|Among the many positive elements of the out-of-body experience is the fact that it can be used??"at least when the astral body is in the "heavy" state to help sick and suffering persons.
Many such astral healing miracles are attributed, for instance, to the late, much??"celebrated Roman Catholic stigmatist Padre Pio. Psychical researcher Robert Crookall, one of the world’s leading authorities on the out-of-body experience, tells the story of a Scottish doctor who responded to psychic calls of distress by projecting himself great distances (once to a houseboat on the Nile River in Egypt, where a British military officer lay desperately ill) and attending??"in more or less physical form??"to the distressed.
Astral healers who are not physicians, generally employ techniques used by more conventional paranormal healers, such as touch and contact. These are time-tested methods that direct the flow of the healing energy.
Not infrequently spontaneous out-of-body experiences occur when someone is in a life-threatening situation and needs immediate assistance. So the victim’s astral body will suddenly project itself to a rescuer who, although he may not see the astral body standing or hovering near him, will nonetheless be guided psychically to the scene of the crisis.
In his Casebook of Astral Projection, Crookall relates a representative case in which the second body acted to save the first. A woman fainted while taking a bath and plunged face-first into the water. Her astral body sped to the living room, where her husband was quietly reading the newspaper, and tapped him on the shoulder. He felt nothing except an abrupt, inexplicable sense of alarm. He dashed into the bathroom, pulled his wife out and gave her artificial respiration until she revived. Later she told him that she had watched the entire rescue operation, returning to her first body only after it began to stir back to life.
At other times, the astral body escapes to spare the person undue physical or psychological shock. When a mortar shell exploded near Ernest Hemingway in Italy during World War I, he reported, "I felt my soul coming right out of my body. . . It flew around and then came back and went in again, and I wasn’t dead anymore."