Almost everybody has heard of the terms “astral projection” and “near death experiences” but few understand that there is a real distinction between the two terms and that one rarely has anything to do with the other. So what do both mean and what differences are there in the two concepts?

Astral projection refers to the idea of the astral body (or soul if you would prefer to look at it that way) leaving the physical body. This can happen unconsciously while you are medicated, extremely relaxed, or even asleep. It can also be achieved on purpose and many people find this type of traveling enlightening and fulfilling. The astral body might astral travel to different astral planes or to visit people or places that they wish to make contact with.

Astral projection can be an extremely controlled situation and actually, that’s the best way to practice it. By using visualization and meditation techniques, an individual can train their bodies to visit different destinations in order to communicate and seek clarity.

On the other hand, a near death experience is not controlled at all. Although it’s similar in the fact that the astral body leaves the physical body for a short amount of time (and returns, of course since the term is “near death”) the destination and situation surrounding the experience are very different. For one thing, the individual has little to no control over what happens. It usually results in cases of extreme trauma to the individual while astral projectioncan occur at will.

Oddly enough, near death experiences tend to have similar characteristics, despite cultural and religious differences of the individuals that experience the situations. Many studies have been conducted on people around the world from a variety of cultures and religions and most report seeing the same type of tunnel, bright light, and feelings of peace and tranquility. Some also report being able to see their physical bodies below them. Some people have contact with those that have passed on before them. The experience is extremely spiritual in nature and the majority of individuals return to their physical bodies with a deeper understanding of the spiritual world.

Astral projection, conversely, can be controlled as far as the destination goes and may or may not include contact with the spiritual world. In fact, more often than not it doesn’t.

When it comes time to return, an individual undergoing a near death experience sometimes has a choice as to whether or not they want to go back to their physical bodies while others describe the experience of returning as being pulled back and extremely painful. In astral projection, however, the return is usually peaceful and controlled and the individual doesn’t notice a hug change in their physical being upon being reunited.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle is an expert writer in the personal growth niche.