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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at


                             Memory, A Proposed New Model 

         We will be usinga chart based on a simplified model of Laser Holography
     to look  at the nature   of consciousness and  memory.  This  model will be
     very  simplified, but  necessitate  a brief  layman's  introduction to  the
     principles  of physics  involved in  holography.   It is  no accident  that
     mystics and  wise men of all  ages have often spoken  about certain aspects
     of mental and spiritual activity, as well as knowledge in terms relating to
     light.  Please keep  in mind that this is  a MODEL only, and will  fall far
     short of expressing the true complexity of the subject.
                          Holographic Imaging Model of Consciousness 
                                                     /            /| 
                                                    /            / | 
                                                   /____________/  | 
                    Laser             [reference]  |           |   | 
                    ______        Prism  [beam]    |   OBJECT  |  /  
                   /     | coherent |-->->->->->->-|           | / 
                  /      |>=>=>=>=>=|              |___________|/ 
                         |)=>=>=>=>=| /                  //        
                   ______|   light  |/             /     //    
                                       //         /      //    
                                       [working beam]    //    
                                                /    [reflected image]   
                                          //   /         //    
                                              /          //    
                                    _______ //_______  ____ ____ 
                                          MIRROR        SCREEN 
          The  characteristic of a laser  that makes it so useful  is that it is
     the  source  of "pure" or coherent  light.  "Normal" light is composed   of
     many  frequencies  which  are  all jumbled together and out of phase.   Try
     to picture the set of ripples generated in a still pool  of water when just
     one pebble is dropped in.   All  of the wave crests are equidistant and  in
     phase and highly regular, aren't they?  This is analogous to laser light.  
     Now  picture the same pool,  only toss in a  random handful of pebbles, the
     results are quite  different aren't  they?  This  is analogous to  "normal"
          The  laser generates coherent light  which enters a  prism that splits
     the  beam in two:   (1)  the Reference Beam,  and  (2) the  Working Beam.  
     The working beam  is, in turn, reflected from a  mirror and redirected back
     to the object  being illuminated.   When the wave  fronts of the  two beams
     collide  on  the surface, they  create an  "interference pattern" which  is
     reflected  to the  screen   or  photographic    plate.   This  interference
     pattern, when properly  viewed, recreates  the 3 dimensional  image of  the
     original object. 
          At  first look,  one  might well  say: "O.K.,this  works  well for  an
     explanation of  a laser light  show, but what  bearing does it have  on the
     operation and function of  the human mind?"   I see  the symbolism in  this
     model as follows:
          1) The coherent  light is the "light" or conscious(ness) energy of the
     Aether, sort of the "Universal Mind" if you will.
          2>  The Prism  symbolizes  two of  the  directional functions  of  the
     "Higher Self; that of illuminating both the object form its own standpoint,
     and of providing "light" (consciousness) for the Mirror.
          3. The Mirror represents a  function of the sub conscious mind  in the
     creation of "attention" or focusing of consciousness on the world.


          4. The  Screen (photographic  plate) is the  storage mechanism/process
     for what we call memory.
     Therefore the  Prism,  Mirror, and  Screen  may all  be  used to  symbolize
     certain portions of the mind or mental processes in a human being.
          Because the Prism, Mirror,and  screen are a part of the individual and
     unique  to  that  individual,   the  actual  "records"  or   memories  (and
     consciousness) of the same event or object will vary a great  deal form one
     individual to another.   None of  these functions exists in  isolation from
     the others, so  there is  a process  of "feedback"  going on  at all  times
     between them.  The nature of  the recorded "images" will "color" and modify
     both the  prism and the mirror, thereby modifying the quqlity of all future
     images, memories, or recordings.  This is one of the  reasons that memories
     of past events  can color or distort our present  perceptions of reality so
          One of  our tasks (many would call it a  "Great Work") in our lifetime
     is to try to "purify" or refine the quality  of the Prism function, so that
     the  "light" that  forms the  "working beam"  is as  close to  identical in
     quality to  the "reference beam" as  possible.  Some call  this process tha
     attaining of consciousness of the Higher Self.  Another task is to "polish"
     and learn control over the  mirror function so that the reference  beam may
     be directed more  precisely and with little or (ideally) no distortion upon
     the objects/events of our attention.  Yet a third task is to do our best to
     perfect the recording  mechanism of the  screen, in  order that the  meory-
     image be as faithful as possible to what was presented to it.
          Another  point  worth keeping  in  mind  at  this point  is  that  ALL
     memories,  no matter  how  distorted  and/or  "colored"  are  REAL  to  the
     individual  possessing  those memories.   This  fact  may well  explain the
     apparent  anomaly of people suffering from PROVABLE no-existent abuse at an
     early  age.   If a  traumatic and  non-understood (or  misunderstood) event
     occurs to an individual at an early age, the  only recording will be one of
     trauma and  an individual can be  easily "talked into" (by  self or others)
     putting  that  trauma into  a  frame  of reference  that  can be  presently
     understood.  The fact That a  meory is misunderstood, distorted, etc., does
     not make the any less "real" in their effect on the individual, and it must
     be dealt with as such.
          Another interesting point  is that these  "holgrams" or memory  images
     can cometogether  in a synergy where  the sum of the  parts becomes greater
     than the  whole in a process of "constellation" (in Jungian terms) and form
     whole "complexes" which take on  a (seeming?) life of their own.   If these
     complexes are encouraged to grow  and flourish, they can also be  percieved
     by (some) others as some sort of "other worldly beings" and can  be further
     fed  and strengthened  by others  until they  become Archetypal  in nature.
     This process could well be the  cause of many of the "Angels"  and "Demons"
     of the Christian and other Pantheons.


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