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Francis Lefebure

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Dr. Francis Lefebure (September 17, 1916 – March 19, 1988) was a French physician, known for his study of phosphenes.

Early life[edit]

Lefebure was born in Paris, France. His mother, Claire de Saint-Rémy, was a painter and poet. His father, a lawyer, published a magazine about thermal and tourist laws. He attended the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, the high school which has produced the largest number of famous French men[citation needed]. All his life, Dr. Lefebure kept a fond memory of his science teachers.

At age 17, he attended the "P.C.N." (Physics, Chemistry, Biology), which was meant as a preparatory year before the study of Medicine. He graduated among the first of several hundred students, although he was the youngest.

He started at the age of 13, simultaneously to his academic studies, to express an interest in methods of personal development, yoga and spiritual experiences. This was mainly because Dr. Lefebure lived in the famous 'Latin quarter' of Paris, which was the only place where bookshops specialized in these fields could be found at the time. His early research was greatly supported by his mother, who knew about her son's interest and who would find him the best books. At the early age of 15, he had already passionately studied all the works of the philosopher and founder of anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner. Though much later, after his discoveries on the phosphenes, Dr. Lefebure distanced himself from Steiner's work.

At the age of 18, he began to study medicine. His main interests lied in anatomy, histology, physiology and physics applied to medicine, fields in which he obtained top marks but, like Darwin, he never had any interest in pathology or clinical medicine, though he had to study those subjects anyway. He became an extern of the Hospitals of Paris, choosing the neurology and children psychiatry services.

Meeting Galip, and army life[edit]

In June 1934, he met the man who in a way became his mentor: Artheme Galip, a Ukrainian diplomat, son of the last governor of Bucovinia, before it was annexed by the U.S.S.R. After the annexation, Galip moved to France as a refugee. He had previously spent time in a zoroastrian temple. This man was supposed to have the ability to trigger visions by laying on of hands, but had no proper teaching. There was a contradiction between his gift and the exercises he taught, some of them were actually very harmful, others were just a waste of time.

Galip left for South America and disappeared. Dr Lefebure, while he continued his medical studies, was left alone trying to untangle the contradictory effects of the laying on of hands and of the exercises Galip had taught him. For that purpose, he passed his doctorate in 1942 in Algiers with a thesis on the breathing exercises of Yoga: "Rhythmic breathing and mental concentration". He was drafted in 1939 as an auxiliary medic and was later promoted to the rank of lieutenant medic.

He used the long years of draft to ponder all that he had previously learnt. From his meditations in the army came a book: "Homologies, the Analogies of the Microcosm and Macrocosm", which he considered as his best work on the intellectual level. It is basically an extension of the theory of symmetry, a path that academic science would follow, more than 40 years later, with the studies on "Fractals" and "Internal Homothecy"[citation needed].

Biological studies[edit]

After leaving the army, Dr. Lefebure decided to follow his lifetime vocation and started a degree in biology, then taught science. But, being married, he had to accept a post as a school hygiene doctor. He nevertheless continued his research and created the association 'Homosophy' (the Wisdom of Similarities), thus creating the first groups of study of initiatory techniques, in 1945.

While bringing up three children, he spent his spare time writing another book, "The Power of Christianity", to prove that Christianity was built on exercises that were later taken out and also to demonstrate that non-violence is the best way of defense. This was the time when he wrote about the effects Galip's laying on of hands had triggered in his book "Initiatory Experiences" and about the out-of-body experiences that his method (published in "Homologies") had produced.

Meeting with Subuh[edit]

In 1959, his meeting with the Indonesian mage Pak Subuh was decisive, as Dr Lefebure wanted to compare Subuh's exercises with those of his first master. Electroencephalograms were impossible to use as they require muscular relaxation, so he had the idea to monitor the action on a phosphene of the different variations of a same exercise. This is how he discovered the first phosphenic phenomenon that had never been reported before: if the head is moved on a rhythm of two seconds, the phosphene follows that movement. If the movement of the head is faster or slower, the phosphene stays fixed.

This led him to experimenting with what would happen with two phosphenes. The method of brain exploration by the study of the rhythms of double phosphenes seemed to be of extraordinary richness and practical use to him. He wrote a book on the subject. Its first draft was a report that he transmitted to the School Health Service in the spring of 1960. This book describes various rhythmic and cerebral phenomena which were unknown before and that became possible to observe thanks to the Cerebroscope, a device for which the Lefebure was awarded the Silver Medal at the Lépine contest of inventors in 1964.

He then applied this discovery to the ear and designed the Synchrophone which later became the alternophone, a cerebral activation device and wrote "Activating the brain with alternative hearing". He was awarded the Gold Medal and first prize of the Lépine contest in 1963 and the Gold Medal at the International Inventors Fair in Brussels in 1964 for the action on the brain of the alternative hearing device (Alternophonia).

Phosphenic mixing[edit]

In 1963, he had the idea to study what happens when an individual thinks about a particular subject during the presence of the phosphene. This idea was the origin of the principle of "Phosphenic Mixing", a method that supposedly develops memory, intelligence, the sense of initiative, artistic intuition and creativity by mixing thoughts and phosphenes. In November 1975, the World's Inventors Fair in Brussels awarded Lefebure the Silver Medal for his method: "Phosphenic Mixing Applied to Education" which in 2004, has been printed 16 times and has sold more than 58 thousand copies.

He thought that the method was fruitful and remarkably easy to apply. Since then, he spent all his energy on perfecting this technique, teaching it and applying it to other sensory organs.

Every reader that would relate their application of the method to him became collaborators (their names have always been quoted alongside the fact that have discovered, unless Dr Lefebure was asked not to). Thus, after twenty nine years of work, he managed to accumulate a considerable and unique documentation.

The collected information underscored the part that Phosphenism could have played in the origin of religions and lead to the publication of a book: "Phosphenism and the Origin of Religions" ("Developing Clairvoyance by using Phosphenism").

It is during this period that he thought he solved the great enigma of his youth: where did Galip's strange power of laying on of hands came from? Indeed, he believed that phosphenes could be very easily transmissible by telepathy. The zoroastrian areas were the only places in the pre-industrial world where oil naturally sprang from the ground. Thus, since the dawn of prehistory, a stock of human beings has had a much greater material ease for producing bright and permanent fires, though they could not analyse the details of the process: thinking while focusing on a bright fire. Without being aware of it, they practiced Phosphenism. This could be why in this area, there are individuals who are supposed to possess a secret knowledge, that could be magically explained because they have particular gifts produced by the instinctive practice of Phosphenic Mixing.

Later, the extension of the principle of Phosphenic Mixing to breathing led him to write "The pneumophene, or the breathing techniques that open the doors to the world beyond".

A similar extension to the sense of movement led Lefebure to write "From the Praying Wheel to the Spiritual Dynamo, or the Kundalini-triggering device". This book, based on supposed scientific experiments, shines a new light on eastern esoteric traditions. It was followed in 1988 by volume II that describes new applications of the Gyrascope. Lefebure considered that "thanks to the phosphene and the various types of Gyrascopes, a door has been opened in 'esoterism'. The phenomena qualified of initiatory are finally open to everyone. The force liberated is like burning lava sweeping humanity."

Meeting Daniel Stiennon was a deciding factor for the diffusion of phosphenism. He created an association then, very quickly a company that is now present in different points of the world.

The works of Lefebure can be compared to the works of the greatest esotericists[citation needed]. After thirty years of organizing lectures and seminars all over the world, and several of the books having been translated in various languages, some think that Lefebure has had an influence on researchers since 1945[citation needed], but many others don't. Mrs Alexandra David-Neel had, for example, studied the book that is the cornerstone of Phosphenism: "Homologies" and knew Lefebure. Of course, many drew influence from his works without ever quoting him[citation needed]. On the contrary, Lefebure always quoted his sources.

A few dates in the history of phosphenism[edit]

  • 1916: Dr. Francis Lefebure was born on September 17, 1916, in Paris, France. He died on March 19, 1988 in his apartment 104 rue Réaumur Paris, France.
  • 1945: He created the association "Homosophy - Wisdom of Similarities", which shortly afterwards became the association "Phosphenism".
  • 1959: The first discovery of Dr. Lefebure about phosphenes, and the release of his first book on Phosphenism.
  • 1960: Verification of the discoveries of Dr. Lefebure by the C.N.R.S, at the National Institute of Sports Laboratory and the Henri Roussel Hospital, Paris.
  • 1963: First Gold medal and Prize at the "Lépine" contest.
  • 1967: Dispatching of telegrams and letters to the Vatican and to his Holiness, Paul VI, revealing the scientific explanation of the "phenomena" that took place in Fatima, Portugal. After these revelations that "disturbed" the pope, the Church gave up recognizing "solar prodigies" as specifically catholic miracles. This is an implicit acknowledgement of the discoveries of Dr Lefebure.
  • 1967: First photographs of phosphenes, realised by Louis Cuttica. Over a hundred of such photographs were supposedly taken.
  • 1969: The secret services of several countries, including France, took an interest in Dr. Lefebure's discoveries[citation needed]. However, they closed the matter quickly.
  • 1974: Publication of "Phosphenism, a new explanation of the origin of religions".
  • 1975-1982: Series of conferences in Germany, England, Portugal, the Island of Réunion, Quebec (Canada) and in parts of Africa.
  • 1981: First meeting of Daniel Stiennon and Dr. Lefebure.
  • 1981: After describing something called "rotational function of the brain", Dr. Lefebure created the "Gyrascope".
  • 1986: Creation of the company "Editions Phosphénisme" by Daniel Stiennon.

1996: "Phosphenic Mixing Applied to Education" reaches its 14th edition and has sold over 56.000 copies.

  • 1997: Creation of several web sites on the Internet in three languages (French, Spanish and English).
  • 1999: Opening of the Phosphenology Research Center in the French department of Gard.
  • 2001: E-books editions of Dr. Lefebure's books available on the Internet.

Achievements and awards[edit]

  • Former Extern of the Hospitals of Paris, France
  • Former Physician at the School Health Services
  • Former teacher of science and mathematics.
  • Gold medal and prize at the "Lépine" contest, 1963
  • Silver medal at the "Lépine" contest, 1964
  • Gold medal at the International Inventor's Fair, 1964
  • Vermilion medal at the International Inventor's Fair, 1967
  • Silver medal at the International Inventor's Fair, Brussels, 1975, for his method "Phosphenic Mixing Applied to Education".

External links[edit]


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