Is it Taught in the Bible?
© Spotlight Ministries, Vincent McCann, 2001
Some people have claimed that there is Biblical justification for the occultic practice of Astral Projection, sometimes also called Soul Travel. This practice involves the soul, or the spirit of a person leaving their physical body, and being able to travel invisibly. But are the Biblical texts that proponents of this view point to really teaching this practice?
"I know a man in Christ fourteen years before--whether in the body, I do not know, or out of the body, I do not know, God knows--such a one was caught up to the third Heaven. And I know such a man--whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows--that he was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable words which a man is not permitted to speak." (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).
"And at once I became in spirit. And, behold, a throne was set in Heaven, and One sitting on the throne." (Revelation 4:2).
"And he carried me in spirit onto a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, holy Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God,..." (Revelation 21:10).
One of the main differences between the above Biblical texts and occultic astral projection is that when God's people were caught up in the Spirit, it was God who prompted it, whereas in occultic astral travel, it is often the practitioner who is 'seeking' after the experience. This can be illustrated when one considers the vast amount of literature, and ‘how to’ books on the subject. Those in the Bible who had experiences which some interpret as being astral travel were not seeking the experience. Those who practice astral travel do just that - 'practice' it, seek after it, and are taught it from a book or a course.
Another difference between the two is that one is controlled by the Holy Spirit while the other is controlled by spirits that are not of God, or demons. I think, from a Christian perspective, an experience out of the body which is not controlled by the Holy Spirit has the potential to be dangerous, like any spiritual experience outside of God's direction. In such a condition, there is nothing stopping evil spirits coming in to invade that person.
Also, the company that modern astral projection keeps gives cause for Christians to be concerned. For example, a recent book I bought, on Witchcraft (for research purposes), teaches astral projection, as do many other occult books. It is also practiced by those in the New Age. In the vast majority of cases, astral projection is offered right next to many other occultic practices. Christians would therefore have cause for concern.