Levitation is a trick that is often said to only occur in laboratories or by stage magicians with the use of wires to assist them. There are, however, several tales of saints gaining the ability to levitate and even fly according to several written accounts. While some of these stories are considered apocryphal, there is still a strong following that believes Saints could be given the power of flight in order to demonstrate their divine favor.
Saint Francis of Assisi is probably the best known flying saint who would be often spotted hovering a dozen or more feet off the ground while deeply in prayer and completely unaware of his location. Though St. Francis of Assisi was himself incredibly humble and considered the strange behavior to be an unnaturally attention-getting phenomenon. As a result, the saint had shackles and chains built for himself so that as he prayed he would not levitate an appreciable amount off the ground, but would rather remain humble and close to the ground. At least this is how the stories go. Catherine of Siena was also said to have the incredible ability, often lifting off her feet in a fit of ecstatic devotion to God.
And Nagendranath Bhaduri, though not himself a saint in the Catholic tradition, was a highly respected holy man in India who was able to ascend from the ground and remain suspended there while in deep states of meditation. The pop culture image of a man deep in meditation levitating from the ground because of his ascended consciousness is often attributed to this Yogi. The Astanga Yoga, which Bhaduri practiced is said to have been the secret to allowing him the ability to move in such a way beyond the laws of known physics.
And there were other people of religious significance who were said to lift off the ground while engaged deeply in their altered states of consciousness. The phenomenon was not merely observed in these two religions. Stories of Egyptian priests who would use their favor of the gods to ascend physically were also told. Even some remote tribes in the South American jungle have stories of flying priests who would associate levitation with a holy state of consciousness.
Gautama Buddha, in one of the miracles he performed is said to have ascended several feet off the ground as a brahmin stood watching from the other side of the river. He hovered over to the brahmin at the other side of the stream with the intention of converting him. Needless to say the brahmin was impressed.
Is it actually possible these people could find ways to circumvent the laws of physics by using nothing more than their own consciousness? Several traditions suggest it is possible, but is it more than merely symbolic of the ascended nature of their minds? Will study of the mind discover ways of unlocking telekinetic powers that are powerful enough to actually lift a person off the ground and allow them to move without being physically touched?