An American novelist and journalist who took it upon himself to explore a number of religions during the 1940’s and 1950’s, Paul Twitchell took a journey through a world of religious traditions in order to find his own peace. He had several interests including the Scientology and The New Thought Movement and opened his mind to a whole new world of possibilities. He started his life in a small town in Kentucky called Paducah. There was some unsaid story behind his adoption by his father resulting in his stepmother resenting his presence in their lives. His father was a seasoned traveller and had become acquainted with a holy man from India during his travels through Europe. The holy man had taught his father how to meditate and travel astrally out of his earthly body. His father had taught the technique to Paul’s older sister so that she too could travel out of body.
Life Altering Experience
At the age of five Paul fell very ill with Pleurisy and came close to dying. With the help of his sister he was taught how to leave his body and to undergo a form of spiritual healing, the method of the healing is still unknown. Whatever she did she was successful and Paul was returned to his body, although reluctantly, and restored to health. Paul later referred to this process as bilocation. After the incident his sister taught him how to perform the out of body technique himself.
At sixteen he accompanied his sister to Paris where she was to go to art school before travelling together to India. In India they spent time in the ashram of their father’s holy man located in Allahabad where Paul claims to have had some unbelievable spiritual experiences. He claims that the teachers there would take their pupils out of their bodies and instruct them in the ways of Eckankar, the ancient science relating to soul travel.
After the death of his sister, Paul was prompted by his wife to do something with all of the esoteric knowledge that he possessed. Paul began to teach, instructing others in the art of what he termed bilocation. The more he taught the more people asked for written material from him, information that they could hold onto. He started writing small pamphlets, the pamphlets let on to books, and by the end of the 1980’s Paul Twitchell had introduced tens of thousands of people to Eckankar. He wrote about his own spiritual experiences in a way that people could relate to them. This ability made him one of the most successful teachers of Indian based spirituality in the United States.
He died while attending an Eckankar conference in 1970 as a result of a heart attack, still teaching his beliefs to the followers that were eager for his words. Although there have been adaptations to his teaching in the years since his death, his original writings still hold strong as do the beliefs of those that follow his original teachings.