|We have looked at astral projection from a number of different points of view. We have seen what happens when the astral body separates momentarily from the physical body; we have traveled around the world, into other realms with it; we have followed it to the moment of death and beyond.
But now let’s go back to the beginning and ask a question that probably everyone who hears of astral projection must wonder about??"namely: Can the practice be dangerous?
Sylvan Muldoon, whose considerable experience with astral projection surely qualifies him as an expert on this subject, says the dangers are very slight. Some people fear that while their astral bodies are off somewhere else, an evil entity of some sort??"an earthbound spirit or a demon??"will take possession of their bodies, and when the astral body returns, it will find that its "home" has been occupied in its absence.
Muldoon says this fear is demonstrably unfounded. Every night many thousands of persons leave their bodies (often while they are sleeping and frequently while they remain unaware of what is happening to them) and there is absolutely no reason to believe these people are taken over and are endangered in any way. Whereas astral projection is a very common occurrence, possession is an extremely rare phenomenon??"and in any case it practically never has anything to do with the victim’s out-of-body experiences (if in fact he has had any to begin with).
It is true that in a small minority of instances people have reported negative experiences in the astral realm. A few have encountered sinister forms and some even claim to have engaged in psychic combat with them. "No sooner had this unseen force lifted me a few feet than it suddenly hurled me back into myself and I came to," Robert A. Reese wrote of his experience in Fate magazine. "It seemed that something hideous was trying to overpower me."
Perhaps the key word here is trying. All it succeeded in doing, in fact, was in giving Reese a bad scare. Apparently he had strayed too close to the lowest, grossest regions of the astral and encountered one of the unpleasant??"but basically powerless??"beings that dwell in that place. In the end he was none the worse for wear.
Fear of Projection
We generally agree that dreams are a positive experience. They teach us, entertain us, free us momentarily from the confines of the world. Once in a while, of course, we may have a nightmare. It will shake us and upset us for a short time, but we quickly recognize it as a harmless experience, if an uncomfortable one.
Astral projection, it need hardly be said at this point, is not a "dream," but for the purposes of us who have yet to shed the physical body, it can serve some of the same functions for us. Like the dream, it teaches, entertains and frees us. Bad astral projection experiences are considerably rarer than nightmares, but they are just about as harmless.
Many unpleasant astral experiences really have nothing to do with the experience itself but with the projectors’ attitude toward it. Most people don’t know that out-of-body travel is even possible, and when suddenly it happens to them, they can be devastated. They may think that they have lost their minds, or they may be afraid that they have died. Gripped with these kinds of elemental fears, they are in no position to take an objective view, which would tell them that separation from the body is an enormously pleasurable sensation.
Exaggerated fears aside, one concern seems worth heeding. We really don’t know if people with heart problems could die from the shock of astral projection, but a cautious view suggests that such persons are better off keeping their astral and physical bodies in the same place.
Oliver Fox, an astral traveler himself, has warned that outsiders coming upon the unconscious physical body of someone who is having an OBE might conclude that the person is dead and have him buried prematurely! Can Fox be serious? It seems as likely that a merely sleeping person could end up prematurely buried; after all, the vital functions of sleepers and astral travelers don’t stop just because the bodies happen to be motionless.
In a more reasonable moment, though, Fox concedes, "Very likely these experiments are no more dangerous than motoring." In point of fact, they are safer??"astral bodies don’t get maimed and crushed in collisions with physical objects. One more benefit: astral traveling is cheaper than driving!