I dream of such a longing that reaches beyond the Universe. I thirst for answers to soothe my soul before my dying day,
It's a psychological need. A barricade on the battlefield of brutal war. A pinch of fear that turns into a burning, an inflammation of being that ice cannot freeze and melt away. My spirit is covered in first degree burns whenever my heart has this internal fight. We were all built with adrenaline, a sense of danger that locks us into fight or flight mode. We are all paralyzed at the welcoming of each dawn. Will there be just one more day and then our eyes seal into a sea of timeless black? I think I have found a unique answer.
The definition of "astral" may say it all. Astral's first definition says, "of, connected with, or resembling the stars." Think about it. There is a scientific theory out there that states the first forms of life came from stardust and sprinkled upon Earth. Let's call this the "Stardust Theory" as a theory that may have started life. Here is the second definition: "relating to a nonphysical realm of existence to which psychic and paranormal phenomena are ascribed, and in which the physical human body is said to have a counterpart." When these two definitions of the same word get scrambled together, "astral" connects the stars to a nonphysical realm where a physical being has a mysterious counterpart. Interesting! The nonphysical realm that many Pagans are familiar with is known as the astral plane, or now I'll call it the nonphysical realm connected to the stars and to the possible original life source. The New Age spirituality community has studied all aspects on the astral plane. Many wonder, "What is this place?" "Can we find it?" "How does the astral plane allow our physical beings to potentially enter through its doors?" Last but not least, many probably ask, "Why can't we dwell there instead of here?" Food for thought, right?
Good news, fellow Pagans. We can find the astral plane. We have found the astral plane. Dreaming is the simple entrance, so they say. That is a mainstream theory, my dear friends! Like my title says, dreaming may be the gate into the afterlife.
You're probably thinking, "But, how?"
There can be a multitude of ways.
Dreams dominate ancient religious texts throughout all of ancient history. The times of Christ, Muhammad, and Buddha are main examples. Dreams happen to all creatures including us. Science has not fully been able to understand the phenomena of dreaming. Currently, scientists can only study the biological factors of psychology and the REM state of sleep--Rapid Eye Movement--to study why dreaming may occur.
The basis of a dream is from emotions, senses, and experiences the brain encounters during daily life while awake. The regular dream is a random mass of these emotions, senses, and experiences we face during all levels of alertness each day. When you have a dream that seems imaginary and uncontrollable, that is noted as a regular dream, the dreams we all dream every night. There is another major influence in dreaming which is the role of the subconscious mind. The subconscious stores painful memories our conscious minds have buried away as a natural defense mechanism. The spiritual aspect of dreaming is complex and slightly complicated to follow, yet when a good understanding is gained of it, everything around you may begin to feel sacred.
There are several "classes" of dream-like states we can experience either at will or in unintentional situations
Out of Body Experience (OBE):
A general term that describes a phenomenon where you enter a dream-like state and you feel as if you have your physical body. This applies to the whole idea I'm conveying.
Class 1: Normal Dreaming
Normal dreaming, as described before, is the most mild glimpse of the astral plane that we receive throughout our entire lives on a nightly basis, whether we can recall it or not. A normal dream does mean that you have left the physical world, per say, but you just see the images, emotions, senses, etc that your brain has received during alert consciousness in the day time. There is no vividness to this kind of dream. You do enter the astral plane; you just don't expand into life's consciousneas in the full next dimension, the astral realm entirely.
Class 2: Astral Projection (AP)
When astral projection occurs, this is that dream state where you consciously know you have left your physical body and you have entered the astral plane through sleep. Not much happens here at the beginning. Most people will be a virgin to this, so they'll instantly be startled and return to being awake. If you use exercises and learn how to AP at will, then you can move past this stage to the next.
Class 3: Astral Travel (AT)
As AP is learned, you can advance your skills and actually travel to literally anywhere during AP. So, learn how to do it and go fly like a raven. Pretty cool shit.
Class 4: Lucid Dreaming (LD)
LD usually happens as a pure accident. This is when you AP and you realize you are, and you can choose what to do in the dream state.
I feel like there could be an afterlife. We access premonitions and make magnificent predictions about unexplainable things that happen. This has happened since the beginning of time. The astral plane, our state of sleep, may actually lead us into a glimpse of space where we reigned before we were born and where we will go to after bodily death. Maybe, just maybe, we don't need a conscious brain to be a part of the Universe. Maybe sleep is our chain to where we all started and returned from. The astral realm may indeed be amongst the stars birthed from space and time. This could match up to our reincarnated past lives. We lived, died, and were reborn with no memories of the previous life because our subconscious minds block all traces out.
Do not fear death anymore. We die and return to the Mother every night.