Every year, millions of people visit developing countries. Of these, many are business people looking for new opportunities.With a myriad of development potential available in the Asian region, business people are flocking overseas in order to get in at the ground floor. Many travel to these regions on a regular basis, exposing themselves to diseases ranging from differing strains of hepatitis to typhoid and polio.Unfortunately, many of these diseases are not discriminating – they can be caught even when staying in 5-star accommodation. Also, some of them require long convalescent periods. For example, hepatitis A can mean an absence from work of up to 8 weeks, depending on the severity of the attack.The problem facing business people and travellers is that often they have not been exposed to a wide range of infections. This means they have little or no natural immunity to diseases common in other parts of the world.For example, even when staying at resort-standard hotels in areas such as Taiwan, the traveller still has a 1 in 300 chance of developing hepatitis A. Budget travellers increase their risk by as many as six times.The sensible solution is to make sure you receive the recommended vaccinations for any overseas country you visit. It is important, however, to realize that for many vaccines to be totally effective, a series of doses over an extended period of time are required. For example, hepatitis B vaccines usually require a couple of months before they reach their full effectiveness.Vaccination is not the only precaution that should be taken when travelling in a developed country. Many diseases are transmitted through food which has been handled by a carrier of the disease. This means that uncooked vegetables, salads, raw meat, shellfish, and drinks made with water or ice are all potential health hazards, and should be approached with caution.Other things that should be observed are the general cleanliness of the restaurant or food preparation area. A restaurant with no electricity, meat covered in flies hanging on hooks and perhaps a few stray animals wandering around is hardly likely to be a good risk!There are also the risks that can be avoided much more easily. These include casual sexual contact, intravenous drug use and other skin piercing activities such as tattooing and ear-piercing.It is also important that you mention to your doctor that you have been travelling overseas to developed countries if you develop any symptoms such as nausea, lethargy, fever or jaundice after your return. These can often be categorised as a flu or common virus, when in fact they may be symptoms of a hepatitis infection. With full travel details, the doctor will be more able to make a correct diagnosis and suggest necessary further testing.With almost all health issues, the key to disease free overseas travel is common sense. If you are going to be visiting a developing area, take the time to ensure you receive the necessary vaccinations in plenty of time for your trip. After all, that small amount of forethought may prevent a great deal of trouble later on.Copyright Felicity Walker 2005
Flashback to a few centuries ago and I would have been burnt at the stake had I mentioned that I have an astral body, probably burnt twice if I had revealed that I actually traveled on the astral plane, seen the future or could read someone’s thoughts. Even as recently as twenty years ago when I spoke openly about my astral senses people looked at me as if I was ‘gaga’. I remember a game I played with myself as a young child and later too as an adult, when I was with a group of people, I would perch myself up in a corner near the ceiling and watch everyone including myself interacting. I enjoyed doing that and did it naturally. I did this without giving it a second thought, not being aware that it was my astral body that was floating up there. I knew though that it as a part of myself. Earlier on until I learned otherwise, I used to believe that everyone else could do the same. Of course I did not share this experience with anyone. I had to be careful to be with the right people in the right surroundings to mention anything about my busy inner life and other dimensions of being. Today ‘astral travel’ is a buzzword spreading like wild fire over the worldwideweb. More and more people are curious and want to know about astral projection. True or not, it seems to me that every second person I meet claims to having had an ‘out of body experience’ or is an old hand at ‘astral travel.’ Some travel while meditating, others while sleeping and yet others via lucid dreaming. Many experience this phenomenon at times of crisis and have had near death experiences.Traditional science has not yet caught up with thousands years old esoteric secret knowledge. The door to this esoteric kingdom of knowledge still remains locked to many scientific minds. But it is opening very slowly by sheer force of the masses that not only believe, but also know and sense through personal experience. More than ever before physicists and scientists are joining the spiritual onward march, mainly because they have no choice as they find themselves at a cul-de-sac and have no where else to turn. More and more spiritual physicists are speaking out and because they are physicists their words have more clout. This is good news and about time too.In this article I shall share with you all that I know about the astral plane, as a ‘baby’ occultist. First let me explain that there is nothing mystical nor sectarian about an occultist. A mystic is someone who believes in the existence of other planes of being without being curious to find out anything in detail as to the hows and whys. Most saints fall into this category. An occultist is a mystic who does not only believe but goes a step further to do extensive research and to experiment, to observe and experience with oneself. Famous occultists are for example, Edgar Cayce, Pythagoras, C. W. Leadbeater and Gopi Krishna. There are hundreds of other famous occultists both in the eastern and the western worlds and perhaps thousands scattered all over the world, who are not famous at all. All these people know of and are in constant touch with other dimensions of existence.Here’s what I found as I surfed the internet on astral travel.
‘Amazing Scientific Breakthrough will allow you to have a successful Astral projection within 20 minutes! Learn how to leave your body, walk through walls, fly around your neighborhood, meet your deceased loved ones, communicate with your guides and teachers, travel through time to witness past or future events and much much more! 100% guaranteed or your money back!’Now who can say No to such a fascinating invitation!Unfortunately, many dabble today in a mystical world oblivious of the fact that there is some danger when one is ignorant of the details and the hazards involved when entering other dimensions. I hope to shed some light on this for you in this article and to raise your curiosity so that you will continue to research, to read more writings and studies about astral travel and to understand as much as you possibly can, before you venture out to send your astral body to explore unknown worlds.The oldest and the latest occult teachings inform the student that there are seven planes of being. The lowest is what we know as the material plane; the second is the plane of forces; the third is the astral plane and the fourth is what we know as the mental plane. Above these four planes are three more planes but we will not be touching these at this time since we want to concentrate on the astral plane. For information only, you should know though that each of these seven planes have seven sub-planes each, and each of the sub-planes have seven sub-divisions, and this goes on to the seventh degree of each of the sub-divisions. I will leave you to figure out the mathematics of that one.These planes are not composed of matter nor are they series of straight layers. The planes are graded according to their respective degrees of vibration of energy, matter being the lowest degree of vibrations of energy and these planes interpenetrate each other in the same point of space. ‘A plane of being is not a place but a state of being’ as one ancient teacher put it. Every student of physics knows that a single point of space may contain vibrations of heat, light of many shades, magnetism, electricity, etc. each manifesting its own rate of vibration and not interfering with the others. Every beam of sunlight contains many different colors, each with its own rate of vibration, and yet not crowding out the others. Prana or ‘vital force’ is found on the plane of forces.In occult teachings there are frequent references to the astral regions and the inhabitants and phenomena of these regions. The astral regions are vibrational manifestations on the astral plane that occupy the same space as the material regions, neither one interfering with the other. The word ‘astral’ is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘related to a star’ and was originally used when describing the heavens of the Greek, the abode of the Gods. From this sense the term widened to be used to indicate ‘ghost-land’ to ancient people. They believed that disembodied spirits and angelic beings of a higher order inhabited this ghost-land. The oriental occultists had their own terms derived from old Sanskrit roots, which were much older than the Greek terms, but as these terms confused western occult students, they settled to using the Greek terms. In ancient times they were familiar with the astral and other dimensions of life. This knowledge was lost somewhere along the line as humans advanced becoming more material bound arriving to our century.There are two avenues of approaching the astral plane. One is by employing the astral senses; the other is by visiting with the astral body. Each of the physical senses of man has its astral counterpart, which functions on the astral plane just as the physical senses do upon the material plane. Thus every human being has, the power of seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting on the astral plane, by means of these five astral senses. In addition to these five some humans have developed two more senses and these likewise have their counterparts on the astral level. Basically everyone can be trained to develop these astral senses.One can with training develop astral vision, which is perception through astral sight. There is a documented case of a blind woman who is being operated on. After the operation when she woke up, she was able to describe the operation room, she could describe in detail each of the doctors and nurses, what they were wearing and even their features and the color of their eyes. She could tell them exactly which doctor operated on her and how many were assisting, she could even repeat the conversations they had while operating although she was anaesthetized. To the doctors this was a mystery but to the occultist it was no mystery at all. She had obviously seen and heard everything with her astral sight and hearing. Although her physical eyes were impaired, her astral vision was not. She had obviously detached her astral body from her physical body and was floating around in the operating room watching everything going on.The ordinary clairvoyant has flashes of this astral vision, as a rule but not through an act of will. The trained occultist, however, is able to shift from one set of senses to the other, whenever he wishes to do so. With training an occultist can function at will on both planes at the same time. A clairvoyant has no need to go into a trance nor to leave the physical body to experience the astral plane all she needs to do is shift her perspective.The other way is to travel to the astral plane. In this case the individual leaves his physical body to travel on the astral plane in his astral body. The astral body is composed of an ethereal substance of a very high degree of vibration. It is not matter and yet it is not force but in between. The astral body is an exact counterpart of the physical body but survives the latter by a number of years but it is not immortal and finally disintegrates just like the physical body. The advanced occultist is able to leave the physical body that remains in a state of sleep or trance, and to visit at will anywhere on the astral plane. The astral body, however, is connected with the physical body by a thin, cobweb like thread of ethereal substance, which extends or contracts as he travels away from or toward the physical body. If the filament is broken by an accident on the astral plane, his physical body dies and he is never able to return to it. Such accidents do occur but are rare and occult history has records showing their occasional occurrences. Stories have also been told of astral bodies getting lost on the astral plane and are unable to find their way back to their physical bodies for a long time. In the meantime, the physical body is declared dead and is buried. I will leave it to your imagination to think of what happens if and when the astral body after a long time, finally finds its way back to the physical body that has, in the meantime, been declared dead and has already been buried. The poor soul, talk about having a nightmare!Just as steam is as real as water and ice, the astral is just as real and fixed as is the material world. To the traveler on the astral plane the scenery and everything they see seems as solid as the most solid material to the physical eye. The astral world has its geography, forms and things just as has the material world. The law of Change operates on the astral just as on the material plane. The astral has its laws just as has the material world. These laws must be learned and observed otherwise the inhabitants of the astral world as well as the visitor will have to bear the consequences. There are regions, points of space, places, kingdoms, countries etc. on the astral just as there is on the physical plane. As an example one can travel from Zurich to Bombay in a twinkle of an eye, by merely wishing to do so. If you have the knowledge and power, you can without leaving your seat, travel, traverse all the sub-planes, one after the other, witness the scenery, the inhabitants and their activities, and return to the material world, all in a moment of our time. You can also descend if you wish to the material plane and travel with your astral body to anywhere you wish on the physical level, visit far away friends and loved ones.In traveling through the astral world, you meet with many strange inhabitants, some pleasant and others unpleasant, some have passed on from the material plane and others who are natives of the astral plane, who have never dwelt in the material world. Often astral shells and apparently real spirit forms which are nothing but semi vitalized thought forms, artificial entities, are mistaken for departed loved ones. Astral shells are astral corpses, just as the physical body in the grave is the material corpse, which the soul has left to move on to spiritual realms. Artificial entities are those formed by people who pray with a passion, example a mother prays for angels to protect her children. In such cases the angel forms actually take shape and exist on the astral level. Many family ghosts have been created and kept in being simply by the constantly repeated tale and belief in their reality. Many haunted houses are explained in this way. Repeated thought and repeated belief will serve to keep such entities alive, otherwise they would in time disappear. On certain planes of the astral world entities exist or living beings that were never human and never will be because they belong to an entirely different order of nature. Normally these entities are invisible to humans but in certain conditions can be sensed by astral vision.On the astral plane there is no time, no distance, no hindrance, you can experience a lot in one second, you can go through walls, you can travel from one end of the world to another in an instant. You can go forwards and backwards in time and you can fly. You have experienced all of this at least once in your dreams. You can meet loved ones long gone and you can meet your guardian spirits. All of this is true. You can astral travel without having a clue or remembering passing it off as a dream or you can travel consciously. You can learn to reach that particular state of mind or in other words, a different state of consciousness in order to travel on the astral plane and keep the memory of it. All of this and much more you and I, as every one else, are able to do without a doubt. In the majority of cases, however, people are not ready for such adventures and if met with demanding situations could go mad from the shock.It is known that very advanced souls often astral travel with their spiritual guides at night while their material bodies sleep deeply, to attend spiritual classes where they receive intensive advanced spiritual teachings. It is also said that many indigo children, who are reincarnated advanced souls, attend spiritual schools at night while their physical bodies are fast asleep. There has always been throughout the ages indigo children born but in our time today they are here in masses to help humanity to go through the great shift cycle that we are experiencing.It is erroneous to think that astral vision suddenly dawns on anyone. In the majority of cases it is a slow gradual development. Many people possess it to a degree and fail to develop it further for want of proper instruction. Many have occasional flashes of astral vision. If you must experiment and try out any of the advertised on the web technical help to enter into astral travel, then here is one little piece of advice. When going through the astral plane, do not listen to anyone beckoning to you to join them, you could be tricked into staying there, look forward not backward, look upward not downward. It’s imperative that you have faith in your heart and that you feel no fear, fear attracts negativity. Keep in mind within your soul is a spark of the Divine Flame and this will protect you.Could it be possible that someone can actually teach you to travel on the astral level, in twenty minutes as claimed in one of the websites on the internet, I really cannot say one way or another. Perhaps those with very high advanced consciousness can. We see miracles happening every day. On the other hand, could it just be possible that you are hypnotized into believing that you are traveling through an astral plane and told to remember whatever is said to you during the hypnosis. This could very well be possible. Once again all I can say is take heed, handle with care. The more light you have in you the less risky it is. If you are someone who is inclined to being negative and afraid then I would say stay away. Some gurus still insist it is risky and dangerous for untrained novices to travel through the astral world without an experienced guide. If you still are burning to experiment, so be it, go at your own risk. You might be itching to try this novice experience and you go ahead with it blindly and survive without a problem. It reminds me of when I first learnt to ski. When on top of the hill I just let go and skied straight downhill totally unafraid, thrilled with the speed and the wind in my face, loving every second of it. When I think about it now and how silly I was then, I know it was a miracle that I did not topple over and break both my legs. It was my total ignorance of the rules that saved me. Now that I know how to ski I’d never dream of going straight downhill so fast and if I did I would probably break all my bones. The innocence or ignorance, call it what you want, is what often saves us from calamities. The same principle works here too with astral travel, like children get away with many things that we grown ups could not do, total innocence and a fearlessness can save the day. At least now you have an idea what to expect. There is much more to know, but this is a good beginning.?