AND MYSTERY IN TIBET
David Neel 1931
x 4 = 8 2 + 4 = 6
Phenomena in Tibet -
How Tibetans Explain Them'
fascination exercised by Tibet as an abode of sages and
magici-ans dates from a time long back. Even before the
Buddha, Indians turned with devout awe to the Himalayas, and
many were the extra-ordinary stories about the mysterious,
cloud enshrouded northern country extending beyond their
mighty snow peaks. The Chinese also
seem to have been impressed by the strangeness of Tibetan
wilds. Amongst others, the legend of her great mystic
philosopher Laotze relates that, at the end of his long
career, the master riding an ox started for the mysterious
land, crossed its borders and never returned. The same thing
is sometimes told about Boddhidharma and some of his chinese
disciples, followers of the Buddhist sect of meditation (
Even nowadays one may often meet Indian
pilgrims on the paths that climb towards the passes through
which one enters Tibet, drag-ging themselves along in a
dream; hypnotized, it seems, by an overpowering vision. When
asked the motive of their journey most of them can only
answer that they wish to die on Tibetan ground. And too
often the cold climate, the high altitude, fatigue and
starva-tion help them to realize their wish.
How can we explain this magnetic
power in Tibet?
There is no doubt that the
reputation enjoyed by the 'Land of Snow' for being a country
of wizards and magician, a ground on which miracles daily
occur, is the main cause of its attraction over the majority
of its worshippers. But now one may ask for what reason
Tibet has been credited with being the chosen land of occult
law and supernormal phenomena.
Perhaps the most obvious case is
that already mentioned, the extreme remoteness of the
country, enclosed between formidable mountain ranges and
I do not think it is exaggerated to say that its landscapes
surpass, in all respects, those imagined by the fanciful
architects of gods'and demons worlds.
No description can convey the least
idea of the solemn majesty, the serene beauty, the awe-
inspiring wilderness, the entrancing charm of the finest
Often, when tramping across these
solitary heights, one feels like an intruder. Unconsciously
one slackens pace, lowers one's voice and words of apology
for one's boldness come to the lips, ready to be uttered at
the first sight of a legitimate superhuman master on whose
ground one has trespassed.
Common Tibetan villagers and
herdsman, though born amidst such surroundings are strongly
influenced by them. Translated by their primitive minds,
their impressions take the form of these fantastic demigods
and spirits of a hundred kinds with whom they have densely
populated the solitude of Tibet, and whose whimsical
de-meanour is the inexhaustible theme of a rich
On the other hand, just as the
Chaldean shepherds of yore observ-ing the starry sky, on the
shore of the Euphrates, laid the foundation of astronomy, so
Tibetan anchorites and itinerant shamans have long
pondered over the mysteries of their bewitching country and
noted the phenomena which there found a favourable ground.
Astrange art had its origin in their contemplations and many
centuries ago, the magicians from the northern
Transhimalayan land were already known and held in high
repute in India"
"...It is certain that especially since the introduction of
Buddhism, numbers of Indians, Nepalese, Chinese and other
travellers have visi-ted Tibet, seen its bewildering sites
and heard about the supernormal powers with which its
dubtobs are credited. Amongst them, a few have
probably approached the lamas or Bonpos magicians and
listened to the mystic doctrines of contemplative hermits.
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tales, which inevitably grew and amplified as they were
circulated, must have greatly contributed, together with the
causes I have mentioned and other less apparent ones, to
create around Tibet the glamorous atmosphere it now
Must we conclude that the renown of
Tibet as the land in which prodigies flourish, is entirely
based on delusion? This would be as great an error as the
uncritical acceptance of all the native tales, or of those
lately conceived by the fertile brains of some facetious
The best way is to be guided by the
rather suprising opinion of the Tibetans themselves
regarding miraculous events. None in Tibet deny that such
events may take place, but no one regards them as miracles,
according to the meaning of that term in the West, that is
to say as supernatural events.
Indeed, Tibetans do not recognize
any supernatural agent the so-called wonders, they think are
as natural as common daily events and depend on the clever
handling of little-known laws and forces.
All facts which, in other countries,
are considered miraculousor, in any other way, ascribed to
the arbitrary interference of beings be-longing to other
worlds, are considered by Tibetan adepts of the secret lore
2 as psychic phenomena.
In a general way, Tibetans
distinguish two categories of psychic phenomena.
1. The phenomena which are unconsciously
produced either by one or by several individuals.
In that case, the author
authors - of the phenomenon acting unconsciously, it is
obvious that he does not aim at a fixed result.
2 The phenomena produced consciously,
with a view of bringing about a prescribed result. These are
not always -
work of a single person.
That 'person' may be a man or may belong to any one of the
six classes of sentient beings which lamaists acknowledge as
existing in our world. 3 Whosoever be its author,
the phenomenon is produced by the same process, in
accordance with some natural laws: there is no
It may be of interest to remark
here that Tibetans are staunch determinists. Each volition,
they believe, is brought about by a num-ber of causes, of
which some are near and others extremely remote.
I shall not lay stress on that
point which is outside the present sub-ject. However the
reader must bear in mind that, according to Tib-etans, each
phenomenon, consciously or unconsciously generated,
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as each of our bodily or mental actions, is the fruit of
manifold combined causes.
Amongst these causes, the first and
more easily discernible ones are those which have arisen in
the mind of the doer of the action, the conscious will of
doing it. To these causes Tibetans assimilate those which,
even unknown to the doer, have put into motion some
forces which have led him to perform the action. Both kinds
are styled gyu, 'immediate or principal cause.'
Then, come the outside-causes, not originating with the
doer, which may have helped the accomplish-ment of the
action. These are called kyen. 4
The remote causes are often
represented by their 'descendants'5 These 'descendants' are
the present conditions which exist as the effects of bodily
or mental actions which have been done in the past, but not
necessarily, done by the doer of the present act
So, when concentration of thoughts
is mentioned here below as the direct cause of a phenomenon,
one must remember: first that according to Tibetan mystics,
this concentration is not spontaneous, but determined; and
secondly, that besides this direct apparent cause, there
exist, in the background, a number of secondary causes which
are equally necessary to bring about the phenomenon.
The secret of the psychic training,
as Tibetans conceive it, consists in developing a power of
concentration of mind greatly surpassing even that of men
who are, by nature the most gifted in this respect.
Mystic masters affirm that by means
of such concentration of mind, waves
are produced which can be used in certain ways. The term
mine. I use it for clearness' sake and also because, as the
reader will see, Tibetan mystics really mean some
'currents' or waves
However, they merely say shugs or tsal;
that is to say, 'energy.' That energy, they believe, is
produced every time that a physical or mental action takes
place. - Action of the mind, of the speech and of
the body, according to the Buddhist classification. - The
production of psychic phenomena depends upon the strength of
that energy and the direction in which it is pointed.
1. An object can be charged
It then becomes some-thing resembling our electric
accumulators and may give back in one way or another, the
energy stored in it. For instance, it will increase the
vitality of one who touches it, infuse him with courage,
etc. Practices grounded
on this theory and aiming at beneficial results are current
in Tibet. Numbers of lamas prepare pills, holy water,
knotted scarves, charms printed on paper or cloth which are
Note 4. As an instance, the seed is the
rgyu of the plant. The soil and the various
substances which exist in it, the water, air, sun, the
gardener who has sown the seed, etc, are rkyen
(pronounced gyu and kyen).
5. In Tibetan rigs as an instance: the
milk is present in the butter or cheese; the seed is present
in the tree born from it. Tibetans freely use these
6. Written rtsal
Charge this up to my account scribe said Zed Aliz . So
the far yonder scribe did just that, being careful not to
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to impart strength and health, or to keep away accidents,
evil spirits, robbers, bullets and so on.
The lama must first purify himself
by a proper diet and then con-centrate his thoughts on the
object which he means to empower, in order to load it with
wholesome influences. Several weeks or months are sometimes
deemed necessary for that preparation. However, when it is
only a question of charmed scarves, these are often knotted
and consecrated in a few minutes.
2. The energy which is communicated to an
object, pours into it a kind of life. That
inanimate object becomes able to move and can perform
certain actions at the command of its
maker." The ngagspas are
said to resort to these practices, to hurt or kill without
arousing any suspicion that they are responsible for the
Here is an instance of the way in which the
sorceror proceeds. Taking with him the object which is to be
animated - let us say a knife destined to kill someone - the
ngagspa shuts himself in seclu-sion for a period
that may last over several months.
During that time he sits, concentrating his thoughts on the
knife in front of him and endevouring to transfer to the
inanimate object, his will to kill the particular individual
whose death has been planned.
Various rites are often performed in
connection with the ngagspa's concentration of
mind. These aim at adding to the energy which the latter is
capable of generating and transfusing into the knife.
Well I'll Rub a dagger said Alizzed rubbing the
rubber dagger against a rubber rubber, until one or tother,
or best a three, half-way disappeared.
Page 208 continued
deemed more powerful than the sorcerer are either besought
to co-operate willingly with him or coerced and compelled to
let their energy flow into the weapon.
These 'beings' are often of a
demoniacal kind, but in the case when the murder is deemed a
righteous action, 7 useful to the welfare of many, lofty
benevolent entities may be called in as helpers. These are
always respectfully implored and no one attempts to coerce
them. Some ngagpas think it useful to bring the
weapon into touch with the man whom it is meant to kill or
with objects habitually used by him.
Other adepts of the black art scoff
at such a childish practice and declare that it discloses
utter ignorance regarding the causes which may bring about
the killing or hurting that is to appear accidental.
When the sorceror supposes that the
knife is ready to perform its work, it is placed near the
man who is to become its victim so that, almost always, he
may be led to use it. Then, as soon as he seizes it, the
knife moves, gives a sudden impulse to the hand which holds
it, and the man whom it has been prepared stabs
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is said that when once the weapon has been animated in that
way, it becomes dangerous for the ngagspa who, if
he lacks the know-ledge and cleverness required to guard
himself, may fall its victim.
Auto-suggestion is likely to result
from the protracted meditation and the elaborate rites
performed by the sorcerer while dwelling in seclusion, and
it would not be suprising if some accident occurred to him.
Nevertheless, apart from the stories of demons and spirits
there may be a phenomenon similar to that which is said to
occur when the phantom created by a magician breaks away
from its maker's control.
Certain lamas and a few Bonpos have told me
that it is a mistake to believe, in such cases as I have
just mentioned, that the knife becomes animated and kills
the man. It is the man, they said, who acts on
auto-suggestion as a result of the sorcer's concentration of
Though the ngagspa only aims at
animating the knife, the man against whom the rites are
performed is closely associated in his mind with the idea of
the weapon. And so, as that man may be a fit re-ceiver of
the occult 'waves' generated by the sorcerer - ( while the
knife is not) he falls unconsciously under their influence.
Then when touching the prepared knife, the view and touch of
the latter put into motion the suggestion existing unknown
to him, in the mans mind and he stabs himself.
Moreover, it is strongly believed that without
any material object for transmission, proficient adepts of
the secret lore can suggest, even from afar, to men or other
beings, the idea of killing themselves in one way or the
All agree in saying that any such
attempt cannot be successful against an adept in psychic
training because such a one detects the
'waves' of forces pointed at him and is able to
discriminate their nature and thrust back those which he
3. Without the help of any material object, the
energy generated by the concentration of thoughts can be
carried to more or less distant points. There this energy
may manifest itself in various manners. For instance:
It can bring about psychic phenomena.
It can penetrate the goal ascribed
to it and thus transfer the power generated elsewhere."
Leave that repeat in scribe said Zed Aliz for such marks
coincidence, and such coincidence needs marking
x 9 =
+ 8 =
the help of any material object, the energy generated by the
concentration of thoughts can be carried to more or less
distant points. There this energy may manifest itself in
"Mystic masters are said to use this process during
the angkur rites.
Much could be said about these rites and the
spirit which pervades them. The limited space allowed in an
average size volume forbids an exhaustive account of all
theories and practices of mystic Lamaism and I have
reluctantly had to omit for the present a number of
inter-esting subjects . I shall confine myself to a few
Lamaist angkur, literally
'empowerment' is not an 'initiation,' though for lack of
other words, I have sometimes used that term in the course
of the present book. The various angkurs are not
Page 210 /
reveal esoteric doctrines, as initiations were, among the
Greeks and other peoples. They have a decidely psychic
character. The theory about them is that 'energy' may be
transmitted from the mas-ter - or from some more occult
store of forces - to the disciples who is able to tap the
psychic waves in transmission.
According to lamist mystics, during
the performance of the ang-kur rite a force is
placed within the disciple's reach. The seizing and
assimilating of that force is left to his ability.
In the course of talks I had on this
subject with mystic initiates, they have defined
angkur 'as a special opportunity'offered to a
disciple of empowering himself.
By the same method , mystic masters
are said to be able to dispatch waves of energy which in
case of need, cheer, refresh and invigorate, physically and
mentally, their distant disciples.
The process is not always meant to
enrich the goal to which the waves are directed. On the
contrary, sometimes when reaching that goal, these waves
absorb a portion of its energy. Then, returning with this
subtly stolen spoil, they pour it into the 'post' from which
they have been sent forth, and in which they are
Your magic stick oh mystic master said mystic
Meg, throwing an echo of a voice up against the
sliver of a three sided silvered mirror
magicians, it is said, gain great strength or prolong their
lives by incorporating this stolen energy.
4 Tibetan mystics also affirm that adepts well
trained in concentra-tion are capable of visualizing the
forms imagined by them and can thus create any kind of
phantom: men, deities, animals, inanimate objects,
landscapes, and so forth.
The reader must recall what has
been said on this subject in refer-ence to the
and the innumerable phantoms which, according to the Dalai
Lama, a Changchub semspa
the power to generate.
These phantoms do not
always appear as impalpable mirages, they are tangible and
endowed with all the faculties and qualities naturally
pertaining to the beings or things of which they have the
For instance, a phantom horse trots
and neighs. The phantom rider who rides it can get off his
beast, speak with a traveller on the road and behave in
every way like a real person. A phantom house will shelter
real travellers, and so on.
Such happenings abound in Tibetan
stories and especially in the famous epic of King Gesar of
Ling. The great hero multiplies himself. He produces phantom
caravans with tents, hundreds of horses, lamas, merchants,
servants and each of them plays his part. In battle he
creates phantom armies which kill their enemies just as well
as if they were authentic warriors.
All this appears to belong to the
realm of fairy tales and one may wisely assume that
out of a hundred of these stories are
see Chapter 3
Sanskrit a Bodhisatva. A highly spiritually developed being
nearing the perfection of a Buddha.
It follows that according to popular belief, a
either the incarnation of a saintly or peculiarly learned
departed personality, or the incarnation of a non-human
mythical. Yet disconcerting incidents occur, phenomena are
witnessed which it is impossible to deny.Explanations of
them are to be found by the observer himself, if he refuses
to accept those offered by Tibetans. But often these Tibetan
explanations, on account of their vaguely scientific form,
attract the inquirer and become them-selves a field of
interested we may feel in the other strange accomplishments
with which Tibetan adepts of the secret lore are credited,
the creation of thought forms seem the most puzzling.
We have already seen in the
preceding chapter how the novice is trained to build up the
form of his tutelary deity, but in that case the aim is a
kind of philosophical enlightenment. The goal is different
in other cases.
In order to avoid confusion, we
will first consider another kind of phenomena which is often
discussed, not only in Tibet, but in various other Eastern
countries and even in the West. Some profess to see a
certain anology between these and the creation of
thought-forms, but, in fact, the process is not at all the
In nearly all countries there are
people who believe in a subtle soul or spirit which, while
the body lies asleep or in a cataleptic trance, can roam
about in various places 14 and perform different deeds,
sometimes associating for that purpose with a material body
other than that with which it is habitually united."
"... In India, countless legends relate the strange
adventures of men, demi-gods, or demons who enter dead
bodies, act in guise of the dead man and then revert to
their own frame which had meanwhile re-mained
shows that the belief in the passing of some subtle
self from one body to another, and even
in its roaming about disembodied, was current in India.
Such belief was not infrequent in
Tibet, where the 'translation' of the self from one
body to another is called trong jug.
Possibly the theories regarding trong jug have been
imported from India. Milares-pa, in his autobiography,
relates that his guru Marpa was not taught the
secret of trong jug by his own teacher Narota, but
when already old made a journey to India to learn it.
It is to be noted that believers in
the 'translation' of an ethereal self or 'double,'
generally depict the body from which it withdraws, as
remaining inanimate. Here lies the essential difference
between that supposed phenomenon and the apparitions,
voluntary or un-consciously created, of a tulpa,
either alike or different from its creator.
In fact, while the translation, as
related in Indian or Tibetan stories,
Note 18 Spelt grong hjug.
19 Tulpa, spelt sprulpa, 'magic,
Page 217 /
be regarded as a fable, the creation of tulpas
seems worthy of investigation.
Death of Forever
Phantoms, as Tibetans describe them,
and those that I have myself seen do not resemble the
apparitions which are said to occur during spiritualist
In Tibet, the witnesses of these
phenomena have not been especi-ally invited to endeavour to
produce them, or to meet a medium known for
producing them. Consequently, their minds are not pre-pared
and intent on seeing apparitions. There is no table upon
which the company lay there hands nor any medium in
trance, nor a dark closet in which the latter is shut up.
Darkness is not required, sun and open air do not keep away
As I have said, some apparitions are
created on purpose either by a lengthy process resembling
that described in the former chapter on the visualization of
Yidam or, in the case of proficient adepts, instantaneously
or almost instantaneously.
In other cases, apparently the
author of the phenomenon gener-ates it unconsciously, and is
not even in the least aware of the apparition being seen by
In connection with these kind of
visualization or thought-form creation, I may relate a few
phenomena which I have witnessed my-self..."
Reight said wah Zed Aliz at this fine juncture, omit the
witnessed phenomena of yonder dear sister, and continue as
Darryl Reanney (1991)
deeper understanding revealed the quixotic fact
that a particle like an electron has only a certain
mathematical probability of being found in any one
spot.This probability has a ripple or wave-like form, but it
is more like a 'crime wave'- a statistical distribution -
than a physical undulation.
" The basis of matter , then , when examined intimately,
dissolves into a ghostlike intangibility ;
quantum wave is a mathematical wraith , a ripple
"The quantum wave only has
this wraithlike character when it is not being
looked at. When an observer intrudes, when a
scientist for example, tries to measure the properties of an
electron the, the ghostly wave function collapses.The
particle becomes real it can now be specifically assigned a
fixed location, with a probability of 1, i.e. a
This is a staggering conclusion
means that consciousness is not an observer in the dynamics
of the universe; it is an active participant. Consciousness
, literally and factually, creates reality , by summoning
certainties, from the elusive quantum wave .Objective
'reality' in this perspective falters on the
brink of a profound ambiguity. Subject and object;
mind and matter are not separate; they
interact and interlock."
of Unknown Things
Lyall Watson 1976
1714 the German mathematician Leibniz proposed the existence
of nonspatial, indestructible, indivisible entities he
called monads. He saw them as wholly psychic in nature
up entirely of the qualities of mind. They were dismissed at
the time as hypothetical nonesense, but today they no longer
look quite so ridiculous. For his dominant monad, the one in
ultimate control, read collective consciousness or universal
mind, and situate it somewhere beyond the bounds of
space-time in superspace. On the next level of this cosmic
hierarchy' in normal space-time comes the matter raising
monad we call consciousness or mind. Put this in charge of
unfolding physical systems with their infinite numbers of
states, make it amenable to some form of democracy or
consensus that governs lawful and orderly operation - and
you have the makings of a workable system.
The attractive feature
of such a model is that it allows any-thing to happen. If
Bohm is right about matter's appearing to move through space
by constantly being destroyed and re-created, then it should
be no more difficult for the mind monad to bend a spoon than
it is for it to bend a finger. If you can think of a bent
spoon you can have a bent spoon. If all forms of matter are
merely thoughts in the mind monad, then their positions and
properties are readily interchangeable. Mate-rialization,
dematerialization, teleportation, and levitation be-come
simple matters of a change of mind. If consciousness can
drop at will out of normal space-time into superspace, where
there is no such thing as time and thought travels faster
than light, then instant thought transference,
precogni-tion, retrocognition, and clairvoyance are all
easy. And if con-sciousness can return to space-time at any
location, past present, or future and experience these
locations, then we have time travel, space travel, and
travel out of the body. With such free movement of
consciousness, it is of course possible to know every detail
of the life of everyone who ever lived, and that takes care
So it goes. It is all
very easy when you can just juggle
Page 218 /
with ideas like this; anyone can play that kind of academic
game. But the wonderful thing about this is that it is
strongly supported by much recent scientific theory."
There seem always to have been two ways of looking at the
world. One is the everyday way in which objects and events,
although they may be related causally and influence each
other, are seen to be separate. And the other is a rather
special way in which everything is considered to be part of
a much greater pattern."
"...There has never been any question of having to choose
between the two. They merely represent the extremes of a
spectrum of possible response. At one end is a scientist who
sees everything in isolation,
Here, the scribe broke off to write. Here, the scribe
broke off to write. Here, the scribe broke off to write, the
Chinese name Maisee.
at the other a mystic who experiences only a featureless
flow. Both views are restricted and misleading, but there
can be a meeting in the middle. When both physicists and
mystics are asked for their description of how the world
works,they give the same answers. It is almost impossible to
distinguish between the two groups of quotations. All agree
that are two viable metaphysical systems, and that the truth
lies in a reconciliation between them.
There is nothing new in this notion
that all are parts of the whole and that the whole is
embodied in all its parts. What is new is that our physical
sciences are catching up with us and beginning to reinforce
some very old and very basic biological
Only one God though, thought Zed AlizZed,
said staring at that Dog
Page 39 /
is beginning to substantiate intuition. In traditional
physics, the world is thought to be made up of points If you
put a lens in front of an object, it will form an image of
that object, and there will be a point-to-point
correspondence between the two. This kind of relationship
has encouraged us to assume that the whole of reality can be
analyzed in terms of points, each with a separate existence.
But certainty about this kind of concept has been shaken by
quantum mechanics and by a new system of recording reality
without the use of lenses. By the invention of the
If you drop a pebble into a pond,
it will produce a series of regular waves that travel
outward in concentric circles."
this point the Zed Aliz Zed requested and was granted the
library versions of two holograms.
These are shown in brackets, although at first sight they
might seem out of place, neither of either are,
Here's the first
( Excepting quoted works,
All arithmetical calculations,
observations in italics, and emphasised
indications, are the deliberations of ZedAlizZed.
As set down by the far yonder scribe.
scribe said Zed Aliz lets get weaving
Of The Gods
writ the scribe
novelist Arthur Koestler, who had a great interest in
synchronicity, coined the term 'library angel' to describe
the unknown agency responsible for the lucky breaks
researchers sometimes get which lead to exactly the right
information being placed in their hands at exactly the right
And this is the second Said Zed Aliz
again taken from Fingerprints Of The Gods, and
( Page 354
on impulse, I climbed into the granite coffer and lay down,
face upwards, my feet pointed towards the south and my head
to the north."
"...I folded my hands across my chest and gave voice to a
sustained low-pitched tone -
I had tried out several times before at other points in the
King's Chamber. On these occasions, in the centre of the
floor, I had noticed that the walls and ceiling seemed to
collect the sound, to gather and to amplify it and project
it back at me so that I could sense the returning vibrations
through my feet and scalp and skin.
in the sarcophagus I was aware of very much the same effect,
although seemingly amplified and concentrated many times
over. It was like being in the sound-box of some giant,
resonant musical instrument designed to emit for ever just
one reverberating note. The sound was intense and quite
disturbing. I imagined it rising out of the coffer and
bouncing off the red
granite walls and ceiling of the King's Chamber, shooting up
through the northern and southern 'ventilation' shafts and
spreading across the Giza plateau like a sonic mushroom
this ambitious vision in my mind, and with the sound of my
low-pitched note echoing in my ears and causing the
sarcophagus to vibrate around me, I closed my eyes." )
of Unknown Things
Lyall Watson 1976
Drop two identical pebbles into the pond at different points
and you will get two sets of similar waves that move towards
each other. Where the waves meet, they will interfere. If
the crest of one hits the crest of the other, they will work
together and produce a reinforced wave of twice the normal
height. If the crest of one coincides with the trough of the
other, they will cancel each other out and produce an
isolated patch of calm water. In fact, all possible
combinations of the two occur, and the final result is a
complex arrangement of ripples known as an interference
Light waves behave in exactly the
same way. The purest kind of light available to us is that
produced by a laser, which sends out a beam in which all the
waves are of one frequency, like those made by an ideal
pebble in a perfect pond. When two laser beams touch they
produce an interference pattern of light and dark ripples
that can be recorded on a photo-graphic plate. And if one of
the beams, instead of comind directly from the laser, is
reflected first off an object such as a human face, the
resulting pattern will be very complex indeed, but it can
still be recorded. The record will be a hologram of the
Page 39 /
the place is developed and fixed, it will look like a
totally meaningless jumble of very fine light and dark
lines, but these can be unraveled. Simply take the plate
into a dark room and illuminate it with the same laser. When
you do this you cancel out interference and what you get is
the original pattern of light from the reflected source.
Peering through the plate, you find yourself face to face.
You get a very realistic view which is a great deal more
than a two-dimensional por-trait. Hologram means "whole
record," so what you get is more than face value. You get
all the information that light can provide about that face,
The plate becomes a window. If you move your head to the
side, you see the face in profile. Stand up and you get a
view of the hairstyle."
This three-dimensionality is
fascinating, but there is more. If you illuminate only a
small part of the plate with a very narrow laser beam, you
can still peer through this spot like a keyhole and see the
whole face. No matter which part of the plate you choose to
use, the view is still the same. This is the momentous thing
about a hologram -
every part contains the whole.
Any part of a hologram is a point
in space, and yet it contains information about things at
other points. Actually the hologram plate is merely a
convenient way of recording what is happening in that region
of space. What happens is that there is a movement of light
there, and it seems that embraced in that movement is a mass
of information about events taking place in other spaces.
Cameras have always told us that, but what the hologram says
is that any old point in space will do they all embrace
everything happening everywhere."