The following story on the internet caught my attention
when I was doing a little research on vision and photography a few days ago.
(Henan Province is located in central China south of Beijing.)
Henan Man Impossible to Photograph
Central News Agency - Jan 09, 2006
“On January 6, 2006, Henan Province's Dahe Daily newspaper reported that the local police department was unable to take an ID photo of Ye Xiangting from Yelou Village in the Yangzhuang Township of Wugang City, Henan Province. No image of Ye Xiangting showed up in the computer photos, and there is still no clear explanation for the result.
“Ye Xiangting told the reporter about his recent visit to the Yangzhuang police station to get a photo taken for a new ID card. He sat in front of the camera, but no image of him would show up in the photo. The staff checked the camera very carefully, but found no problems. He retook photos of Ye Xiangting, but no photos of Ye Xiangting was found on the computer images.
“The staff had Ye Xiangting carefully check his clothes to be sure he did not carry anything that would interfere with the equipment. Finally, Ye sat in front of the camera and was photographed from every angle. The staff still failed to get any images of him.
“The staff could not find a reason. They took images of Ye Xiangting with other people. They were stunned when the other people showed up in the computer images, but not Ye. Ye Xiangting seemed to have "disappeared" from the photos. In the end, the staff had to give up. Ye Xiangting said that he has never encountered this kind of problem before. Normally, he could be photographed.
“The police station chief told the reporter they have encountered two similar cases. They are unclear about the cause and hope the experts can offer an explanation.”
Quite a fascinating story. I am sure there are more like it, but I didn’t have the time or patience to wade through the numbers of people who “Cannot Be Photographed” because they run from the camera or skip their photo session.
At the time, I had been pondering on the sense and wonder of sight carrying the basic thought that what we see is really a lot “more than meets the eye.” Science, if I understand correctly, basically says that sight is merely a product of receiving light images through the retina of the eye and passing the information on to the brain-mind where the “pictures are taken.”
Most of us probably believe that “how we look at things” - our consciousness - also has effects on what we see and perceive. But, there is even more to the process which might be somewhat en-light-ening for you.
The Rest of the Story - or some of it. (From Front Page)
I have been coming to the conclusion that there is at least one other factor involved in vision and photography as well.. That belief has deepened as I have pondered and run into unexpected information relevant to the question.
• My first pondering was upon our own similarity to the modern (since 1840) invention of photography. My imagining is that the development of picture taking has been truly amazing, as light and shadows have been coaxed to reveal themselves on plates, then film and paper, and now electronic media.
There is a difference between a camera and an eyeball. Yet, cameras and film are able to produce pictures which are pretty much the same as the ones we see.
How, with all the rays of light and tangles of shadows out there, are we - humans and cameras - able to put together meaningful images? It seems that we should just be getting blurs, instead of defined images.
That’s certainly the way photographs first came out. Maybe newborns start out the same way. I understand that blind people who have their sight restored go through such a process. See Val Kilmer’s movie, At First Sight.
People recovering sight have to be “taught” how to see - again. It seems that scientists and technicians and early photographers did the same thing with their experiments. I have to think that they literally taught machines and chemicals and papers to reproduce pictures.
•The OTHER FACTOR. Has to do with the images which we see. I believe, they themselves have to be somehow involved in the equation. Neither we nor cameras can “take” a picture of something beyond ourselves without its COOPERATION.
You might laugh at the idea, but let me press on with a variety of support.
• I have been studying Raja Yoga (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) for some months. Not long after I started meditating on this conundrum, I got to Sutra 21, Book III which translates from the Sanskrit as “By concentrated meditation upon the distinction between form and body, those properties of the body which make it visible to the human eye are negated (or withdrawn) and the yogi can render himself invisible.”
Commentary by W.Q. Judge adds: “Another great difference between this (yogic) philosophy and modern science is here indicated. The schools of today lay down the rule that if there is a healthy eye in line with the rays of light reflected from an object -- such as a human body -- the latter will be seen, and that no action of the mind of the person looked at can inhibit the functions of the optic nerves and retina of the onlooker. But the ancient Hindus held that all things are seen by reason of that differentiation of Satwa -- one of the three great qualities composing all things -- which is manifested as luminosity, operating in conjunction with the eye, which is also a manifestation of Satwa in another aspect. The two must conjoin; the absence of luminosity or its being disconnected from the seer’s eye will cause a disappearance. And as the quality of luminosity is completely under the control of the ascetic, he can, by the process laid down, check it, and thus cut off from the eye of the other an essential element in the seeing of any object.”
Basically, the sutra and Mr. Judge are saying that that which is to be seen has to cooperate - at some level - in the process of vision. FAR OUT, as John Denver used to say.
• This reminds me of the stories of primitive people running from cameras which they feared might capture their souls. Other stories of sadhus and holy men who can’t be photographed, or their faces come out blurred in pictures. And, the account of a Chinese man who “Couldn’t Be Photographed” for his driver’s license. I suspect he wasn’t a yogi, but some part of him apparently didn’t cooperate with the procedure. http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/6-1-9/36705.html
• I am also reminded of one of my favorite movies, Phenomenon, with John Travolta playing George Malley who does amazing things - eventually determined to be due to an expansion of brain function because of a deadly tumor. Pshaw! A wonderful movie, but a materialistic bottomline.
Anyway, George Malley reads four or five books a night from the local library. At its annual fair, he wants to tell people about what he has learned from his reading. But, he gets sidetracked with some of the Phenomena that he does.
Malley begins to make a pair of sunglasses whirl around in a circle in the air even though he is just pointing his finger at them from a distance. He talks about the Cooperation between the energy in himself and in the glasses.
• One more find: A book called The Soul of Things by William Denton dating to 1863. Denton worked with psychometrists to assist in his studies of geology. He was able to make some fascinating confirmations in support of geological as well as psychometric research.
He quotes an early researcher in photographic science, Sir William Brewster, who said, “All bodies throw off emanations in greater or less and with greater or less velocities.”
Denton further suggests that radiant forces are passing from all objects - night and day. Wherever we go, we leave our portrait.” That is we humans, but also rocks and planets do that same.
“It would seem that rays of light are passing from all objects continually, which are invisible to the eye, as a general rule, and can pass readily through some substances, if not all, which are opaque to ordinary light.” (Soul of Things is available for download free at books.google.com.)
• My conclusion is that Vision is a Cooperative effort requiring the involvement of the Seer, Light, and that which is Seen.
• A further conclusion is that every visible thing Glows not necessarily in the dark, but at least in the day. Every thing radiates its own Light. Everything has an aura, however limited. Atoms and cells, creatures and beings radiate Light and Cooperate unconsciously and sometimes consciously in our Magical World.
These conclusions bolster the ancient teaching that we all grow into the Light. “In thy Light do we see Light. In thy Light do we become Light.”
“I see, and when the Eye is opened, all is Light.”
More to follow. Comments invited.