confusion at first in the minds of Western theologians, who had translated hypo-stasis as "sub-stantia" (substance, and see also Consubstantial) and understood the Eastern Christians, when speaking of three "Hypostases" in the Godhead, to mean three "Substances," i.e. they suspected them of Tritheism. But, from the middle of the fourth century onwards the word came to be contrasted with ousia and used to mean "individual reality," especially in the Trinitarian and Christological contexts. With regard to the doctrine of the Trinity, hypostasis is usually understood with a meaning akin to the Greek word prosopon, which is translated into Latin as persona and then into English as person. The Christian view of the Trinity is often described as a view of one God existing in three distinct hypostases/personae/persons. It should be noted that the Latin "persona" is not the same as the English "person" but is a broader term that includes the meaning of the English "persona."
According to various esoteric, occult, and mystical teachings, living beings are constituted of a series of psycho-spiritual subtle bodies, each corresponding to a subtle plane of existence, in a hierarchy or great chain of being that culminates in the physical form.
It is known in different spiritual traditions; "the resurrection body" and "the glorified body" in Christianity, "the most sacred body" (wujud al-aqdas) and "supracelestial body" (jism asli haqiqi) in Sufism, "the diamond body" in Taoism and Vajrayana, "the light body" or "rainbow body" in Tibetan Buddhism, "the body of bliss" in Kriya Yoga, and "the immortal body" (soma athanaton) in Hermeticism. The various attributes of the subtle body are frequently described in terms of often obscure symbolism: Tantra features references to the sun and moon as well as various Indian rivers and deities, while Taoist alchemy speaks of cauldrons and cinnabar fields.
By understanding and mastering the subtlest levels of reality one gains mastery over the physical realm. Through practice of various breathing and visualisation exercises one is able to manipulate and direct the flow of vital force, to achieve superhuman (e.g. in martial arts) or miraculous powers ("siddhis") and attain higher states of consciousness, immortality, or liberation.
The subtle body is the vehicle of consciousness with which one passes from life to life. The Liṅga Śarīra is the vehicle of consciousness in later Samkhya, Vedanta, and Yoga , and is propelled by past-life tendencies, or bhavas.
H. P. Blavatsky's Theosophical teaching represented the convergence of 19th century Western occultism, Eastern philosophy, religion, science, and mysticism. The Secret Doctrine, and The Key to Theosophy combined the Vedantic concept of five koshas with Western esoteric traditions, (particularly Neoplatonism). She refers to a number of subtle bodies or vehicles of consciousness:
It is the invisible double of the human body elsewhere referred to as the etheric body, etheric double, doppelgänger or bioplasmic body and serves as a model or matrix of the physical body, which conforms to the shape, appearance and condition of this "double".
The linga sarira can be separated or projected a limited distance from the body. When separated from the body it can be wounded by sharp objects. When it returns to the physical frame, the wound will be reflected in the physical counterpart, a phenomenon called "repercussion." At death, it is discarded together with the physical body and eventually disintegrates or decomposes.
Theosophy was further systematised in the writings of C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant, who established the Adyar School of Theosophy or neo-Theosophy. They described seven bodies, but they divided Blavatsky's higher and lower astral and Manas into two bodies each:
The Kirlian technique is contact photography, in which the subject is in direct contact with a film placed upon a metal plate charged with high voltage, high frequency electricity.
The underlying physics (which makes xerographic copying possible) was explored as early as 1777 by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (see Lichtenberg figures). Later workers in the field included Nikola Tesla; various other individuals explored the effect in the later 19th and early 20th centuries.Kirlian made controversial claims that the image he was studying might be compared with the human aura. An experiment advanced as evidence of energy fields generated by living entities involves taking Kirlian contact photographs of a picked leaf at set periods, its gradual withering being said to correspond with a decline in the strength of the aura.
In 1911 Kilner published one of the first western medical studies of the "Human Atmosphere" or Aura, proposing its existence, nature and possible use in medical diagnosis and prognosis. In its conviction that the human energy field is an indicator of health and mood, Kilner's study resembles the later work of Harold Saxton Burr. However, while Burr relied upon voltmeter readings, Kilner, working before the advent of semiconductor technology, attempted to invent devices by which the naked eye might be trained to observe "auric" activity which, he hypothesised, was probably ultraviolet radiation, stating that the phenomena he saw were not affected by electromagnets.
According to his study, Kilner and his associates were able, on many occasions, to perceive auric formations, which he called the Etheric Double, the Inner Aura and the Outer Aura, extending several inches from patients' naked bodies, and his book gave instructions by which the reader might construct and use similar goggles.
Anthroposophy, a spiritual philosophy based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world accessible to direct experience through inner development — more specifically through cultivating conscientiously a form of thinking independent of sensory experience. In its investigations of the spiritual world, anthroposophy aims to attain the precision and clarity of natural science's investigations of the physical world.
By 1907, a split between Steiner and the mainstream Theosophical Society began to be apparent. While the Society was oriented toward an Eastern and especially Indian approach, Steiner was trying to develop a path which embraced Christianity and natural science. The split became irrevocable when Annie Besant, then president of the Theosophical Society, began to present the child Jiddu Krishnamurti as the reincarnated Christ. Steiner strongly objected and considered any comparison between Krishnamurti and Christ to be nonsense; many years later, Krishnamurti also repudiated the assertion. Steiner's continuing differences with Besant led him to separate from the Theosophical Society Adyar; he was followed by the great majority of the membership of the Theosophical Society's German Section, as well as members of other national sections.
The akashic records (akasha is a Sanskrit word meaning "sky", "space" or "aether") is a term used in theosophy (and Anthroposophy) to describe a compendium of mystical knowledge encoded in a non-physical plane of existence. These records are described to contain all knowledge of human experience and the history of the cosmos. They are metaphorically described as a library and other analogues commonly found in discourse on the subject include a 'universal computer' and the 'Mind of God'. Descriptions of the records assert that they are constantly updated and that they can be accessed through astral projection. The concept originated in the theosophical movements of the 19th century, and remains prevalent in New Age discourse.
The records have been referred to by different names: the cosmic mind, the universal mind, the collective unconscious, or the collective subconscious. Others think the akashic records make clairvoyance and psychic perception possible.
It is believed by philosophists, trained psychics, mystics, and Reiki practitioners that the events recorded upon that akasha can be ascertained or read in certain states of consciousness. Such states of consciousness can be induced by certain stages of sleep, weakness, illness, drugs, and meditation so not only mystics but ordinary people can and do perceive the akashic records. Some mystics claim to be able to reanimate their contents as if they were turning on a celestial television set. Yogis also believe that these records can be perceived in certain psychic states.
Individuals who claimed to have consciously used the akashic records include: Charles Webster Leadbeater, Annie Besant, Alice Bailey, Samael Aun Weor, William Lilly, Manly P. Hall, Lilian Treemont, Dion Fortune, George Hunt Williamson, Rudolf Steiner, Max Heindel, Madam Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Edgar Cayce.
The akashic records are referred to by Edgar Cayce, who stated that each person is held to account after life and 'confronted' with their personal akashic record of what they have or have not done in life in a karmic sense. The idea is comparable to the biblical Book of Life which is consulted to see whether or not the dead are admitted to heaven.
He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasized that such a revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity whether religious, political or social.
In early adolescence, he had a chance encounter with prominent occultist and high-ranking theosophist C.W. Leadbeater in the grounds of the Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar in Madras (now Chennai). He was subsequently raised under the tutelage of Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater, leaders of the Society at the time, who believed him to be a "vehicle" for an expected World Teacher. As a young man, he disavowed this idea and dissolved the worldwide organization (the Order of the Star) established to support it. He claimed allegiance to no nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy, and spent the rest of his life traveling the world as an individual speaker, speaking to large and small groups, as well as with interested individuals.
He is said to have demonstrated an ability to channel answers to questions on subjects such as health or Atlantis, while in a self-induced trance. Though Cayce considered himself a devout Christian and lived before the emergence of the New Age Movement, some believe he was the founder of the movement and had influence on its teachings.
He was persuaded to give readings on philosophical subjects in 1923 by Arthur Lammers, a wealthy printer, who, by his own admission had been "studying metaphysics for years". While in his supposed trance state, Cayce is told by Lammers that he spoke of Lammer's past lives, Reincarnation something Lammers believed in, and which was a popular subject of the day, but is not an accepted part of Christian doctrine. Cayce questioned his stenographer as to what he had said in his trance-state, and remained unconvinced. Cayce himself, challenged Lammers' charge that he had validated astrology and reincarnation, in the following dialog:
Cayce "I said all that?...I couldn't have said all that in one reading." "No," Lammers said; "but you confirmed it. You see, I have been studying metaphysics for years, and I was able by a few questions, by the facts you gave, to check what is right and what is wrong with a whole lot of the stuff I've been reading. The important thing is that the basic system which runs through all the mystery religions, whether they come from Tibet or the pyramids of Egypt, is backed up by you. It's actually the right system." Cayce's stenographer recorded the following,
"In this we see the plan of development of those individuals set upon this plane, meaning the ability to enter again into the presence of the Creator and become a full part of that creation.
Insofar as this entity is concerned, this is the third appearance on this plane, and before this one, as the monk. We see glimpses in the life of the entity now as were shown in the monk, in this mode of living.
The body is only the vehicle ever of that spirit and soul that waft through all times and ever remain the same."
When out of the trance he entered to perform a reading, Cayce said he generally did not remember what he had said during the reading. The unconscious mind, according to Cayce, has access to information which the conscious mind does not — a common assumption about hypnosis in Cayce's time.
Other abilities that have been attributed to Cayce include astral projection, prophesying, mediumship, viewing the Akashic Records or "Book of Life", and seeing auras. Cayce said he became interested in learning more about these subjects after he was informed about the content of his readings, which he reported that he never actually heard himself.