Saturday, May 22, 2010

I believe I can fly

Throughout history, individuals have claimed to have a mystifying ability to lift themselves into air without any physical force, defying gravity. This concept, known as levitation, has said to have been practiced for hundreds of years. Levitation is typically associated with spiritual mediums, demonic activity, shamans, witches, and religious figures. A famous levitator, Daniel Dunglas Home of Scotland, held many séances throughout his time during the 1800s. Scientists, aristocrats, and royalty watched him as he flew through air in and out of windows and caused objects to rise from the ground. A well-known physicist, William Crookes, observed Home on 50 occasions, and many sources claimed that Home was not a fraud. There are also many Indian yogis and Tibetan lamas who claim that they are able to levitate through meditation and breathing techniques (Simon Harvey-Wilson).

So how could this possibly occur? Skeptics believe that perhaps a person can hallucinate that they were levitating or maybe they were under hypnosis? Maybe they were just lying and utilizing illusions as means of appearing to levitate. Supporters believe that levitation can occur through physical forces from other dimensions that are able to manifest in the real world (Alan Hefner). Perhaps spirits or aliens have the ability to levitate people as well. Theoretical physicists in the United Kingdom have hypothesized that a force called the “Casimir force,” which causes objects to stick together on a quantum level, could be reversed – causing objects to repel one another. This theory could actually be used in association with levitation (Agençe France-Presse). Studies in neuroscience and psychiatry are helpful in studying levitation because many believe that levitation is able to occur at different levels of consciousness and in trance states of mind (Simon Harvey-Wilson).

So why do people believe in this phenomenon? As stated previously, the concepts of levitation are ancient and are apparently still practiced today. Many levitation advocates claim levitation can be easily accomplished through meditation as well. In my opinion, although the concept is intriguing, I’ll believe it when I see it. Most people on TV who claim to levitate, like Criss Angel and David Blaine, are just illusionists. Currently, there is no scientific evidence neither proving nor disproving human levitation.


  1. I agree with you. I don't believe that levitation can be performed without some type of trickery. I watch Criss Angel's "Mindfreak" all the time and although I know the show is just illusions I love watching it. It's interesting to think that the human mind can observe something, know that it is just an illusion, yet still be fascinated by it.

    I have always loved magic since I was little. But since I grew up I realized that it is not what it seems, yet it's still really cool! I never knew that levitation has been performed for hundreds of years until I read your post. I also have never heard of this Home man before but it is really interesting. I read up on him after looking at this post and learned a lot about him. It seems as if he was a more "believable" version of Houdini back then.

    Anyway, I think your post was really cool. It would be awesome if someone could levitate through a state of consciousness or something instead of using trickery and illusions... I want to fly!

  2. I really enjoyed watching your video despite the fact that now Criss Angel is not really as cool as I thought he was before. However, even though now i can see how he is able to do his tricks of levitation it still is as stated above extremly fasinating.
    There are reasons why shows about magic work because even when people know that it is fake, its still really exciting to watch. Even if he cant fly, it must be pretty complicating to actually be as smoothe as he is to make the audience question themselves...years of practice I'm sure.

  3. Wow. Where was I when this video came out? I did not know Criss Angel admitted that he was tricking everyone. I knew there was a trick to it but I did not know how he was doing it. He must be really good at illusions apparently.