Does heaven exist? With well over 100,000 plus recorded and described spiritual experiences collected over 15 years, to base the answer on, science can now categorically say yes. Furthermore, you can see the evidence for free on the website allaboutheaven.org.

Available on Amazon
also on all local Amazon sites, just change .com for the local version (.co.uk, .jp, .nl, .de, .fr etc.)


This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

Available on Amazon
also on all local Amazon sites, just change .com for the local version (.co.uk, .jp, .nl, .de, .fr etc.)

Sources returnpage

Freiherr von Prel, Karl

Category: Philosopher

Karl Ludwig August Friedrich Maximilian Alfred Freiherr von Prel, or, in French, Carl Ludwig August Friedrich Maximilian Alfred, Baron du Prel (3 April 1839 – 4 August 1899), was a German scientist, philosopher and writer on mysticism and the occult. In the literature it has become customary to refer to him under various abbreviated French forms of his name, usually "Carl Du Prel," "Baron Carl Du Prel," or simply "Baron Du Prel."

In his own lifetime du Prel was widely respected as a scientist and philosopher. The fourth edition of Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams (1914) uses du Prel’s work.  His work is perhaps less well known because it has not been translated from German.

Carl du Prel (1839–1899): explorer of dreams, the soul, and the cosmos - Thomas P.Weber

Carl du Prel was a major figure in the influential Munich art and literary scene of the late nineteenth century. His writings on the psychology of art and creativity had considerable impact. Among his readers were Rainer Maria Rilke, Vassily Kandinsky, Thomas Mann and Arnold Schonberg. After decades of neglect, Carl du Prel has begun to attract renewed scholarly attention, not only in new cultural histories of spiritism and the occult, but also in literary studies and media theory. …………Du Prel is mentioned in short sections in the standard histories of the plurality of worlds debate, but his philosophy of astronomy and his theories on the inhabitants of other worlds have never been explored in detail…………..


Higher spirit

Carl du Prel along with Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801–1887) and Eduard Hartmann, in studying the ‘unconscious’, considered it to be an independent and productive entity, placed above the conscious and they elevated it to the metaphysical foundation of life.  In other words, they studied the Higher spirit.

Unlike Freud, who really did study the unconscious or more properly the subconscious, all the above scientists did not consider the Higher spirit to be a place where repressed ideas and fantasies were to be found.  Fechner and von Hartmann leaned towards a pantheistic view,  du Prel stood for an individualistic conception, but in both cases they looked ‘upwards’ to the spiritual – ‘heaven’, not downwards into the depths of the mortal soul.

The importance of sensory deprivation to achieve spiritual experience

The core theoretical concept of Carl du Prel’s theory of mysticism and spiritism is the ‘transcendental subject’ – the Higher spirit or immortal soul. The transcendental subject is that part of the human mind that prevails during states such as somnambulism, clairvoyance or dreams.  Du Prel was probably the first to recognise the value of sensory deprivation as a means of reaching one’s Higher spirit.  He noticed that during  somnambulism, clairvoyance or dreams, sensory deprivation occurs and as a consequence, the transcendental world can be reached.

Du Prel also realised that we were undergoing sensory deprivation the entire time, because the senses are not only limited in number, but by virtue of the ‘sensory threshold’ or funnelling effect they were also limited in their capacity.

Space time

Du Prel believed that space and time were not operating in the ‘transcendental sphere’ .  This is why  humans could exhibit amazing abilities, such as clairvoyance, prophesying the future and in the inspiration and wisdom they obtained.

Du Prel described the human mind as ‘Janus-faced’.  One ‘face’ inhabits the waking world of everyday sensory experience [subconscious] , another lives in the  world of dreams, trance, telepathy and clairvoyant vision [Higher spirit] and between these two faces lies the  barrier that generally renders it impossible for one face to know the other [Conscious mind with its memory and intellect]. 

Levels and layers and Immanuel Kant

By using the work of Immanuel Kant, du Prel developed a theory where the spirit world accessed via the Higher spirit and ‘this world’ were no longer spatially and temporally distinct – see ‘where is heaven’. Du Prel found support for this aspect of his philosophy of mysticism in Kant’s lectures on metaphysics from his so-called ‘silent decade’, the1770s.   Du Prel realised that Kant’s treatment of Swedenborg and spiritual matters represented a mystical worldview.  .[Kants mystische Weltanschauung’ (Kant’s mystical worldview)].

This world-view resulted in du Prel speaking of humans as ‘citizens of two worlds’.  During a trance a human can reach in the transcendental realm, during a seance, ghosts can reach through a medium into our world. When a person dies, the sensory thresholds dissolve entirely: the transcendental and the sensual conscious become one. Thus the Higher spirit outlasts the body, but it also existed before birth.  It is immortal – the immortal soul.

The Higher spirit is the creative force that shapes the body. Spirits that appear during seances are thus only less permanent materialisations of disembodied souls.


Du Prel stated that the design of the cosmos has a purpose. The final purpose of the cosmos is, du Prel admits, unfathomable. However, what can be said about purposes in organic and inorganic nature is that they always act to preserve the conditions of existence. This leads to the perfect adaptation of organisms to their environment and to the preservation of the cosmos in stable systems.  In other words, not only was du Prel one of the first to recognise the existence of systems of the universe, but the first to recognise that evolution of systems combines the evolution of function and form, analogously both computer and programs evolve together.

Du Prel believed, just like Alfred Russel Wallace, that the ‘physical organisation’ of man is unlikely to undergo any more evolutionary change.  BUT, he and Wallace did believe that it is in the development of ‘sensory and psychological traits’ –mental functions -  that changes will occur.  It will be the ‘Janus-face living in the night-world’ – in effect the development of spiritual powers via the Higher spirit, that provides us with a vision of future changes to mankind.

Extra terrestrials , spirit beings and visiting angels

In the fourth chapter of   Die Planetenbewohner und die Nebularhypothese (1880, The planetary inhabitants and the nebular hypothesis), the habitability of the planets in our solar system is assessed.  Du Prel comes to the conclusion that protein based life will not develop on the outer planets and that next to earth only Venus and Mars might have once been habitable. He then encourages the reader to be more daring and to start looking in the transcendental realm.  Perhaps there are worlds that are completely beyond our senses? The search for other potential lifeforms thus becomes an epistemological question.  Extra terrestrials can be found by using the new spiritual powers we gain via evolution.

Blue sky thinking and genius

Man has supplemented and invented principally to extend the capabilities of his own form and its limitations.  Thus the original form is to a large extent the driver behind invention and design.  But where blue sky thinking and genius was displayed du Prel believed that it might be coming from ‘extra terrestrials’, whether on planets or in other realms.

This led him to believe that our inventions may be pointers to what these extra-terrestrials look like.  He said that ‘if we want to form an idea about the physical nature of the planetary inhabitants, we have to look up the book of inventions’.

Carl du Prel (1839–1899): explorer of dreams, the soul, and the cosmos - Thomas P.Weber

The reason du Prel’s aliens did not inspire more literary, philosophical or biological speculations may perhaps be found in the fact that his ruminations were rather high brow and cerebral—they did not invite colourful literary inventions of alien lifeforms. What characterises du Prel's philosophy quite distinctly is his metaphysical individualism and the lack of any social dimension to his mystical and spiritist philosophy. In du Prel’s system, the centre was reserved to the transcendental subject, which existed outside space and time, was not annihilated by death and had no social ties.


Levitation and gravity

Carl Freiherr von Prel investigated a number of phenomenon as his books [see below] bear testimony, but one of the most interesting areas he both witnessed and tried to form a hypothesis about was levitation.  There are a great number of reports in very old documents of levitation by people.  Occasionally it is extremely difficult to tell whether this is true levitation or out of body experience, von Prel acknowledged the existence of both.

A number of very prestigious scientists investigated  the area of levitation in the 1800s, including Albert De Rochas D'Aiglun [ Levitation of the human body] and in Abbot Ribet's Divine Mysticism (Paris, Poussielgue, 1883. Three vol., gr. in-8), chapter XXXII of the volume (Exemption from the law of gravity... Suspension, ascension, ecstatic flight... Supernatural agility outside ecstasy. St. Christine the admirable air travel... Energy of this ascending attraction... Walk on the waters... Explanation of this phenomenon);

In the Physics of Magic by von Prel, chapter VII of the 1st volume, is entitled: Gravitation and Levitation; it is one in which the author tries to establish a physical theory of the phenomenon, and we have provided this short chapter in full

VII. Gravity and Levitation

1. The mystery of gravity.

2. The levitation.

3. The ecstatic flight and the technical flight.

Carl also believed that via knowledge of levitation, space flight was possible and that the unidentified flying objects seen in the skies may well have been powered by levitation technologies.  Carl was not so short sighted or egotistical to believe that humans on earth were the most advanced form of life and proposed that not only did extra-terrestrial life exist, but that it was far in advance of our own.

Carl du Prel (1839–1899): explorer of dreams, the soul, and the cosmos - Thomas P.Weber

In his speculations on the nature of extraterrestrial life he …… argued that technical solutions on earth will be realized organically on other planets and claimed that superior extraterrestrials have quantitatively and qualitatively different senses and thus different forms of intuition……………

The ideology behind SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is occasionally openly religious. Scientists and writers formally or informally connected to SETI regularly express the hope that contact with alien intelligences will topple the world’s parochial religious systems and provide humanity with the impetus to create a rational religion with a genuinely cosmological outlook.


Life in brief

Carl Freiherr du Prel was born 1839 in the Bavarian city of Landshut as the fifth child of the lawyer Maximilian Freiherr du Prel(1800–1882) and Anna Sandrecky (1804–1884). Soon after Carl’s birth, the family moved to Munich. Between 1853and 1857 he attended the ‘Konigliche Pagerie’, a tough elite school for the male offspring of the Bavarian nobility, which prepared them for loyal service in the army or the civil service. In order to continue the family tradition, Carl started to study law at the University of Munich in 1857, but in1859 he volunteered as Bavaria mobilised its army in fear of a French invasion. France, however, did not invade, but du Prel remained in the army nonetheless and never resumed his law studies.

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 22  - Prel, Karl, Freiherr von

….. he served in the Bavarian army from 1859 to 1872, when he retired with the rank of captain. He then gave himself up to philosophical work, especially in connection with the phenomena of hypnotism and occultism from the modern psychological standpoint.  ….In 1868/9 he received the degree of doctor from the University of Tübingen in recognition of a treatise on the psychology of Dreams (Oneirokritikon. Der Traum vom Standpunkt des transcendental en Idealismus).

Du Prel received his doctorate in November 1869, and he left the army good in October 1872 with a small pension and resumed his life as a freelance writer and independent scholar.  In 1880, du Prel started to investigate somnambulism, magnetism and hypnosis.  Von Prel, the young medical student Albert von Schrenck-Notzing (1862–1929) and others founded the Psychologische Gesellschaft in autumn 1887.


The years between 1885 and 1893 represented the zenith of du Prel’s career, however, at the end of his life Carl felt socially and intellectually isolated because he could not afford to verify his theories. The strain of relentless hard work on his frail health finally took its toll: on August 5,1899.   Carl du Prel died in Heiligkreuz near Innsbruck.


From the mid 1860s to end of his life, du Prel was a member of the Munich circle of friends called Arkas. In this group—first known under the name Die Hoffnungslosen (Those without hope)—met a number of young, ambitious but struggling writers, artists and historians who gathered regularly in a Munich cafe´ where they discussed developments in art and philosophy. . The most important tasks of each member were to review the works of his friends and to help establish contacts with newspapers and magazines. For example, Carl du Prel and the poet Martin Greif (1839–1911) became regular reviewers of each other’s writings. Du Prel himself harboured some literary ambitions: in 1875 he published a travel book, Unter Tannen und Pinien and in 1890 a ‘hypnotic-spiritistic novel’, Das Kreuz am Ferner

Du Prel, however, published numerous works on various psychological and scientific subjects, of which the more important are [besides those already mentioned]:

  • Der gesunde Menschenverstand vor den Problemen der Wissenschaft (1872) - Common sense before the problems of science
  • Der Kampf ums Dasein am Himmel (1874), republished in 1882 under the title Entwickelungsgeschichte des Weltalls; - The fight for existence in the sky renamed to Evolutionary history of the universe.  In Der Kampf ums Dasein am Himmel, von Prel endeavoured to apply the Darwinian doctrine of biological evolution to the sphere of consciousness
  • Die Planetenbewohner and die Nebularhypothese (1880); - The planet dwellers and the nebular hypothesis
  • Die Philosophie der Mystik (1885); - The philosophy of mysticism
  • Justinus Kerner und die Seherin von Prevorst (1886); - Justinus Kerner and the seer of Prevorst
  • Die monistische Seelenlehre (1888); - The monistic psychology
  • Die Mystik der alten Griechen (1888); - The mysticism of the ancient Greeks
  • Kants mystische Weltanschauung (1889); - Kant's mystical worldview
  • Studien aus dem Gebiete der Geheimwissenschaften (1890); - Studies in the field of the secret sciences
  • Der Spiritismus (1893); - Spiritism
  • Die Entdeckung der Seele durch die Geheimwissenschaften (1894–1895). - The discovery of the soul by the secret sciences


The drawings are by Max Klinger (18 February 1857 – 5 July 1920) a German symbolist painter, sculptor, printmaker, and writer


For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.