Question: How is it possible for someone to still be alive on the physical plane if his soul has left his body?

Sri Chinmoy: Your soul has left your body many, many times during your sleep and come to me, and still you are alive. The soul can leave the body for a few seconds. A fleeting second in the soul's world would seem like many years or many months here. There is a difference between the soul's time and our earthly time. An ordinary soul can leave the body for a maximum amount of eleven to thirteen hours. If the soul leaves the body and does not come back by that time, then usually it cannot come back into the cage which is the body. Otherwise, the soul can leave the body for half an hour or an hour and the body can function automatically during sleep and at other times. You may be sleeping for eight hours. During those eight hours, for half an hour or forty-five minutes your soul can come to New York or to the soul's region or to various other places. Again, the experience that your soul has in one second will take you an hour to narrate.

When you see something with your ordinary human eyes, you just see that one thing. But if you see with the soul's light, you will be able to see everything in a fleeting second. And again, when you try to express that fleeting second with your mind, you can spend one hour in dealing with details: who sat beside you and what she looked like or what was on the wall. You can go on and on. So when you say that a soul came and had a conversation with your soul, this conversation may have lasted only for a fleeting second, but when the physical mind records it in its own way and wants to narrate it, it may take one or two hours.

So the soul can leave the body for a few minutes or a few hours, and the body can function. But again, if it is over thirteen hours, then it is impossible to keep the connection. The cord is snapped. Sometimes it happens that the soul goes to various soul's worlds or distant parts of the world, and after four or five hours it doesn't want to come back.