Introduction to The Projection of the Astral Body
By HEREWARD CARRINGTON
THE Astral Body may be defined as the Double, or the ethereal counterpart of the physical body, which it resembles and with which it normally coincides. It is thought to be composed of some semi-fluidic or subtle form of matter, invisible to the physical eye. It has, in the past, been spoken of as the etheric body, the mental body, the spiritual body, the desire body, the radiant body, the resurrection body, the double, the luminous body, the subtle body, the fluidic body, the shining body, the astral body, and by various other names. In recent Theosophical literature, distinctions have been made between these various bodies; but for our present purposes we may ignore these distinctions, and speak of the “Astral Body” as some more subtle form, distinct from the organic structure known to Western science, and studied by our physiologists. The broad, general teaching is that every human being “has” an astral body just as he has a heart, a brain and a liver. In fact, the astral body is more truly the Real Man than the physical body is, for the latter is merely a machine adapted to functioning upon the physical plane. But it must not be thought that the astral body is held to be the Soul of man either. That is a mistake often made. It is said to be the vehicle of the Soul – just as truly as the physical body is a vehicle – and constitutes one of the essential connecting – links between mind and matter. To the Materialist, of course, who regards mind merely as a product of certain brain activities, such a theory would appear superfluous and nonsensical. But the present book is not addressed to Materialists. It is addressed to those who believe in the reality of certain supernormal (psychical) phenomena, and in the theoretical possibility, at least, of the astral body. To all such students this book will, I am assured, prove a veritable mine of valuable and unique information.