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Etheric projection is the act by which a second "subtle" (etheric) body, of similar orientation as the physical body, seperates from that physical body. Also called projection via the fluidic, or emotional body. This may be a typical form of projection during a near-death experience, or NDE.

Derived from the Greco-Latin word æther, it implies that which originates from the air, or atmosphere (heavens). Whereas, astral implies "outer space," which symbolically is of a higher state of being than ether. It is currently not known when this term had been first put into use, but today is used to represent a distinct aspect of psychic projection.
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Etheric and astral projection are different states of consciosness.
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Often confused with astral projection, this form of psychic activity differs in the sense that the person projects into the physical realm and most often can move about in real time, watching real people and events that are happening as their physical bodies remain asleep.

Those who experience etheric projection may not always know they have left their bodies and thus believe they have died, or believe they are being abducted by some paranormal force, due to the difference of perception that sometimes occurs between the state of consciousness while physically awake and the state of consciousness while projecting.

There are several distinct symptoms of an etheric projection:

  • Sleep paralysis, followed by the sensation of falling, or rocking.
  • The belief or awareness of floating in the air, even though one may perceive themselves to be physically awake.
  • The sensation of vibrating/shaking, along with ringing in the ears, that is not the result of a medical condition.
  • Believing one's self to be awake, yet unable to move, or feeling very heavy when walking. These actions may result in returning to the body, confirming they were not physically awake.

The author Robert Monroe referred to the etheric body as his "second body," which he would shed before an astral projection. In his book he described himself as not being completely free upon exiting his physical body, until he had exited a second time, from etheric body.

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Resources

Parapsychology articles about OBEs