(published in The Speaking Tree column, The Times of India May 31, 2011)
Astral life begins once physical life ends. There have been many accounts of the astral plane, which describe its luminous nature. One of the most famous accounts is in the book, Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda.
In the astral plane, we inhabit astral bodies that are much like the physical ones we currently inhabit, but those are much subtler and radiant. These astral bodies are not confined within the narrow limits of current space-time continuum that governs the physical cosmos. In the astral plane, inhabitants communicate through telepathy and since we recognise people who were our family and friends in different incarnations; we learn to love them all equally. There are astral worlds of light, which have colours and music beyond our present comprehension. The astral plane is one of great beauty and joy. It is the place where many souls consider their “true home”. It is also much larger than the physical universe.
So what about our current life on Earth? It is one in which the physical elements of life are manifested. But thanks to technology, it seems that our current life on planet Earth is becoming gradually ‘astralised’. How is this? Well, let us take a closer look at our lives today.
In today’s technology dominated society, we use computers, digital cameras, internet and mobile phones, for instance. We watch news, TV shows and movies. We listen to music, mostly in digital format. We have passionate opinions about people we don’t really know, whom we’ve never met — be they politicians, media personalities, movie actors, business leaders, even terrorists and criminals. How many of us have actually seen and heard or touched these famous or notorious people physically? Yet we seem to ‘know’ them today through their projected images and sounds that are readily available to us through technology. Is it not like we know them in an astral or more subtle form? Even if you never met them in the flesh, you would continue to ‘get to know’ them through their light and sound images.
The same extends to people who are not necessarily well known. Today’s social networking sites are a testimony to this. Think of how many Twitter followers and Facebook friends you have who you don’t really ‘know’ in the physical sense. We are now growing so accustomed to electronic lifestyles that we are beginning to experience life and relationships as a form of virtual or electronic or energy life. We are now open to accepting life forms interacting with us in their electronic forms as long as we know that there is some real intelligence and individuality being expressed. Your relationship with someone would continue to grow more intimate through these electronic platforms even if you never interacted in the so-called ‘real’ world of flesh and blood.
This seems to be the first step in the astral conditioning process. As we advance technologically, we create things that make our earthly experiences a little more like the astral experiences that we have had in the past and will continue to have in the future after our Earth visa expires. In that non-material realm, we learn that the reality is not the flesh, but the radiant energy that is our true nature. Our modern day technology is a reminder of that and just a pre-cursor to that awesome astral realm that we will all return to someday.