When your imagination and your thought are in conflict, your imagination will inevitably win.
There is a principle of affinity. To see another level you do have to achieve a resonance with it. There does seem to be a bit of glorification of this and I think the reason would be that some levels do feel uplifting. They can create a sense of euphoria as the fairies dance did in legend.
How does a beginner begin to astral travel? You start from where you are at. It is like a reversal of the polarity of your energy. You sort of invert to incarnate. It is a necessary polarization to be even able to occupy flesh, and peoples bodies are pretty stable once they form.
Should we have a certain focus when we go to sleep? If you seek a sleeping projection (the most immersive experience), go to bed when you aren’t totally exhausted so you won’t be anchored to that cycle, and focus on the root of your consciousness. Often a simple meditation technique works. A stilling and an internal focus.
There is a point inside that is associated with death, but in fact it doesn’t cause death. It’s just the point beyond which flesh does not govern. Often times, either mortification of the flesh or enrapturing activities like sex can push you to that point or beyond.
In the practice of alchemy, they sought the prima material, the first matter. Believing that if they found that, they would have sufficient understanding of normal matter to transcend its limitations, which they found wanting of course. So in fact, seeking truth is perhaps the motivation for astral travel. Many fear concepts such as death or spirits. So to overcome fear, experience has no equal. In fact, seeking to be “in spirit” (as it was phrased in the Bible) has had a universal call across all branches of mysticism. There is a reason for returning. This life is its own wisdom. It isn’t just a trial. It isn’t any form of penance, although at times I’m certain it can seem that way.
We shouldn’t think in terms of escape. This is what motivates some to suicide, which leads them to a harsh surprise. Here your state manifests gently in a “natural” way. But you don’t get to escape your state there. Quite the opposite. It’s very direct. It is why people often fall back into a new incarnation quickly and they need it slowed down. They confront themselves more, and are terrified.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.