Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Disappearing (and Reappearing) Tibetan

Few people have had quite as interesting a life as Alexandra David-Néel (1868 -- 1969), the French-born explorer. 
There are books about her, and many more books by her - and quite influential books they turned out to be.

In one of her works, With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet, she mentions, among many other interesting tidbits, the case of a young man who disappeared from view in circumstances that seem opposed to the laws of physics as we know them.

As you will see, this case differs, or so it seems, from any other mentioned so far in this blog. It could not be called a dimensional anomaly, properly speaking - certainly not in the same sense as the other cases described so far.
Still, after careful consideration we decided to include it here because there is simply much too much that we - we as a civilisation - do not know about our being on this Earth and about the modalities of its appearance, to omit it on the grounds of iffy categorisations.
The story appears within a very interesting lengthy passage on the formation of thought forms among Tibetan mystics and "magicians".
Here it goes, in A. D. N.'s own words.

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 generates it unconsciously, and is not even in the least aware of the apparition being seen by others. 
In connection with this kind of visualization or thought-form creation, I may relate a few phenomena which I have witnessed myself.
A young Tibetan who was in my service went to see his family. I had granted him three weeks' leave, after which he was to purchase a food supply, engage porters to carry the loads across the hills, and come back with the caravan.

Most likely the fellow had a good time with his people. Two months elapsed and still he did not return. I thought he had definitely left me.

Then I saw him one night in a dream. He arrived at my place clad in a somewhat unusual fashion, wearing a sun hat of foreign shape. He had never worn such a hat.

The next morning, one of my servants came to me in haste. "Wangdu has come back," he told me. "I have just seen him down the hill."

The coincidence was strange. I went out of my room to look at the traveller.

The place where I stood dominated a valley. I distinctly saw Wangdu. He was dressed exactly as I had seen him in my dream. He was alone and walking slowly up the path that wound up the hill slope. I remarked that he had no luggage with him and the servant who was next me answered: "Wangdu has walked ahead, the load-carriers must be following."

We both continued to observe the man. He reached a small chörtenwalked behind it and did not reappear.
The base of this chörten was a cube built in stone, 279 less than three feet high, and from its needle-shaped top to the ground, the small monument was no more than seven feet high. There was no cavity in it. Moreover, the chörten was completely isolated: there were neither houses, nor trees, nor undulations, nor anything that could provide a hiding in the vicinity.
My servant and I believed that Wangdu was resting for a while under the shade of the chörten. But as time went by without his reappearing, I inspected the ground round the monument with my field-glasses, but discovered nobody. Very much puzzled I sent two of my servants to search for the boy. I followed their movements with the glasses but no trace was to be found of Wangdu nor of anybody else.
That same day a little before dusk the young man appeared in the valley with his caravan. He wore the very same dress and the foreign sun hat which I had seen in my dream, and in the morning vision.
Without giving him or the load-carriers time to speak with my servants and hear about the phenomenon, I immediately questioned them. From their answers I learned that all of them had spent the previous night in a place too far distant from my dwelling for anyone to reach the latter in the morning. It was also clearly stated that Wangdu had continually walked with the party.
During the following weeks I was able to verify the accuracy of the men's declarations by inquiring about the time of the caravan's departure, at the few last stages where the porters were changed. It was proved that they had all spoken the truth and had left the last stage together with Wangdu, as they said.

The modality, the appearance of the young Tibetan's disappearance, if you'll forgive the hapless pun, is practically identical to some of the "vanishing" stories mentioned here - notably the disappearance of Benjamin Bathurst (which, however, seems to have been a particularly well executed abduction and/or murder) and the account about Paula Welden's vanishing (possibly also a murder), in 1950.

To refresh your memory: Bathurst famously "walked around the horses" into thin air - or so it was reported - while Paula Welden reportedly vanished when she walked around a rocky outcrop. She simply never reappeared.

But the similarity ends there. As you can see, A. D. N. interpreted this peculiar incident as having to do with the creation of thought forms.

Then again, there is a whole line of thought that claims that everything we see or do is a mental construction - a "thought form". The only difference would be that instead of doing it consciously and purposefully we do it mostly in a haphazard or at least consciously uncontrolled manner.

According to this line of thought - and many of the stories here seem to corroborate it - appearance is nothing: a flicker on a flimsy surface, a projection.

And yet, appearance is the very base of our daily reality, and the measuring stick by which we gauge the "reality" of reality. 
And this is what warrants the inclusion of this peculiar story here, whatever the origin of the phenomenon described.


The Scream (and within in it another story, Heard Accident Before it Happened
The Other One 
My Body, Myself?

If you want to report a perceived dimensional anomaly, please do, but read this first.

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