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Honoré de Balzac (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850)

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Did you know that Honoré de Balzac (20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850), the famous French author, experienced Out-of-Body Experiences (OBEs)?

In La Comédie Humaine, a multi-volume collection of interlinked novels which represents a panorama of post-Napoleonic French life with incredible Proustian attributes and remarkable social detail, Balzac created interlinked characters, estimated to have reached 2,472 personalities, with their own identity and temperament. Certainly the work of a genius.

But his genius was not only linguistic. Balzac experienced OBEs apparently since being an adolescent. In his autobiographical book Louis Lambert, published in 1832, Balzac asked himself when faced with his own experiences, if Out-of-Body Experiences would not lead to a new science, concluding that:

"Maybe, we are simply endowed with perfectible intimate qualities, which exercised and developed produce activities of insight and visions that are still unobserved... Why have humans reflected so little until now upon the accidents of sleep that indicate a double life? Will there not be a new science of this phenomenon?"

He presumed that if not, certainly, these experiences would indicate the incredible power within men and the superior senses that distinguish our inner abilities calling it "Homo Duplex"!

Will there not be a new evolutionary taxonomy to this ability? Human taxonomy is the classification of the human species or, in other words, how we, as Homo sapiens (Latin: "wise man"), are classified within a zoological taxonomy. Taxonomy is a term derived from the Greek taxis ("arrangement") and nomos ("law"), and therefore refers to methodological principles of classifications of animals in hierarchies of superior and subordinate groups with specific capacities achieved and recognised in our evolutionary history. Maybe one day, out-of-body experiencers will have an acknowledged evolutionary taxonomy as a sort of degree of the evolutionary capacity of our Homo Duplex potential as a skill beyond that of the homo sapiens.

Rodrigo Montenegro

MSc. Neuroscience,

Sleep Consciousness Researcher,

PhD Candidate.


Balzac, H. d. (1980). Louis Lambert, Les proscrits, Jésus Christ en Flandre, Éditions Gallimard.

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