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Q: Invisibility ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Invisibility
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: loverboi-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 26 Jan 2003 23:38 PST
Expires: 25 Feb 2003 23:38 PST
Question ID: 148976
How to be invisible?
Subject: Re: Invisibility
Answered By: j_philipp-ga on 27 Jan 2003 01:27 PST
Hello Loverboi,

Let me answer your question by discussing several different contexts
in which invisibility [1] occurs.

------ Social

In a social context, invisibility can be implemented in the following

1. "Cocooning" is the act of staying at home without participating in
social life, relying purely on stimuli of modern entertainment (like
the TV set). Thus, one becomes invisible to society. Often, newspapers
feature a story where a person is "rediscovered" only after their
corpse emits a heavy stench, forcing others to call the police to have
the door opened.

"Cocooning - The need to protect oneself from the harsh, unpredictable
realities of the outside world"

2. "Conformance" -- also, "compliance" and "political correctness" --
within a social context often results in blending in with the (social)
decor in ways that other people do not recognize one as an individual.

(On a side note, there's a cartoon picturing a depressed fellow on the
couch telling his shrink, "Nobody seems to take notice of me", and we
can see the psychiatrist saying, "Next please".)

3. "Anonymity" can be achieved by faking a passport, wearing
sunglasses and dark hat, and by taking the back-entrance to a given
building, resulting in invisibility. Also see the following book:

How to Be Invisible (by J.J. Luna)

------ Fictional

In mythology, fantasy and fairy tales, like J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of
the Rings" [2], the task of becoming invisible is most often solved by
the use of either a magic item such as a ring, robe, and necklace, or
by a magic spell. (A trained wizard can not only use his magic wand to
turn himself invisible, but also other people and objects in the room,
to the amusement of innocent by-standers.)

Mercury - The Invisible god
"In Greek mythology there was a special helmet rendering invisible the
person or god wearing the helmet. This helmet of invisibility is most
often linked with the underworld god Hades (Pluto), however (...) this
helmet of invisibility rightly belonged [to] the messenger god Hermes
(known to the Romans as Mercury). Worn over the head, Hermes' helmet
signifies hidden thoughts and secrets. Much of the time Hermes enjoys
hanging out unnoticed in the background."

In Science-Fiction, advanced technology brings invisibility. These are
mostly stealth devices like hi-tech costumes, or complex chemical
experiments, or stretches of physical boundaries. The most well-known
horror classic in this genre is H.G. Well's "The Invisible Man", also
brought to the big screen: - The Invisible Man
"As the brilliant scientist who discovers the secret of invisibility,
[Claude] Rains steps into the film wrapped up like a mummy behind a
layer of bandages and blanketed in heavy clothes. When he removes his
garments, there's nothing underneath, a simple but effective bit of
1930s movie magic"

The agent with the license to kill, James Bond 007, lately uses cars
to fake his disappearance or drive by unnoticed. This can be seen in
the 2002 action movie "Die Another Day".

Internet Movie DataBase - Die Another Day - The Cars Of "Die Another Day"

------ Real

Camouflage is the art of copying environmental colors and patterns so
that one will not be seen by an enemy animal (in biological context)
or soldier (in the context of battlefield).

Advanced trickery and deceit is closely related and often used by
magicians, as well as spies, ninjas, and soldiers. Please see: - "Invisibility & Levitation : A How To Guide To Personal
Performance" (by Commander X)
"Methods utilized by occultists, military and martial artists to
perfect the art of levitation and invisibility. Throughout history
only a "super" few have learned to accomplish such seemingly
impossible tasks." - Invisibility: Mastering the Art of Vanishing (by Steve

When it comes to urban legend and modern mythology, the following
phenomenon of HSII (Human Spontaneous Involuntary Invisibility) is of
"Vera in Ventura, California, who tried to get assistance in a post
office, only to be completely ignored by other customers and the
postal clerk."

For a discourse into the physics of invisibility, e.g. "by warping
light rays in an electromagnetic field", see:

Invisibility Achieved??

And the most simplest trick is a mother's Peek-a-boo game -- though
the target audience this trick can be executed on is limited to
younger members of society. When, in front of her child, she covers
her face with a towel, the little one will think she's gone, only to
break into bursts of dazzled giggle when mother returns from behind
the cover. [3]

Game Psychology: Part 1
"The games show a clear differentiation of participant roles, and a
mutual respect by both parties for the constitution of the game. Each
repetition of the game rests on the same sequence of moves, though
certain variation in the execution of each move is permitted. What
makes a good game of Peek-a-boo is the shared expectations concerning
what happens next, and a willingness to conform upon 'agreed'

------ Virtual

In a virtual world -- like a video game -- one can become invisible
due to so-called Power-Ups; that is, special potions, lotions, or
machinery hidden within the world. And those who like to cheat might
also enter a secret code to achieve invisibility, e.g.:

Grand Theft Auto 2
"Unlimited invisibility power-up: Enter SCOOBYDO as a name and start a
new game."

And as they say, "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog":

Psychology of Cyberspace - The Online Disinhibition Effect:
You Can't See Me (invisibility)
"In many online environments other people cannot see you. As you
browse through web sites, message boards, and even some chat rooms,
people may not even know you are there at all (...)
This power to be concealed overlaps with anonymity, because anonymity
is the concealment of identity. But there are some important
differences. In text communication such as e-mail, chat, and instant
messaging, others may know a great deal about who you are. However,
they still can't see or hear you - and you can't see or hear them."

I hope this helps!

Search terms:
"social conformance"
"how to be invisible"
mythology invisibility
"hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy" towel monster stupid
"peek-a-boo" psychology children

[1] Definition of Invisibility:
"\In*vis`i*bil"i*ty\, n.; pl. Invisibilities. [L. invisibilitas: cf.
F. invisibilit['e].] The state or quality of being invisible; also,
that which is invisible."

[2] Middle-earth Irony Menagerie
"As you know, it's been announced that the graphics for the [Lord of
the Rings] movies will be rendered by machines running Linux. Here're
some thoughts on what the movie would have looked like had they used
Nothing happens when Frodo tries to use the ring at Weathertop.
However, the ring inscription changes to: "The invisibility module has
performed an illegal operation and will be shut down"."

[3] Reversely, Douglas Adams "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" has
"the incredstupid but equally dangerous and ravenous Bug Blatter Beast
of Traal. This incredibly stupid monster thinks that if you can't see
it, it can't see you!"
Subject: Re: Invisibility
From: secret901-ga on 27 Jan 2003 02:22 PST
Somehow, this reminds me of a Danny Dunn novel I read a while ago,
where somebody mentioned that you can become invisible if you can get
a really strong gravitational power to deflect light off you :-)
Subject: Re: Invisibility
From: intotravel-ga on 27 Jan 2003 19:54 PST
I remember that Beryl the Peril, a naughty little girl in a British
comic, made her body invisible once. She sat on a sofa which had the
same coloured material as her clothes. This comes under the category

------ Real 
Camouflage / Advanced trickery and deceit,

 as defined by j_philipp-ga in the comprehensive answer above.

  *    *    *    *    *

     The New Age author, Stuart Wilde, said in one of his books that
the more light one has as a human being, the less likely people are to
see you; you become invisible in all practical senses, and I
understood that that has been his experience in many public, social

     I haven't found a reference to this on the 'net, but this is his

he has a newsletter which you can join by giving your email address, 

and there is a Wilde discussion group at:

    The forum can be a bit rowdy, judging by his article on the
importance of being polite!

  *    *    *    *    *

Another google search, for "invisible light people" came up with this,
on the first page of results:

"There is something called 'Human Involuntary Spontaneous
Invisibility' - in which someone disappears - but there is no
explanation. It is all about shifting frequency - channels - we
channel information.

"Human invisibility has been written about for centuries.  . . . 

"A serious student of raja yoga was taught that certain supernormal
powers, called siddhas, were a natural outcome of gaining mastery over
one's mind and environment, and were used as valuable indications of
the student's spiritual progress. One of these yogic siddhas was human

"Patanjali, author of the Yoga-sutra, which is one of the earliest
treatises among the early Indian writings, attempts to describe the
process whereby human invisibility occurred. He says that
concentration and meditation can make the body imperceptible to other
men, and 'a direct contact with the light of the eyes no longer
existing, the body disappears.'

"The light engendered in the eye of the observer no longer comes into
contact with the body that has become invisible, and the observer sees
nothing at all."

  *    *    *    *    *

There are also gurus -- the word guru itself is Sanskrit* for "bearer
of light" -- who are said to have "flashed out". Or, you could say,
they didn't die -- they just disappeared. They became invisible.

   The guru, Sai Baba, is said to have teleported himself to another
country to buy a wristwatch for one of his followers.

   Sai Baba has this to say about the word, guru:

   "This word of ours, 'guru', it means from deep darkness by giving
light, the one who lightens the darkness inside me, he is 'guru.'
Again the meaning of the word guru is: after falling in a dark well,
to save one from that deep dark well, the one who saves is guru.
Removing the darkness of ignorance, by lighting the lamp of knowledge,
one who gives peace to our life, he is guru."

* Zoofence defines guru a bit differently:
   "The Sanskrit word guru means venerable. It is composed of two
other Sanskrit words, gu, meaning darkness or ignorance, and ru,
meaning remover or dispeller."

  *    *    *    *    *

Here is a commentary from Rev. William Duby, founder of the Spiritual
Rights Foundation, (also from the google search listed above):

  "I had an enlightening experience the other day. Out of the blue, it
became apparent to me that Einstein was correct in his knowledge that
all is light, E=MC2, including ourselves. In other words, all is
Spirit; Spirit is Energy; Energy is Intelligence; Intelligence is
Creative; Creative is Artistic; Artistic is talented, endowed with the
Immortality of self preservation, whether appearing to be visible or
disappearing to be invisible."

  *    *    *    *    *

Quantum physics also brings up the question of invisibility.

A search for "light invisible quantum physics implications" looks like
bringing up some interesting sites!

Among them is an article in Discover Magazine, which talks about
experiments involving "invisible photons".

"Quantum Shmantum 
"If quantum theory weren't valid, no one would be walking around with
cell phones or Palm Pilots. So physicist David Deutsch wonders this:
Why do many smart scientists ignore the larger implications of quantum
"By Tim Folger"

Here's a couple of extracts from the Discover article:

".... The laws (of quantum physics) insist that the fundamental
constituents of reality, such as protons, electrons, and other
subatomic particles, are not hard and indivisible. They behave like
both waves and particles. They can appear out of nothing— a pure void—
and disappear again. Physicists have even managed to teleport atoms,
to move them from one place to another without passing through any
intervening space. ...

"To grapple with the contradictions, most physicists have chosen an
easy way out: They restrict the validity of quantum theory to the
subatomic world. ...
Deutsch argues that the theory's laws must hold at every level of
reality. Because everything in the world, including ourselves, is made
of these particles, and because quantum theory has proved infallible
in every conceivable experiment, the same weird quantum rules must
apply to us. We, too, must exist in many states at once, even if we
don't realize it."

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