Definition of Terms
Written by: Michelle Belanger
This section discusses definitions of Astral Projection, Remote Viewing, Bi Location, Lucid Dreaming, and the differences between each.
Astral projection: projection of the astral body onto the astral plane. The astral body is believed to remain connected to the physical body by a silver cord, like an umbilical. Those who astrally project willfully separate this astral body from their physical body, and upon the success of the projection, they report being able to see their physical body from the outside. The astral body seems solid to the experiencer and behaves much like the physical body; in this respect, the astral projector can get up from his or her physical body and walk around the room, exit the house and travel elsewhere. The stral body can fly to other locations and is directed by the will of the person projecting. It is believed that the consciousness is transferred from the physical body to the astral body, and thus the physical body of the person projecting remains insensible, as if deeply asleep. In some traditions, it is believed that if the silver cord is cut ir becomes separated, the person will die.
Remote Viewing: This is a technique which sends forth the consciousness or some perceptive capacity to locations that are physically distant from the viewer's body. Remote viewing is different from astral projection on several counts: 1) typically, the remote viewer does not experience a sense of complete detachment from the physical body; conscious perception occurs in both the physical body and through whatever sense or portion of the self is extended through the process of remote viewing. 2) the remote viewer retains some conscious awareness of his or her physical body and can often even continue to interact, at least to a limited degree, with others while the remote viewing capacity is focused elsewhere. 3) there is often no sense of direct travel; remote viewers can be given something as obscure as the latitude and longitude of a target and their viewing capacity will simply zero in on this, directed with a thought.
Bi location: Literally, being in two places at once. This is a phenomenon where a person seems to be physically present and interacting with the world in two places at once. Typically, the two locations are separated by a significant distance. A capacity attributed to certain yogins and Buddhist saints, there are a number of Western accounts of unintentional cases of bilocation, typically at crisis points in a person's life. Death bed visitations are a good example of unintentional bilocation, where a dying relative appears to a loved one. When the visitation occurs at the moment of death or a few minutes afterward, this apparition is thought to be the departed person's spirit. However, cases exist where the person manifesting in this manner has not yet died, and in such a case, bilocation is a more apt descriptor of the phenomenon at work.
Lucid Dreaming: Coined by the Dutch psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden in 1913, lucid dreaming is becoming conscious, within a dream, that one is dreaming. Lucid dreams can happen quite unintentionally, and when they do, the dreamer often just continues with the dream even though he or she has realized that the surreal events are in fact a dream. The ability to dream lucidly can be cultivated and is thought by many to have therapuetic value, particularly because dreams present a fairly direct path to one's unconscious mind. By becoming aware that one is dreaming, it is believed that the dreamer can then harness the dream to achieve beneficial results in the psyche, from resolving past traumatic issues to overcoming addictive behaviors. Quite a number of people learn to lucid dream also for fun. In the Eastern traditions, the practice of dream yoga approaches the dream state as just another meditative state of consciousness that can be used to explore the self and ultimately gain enlightenment. Tibetan Buddhists actually relate equate falling asleep with th process of dying, and therefore see the dream state as concordant with the visionary "Bardo" or between-state of the afterlife.