|When noted out-of-body teacher and practitioner Jerry Gross wants to travel long distances, he doesn't bother with the time and expense of catching a plane. He just uses a different kind of plane, and travels there astrally -- unless, of course, he is teaching one of his many classes and workshops on astral projection, also known as OOBE or out-of-body experience.
According to Gross, the ability to leave the body has been with him since childhood. Yet, rather than regarding this as a special gift, he believes that this is an inherent ability that can be developed by anyone. In the following article, Gross discusses the out-of-body experience with freelance writer and former workshop participant Sandy Jones.
Jones: What is astral projection? How would you describe it?
Gross: Astral projection is the ability to leave your body. Everyone leaves their body at night, but before they do leave, they have to put the physical mind to sleep. Most people don't remember this, but when the physical mind is asleep, the subconscious takes over, and this is usually when you do your astral projection. In other words, everybody does it, but they just don't remember doing it.
Jones: What is your earliest recollection of doing this? What was it like?
Gross: I can remember doing this clear back to when I was about four years old. I never lost the ability to astral project, and kept it throughout my whole life now. Everyone is born with this ability. If you think back, you can probably recall having dreams of being somewhere; but as you got older, you lost the ability. What I'm trying to teach is that you can do this at will.
Jones: In those days, astral projection was almost unheard of. Did you ever tell anyone about it? How did they react?
Gross: It was strange for me because at that age, I thought everybody did it. I used to talk about it, until it kind of got out of hand, and when I started getting into trouble with it, I went to my grandmother, who could do it too. She told me not everyone could do it, so it would be best not to talk about it, and to come to here if I wanted to talk about it. So throughout all my life, most of my experiences with astral projection were kept a secret, except for her.
Jones: These days, with the many publications on near-death experience and related topics, the concept is not so unusual. Is this experience the same as what is described in the near-death experiences?
Gross: It's not quite the same, because when you astral project, you don't have to go through the white light, or a tunnel. When you project, you usually go right where you would like to go, right away. Remember this, when you're out of the body, there is no time or no distance. Everything is right here, now. Astral projecting is a little different than the death experience, because in the death experience, you are getting ready to leave the body for the last time. During the death experience, a person sees the white light, and there is usually someone there that you know, waiting for you. When you astral project, you decide where you want to go.
Jones: When you leave your body, what happens to the physical body?
Gross: When your physical body sleeps and the astral body leaves, the physical body just rests. No harm can come to you through this.
Jones: What do you do when you leave the body?
Gross: I go to the astral plane and communicate with my teachers, I visit other places and other dimensions, and I visit my loved ones who have left the earth plane. There are many things you can do once you develop this skill.
Jones: It has been said that there is a silver cord attached to the body, and that this cord could be severed when you astrally project, thereby making it impossible to come back to your body. Is there a danger of this happening?
Gross: Absolutely not. The silver cord is connected to you when you enter the physical body for the first time, and it is not cut again until you leave for the last time. If this were possible, that you couldn't get back to the body, it would happen to you at night when you do leave the body. There is no danger in this; it is a gift given to us to learn how to use.
Jones: Are there any dangers people should be aware of?
Gross: When you do this consciously, there is no danger in it. One thing I'll say, you must develop your thinking skills, and know what you want and where you want to go. The only dangerous part of it, is if you practice it while you are taking in drugs or alcohol. Remember back in the sixties when people were taking the drug called LSD, and they had some bad trips? They ended up in the lower astral. I'm trying to teach that you can have full control of what you are doing. I would suggest if you like to drink or take drugs that you not try it.
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