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            People ask about the background of the cloud photography/paintings. The first ones were taken in 1995. But dreams about shifting, unbelievable panoramas in the sky had recurred for ten years. Generally, the dreams showed me walking alone, through a landscape. I would look up at the sky, and see shifting, paintinglike formations, which I knew could not be real. They were surreal and impossible, but though I was clear that they were impossible in the dream, at the same time my mind was clear that they were there as fact. Asleep, I perceived the shifting cloud panoramas (like skyscapes) violated physical law, because the clouds contained long vistas of scenes with images in them as pecerptible to me as in a painting; no one but myself paid attention to them—whereupon I also became aware that they acted like the strips of cinema in early motion pictures. That is, they contained skyscapes (as in a Turner landscape or a cartoon strip), that did not stand still. I took it to be privileged information, in the dream. I wondered why no one else was looking up at them. How could this obvious impossibility go unnoticed? In the section “Having Tried To Write” (in my website http://marharrell.com), I recount some further dream announcement, suggesting the impending arrival of the photography. Clouds were supposed to be fairly stationary decorations, which, though they floated, or had been said to wander (“I wandered lonely as a cloud,” wrote William Wordsworth), they certainly did not begin to acquire the detail and mentally interpretable image characteristics of visual arts. On the other hand, certain theoretical physicists and poets (such as Charles Baudelaire) and even one early Greek dramatist, who wrote “Clouds,” had been fascinated with them. Cloud chambers were intrinsic to our 20th-century technology, but the dreams were of  painting-like canvases upon which large scenes moved and unfolded.

            The cloud photography switched into sun-inspired photography. I began to experiment with light; what effect it had on color and on edge. This is an old interest of artists, philosophers, scientists. Then going back into Egypt, where the sun was god-like. Over to India, where a particular nadi was identified as providing connection between perception and the sun—if you ever open one particular nadi. (See the writings of Shri Dhyanyogi, also under Inspirationals on the website). Light was a fuel, a source of energy, a moving particle that had no mass, so it could not stop. I watched various types of spots begin to form on the photographs. I cultivated them, wondering if they were interference patterns. Gradually, I began to study what optics, Carl Bohm, and early exploring minds, had to say about it all. It became another form of art and consciousness investigation and experimentation. But there was a third to come—several more in fact, areas of unusual investigation. The connecting core of the interests was energy, especially taking it into the human areas, where we might learn more about ourselves as potentially much higher and vaster energy wielders. Certainly, with much greater precision as well. It gradually appeared, that while most focus was on the technological breakthroughs, I seemed bent on holding onto the unnoticed breakthroughs (if there were any), trying to reach us in upholding the promise (sometimes parallel promise) of human energy, if we taught it, expanded it—with the same industriousness or curiosity that we gave to the studies of pure and applied science. This science—the human being and human spirit—seemed to point out such topics as the clouds, to me. And somehow, somewhere, this pathway into the new century was a very hopeful one, for the promise of the exploration of man. So it began to become clearer and clearer.

 

What is Kundalini?

 

            For descriptions of the sun from very ancient Indian traditions of Realized Consciousness (Kundalini Maha Yoga and Tamil Siddha, in South India), please click on the links below:

            Shri Dhyanyogi described a nadi connecting the human being to the sun, and the effect of opening that. Learn more.

            Dr. Baskaran Pillai (Sri Siva or Brzee) gives an account of the role of the sun in the Siddha tradition of unity consciousness. He writes:

The Sun Sutra
            In the Vibhuti Pada, Patanjali states that samyama on the Sun will give a yogi
knowledge of the worlds.
    How can it be possible that a meditation on the Sun will give the practitioner
knowledge of the worlds?
 

http://www.hindunet.org/alt_hindu/1995_May_2/msg00088.html

 

            Also, in the Light Body studies, there is the identification of "the spiritual sun."

            These writings speak to the subtle image traditions, related to potential human consciousness and the spiritual construction in the photography on this site. The evolution of the fascination with sun photography displayed on this site (including technical fascination, developing original photographic techniques) preceded any discovery of the fact that there were esoteric traditions which spoke to the same focus. When you realize the complexity of some of the early Sun studies, it becomes something of the situation of “putting new wine into old bottles,” if you go back to the underpinnings of why this universal fascination existed when subjective investigations, nonmaterialistically oriented, nevertheless used a highly evolved sense of inner observation, based on anatomical studies of spiritual, as opposed to physical evolution, and the resulting changes in the physical body and the subtle body and skills. It goes without saying that this must have been accompanied by some information in the DNA, in the areas where this focus was pinpointed. That is, when intuitive and imaginative thinking were accompanied by highly disciplined descriptions of how to proceed and verify, as in the two ancient Hindu lineages cited above, going back thousands of years and continuing into modern times, in unbroken updates. That also means that in those people occupied with these teachings, carrying the lineages, there must have been some record of this, some influence, some alteration in what parts of the brain were activated and predominant, as well as the activation in the subtle bodies. I can say that for myself I have felt inspired (inside, as more than a “feeling”), radiating through me with energy, when focusing for long periods on “bringing in” the images through the camera lens—sometimes as if a long distance were being crossed. Indeed, I had a short-range lens, and the details in the photos were from miles beyond the distance the lens could reach. It was the sense of the sun using the clouds as canvas, if I can put it that way. Using the sky for “spacetime,” in place of the material Earth world that we have. Even, it could be an “image storehouse” coming into range, if stared at long enough, increasing the concentration.  Some comments from the traditions above tie in with my own experience in a Sunset meditation and also with the dreams of vast kinetic sky landscapes and cartoons, as well as a Sunset on the New York Times building, which carefully set the stage for the emergence of the photography, so that I would appreciate it, be curious about it, work at it, stare into it, once the idea to do the photography arrived.

 

 

 

Last Modified on February 14, 2002
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