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51  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Question for Christians... on: June 26, 2003, 08:41:58
Link - great email Smiley  I got that a year ago too, but they'd taken out that last part about him not getting the girl.  How dare they!

And now the serious part.
Thank you Adrian and neg removal for the best replies I've heard in years Smiley  Neg, that's the exact kind of response I've been wanting.
I've been delaying on my reply so I could give it some serious thought.  I even attempted to contact this said spirit, but that didn't work out.  I do have a direct connection with spirit guides, however.  My question is, what is the difference between the two?  You said earlier the only way to know if an angel is of god is to have the holy spirit.  If you can't trust a guide, how can you trust the holy spirit?  For all you know, it could be Satan, right?  He was once the highest angel and could easily produce feelings of love.
Honestly, I find the idea of having the holy spirit in me somewhat disturbing.  If it's truely the God of the Bible, it'd be yelling over my shoulder, "Drinking in excess is a sin, Acts xx-whatever" instead of, a real example, "Don't drink another glass or you'll puke(guide)."  I didn't, and I didn't Smiley  I think it'd be more like a permanent parent than a loving friend as you put it.  And as for friendship, the only other I'd tolerate sharing my body for the rest of my life is a soulmate that thinks like I do.
Next issue... you think in the future more Christians will OBE, helping humankind?  As someone else stated, witchcraft is a sin.  Don't know where the broomstick came in, but what do you think the ability to "travel in the night" and spy really was?  Christians murdered them in God's name when they found this out.  Yes, the rules are outdated and Maybe the church will change with the times.  But who would have the right to update the Bible other than Jesus?  A perfect God should not make rules that in the future will prevent it's following from advancing.  I once told a priest of my first OBE.  He said the only way it's possible is if God was trying to teach me something very important.  I asked him, "How is floating down the hallway important?" and he was stumped.  Had he been clever enough to say god was showing me I'm more than my body, I'd reply that I learned no such thing at the time.  I was 6, I thought it was real! Smiley
If it's true God really wants a personal relationship with each of us, why limit himself to just one vehicle?  In that mindframe, if I were God, I'd perform a Moses-like event to every culture on earth to get the introduction out of the way.  Humans being humans would interpret a bit differently per culture, but all would have the central invitation to let God personally be with them.  Instead, he chose only one belief system.  Like someone said earlier, what about those that don't have access to a Bible all their lives?  Or the 2/3rds of the planet that strongly believe in some other system?  Strange for such a loving God to exclude them from the one vehicle he's chosen.  
You say God can duplicate himself.  Certainly.  Except the model of God I've come to understand is quite different.  God was once all there is, pure consciousness bundled with the highest of emotion.  Then it set out to understand itself.  To make a jilola reference, it's no fun to play chess alone.  So, it duplicates itself over and over, some with half awareness and some with a fourth, and so on.  The least aware perhaps being physical matter.  Then it sends bits of itself to inhabit the physical realm where thought does not equal direct action, and very different minds are forced to interact (as opposed to the astral, where like attracts like).  Every experience is interesting and vital to this god, which would explain the allowance of "evil" and negs to share the planet.  It also explains the common belief "God is everywhere/ everything".  If the physical is God's energetic illusion/ mindgame, it would explain the breakdown of physics at the quantum level and go along with string theory.  OBE confirms the different layers of nonphysical reality, all leading up in vibrational frequency to God.  
Sorry to sidetrack, but it has a point.  This type of God would not need to share a human body to feel connected, because it already is connected to everyone and everything.  It wouldn't insist on us Knowing Him or loving back, because both are valuable experiences and they'd return to the light eventually.  With this model, the best way to find god is to seek him (within ourselves) rather than searching for clues that he 'must have' planted for us in religion.
You seem to think of God as a person just like us.  It's very logical to conclude that, and he certainly must have all our attributes to have created us.  But what about the billions of other planets and galaxies teeming with life?  What about 'astral wildlife' and elementals?  He must have those too.  I think he's composed of so much more than we are that it breaks the boundaries of what we'd call a personality.  
You say Christianity is unique, and it is.  But voodoo also encourages spirit possession, though in a much different tone.  NewAge encourages finding your spirit guide and finding god within yourself.  Practically every religion believes in some sort of angel or guide, which is very similar to the holy ghost in technical terms.  

The usual disclaimer - these are just my beliefs.  I'm certainly not trying to bash anyone's beliefs here, just sharing my own and applying logic wherever possible.  It sounds like you're still searching for answers Neg, and I am too.  I'll keep my mental model until something even more fitting comes along.  But I still wonder, where does the holy ghost fit into all this?  Or Allah for that matter.  What is it about Christianity that makes people emphatically believe/know their religion is right, and think the best way to spiritual advancement is simply not to sin, rather than explore every possibility?  Does the Holy Ghost personally agree that OBE is a sin?  Upon random searching, I found some websites where people channel the Holy Ghost's words just as they would a spirit guide.  One (http://www.holyunion.com) actually says the Ghost speaks of itself as "we"!  Then backs itself up by saying that means the Holy Trinity.  If anyone can actually channel this Ghost, let it reply as well Smiley
52  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Question for Christians... on: June 26, 2003, 07:27:01
Let me start off with the 'paradise is so great, just add some virgins and people will kill themselves for it' comment for humor value.
Sex is a sin until marriage.
Even then, it's a sin to enjoy it unless you're trying to procreate.
Adultery is a sin.
There is no sin in heaven.  If you manage to, I assume you'd be kicked back to hell.
Nowhere is it mentioned you can have kids in heaven, it implies you stay as you are for eternity.
Therefore: there is no sex in heaven!  even if marriage and kids were allowed in heaven, it's one woman for eternity.  the suicide bombers are in for a nice surprise.
[Cheesy]
53  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Astral Meetings! on: June 22, 2003, 22:48:09
Look under Astral Consciousness at the first sticky, Astral Locale I think.  We're designing an astral meeting place for the forum! [Cheesy]
54  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / I can't stop shaking! on: June 22, 2003, 22:23:53
I had the twitching problem a lot too.  In any OBE book, it will start with relaxation techniques.  Such as, flex your toes and hold for 10 seconds, then foot, then leg, etc.  It's time consuming and I like to skip it too, but sometimes it's worth it.  Try that, including flexing face muscles and eyelids, and the problem should go away.
55  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / my experience on: June 22, 2003, 22:20:27
Sleep paralysis only explains part of it.  That's when you wake up fully, but can't move.  Ususally they see the room and everything else seems fine.
But you also experienced vibrations and the rushing feeling and sounds.  Those are all symptoms of leaving the body.  Once I felt like I was on a rollercoaster before exiting, and once I was out everything was quiet again.  Next time don't try to wake up!  Let it happen.  You tried to stop the process halfway, and woke up to a paralized state.  Keep trying Smiley
56  Psychic and Paranormal / Welcome to Psychic and Paranormal! / Psychic Self Defense - Removing "Negs"! on: June 17, 2003, 22:45:31
A friend's mom took a level 1 course on Reiki.  There's 3 levels, and each costs money to learn.
The chakras in your palms are used for healing.  In the level 1 course, a Reiki master "attunes" your palms to the right frequencies needed to channel the healing energy.  This can also be done by a spirit guide for free!
From what I remember, the left hand sucks up energy blockages and channels them elsewhere, while the right sends healing energy to restore what remains.
From that knowledge, I assume it's quite similar to core removal.  In essence, it gets rid of the negative area that the spirit is using to attatch to you.
It isn't until level 3 that you can "attune" others, and it costs over a thousand dollars from what I recall.
57  Psychic and Paranormal / Welcome to Psychic and Paranormal! / Psychic Self Defense - Removing "Negs"! on: June 17, 2003, 22:18:55
Someone mentioned Reiki - interesting thought.  Though the Reiki master could do no more than the core removal technique.  Same with acupuncture, it seems like it would be less effective.
For me, the core removal works great.  It's a short article elsewhere on the website and also in the book.
For unattatched negs, the only thing I've found to work is visualizing white light.  By that I mean picturing the highest, purest energy plane I can fathom and pulling energy down from it onto the neg.  A neg by definition is a spirit with negative energy and its own emotional problems, and blasting it with very high frequencies seems to burst open emotional pain, making it think twice about sticking around.  An analogy would be god telling moses that his direct presence would practically kill him.  This is only a temporary fix, and must be repeated, as far as I've learned anyway.
I heard from a friend that their yoga class was in a room surrounded by flowing water.  Apparently it's not a new idea and is worth trying.
58  Psychic and Paranormal / Welcome to Psychic and Paranormal! / FREAKED OUT on: June 17, 2003, 21:48:08
AP and negs aren't directly related.  Negs are around us, and some feed off us, wether we ever project or not.  The only thing leaving your body will do is make you aware of what's already there.  If you travel far and have a negative encounter, you can just wake up.  In Bruce's book, a baby was possessed.  If all it had to do was stay safe in it's body, it would have no problem.  The act of projecting doesn't invite any new negs, so the only thing to worry about is realizing what's already there.  And most likely, there's nothing.
59  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Astral Consciousness! / tunnel of light and 'drowning' sensation on: June 12, 2003, 18:41:24
In Robert Bruce's book, there's two ways of seeing the astral, before you enter a specific realm.  One is like the cover of his book, where everything is a literal flat plane and you can enter any spot on it.  The other is a tunnel.  Much like you described, with exits all along the way, except I think his description was dark grey clouds instead of white.  The higher in the tunnel, the higher in vibration of course.  You might of hit a plateau where your vibrations couldnt match what was above it.  Or, your friend may have been in control the whole time.  Maybe when your body was forcing you 'down' from such a high plane, and you resisted, it felt like someone was pulling you down and the closest association to it would be drowning.
60  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Astral Consciousness! / Death and the Family on: June 12, 2003, 18:21:11
I think the main idea of meeting relatives just after death is to ease the transition, not purely to meet.  If seeing your dad would really offend you, then you won't see him at all.  Even if he's purified his spirit in the mean time, he'd understand and back off until the time is right.  Mean people do stay that way right after death, but they have an eternity to fix themselves.  If you don't like anyone in your family, then whoever was both closest to you and spiritually pure enough will be there to greet you (friend, friend's parent, etc).  You had a life before this one, and friends you don't recognize may be there.
I've heard of near death xp's where they don't see familiar faces at all, just something comforting like Jesus or angels.  It's whatever makes you happy.
I don't see the difference from natural parents and foster parents.  Teens can even reject their entire family and form one through their peers.  I don't think DNA is nearly as emportant as the emotional bond.
And to the last part - I've heard from many newage sources that everyone is a reflection of some part of us, and that somehow healing their problems will heal your hidden ones.  So if you're stuck with your family for now, it wouldn't hurt to try.  Otherwise, get out while you can.  
61  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Astral Consciousness! / Astral Consciousness and Zen on: June 05, 2003, 18:09:10
I don't know much about Zen, but I assume it is the same state as the Bhuddist nirvana, same as the 5th or so plane of existance?
You don't lose your sense of self in the astral, no matter how you got there.  It's more like a slightly higher state of mind, and a new environment.  The Bhuddist plane however, which can be reached by meditation or OBE, is higher than the astral.  There, you do lose your sense of self.  You don't be come nothing though, you become everyone.  I've only been there twice through meditation.  I saw it as a white void, it felt like the I was on the most comfortable fabric imaginable, and I started to feel like "I" was merged with many others.  It felt very healing as well.  
The technique (gotten from a tv show!) is while in meditation/trance state, instead of looking outward or trying to project or find god, look within, and try to find your "inner self," and it should just happen.  
Maybe the philosophy means the ego "I" along with its illusionary world becomes nothing?
However, with my one experience of phasing, I was just waking up and really sank into the realization that this world is an illusion.  And suddenly I was in the astral...
62  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Astral Pulse Island! / Astral Locale on: May 15, 2003, 18:05:48
I vaguely remember reading a description of a meeting place.  The idea was to read this big descriptive paragraph about the location, then try to go there.  I wish I still had it, it created a powerful vivid image in my mind that I still remember.  The details are lost, but basically:
It incorporates three types of landmasses, like a pie graph.  Imagine one third being ocean, one third plains, and one third mountainous.  The ridge between the two lands merge softly, not sharply.  At the very center are some small cliffs, 12 ft at most, and a waterfall cascades down into a small pool in the rocks.  This pool drains out to the ocean.  The pool is about the size of a regular inground pool, with ledges for sitting, etc.  Plants and flowers wrap around the edges.  
The area far from the pool really isnt important, it just gives a sense of depth.  I guess I like the feeling of seclusion it gives, like a private meeting place near the ocean among friends instead of an empty open field.  
Whatever we pick, a 3d computer image of it would be great.  The computer isnt quite photo-realistic and not cartoony either.  The main advantage over paintings would be the ability to have multiple perspectives of the place, to give it a sense of depth.  We wouldnt need to actually see it in 3d, just have maybe 3 different angles.
Also, adding senses other than just sight might help.  Like the sound of the waterfall or a certain smell of flowers.
That's my 2 cents Smiley
63  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Interesting experience... (thing in my head!) on: March 20, 2003, 21:11:17
Depends.. it's most likely a secondary chakra near the third eye charging up.  Next time try to feel around it, past your skull.  If the energy is actually leaving, then it's most likely a neg.  There's an article on core image removal outside the forum on this site.  You can use it without being in a trance state.
64  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Fused Dreams on: March 20, 2003, 15:19:20
Mutual dreaming was my ultimate goal before I knew about OBE's.  I found a book titled Mutual Dreaming that listed many examples for proof, but not the how-to I was expecting.  I've had no solid successes, just times when I sense interference within the dream.  I used to have many lucid dreams, and that's the only way to create a mutual dream unless you rely on coincidence.  I once tried to test it with an online friend.  We agreed to piture a lazertag fight at a certain time.  My dream started in a thick forest with red and blue lazers shooting back and forth, under my direction, but then changed to an open field with Star Wars robots shooting each other.  Then, beyond my control, everything froze and turned toward the center area, where two people were making out or something i with a stron ggreen halo around them.  This was like 4 years ago, I'd have to look it up, but the only confirmation I got was the red and blue color lazers in his dream.  He wasn't good at remembering his dreams, and did like me at the time, but I still can't call it a success.
What I did get from the book was that it's extremely extremely rare for two people to have the same dream, down to the details.  Instead, it's always symbolically similar.  LIke the idea will be the same, but the two will see it represented differently due to their mind's associations with the idea.
It feels like "dreamspace" is somewhere between the physical and astral, since people can "rise up" from a dream into the astral.  Robert describes being able to project, then enter a "virtual reality" by entering a picture from the physical world and forming one's own personal illusion, much like a lucid dream.
I think waht's more difficult than having a mutual dream is confirming it.  Rarely do people discuss every dream they had, and dreams are so personal that even if realized, they won't admit their side of the story.  I had another internet friend that I placed in my dreams often, and she openly said something about having mutual dreams with me, but refused to discuss it.  Very fustrating..
So, it's possible, but rare.  Since two minds will interpret the same idea differently, similar dreams will usually be thought a mere coincidence.
65  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Why is OBE Important to You? on: February 14, 2003, 18:30:07
At first, it was a free plane ticket to meet my internet chat friends.
Then, it was my ultimate dream - a way for my daydreams/dreamlife to be real.  The song with the lyrics "I'm dreaming my life away" had bothered me before.
And always, an escape from this reality to a better one.
66  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Theory regarding AP and OBE on: February 13, 2003, 14:06:05
You want the scientific version?  Study quanum physics, specifically String Theory.  I don't understand all the math behind it, but to make a working equasion out of the properties of the universe you must take out the constant of space and time.  There was an article in Discovery magazine about how time doesn't really exist.  
String Theory - instead of reducing everything to an atom, it reduces everything to a vibration.  Everything is energy, or energy forming particles.  Science has been unable to make an object reach absolute zero - the lowest temperature where the atom stops moving.  Therefore, everything is vibrating at some frequency.  According to their mathematical theories, the 'physical 3rd dimension' is one, and there are some 9 or so more above this.  This allows for the astral plane and all others above it to exist.  They all coexist in the same space at the same time.

To relate all this to OBE:
Your awareness relates to frequencies.  Psychology knows this - alpha, beta, etc.  The higher your conscious vibration gets, the more your perception changes.  The best way to think of it is with phasing.  You first go into a meditative state and block out all input from your current environment, the best state to change your state of awareness in.  The less distractions the better.  You 'raise' your awareness and build up energy from the place you choose, usually astral energy, to surround you and help change your awareness level to match it.  
The vibrations felt with normal projection is a conflict of high and low frequencies, like water waves rippling towards each other.   Your subconscious tries to makes sense of the mixed input and creates the sounds and odd visuals experienced just before projection.  Once the frequency is right, all that is needed is the will to get up and go.
67  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Mediums on: February 06, 2003, 19:09:02
That's a really good point.. I'd never thought of that.  I did always wonder why a happy spirit would care to hover around the family for 20 years or more though.  The dead spirit seems to always be described as having a 'strong personality' or is very important to the family ties.  
As for accuracy.. I think the more accurate, the more false.  If psychic senses were accurate, science would have accepted them by now.  Anyone watch the superbowl a few weeks ago?  Before it started, two magicians made predictions about what the final score would be and who the MVP was.  They locked it in a container, then in a pickle jar, then had it held up and surrounded by Marine guards the whole game.  At the end, they broke it open, and the results were dead on.
Sounds very psychic, but every time the two were mentioned they said they were 'magicians,' and I recall that trick being done often on magic shows.
I havent seen James' show so I can't judge, but when you say 'very accurate' it makes me picture a televangelist, with a hidden earpiece, miraculously diagnosing and saving people from the audience, who just happened to fill out information cards before the show.
I think events come across stronger than names because the spirit/shell is emotionally linked to the memory.  Not many are traumatized by their own name, and it can't come across as strong as how they died.  
As for ouija boards and lying spirits, provable facts won't come across (as far as i know).  The spirit has no way of getting that information, unless one member already knows soemthing and transmits it to the spirit.  So that wouldn't be too hard to discern, especially if you were on live tv surrounded by skeptics looking for that type of empty response.
wildbank- John Edwards did write two books.. I havent read them so I don't know if he imparts how-to knowledge, but it's more than most.  I agree that the focus should be more on how to do these things yourself.  Never saw a show on developing ESP... wana make and market one? hehe
68  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Robert Bruce is confusing and contradicts himself! on: February 06, 2003, 18:34:30
Adam -
I get the impression you're more conscerned with the etheric body, and why we need to focus on it so much for preparation to OBE.  The etheric is much more a 'body' than the astral is.  According to Bruce, it's deeply connected with the physical body.  Chakras align with major organs, and minor chakras align with certain glands.  The purpose of stimulating this body is to activate all the energy centers, which convert raw energy into higher forms for your use in OBE.  Ever notice a lack of energy when you're sick or full?  The energy is routed to take care of what needs energy the most.  Fasting is considered a spiritual practice because your body isnt expending as much energy on digestion.  There's no need to stimulate the astral body, unless you were just trying to gain a sense of awareness for it.  It's disconnected enough from the body that it doesnt matter what shape, if any, it's in.  It'l tend to reshape into your self image, because we're so used to it.  

All we really are is a point of consciousness.  Even now, awake in our physical bodies, that's all we are.  The etheric has a shape because it's so closely linked with the physical body.  As long as we're alive, it will maintain a similar shape.  

Does this clear anything up for you?
69  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Monks fighting spiritual wars??? on: February 05, 2003, 20:32:19
Eh.. probably much less exciting.
I'll bet its more like they gather love/peace energy and channel it to the world.  As the year 2000 computer problem was coming, some formed meditation groups to do just that.  Same for the threat of war.  Would be interesting if such a thing really had an effect.
70  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / spontaneous projection while laying on my stomach on: February 05, 2003, 20:18:19
Is lying on your stomach different from your normal position?
A few times I slept with my feet at the other end, and as I was waking up I was in my normal position, started to move and *snap I was back in my body's feet first position Smiley  A lost opportunity, but it could be taken advantage of.
71  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Robert Bruce is confusing and contradicts himself! on: February 05, 2003, 19:45:19
I'd like to remind everyone what we were like before our first OBE.  For me at least, I was skeptical, and had a confrontational attitude when talking to people with any set belief system.  I liked to challenge everything.  I found no offense to Adam's posts.
Instead of using up another page with debating wether he was rude or not, shall we continue answering the actual questions?

"So what does anyone think about listening to trance and hemi-sync music/frequency sounds to help induce OBE? I do think it helps to put one in a trance, giving time and a clear mind."

I got the program BrainWaveGenerator for free somewhere on my computer.  If anyone wants, I can upload it to the download section. It'll produce static sound that alternates the pulses from left ear to right at a certain frequency.  Same idea as hemi-sync.  You can overlay your favorite songs with it, but it gets irritating when you let it loop.  The best part about it is it's help file - a very good explanation on alpha/beta states of mind and what frequencies relate to them.  
I have some hemi-sync stuff courtesy of WinMX Smiley  Havent had the time to really experiment with them, but i did burn focus 12 to cd once for a 5 hour car ride.  Passed the time really well and it really did change my awareness a bit, but the whole time I felt I still had to try and go along with it.. it wouldnt just put me in an altered state 'for me.'
The main problem I have with them is the practicality of listening to them while going to sleep.  Large headphones are uncomfortable, as well as the earbuds, and any make it difficult to lay on your side.  Hemisync doesn't work just being played on a stereo.  My computer is opposite my bed, so to even get the head phones to work I had to string my stereo as far as possible, and headphones from there, and I only had a few inches to work with :/
I'd say they're great for 'getting the feel' of a specific state of mind.  If you're not used to meditating or want to know what the trance state feels like, it's a great tool.  But once you're familiar, I think it's best done yourself.
One last thought... if you were to project with the tapes on, it's possible your mind would associate the tapes with the action, and make OBE even more likely while the tapes are going.  
Has anyone had good success with the use of such tapes?

72  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Robert Bruce is confusing and contradicts himself! on: February 03, 2003, 20:32:31
Lysear -
"Another point worth considering is that since each person in the world is completly unique and has been shaped by their own life experiences, is it not possible to argue that each persons perception of projection would also be unique?"

Good question.  I hope not Smiley  It reminds me of physics class.. the idea that we are all wired a bit differently, therefore blue to you is not the same to anyone else.  This could expand to every physical sense.  And since we all experience the world differently, we must me amazingly unique.  
I think we conform a lot more than that.  Maybe we see different hues, but most of us see pretty much the same color.  On Earth, our perceptions are indeed very unique.  But in the astral, there are trillions of beings, so many that there's bound to be a cluster sharing the same perspective as you.  Like attracts like, as Bruce likes to say.  So if you went somewhere you were naturally drawn to, you'd probably see everything the same way the natives do.  
But in other areas.. like higher planes or shared dreams, symbolism changes everything.  You see only what you can relate to.  If you can't make sense of something, your subconscious will try to find something close to it, and you'll never know a switch was made.  In one RTZ OBE, I knew my friend had a wooden deck in his backyard, but as I flew over it it became a pool with a deck around it.  When I focused on something else, the pool was gone for good.
Ever study mutual dreams?  The thought or idea will always get across, but the symbols representing them will always be very different, due to differences in perception.  But this also shows that once we get past needing visuals and a voice to convey ideas, and one sends the thought alone, it gets across much clearer.  
73  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Robert Bruce is confusing and contradicts himself! on: February 03, 2003, 02:42:47
I think there's been some confusion between philosophy and experience.  When Bruce said all we are when OBE is a point of consciousness, he meant that's all we REALLY are, in essence.  Sometimes we really do experience being our true self, pure consciousness, but most often our subconscious is so used to having a body that it can't accept this idea and creates one out of the astral or etheric matter provided.
Pain is in the mind.  A good example - my friend once had a dream where something went through his foot.  He looked down, having felt nothing, thought to himself that ought to hurt, and suddenly felt a sharp pain 'from his foot'.  Pain in the physical is damaged tissue sending signals of alarm.  The astral body is just energy, it can morph and bend and vanish, and therefore cannot be hurt.  But if through belief and physical experience, one Believes they will feel pain when damaged, they will.  It's possible to send positive emotions to others in the astral.. maybe it's possible to send feelings of physical pain too?  When pain is mentioned in the astral it usually means emotional pain, to my knowledge, and may cause some confusion.  As for the connection... in a dream I think you're right, that say your foot falls asleep and feels tingly and that pain or feeling is incorporated into your dream.  But when OBE, any pain that happens to your physical body will bring you back immediately.  Energy is indeed sent back and forth through the cord, and when the awareness of pain is sent, the body wants all possible awareness to be there to check it out.
The Astral- yes, technically an astral trip is an OBE by definition.  But because Real-Time-Zone-Experience is too long to type out, we tend to mean an OBE as RTZ and Astral as Astral.  The RTZ is not technically in the astral plane, nor is it a 100% perfect copy of the real world, but something in between.
Within the astral, yes you can create your own little world.  Visualize an island and you'll be the only one there, and the only one that can see it.  It will be fluid and change quickly with thought.  But were someone to follow you, they could see what you've created.  Were you to go into a well-developed astral realm where many like-minded souls congregate, it will be quite solid.  Familiar with the part where Bruce describes making astral objects?  The first attempt will vanish the moment you stop thinking about it.  But with repeated effort it will still be there.  Imagine a city built over many years of mental effort.  It will still be changeable, but it would take more effort.
Again with the body... if one imagines themselves to be a younger version of themselves, they will be, and others will percieve them as such.  It's not PURE imagination... it's using the astral energy of the plane around you/your own/ to construct the image.  Therefore, it can be perceived by others at the same level.  If one is comfortable with the idea of not having a body to represent themselves, then they'll possibly appear as a point of light, or maybe not even be visible until they show themselves as something.  Some higher spirits understand our need to see an object to represent a person, and may create an angel or something to ease communication.  This can't really be answered unless someone does an experiment to find out.  Even if there was nothing to see, you would still sense a presence, and be able to communicate.
The difference with phasing is just in how you get there, to my knowledge.  Full OBE is going through the vibrations and going step-by-step, to the etheric then to the astral, and possibly up from there.  Phasing is skipping this step, and just raising your awareness to the desired level, since the astral/mental/etc bodies are already 'loose' and less exit symptoms are felt.

74  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Can't...quite..get it! on: November 18, 2002, 21:01:33
So you have a repeating dream?  They are more important than most other dreams because it represents something urgent enough to get your attention.
My guess for symbolism would be climbing the "corporate ladder."  Is your job stressful or wearing you out?  Striving for some unattainable goal?  Maybe even the golden ladder to heaven.
As to lucidity, when you touched the floor were you lucid, or after?
When you do reality checks with the clock, throw in something about ladders, if that dream really is that common.  When you do become lucid on the ladder next time, look straight ahead and picture a place above you at the end.  An open door to some room.  When you include falling or rising feelings in a dream, it'l shift your awareness more than you meant and the whole dream will change.  Just climb the ladder a few more steps and go straight into the next 'room' without a transition and it should remain stable enough to be enjoyable.


-Person
75  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Why am i so different in dreams? on: October 24, 2002, 13:34:48
You've gotten some good responses.
To summarize, there are really two options:

One, this is your subconscious's way of healing your insecurities.  It may know better than to go the traditional route - facing your exaggerated fears in order to release it - and think you're better off being shown what it's like to be fearless.  Maybe you need an example to follow.. kind of like depressed people need medication to recognize what happy feels like.

Two, your dream you is the real you.  Your inner soul is brave and knows intuitively there is nothing to fear.  The physical you is clouded with hurt feelings and doubt.  When people are shy, they rarely show their true selves in public.  I was very shy once, and my few good friends would comment on how silent and distant I was, and once they got to know me I completely opened up into a friendly talkative person.

To help the shyness, get into online chatting.  Find decent people you can talk to almost daily and get to know them.  The great thing about the internet is you can figure - I'll never meet this person.. they dont know my friends, boss, etc... they can never rat me out... they can never hurt me... therefore you're safe to open up completely to them.  They usually do the same, and you can build a great bond as well as social skills and gain confidence.  Worked for me!

-Person
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