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Observations placeholder

Brewster, Sir David - Letters to Walter Scott on Natural Magic – Experiments in levitation



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

From Albert De Rochas D'Aiglun - Levitation of the human body

the following experiment reported by the famous physicist David Brewster, a member of the Royal Society of London, in one of his Letters to Walter Scott on Natural Magic:

"The heaviest person in society lies on two chairs so that the lower thighs rest on one and the shoulders on the other. Four people, one by each leg, and one by each shoulder, try to lift him up and first notice that it is very difficult. When all five of them have regained their original positions, the person lying down gives two signals by clapping their hands twice against each other; at the first signal, they and the other four inhale strongly; as soon as the lungs are full of air, they give the second signal for the elevation, which is done without any difficulty, as if the person being lifted were as light as a feather.

"Several times I had the opportunity to notice that when one of the people lifting did not inhale at the same time as the others, the part of the body she was trying to lift remained below the others.

"Many people have successively played the role of carrier or porter; they have all been convinced that, by the process I have just described, either the weight of the burden was reduced or the strength of the carriers was increased.

"In Venice, the same experiment was repeated under even more surprising conditions. The heaviest man in society was raised and carried to the end of the six-person index. Major H... says that the experiment fails when the person to be raised is lying on a board and the effort of others is exerted on that board. He considers it essential that the carriers are in immediate contact with the human body to be raised. I missed the opportunity to verify this fact for myself.»


The source of the experience

Brewster, Sir David

Concepts, symbols and science items



Activities and commonsteps