Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quick Thought: The Astral Plane

I've been ruminating on the topic of the astral plane for a possible upcoming episode. Researching the theories about it, the "uses" of the astral plane, and the generally accepted idea that when an idea is created on Earth by people then it becomes real on the astral plane.

This latter argument is where so many pagans, New Agers, mediums, and those that use meditation without a specific dogma behind it get the idea that they can commune with various modern "deities" or entities. This is where you get the extreme argument saying that, on some level, Harry Potter is real and you can commune with him on the Astral Plane, because so many people give him energy.

So, I want you to know that I get it. I get the idea of the astral plane. I get that it's sort of a back alley for our spirits to use when they travel outside of our body, should you believe that is something that can happen.

My question is: What's the point? What's the point of this version of the astral plane? Various kinds of meditation that are used in conjunction with Buddhist teachings or Hindu principles allow one to commune with the very universe, to find out your past lives, to understand how you are not separate from the whole but the whole itself. While it seems that when people say they are meditating on the astral plane, it has more to do with an overactive imagination. They're using guided meditations and just following along with the story being told.

So what's the point of what we call the 'astral plane' in the modern era? If it is for meditation purposes, then are we just giving our imaginations a fancy name?


Now, I am really talking about the modern idea of the astral plane... The historical idea of the astral plane is that it is a dense realm that is sort of a highway between here and heaven, or here and another plane of existence like hell, Avalon, etc. I get the point of the astral plane in this context...it's a road. A method of transportation.

But the astral plane, at least in modern terms, seems to have become the zenith of spiritual travel. We use it as a method to deify anything we see fit. Everything is real and tangible and able to be communed with from fictional characters loved by millions to an abstract concept you came up with yourself. So...why? What's the point of that definition of the astral plane? What do we get out of going there in our imagined travels?

Let me know what YOU think with a comment below!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

4 comments:

  1. As someone whose practice is primarily shamanistic, I don't deal with the "astral plane" so much as I deal with "the otherworld(s)," though I expect the two concepts are similar enough that many would even consider them different names for the same things.

    For me, visiting the otherworld realms is about making contact with various spirits in order to gain wisdom and insight, as well as to affect change here. On the latter point, I'd note that a commonly principle in various magical theories is that what we wish to manifest on the earth plane must be first manifested in the otherworld(s)/astral plain.

    I also think you're underestimating the value of meditation and even imagination. They are both reflective and creative acts. ;)

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  2. Also, as someone who has channeled several guided meditations for his coven during ritual, I'd say you're undervaluing those as well. Participating with a guided meditation (assuming the guided meditation is executed well, I suppose) involves so much more than "going along with the story." Each individual brings their own experiences to the meditation, and those things "fill in the details" of the story and alter how the meditation effects each person. I've done guided meditations which have helped people find the next step in their spiritual journey and discover healing and a re-connection to some part of their familial heritage they were uncomfortable with, to give to examples. Neither of those outcomes were specific goals that I (I can't speak for the Lady who gave me the meditations in question) planned out as a goal for the meditations. It's just what happened because that's what the participants brought to the experience and were ready to receive.

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  3. I firmly believe in the value of meditation. It's this "guided meditation" stuff that I'm not sure of, and what people by extension call the "astral plane."

    Imagination, on the other hand, is at least a nice getaway and at best a blueprint for actually creating something in the physical plane. I do not see just dreaming up something as any more a creative act than wishing for your boss' untimely demise makes you a murderer.

    FL

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  4. Yes, you're absolutely right if you stop at just dreaming it up. But that's the thing, most things start as a dream. It's what we choose to do with that dream that helps determines whether it becomes reality. But without the dream, there's no direction.

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