Kepler, Johannes - The Daemon from Levania from Somnium
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Daemon is our Higher spirit and in this carefully coded piece of apparent story from Somnium, Kepler describes [with some humour added] a trip to the spiritual Moon - an out of body experience of some danger
A description of the experience
The Daemon from Levania from Somnium
Fifty thousand German miles up in the Aether lies the island of Levania. The road to it from here or from it to the Earth is seldom open. When it is open, it is easy for our kind [his Higher spirit], but for transporting men it is assuredly most difficult and fraught with the greatest danger to life. We admit to this company nobody who is lethargic, fat or tender. On the contrary, we choose those who spend their time in the constant practise of horsemanship, or often sail to the Indies......... we especially like dried up old women experienced from an early age in riding he-goats at night or forked sticks or threadbare cloaks and in traversing immense expanses of the earth...
Great as the distance is, the entire tip is consummated in four hours at the most.. we are always very busy and agree not to start until the moon begins to be eclipsed on its eastern side. Should it regain its full light while we are in transit, our departure becomes futile. Because the opportunity is so fleeting, we take few human beings along and only those who are most devoted to us.
Some men of this kind, then, we seize as a group and all of us pushing from underneath, lift him up into the heavens.
In every instance the take-off hits him as a severe shock for he is hurled just as though he had been shot aloft by gunpowder to sail over mountains and seas, for this reason he must be lulled to sleep immediately with narcotics and opiates. His limbs must be arranged in such a way that his torso will not be torn away from his buttocks nor his head from his body.
Then a new difficulty follows, extreme cold and impeded breathing. The cold is relieved by a power which we are born with the breathing by applying a damp sponge to the nostrils...
Their bodies roll themselves up like spiders into balls which we carry along almost entirely by our will alone, so that finally the bodily mass proceeds toward our destination of its own accord.