Annie Besant quotePosted: March 25, 2014
I found this quote at http://www.williamjames.com/Folklore/ANATOMY.htm and it immediately made a lot of sense to me, joining a few things I have been thinking about together. It’s not particularly relevent to the recent research on consciousness but it opens another area to explore and work with. Besant uses a few metaphors of which I can take visual ideas from!:
“The mental body is an object of great beauty, the delicacy and rapid motion of its particles giving it an aspect of living iridescent light, and this beauty becomes an extraordinarily radiant and entrancing loveliness and the intellect becomes more highly evolved and is employed chiefly on pure and sublime topics. Every thought gives rise to a set of correlated vibrations in the matter of this body, accompanied with a marvelous display of color, like that in the spray of a waterfall as the sunlight strikes it, raised to the nth degree of color and vivid delicacy. The body under this impulse throws off a vibrating portion of itself, shaped by the nature of the vibration — as figures are made by sand on a disk vibrating to a musical note — and this gathers from the surrounding atmosphere matter like itself in fineness from the elemental essence of the mental world. We have then a thought-form pure and simple, and it is a living entity of intense activity animated by the one idea that generated it. If made of finer kinds of matter, it will be of great power and energy, and may be used as a most potent agent when directed by a strong and steady will….
Each definite thought produces a double effect-a radiating vibration and a floating form. The thought itself appears first to clairvoyant sight as a vibration in the mental body, and this may be either simple or complex….
If a man’s thought or feeling is directly connected with someone else, the resultant thought-form moves toward that person and discharges itself upon his astral and mental bodies. If the man’s thought is about himself, or is based upon a personal feeling, as the vast majority of thoughts are, it hovers round its creator and is always ready to react upon him whenever he is for a moment in a passive condition….
Each man travels through space enclosed within a case of his own building, surrounded by a mass of the forms created by his habitual thought. Through this medium he looks out upon the world, and naturally he sees everything tinged with its predominant colors, and all rates of vibration which reach him from without are more or less modified by its rate. Thus until the man learns complete control of thought and feeling, he sees nothing as it really is, since all his observations must be made through his medium, which distorts and colors everything like badly-made glass.
If the thought-form be neither definitely personal nor specially aimed at someone else, it simply floats detached in the atmosphere, all the time radiating vibrations similar to those originally sent forth by its creator. If it does not come into contact with any other mental body, this radiation gradually exhausts its store of energy, and in that case, the form falls to pieces; but if it succeeds in awakening sympathetic vibration in any mental body near at hand, an attraction is set up, and the thought-form is usually absorbed by that mental body.”
I particularly like the way Besant describes correlated vibrations as when the spray of a waterfall meets the sunlight, thus forming a rainbow, of which needs these specifics to be formed. I think painting from this would be a really powerful image because it’s so easily related to the idea. It also raises and celebrates the idea of a Eutopia, something I looked at in my first firld module with Rob Pepperel/ James Green because of a rainbow’s typical relation to happiness.