To answer question #6, it does feel real.
I have read that some people have a hard time astral projecting or the go through a whole process for their soul to leave the body.
I have had 3 astral experiences (not done intentionally) and only once did i manage to leave my body. I didn't even need to try, i just did. A Spirit was next to my bed and i felt drawn to her, maybe that's why it was so easy.