An excerpt from Astral World by Swami Panchadasi:
Now, student, you find yourself outside of your physical form or body and clad in your astral form alone. You probably think that I am joking with you, for as you glance at your body you find that it appears not different from your ordinary one. Even your clothing is the same, to the most minute detail – this occurs through perfectly natural laws on the Astral plane, which I cannot take time to explain at this time.
You realize, however, that you are indeed out of the physical body when you turn your head and perceive your own physical form, as well as mine, seemingly sunk in sleep in the armchairs in which we seated ourselves a few moments ago.
Looking a little closer, you will see that your astral form as well as mine, is connected with its physical counterpart by a tiny, thin, tenuous filament of ethereal substance, resembling a rope of shining spider-web silk. This filament is capable of expansion, and contraction, and enables you to move about freely.
Now concentrate your attention as you have been taught to do, and will that your vibrations increase in rate, but in perfect harmony with mine, so that you will keep in my company instead of moving on to other sub-planes or sub-visions, parting with my company. You would not find it exactly safe or pleasant to leave my presence until you have learned to pilot yourself in these strange waters.
You will find yourself with me in a strange atmosphere, although you have not moved an inch in space. Behind you, so to speak, you perceive dimly the room in which we were just living; and ahead of you, so to speak, you perceive strange flashes and streaks of phosphorescent light of different hues and tints. These are the vibrations and waves of force, for you are now passing through the Plane of Forces. That vivid, bluish streak is the passage of some electric current – probably a wireless message flashing through space. Back of you, on my table, you see the magnetic ore, or lodestone, paper-weight, which always lies there. But now you see the peculiar phosphorescence around its poles, which is not visible on the material plane.
You also notice a peculiar faint vibratory glow around every physical object – this is the force of atomic and molecular attraction, etc. Still fainter, you find a peculiar radiance permeating the entire atmosphere – this is the outward sign of the force of gravitation. These things are all very interesting, and if you were a learned physicist or great physical scientist, you could scarcely be dragged from this plane, so interesting would be the study of force made visible. But, as you are not such a person, you will see more interesting sights ahead of you.
Now, you feel your life force vibrating at a higher rate, and realize that the sense of weight seems to be dropping from you. You feel as light as a feather and feel as though you could move without an effort. Well, you may begin to walk. Yes, “walk,” I said! You are still on earth, and the floor of the room is still there under your feet.
Let us walk through the wall of the room, and out into the street.
Don’t be afraid, step through the wall as if it were made of fog. There, you see how easy it is. Odd thing, really stepping through a brick and stone wall, isn’t it? But it’s still more odd when you stop to consider that as we moved the wall really passed through our thin substance, instead of the latter passing through the wall – that’s the real secret of it.
Now let us walk down the street. Step out just as if you were in the flesh – stop a moment! There you let that man walk right through you! And he never even saw you! Do you realize that we are ghosts? Just as much a ghost as was Hamlet’s father, except that his physical body was moldering in the ground, while ours are asleep awaiting our return to them. There! That dog saw you. And that horse vaguely feels your presence! See how nervous he is! Animals possess very keen psychic senses, compared to those of man.
But cease thinking of yourself, and look closely at the persons passing by you. You notice that each one is surrounded by an egg-shaped aura extending on all sides of him to the distance of about two or three feet.
Do you notice the kaleidoscopic play of blending colors in the aura?
Notice the difference in the shades and tints of these colors, and also observe the predominance of special colors in each case! You know what these colors mean, for I have instructed you regarding them in my teaching on The Human Aura, and Astral Colors.
Notice that beautiful spiritual blue around that woman’s head! And see that ugly muddy red around that man passing her! Here comes an intellectual giant – see that beautiful golden yellow around his head, like a nimbus! But I don’t exactly like that shade of red around his body – and there is too marked an absence of blue in his aura! He lacks harmonious development.
Do you notice those great clouds of semi-luminous substance, which are slowly floating along? – notice how the colors vary in them. Those are clouds of thought vibrations, representing the composite thought of a multitude of people. Also, notice how each body of thought is drawing to itself little fragments of similar thought-forms and energy. You see here the tendency of thought forces to attract others of their kind – how like the proverbial birds of a feather, they flock together – how thoughts come home, bringing their friends with them – how each man creates his own thought atmosphere.
Speaking of atmospheres, do you notice that each shop we pass has its own peculiar thought atmosphere? If you look into the houses on either side of the street, you will see that the same thing is true. The very street itself has its own atmosphere, created by the composite thought of those inhabiting and frequenting it. No! Do not pass down that side street – its astral atmosphere is too depressing, and its colors too horrible and disgusting for you to witness just now – you might get discouraged and fly back to your physical body for relief!
Look at those thought forms flying through the atmosphere! What a variety of form and coloring! Some most beautiful, the majority quite neutral in tint, and occasionally a fierce, fiery one tearing its way along toward its mark. Observe those whirling and swirling tiny cyclonic thought-forms as they are thrown off from that business house. Across the street, notice that great octopus monster of a thought-form, with its great tentacles striving to wind around passing persons and draw them into that flashy dance-hall and dram-shop. A devilish monster which we would do well to destroy. Turn your concentrated thought upon it, and will it out of existence – there, that’s the right way; watch it sicken and shrivel! But alas, more of its kind will come forth from that place.
Here, will yourself up above the level of the housetops – you can do it easily if you only realize that you can – there, I have helped you to do it this time, it’s quite easy when you once gain confidence. However, if you lose confidence, and grow afraid, down you will tumble to the ground, and will bruise your astral body.
From this height look down around you. You will see a great multitude of tiny candle-like lights – each represents a human soul. Here or there you will see a few much brighter lights, and far apart you will see some that shine like a brilliant electric spark – these last are the auric symbols of an advanced soul. “Let your light so shine!” Behold the radiance emerging from that humble house of religious worship, and contrast it with the unpleasant auric atmosphere of that magnificent church structure next door to it – can you not read the story of spirituality and the lack of it in the cases of these churches?
But these sights, interesting though they are, and as useful as they are in illustrating the lessons you have learned in the class, or from the manual, are far less in the scale than those which we shall witness in a moment. Come, take my hand. Our vibrations are raising. Come!…