I received a very interesting question recently.
I’m interested in Lucid Dreaming and having out of body experiences. I know someone who had them unwillingly, as it just happened to that person randomly, but I want to induce them myself. I hear arguments about how it is witchcraft or occultism, but they don’t go into detail. I don’t believe it is evil at all. How is leaving your body temporarily a sin? I understand that some people who do astral projection probably believe in the occult, New-age, Buddhism, etc, but I don’t. I believe in Jesus. Can you please direct me where in the bible that states leaving your body to travel the world is a sin? I’m not saying that astral projection is in fact real, but if it is, I’d like to give it a try. If it is wrong, I’ll not do it, as doing things that go against God is wrong, but if it isn’t wrong, then I’ll give it a shot.
Here’s my answer that can form a start of a discussion on the topic.
Let’s set aside whether it’s real or not. That’s for another time.
Let’s also set aside motive. That’s very real, but it only compounds or excuses the deed itself; I’m trying to focus on the act of astral projection.
Here’s my take on it. From the beginning, Moses wrote extensively about the dangers of the whole category of sorcery and witchcraft in the Ancient Near East. But what did he focus on?
Deut 18: “There shall not be found among you . . . anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you.”
Notice that these focus on gaining forbidden knowledge. The same sort of trouble that Adam and Eve got into with the fruit is present in this element of our world. The supernatural as a general category is a place of great mystery but also great revelation, where the future and unseen places may be seen–and it’s not encouraged by God. The opposite is true.
Paul continues to condemn this seeking of forbidden knowledge via supernatural (or extrasensory or whatever word you use to talk about it local to your time and culture) as he says:
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife . . . and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
That word “sorcery” is something he would have not just pulled out of the air. It’s same Greek word used in the LXX that he loves to quote, and it’s from Deut 18. So he’s thinking of the broad practice of forbidden knowledge-seeking via witchcraft (using drugs to create out of body experiences) scrying or consulting the dead or omens–it’s all bad because it’s seeking forbidden knowledge of God’s future. This is a repeated, broad condemnation of all supernatural activities from Paul: “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things….”
Astral projection is a seeking of hidden, secret information. It’s an attempt to pierce the veil and see the “other side” and gain wisdom, knowledge, relationships–to be “like God” as the Serpent promised Eve.
This is at the heart of the condemnation of all extrasensory activities from the Scriptures–it’s the Original Sin all over again.
So in Revelation, when all is said and done, who is it that God is furious at for their sin? Sorcerers “will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
You will want to back away from this one, friend. Be satisfied with the vast knowledge God offers his people, and stay away from the forbidden fruit.