|We have been speaking of the projection of consciousness, but strange as it seems, it is also possible to project unconsciously??"to leave one’s body and not even know that one has done so!
Take, for example, the peculiar experience of a New York businessman who went to Norway for the first time. Everywhere he went there, he was astonished to discover that people greeted him??"by name??"as an old friend and said they were delighted to have him "back." The businessman, who had been planning the trip for months, had sent his astral double abroad even though he had no conscious awareness that any such thing had happened (or indeed that any such thing could happen).
In Norway this phenomenon??"the "arrival phantom"??"is called the vardogr, but it is not confined to that country. The businessman’s experience is an unusually dramatic manifestation of it. More typically the double arrives just a few minutes ahead of the person it represents and often it does not speak even when spoken to. Its manner may be mechanical and ghostlike. In other words, it may look like the person but it does not act like him.
It is also possible to consciously project the astral body??"and yet remain unconscious of what it is seeing and experiencing after it leaves your physical body. Veteran travelers know how to do this; there are techniques one can learn. This kind of projection is done in most instances as a method of gathering information. The astral body is directed (before it leaves, of course) to a specific location and assigned a specific task.
Upon the astral body’s return the information it has gathered is stored in the projector’s unconscious mind. Later, when he is ready to assimilate it into his conscious mind, he gains access to it through meditation.
Sometimes the first body sees the second body??"the reverse of the usual procedure. This is most likely to happen when the astral body is still close by the physical body, within the range of the silver cord that connects the two. Once, though, a woman told Robert Crookall she had thought she was being followed down a street??"only to turn and see herself.