- Buddha's halo
- Also known as Buddha's light. Both eponyms refer to the corona of light traditionally depicted in images of Siddharta Gautama, also known as Gautama Buddha (c. 566-486 BC), the founder of Buddhism. The terms Buddha's halo and Buddha's light are used to denote a * physical illusion consisting of multicoloured, concentric rings of light that can sometimes be seen against a cloud or fog bank in mountainous regions, at a position opposite the Sun (i.e. the antisolar point). Two locations in China famous for the appearance of Buddha's halo are Kanas Lake in Xinjiang Province and Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province. Buddha's halo is typically described as a colourful circle of light appearing over (or against) a sea of clouds. Because of the sunlight coming from behind, observers can see their own shadow, as well as the shadows ofnearby objects and persons, projected upon the cloud. Since they always see their own shadow in the centre of the halo, there is a certain tendency to interpret this as a sign of their own enlightenment. Meteorologists tend to explain atmospheric phenomena such as Buddha's halo by reference to the interaction of sunlight and droplets of water suspended in the air, having a size smaller than 25 (imradius. Because of its lack of a tangible substratum in the extracorporeal world, Buddha's halo is also classified as a *fiction illusion. Phenomenologically as well as genetically, Buddha's halo is related to the *Ulloa circle and *Ulloa's bow. It should not be confused with * heiligenschein and the aureole effect.ReferencesLynch, D.K., Livingston, W. (1995). Color and light in nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Strassberg, R.E. (1994). Inscribed landscapes: Travel writing from Imperial China. Berkeley, CA: University ofCalifornia Press.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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