When Black folks astral project to create order out of disorder
It feels like my brain's way of trying to create order out of the chaos we're forced to live in on this godforsaken planet.
I am tired of living in this body, and so I have decided to astral project more often. Calling it “astral projection” instead of “dissociating in the shower” makes me feel better. It feels more true, I guess.
“Dissociating” sounds so clinical. They call it disorder, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. It feels like my brain’s way of trying to create order out of the chaos we’re forced to live in on this godforsaken planet ravaged by the delusion of white supremacy.
This body is exhausted and exhausting, so I leave it, in search of a better existence. No, not a better existence. A better experience. My existence is divine, all on its own. It’s how the world responds to it that leaves me so undone.
I think Black people astral project a lot. Most of us, if not all of us. That’s what I really believe. When your existence in the world is so informed by your body—when all the oppressions you live under are informed by your very physical form being perceived as a danger, a sin, an inconvenience, an invasion—I think you inevitably end up imagining yourself outside of that form.
So, we split ourselves in two. Shed our bodies and breathe life into our spirits to carry them away. To spend time in realms where things make sense, and we don’t have to break our brains just to build order out of the disorder surrounding us.
I think Black people time travel a lot, too—with our astral bodies. We travel back in time and forward into the future and into the unknown. To pre-colonial eras, and to a time before time even existed. Before space. Before planetary formations and supernovae. When the Blackness of the cosmos was uninterrupted by the light of the stars. Living entire lifetimes in the eons when that Blackness was still pure. When there was nothing, when it was quiet.
We live inside of Black holes, on the other side of impossible. We will the impossible into existence and compel it to obey our tongues, finding ourselves in other timeliness and other universes where our tears never have to be as abundant as they are on this plane of existence.
We travel to the periphery and beyond. To the afterworld, when none of this exists anymore. When all of the systems that continually try to destroy us have themselves been decimated, and there is no one left to remember them and the many deaths they wrought.
Every day, bodies like mine get chewed up and spit out, neglected, abused, hunted, starved, buried, forgotten. Not by natural means, but by systems intentionally designed to spill our blood and hold no accountability for it. Systems that never truly protect us, but rarely ever hesitate to punish us.
This world is too loud and I just can’t be here right now. I don’t want to be present and cognizant. I don’t want to think about any of this shit for one moment longer. I’m going. Somewhere else. Anywhere else. Another time. Another place. I allow my self to take flight. It’s a separate self, but I think it’s also my truest self. This body could never tell the stories that my spirit can.
I fill my lungs with tainted air and I wonder if Flying Africans really existed. I hope they did. I hope they do. Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon becomes more realism than magic. The folktale becomes more axiom than myth. I’ve decided that the ability to astral project is written on our bones. We were all born with the urge to take flight because those who came before us passed on the gift. These astral bodies are bodies we’ve known before.
I’ve concluded that the untold truth is that Black people have always been timeless, ageless, transcendent, celestial beings. We are simply made into monstrosities in the white imagination so our magic can be contained and our otherworldliness can be erased.
Yes, that’s it. We never belonged here anyway. There was a cosmic mistake made at some point, a faulty route taken somewhere. We’ve been stolen from home before. Maybe that’s what happened. Maybe that’s why we’re stuck here, among these unremarkable mortals. Left to break away from our physical forms, again and again, as one of our only means of escape from all this… disorder.