Historical artifacts dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization (3300-1700 BCE) indicate that the main goal of yoga was raising one’s level of conscious awareness. The body has always been one of the auxiliary tools for achieving this goal. No matter which branch of ancient Eastern Civilizations you study, a single supreme practice always lies at the heart, one either locked behind seven seals or necessitating decades of preparation. Its goal is to release the conscious awareness from the confines of the physical body. It is sometimes referred to as the eighth and highest level of yoga – the state of samadhi, or dream yoga.
Why did ancient peoples pursue it, and why do modern high-level yogis practice still practice it? It may be shocking to learn, but they believe this practice to be a way to train for… the process of dying. They believe that before another senseless reincarnation after physical death, we find ourselves in a special intermediate state – sidqai bardo. However, we are usually unable to maintain conscious awareness during it, and this is the main reason why we find ourselves on Earth once again in a new incarnation. Thus, if over the course of a lifetime one practices consciously separating the mind from the body while still preserving full awareness of one’s surroundings, this will facilitate control of the process after death and finally stop the cycle of rebirth, allowing one to reunite with the universe.
Do not be afraid, my friend, it’s not all that scary. We live in the modern world, with modern worldviews and modern technologies. Honestly, I do not personally know what awaits beyond death or if, as ancient yoga maintained, this practice actually relates to it. But I do know how to do it without getting bogged down by theories or superstition, both ancient and modern. Years of apprenticeship are no longer a prerequisite. Neither is being devoutly religious. Separating conscious awareness from the body is now only a matter of technique.
And the important thing is not only that you will soon find yourself outside of your own body, but also that it turns out that all of this has incredible practical implications for the modern person. First, take it from here that you’ve never experienced anything this incredible thus far in your life, nor will anything match it again in the future. Second, this is a way to travel to any corner of the Universe or meet with any person, including those who have passed on. Third, this is a way to obtain information. Fourth, this opens up incredible possibilities for self-healing. Fifth, this is a way for the disabled, including those who are bedridden, to break down all barriers. They can now do everything! And everything briefly listed above is merely an insignificant portion of what we are about to discuss in detail.
Remember, this is not make-believe, reverie, or some flight of fancy. There is a good reason why ancient peoples associated this phenomenon with the moments before and after death. There was no other way to think of it – that’s how spectacular in nature it is. It’s not from some trick of the imagination that otherwise tough guys immediately try to get out of there, nearly wetting their pants in terror, enough though just before they had only dreamed about having the experience (obviously not quite understanding beforehand what they were getting into). One out of two experience terror during their first experiences, as it wrecks long-held views on what life is, and the instinct of self-preservation kicks in.
Furthermore, you’ve surely heard of near-death experiences on the operating table? Flying out of the body, seeing the hospital ward, and then a tunnel… O dear friend, this is just what we’re talking about, but without the ensuing death – and as a deliberate achievement.
By the way, it was not only the ancient yogis who took interest in this practice. In its modern form, it’s also the same thing as what is known as "out-of-body travel", "astral projection", and, even to some degree, "lucid dreaming". But no need to indulge in such delirium or idle talk.
May history forgive me, may you forgive me, my friend, but I will be using the modern terms "astral travel" and astral travel state", which unite all of those dissociative phenomena into a single whole, including all of the ancient concepts as well. We’ll deal with terminology a bit later on, but you should understand that I have no other choice on this matter. As we’re talking about a new epoch in human development, about a transformation to a new level of existence, we require modern concepts adapted for a wide spectrum of social strata, avoiding the stereotypes and superstitions that have dogged those used up until this point.
But most significantly, it is of no importance here whether you are a dyed-in-the-wool materialist or an orthodox esoteric. It’s up to you, not me, to decide how to explain the phenomenon to yourself and how it relates to your world. You may believe that the soul leaves the body. You may think that it’s all a super-realistic hallucination. That’s not important here. What’s important is that you get the hang of it as soon as possible. And the technique-based technologies that you will acquire in this book have been so finely honed and tested on thousands of my students that no matter what you may or may not believe, you will experience your conscious awareness leaving the physical body. Practical experience – in the end, it’s what unites us all. It’s the decisive factor. You just give it a try.