Perhaps, dear friend, I will disappoint you now – I am not going to go into detail here regarding the nature of this phenomenon. Know why? I’m not quite sure what it is. My competency lies in how to master the astral plane, as well as how to control it and use it, but I have nothing but my own personal views on the nature of the phenomenon itself. I could give voice to my opinions, were it not for one thing: my views have been turned inside-out at least once. Perhaps they will change again in the future. I do know that when there is little practical experience on the table, there’s nothing left to do but discuss theories. That’s why there are a mass of authors out there who are at a primitive level in their own personal practice, and yet devote 90% of their books to waxing philosophic about what the phenomenon is. I’m not going to do that. Space is at a premium in this book. There is no room for discussing theories any further.
There are several fundamental points of view, and over the course of the book, you’ll learn which camp I belong to – though this has not the slightest importance. No matter what anyone may or may not think about the phenomenon, there’s one thing that brings everyone to the table: the practice of it. The unique thing about the astral plane consists of just that: it brings both true-believer mystics and hard-core materialists together under its roof, including those who do not even believe in the human soul. Isn’t that something that we have only been able to dream of up until now?
And so what are the most-widespread views on the phenomenon? The most ancient view, often correlated with the concept of an "astral plane", is that the soul travels through some parallel world, a spirit world. A more modern view that is associated more with the term "out-of-body travel" is that the souls exits the body into the day-to-day world of reality. By the way, you will simply have no doubt that you are in the astral plane when you experience it for the first time. This is the most accurate description of the sensation of the experience, which is why I myself use that term as often as not.
Meanwhile, the point of view that is gaining the most currency is that this is a hyper-realistic state of mind, a kind of dissociative experience. That is, despite the miraculous realism and complexity of the construct world that you find yourself in, it is all only in your head and goes no further than that. It should also be mentioned that most people doubt all of these explanations. In practice, it appears that most people ascribe different astral travel experiences to different phenomena, based on one factor or another. However, no matter what the term, the properties of the worlds experienced are always the same – believe me, my friend.
Whatever the nature of this state, it exists, is accessible to all, and has practical applications – and all this is encompassed by the term "astral travel".
Either way, friend, under no circumstances make the same mistake that I and thousands of others made: drawing conclusions from personal conjecture, books, or what other people say. Draw conclusions about the nature of the phenomenon only on the basis of your own practical experience. This is the one and only authority worth placing faith in. You shouldn’t even believe a single word I write. This book is for reference only. Reality is what you confirm in practice, are able to replicate, and verify through experiment. And only that.
If you do not have practical experience, and have merely heard or read a lot about the phenomenon, then I have something unpleasant to tell you: almost everything that you think about it has no bearing on reality. You know, I often meet people along my life path that try to prove that I’m wrong about something. They vehemently try to prove something to me – a person who has devoted his whole life since childhood to the phenomenon, who has had thousands upon thousands of experiences with it, who has conducted scores of experiments, and knows a whole army of practitioners, as well as taught it to a countless number of students. But when I ask them where they got all of their information from and how extensive their personal experience is, it nearly always turns out that they got everything from some books, and have yet to have an experience themselves. Odd, isn’t it?