By Ewan Shiels (Collection Ewan Shiels) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
The art of levitation is not something that comes up very often in a normal converstion. To Levitate ie. “To rise off the ground and float in thin air”. Many magicians are famous for their levitation acts, and of course we all know these are tricks done with gadgets and mirrors. But there is another side to levitation that is not so full of trickery and optical illusions.
For thousands of years, men and women of different religious denominations such as Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, shamans have apparently achieved levitation. Of course the act of levitation goes beyond the laws of gravity and totally defeats our understanding of worldly physics.
But is it truly possible to achieve levitation despite logic? Let’s take a look at a few examples of levitation over many centuries.
The Spiritual Feats of Levitation
In St. Teresa of Avila’s autobiography, she discusses instances when she would suddenly rise off the ground while involved in deep religious practices. According to her she would try resisting the levitation in hopes of not being seen as “different” in front of the other nuns in her order. Keep in mind, this was in the 1500’s, so doubtful there were many tricks or illusions involved.
Later in the 1600’s, St. Joseph of Cupertino was known to levitate quite frequently and without warning. On one such occasion, his levitation act occurred while in the presence of Pope Urban VIII.
It was clear to anyone that witnessed either of these accounts that the individuals were in some sort of deep trance or altered state of mind. So evidently this is something that does not occur while they are fully aware of what’s happening.
One witness, P.T. Plunkett (a British tea planter), took a photo of Subbayah Pullavar during his levitation in southern India in 1936. Plunkett was so baffled by what he saw that he took his walking stick and moved it all around, above and below Pullavar only to find there was nothing holding him up!
The Levitation of Mr. Home
One of the most famous spiritualist mediums and known levitators was Daniel Dunglas Home (1833-1886). His acts of levitation were very well known in the United States as well as Europe. But his acts were a bit different from the others, he actually performed levitation for people willingly.
Emperor Napoleon III, the King of Prussia and the Czar or Russia were all lucky enough to see him in action. But this being such an unorthodox performance, not everyone that witnessed this freakish gift found it all that amusing. He was accused of sorcery and banned from Rome and Italy in 1864.
Since Home’s levitation act was so famous it caught the attention of scientists, who investigated him thoroughly trying to find an explanation to this unnatural oddity. But science wasn’t the only interested party. Conjurors, stage magicians and even the skeptics were looking for answers.
One of his more memorable performances was when he rose in the air and floated right out of a third floor window. He changed course and floated back into the building through a different window. He did all this while in a well lit room with several witnesses, and no one could figure out how he did it, there were no signs of trickery being involved.
Levitation by Magnetism
Have you ever placed two magnets together with opposing ends facing each other? So what happens? They will push each other along, right? Well that’s one example of magnetic levitation.
When a strong magnetic force defeats gravity, it’s accomplishing magnetic levitation. By placing opposing magnets, of decent strength, where they are able to change the magnetic field around them, you can actually lift objects or move them.
Amazingly they even have trains that fun off magnetism called maglev trains. They run on a cushion of air that is held in place by massively powerful opposing magnets.
My Theory on Levitation
Maybe these human acts of levitation are a similar concept. If it is truly possible, then maybe some people have stronger magnetic fields in their bodies than others. Or they may have the ability to increase magnetism within themselves or reverse it’s polarity to oppose that of Earth’s gravitational magnetism. The mind is a mighty powerful tool. It’s definitely something to think about…
But if you’re looking for an easy way to learn how to levitate, then you could always do what Natsumi Hayashi does. Check her out in Not Just a Jump, but Levitation.
What do you think about levitation? A bunch of hocus pocus or the real deal? Share you opinion in the comments below!