The Astral Plane. Creatures of the astral world Man, for the most part completely unaware of it, spends his life among the huge and invisible world inhabited. During sleep or in a trance when persistent physical senses at no time, this invisible world to some extent, it opens, and sometimes he comes back from these conditions with a more or less vague memories of what they saw or heard there. When, at the change of what people call death, he just throws his physical body at this very invisible world, and he goes and lives in it for a long, lasting for centuries the interim period between incarnations is familiar to us in existence. But most of these long periods he spent in the heavenly world, which is dedicated to the 6th benefit from this series, but the fact that we now consider - it is the lowest part of the unseen world, the condition in which a man comes immediately after death, like Hades or underground kingdom of the ancient Greeks or the Christian purgatory called medieval alchemists astral plane.
I know how difficult it is for the average mind to grasp the reality of what can not be seen with physical eyes. We find it hard to understand how our vision in part, and to understand that we are currently living in the vast world of which we see only a tiny part. Yet science is safe to say that this is the case, it describes us worlds of tiny lives, the existence of which we are in complete ignorance, if only rely on their feelings. And the knowledge about these creatures is not at all unimportant because they are small - because of the knowledge and behavior of the living conditions of some of these microbes affect our ability to maintain health and, in many cases, life itself.
But our senses limited in the other direction. We can not actually see the air around us, and feelings do not give us any evidence of its existence except for those moments when he is on the move and we can feel his sense of touch. Nevertheless, it is a force that can overturn our greatest ships and destroy the most durable building. So it is clear that all around us there are powerful forces that still elude our poor and partial sense, and so we should be wary of falling into a fatal common misconception that everything visible and everything that can be seen.
If we are locked in a tower, and our feelings - small windows that are open in some areas. But in many others, we are completely isolated, but clairvoyance or astral vision gives us one or two additional windows, increasing our visibility and stretching out before us a new, wider world, which is nevertheless a part of the old, but before we go about it and do not know.
You can not get a clear idea about the teachings of religion, wisdom, without reaching any intellectual understanding of the fact that in our solar system there are very definite plans, each with its own matter of different degrees of density. Some of these plans could be visited and seen by people, prepare yourself for the job, just like you can go and see other countries and comparing the observations are constantly working on these plans, you can get a certificate of their existence and nature at least as satisfactory, as most of us have of the existence of Greenland or Spitzbergen. Moreover, as a man, is located on what means can be decided personally to go to these places, and every person who takes the trouble to prepare himself by leading a life that is necessary for this purpose, will eventually be able to go to these higher planes and see their own.
Names that are usually given to these plans if their list in descending order of materiality, from dense to more subtle - it is a physical, astral, mental, buddhic and nirvanic. Above this there are two more, but they are so far above our current thinking ability and perception of what we now do not consider them. It will be appreciated that matter each of these planes is different from the material downstream plan similar manner as vapor - solid matter from only an even greater extent. In fact, the state of matter, which we call solid, liquid and gaseous - just three lower divisions of matter belonging to one this physical plane.
Astral area I am trying to describe here - this is the second of these great planes of Nature - the next familiar to all of us over the physical world (or inside it). He is often referred to as the kingdom of illusions - not because he's at least as far as something a bit more illusory than the physical world, but because of the unreliability of the very experiences that draw from it the untrained observer.
Why is this so? We believe that the reason is basically two remarkable characteristics of the astral world. The first is that many of its inhabitants have a wonderful ability to change their shape with astonishing rapidity, and for the sake of entertainment direct to the one to whom they want, virtually unlimited obsession. The second - that the vision of the plan - the ability distinct from the physical view, and it is much wider. Every object can be seen as if all sides at once, and the inside volume open shape visually as well as appearance. Because it is obvious that an inexperienced visitor to this new world will be quite difficult to understand what he actually sees, and even more difficult - to translate their vision to waste for this language of everyday speech.
A good example of a common mistake - a record read in the astral world number backwards, that is, for example, of 139 turns 931, and so on. For the student of occultism, learning from a competent teacher, this error is not possible, except perhaps the big cases haste or carelessness, such as the student travels a long and varied course of instruction in the art of true vision. Teacher, or perhaps more-advanced student, again and again before it is all possible forms of illusion and asks him - what do you see? Then all sorts of errors in his responses get better and explains their cause until the neophyte gradually gets to work with the phenomena of the astral plane such confidence that even a lot more than possible in the physical life.
He needs to learn not only the right to see, but it is true interpretation, translating the memory of what he saw from one plan to another. To do this he will eventually learn without interruption to carry his consciousness from the physical plane to the astral or mental and back, for as long as this is not done, there is always the possibility that his memory will be partially lost or distorted in that blank interval separating the periods of his on different planes of consciousness. When the carrying capacity of consciousness mastered to perfection, the student gains an advantage to use their astral abilities not only during sleep or when the body is in a trance, but with full wakefulness in normal physical life.
Among some Theosophists to say about the astral plane in the scornful tone and considered it quite unworthy of attention, but this view seems to me wrong. Undoubtedly, the purpose of our life should be the spirit, and anyone who neglects this highest development, content with just reaching the astral consciousness, expect disastrous consequences. There were those whose karma allowed them to first develop the higher mental abilities - like jumping at the time of the astral plane - but this is the usual method adopted by the Masters of Wisdom for their students.
When possible, it certainly saves the trouble, because usually involves higher and lower, but for most of us the way of such progress leaps and bounds closed our own faults and follies of the past, and all that we can hope for - it slowly, step by step their way, and because the astral plane - next to our world of dense matter with it are usually connected our first super-physical experiences. Because it represents a profound interest for those who are just beginning in this research and a clear understanding of its secrets can often be of great importance for us, allowing us to not only understand many phenomena seances or houses with a poltergeist, or unexplained, but also protect themselves and others from possible dangers.
First conscious encounter with this remarkable region comes to people in different ways. Some only time in his life under the influence of any unusual become sensitive enough to detect the presence of one of its inhabitants, and perhaps because experience does not repeat, they eventually come to the conclusion that in this case they were the victims of hallucinations. Others are increasingly finding that they see or hear something, what the surrounding blind and deaf. And there are others - and perhaps this is the common experience of all - which became more and more are beginning to remember he had seen or heard them on that other plane during sleep.