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Book of Wholeo, Text and Graphics Path, smaller main Graphic

Imagine that you are visiting Wholeo. You walk inside and the stained glass dome surrounds you. The numbered descriptions and pictures on this page focus on the main areas.

The first photo is an image map. To get your bearings, on the image map, notice the directions:
E - top, N - right, W - bottom, S - left. (If this doesn't help, ignore it.) Each number on the image map is linked to a photo and local map. A number on each local map marks the location of the photo with respect to the overall design. The number shows what you are looking at.

There is a description, small GIF image, and tiny local map of each area. As you read, click on the text or the small image to see a larger JPEG image. Click on the local map or "Back to Contents" to return to the top of the page.

Wholeo, the stained glass dome Copyright Caroling 1974 All Rights Reserved.
Click a number on the image or words below. Start.

Contents

  • 1 Outside Wholeo
  • 2 A wide angle view inside
  • 3 A fisheye lens view
  • The scale and size of Wholeo
  • 4 Looking south: a figure
  • 5 Bathed in aqua light
  • 6 Dawn in the east: birth
  • 7 Noon, consciousness
  • 8 Sunset in the west: death end
  • 9 Closeup of death end
  • 10 Spring, creation
  • 11 Spring, breathe in
  • 12 Beyond the sun path
  • 13 Looking north, overview
  • 14 Essence of being
  • 15 Being: closeup to left
  • 16 Aura/Wavelength notation
  • 17 Up, front, center: triangulation
  • A curved table for glazing
  • 18 Breathing cloud spectrums
  • Geodesic tube framework
  • Secret garden: installation design by Elizabeth O Mlulu.


    1 Outside Wholeo
    The dome looks like freestanding color. It is a hemisphere made of leaded glass panels supported by a geodesic aluminum frame. The antique handblown glass pieces have sometimes been stained, painted, and fired in a kiln or etched in acid to reveal layered colors. The glass is put together with strips of lead to form panels of various shapes and sizes. The average panel is three feet across. The panels are laid onto a geodesic tube frame dome and leaded together.

    Wholeo is like a giant lampshade, big enough to walk inside. An observant child said, "Wholeo is small from the outside and big from the inside."

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    2 A wide angle view inside
    Looking into Wholeo from the east, a wide-angle view of the entire expanse of color engulfs you. This is the top part of a globe, a sculpture to be in. Colors act as light and space conditioners. Transparent glass panes open up small windows to the space outside the dome, while colored light beams in. You move in a mind-expanding richness of color dimensions.

    Broad arcs of colors come from behind you in the east and sweep across the dome to the west, ahead of you. The colors stretch along the sun path from its rising in the east to setting in the west. Study the rainbow arcs woven with the images. The arcs change from green at the left in the south, through aqua, deep blue, earth tones overhead, magenta, red and gold at the right in the north.

    In this view, it is high noon and people are bathed in colored light.

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    3 Fisheye lens view of Wholeo
    Here's looking at Wholeo from the middle of the floor straight up and all around 360 degrees. This map is a fisheye lens view, which you can see if you lie down with your head to the north and your feet to the south. Notice the paths of the rainbow colors from green at your feet, through aqua, deep blue, magenta, red, and gold.

    The design of Wholeo is deliberately a patchwork. Each figure serves as a ground for another figure, making a rich tapestry of visions that invites your participation.

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    The scale and size of Wholeo
    This drawing shows how a person fits into Wholeo. Conceptual design "Scale of Wholeo" Copyright 1995 by Elizabeth O Mlulu.

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    4 Looking south: a figure
    In the south, in the green arc, sits a person in contemplation, asking for visions of the whole self. It could be you or me. The person's head is in a breathing cloud. Air flows in and out, mixed with colors and tiny spectrums, refreshing the atmosphere. Above that is a greatly enlarged detail of the pineal gland. This gland is sometimes called the "inner eye." It appears to be radiating light.

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    5 Bathed in aqua light
    Surrounding the green arc is aqua. It is swimming with tiny energy sources that spark life in our world. I call them "cosmic juices" and show them as gold sandwiched between deep greens. Each cosmic juice is a node that anchors or supports an aspect of life.

    Here a child chooses to bathe in the light that is colored aqua by the glass. She can move to be in green, blue, red, and other rainbow colors if she follows the sun beams across Wholeo.

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    6 Dawn in the east: birth
    Close up, the person sees what is most familiar. That is the arc of birth, consciousness, and death. Birth is placed in the east near the rising sun, consciousness at high noon, and death near sunset in the west. In this view, the "Smallest Unit of Life" is the rounded form in the east, seen at sunrise. Blue spirals counter-clockwise, red clockwise, and a yellowish green zap twists between the poles.

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    7 Noon, consciousness
    Consciousness appears as an imaginative vision, a cross-section of a brain cell. It is a circle set against a cutaway view of the sphere of the emotions, (in red and blue yin-yang swirls). Each quadrant of the brain cell is shown in a different phase of activity related to its six rods. Lower right, different signal flows obscure all but the yellow ends of the rods. Lower left, a single signal is coming onto a rod. Upper left, signals are stored on rods in black bands, like bar codes. Upper right, the rods, excited and lit up like lanterns, project the information in concentric circles of associations.

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    8 Sunset in the west: death end
    To the left in this picture are active parts of the aqua arc, especially a proto-cell forming. Follow the sun path on down to earth in the blue arc. At the top, sudden death comes as a lightning crack through the rigid weave of a round manhole cover design. Moving on down, inevitable zigzags express slow death. Down farther at death end, forms lie down on the ground. To the right is the part of the blue arc dedicated to breathing out. It is shown as turbulence around a black hole.

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    9 Closeup of death end
    Waves of life lose their spring and align in rich darks, relaxing down the last steps. At death end, colors fade, becoming twilight grey, then disappear. It is as the light leaves at the end of each day.

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    10 Spring, creation
    Having seen the sun-path arc of our life story and the black hole of breathing out for the last time, the person looks beyond and finds a miracle. A brilliant glow of yellows, fragile new growth greens, and flashing angles is a source of arcs. The jewel has six sides. The bottom arc is grounding, earth. To the lower right is the deep blue arc that the person knows well. Above it spring green and brown arcs. To the left spring the magenta and red arcs.

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    11 Spring, breathe in
    In the lower right of this picture, at the very beginning of the blue arc is a wavy cleft, a gap that illuminates breathing in. Each vertical breath is drawn up, gathered by energy centers along the spine and circulated out horizontally in spiral paths. At the top, overhead, breath rests in wholeness, symbolized by a circular disk.

    The person gazes and learns to synchronize breathing with the visual design in glass: breathing up along the spirals to the count of eight, holding for eight in the circle aloft, then descending, breathing out for eight, and resting at the base bud before beginning another round.

    By learning to breathe consciously, the person sees beyond the near arc of birth and death and has a chance to escape the black hole of breathing out unconsciously.

    The green and brown paths mingle, tumbling and twisting vibrantly. Inspired by the illuminated breathing, they carry circular drops of wholeness aloft. As they merge for a moment above the breathing gap, in a golden swirl of nodes, imagine a possible start of a new species. Let it be called a "tweezle wootz."

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    12 Beyond the sun path
    Turning to look across the dome from east to west, shows the sun path and beyond from a different perspective.

    Wholeo is filled with poetic details to be discovered gradually over the years. Top left, sun lights triangles joined by four small discs, banded above and below with green/gold sandwiches. The triangles outline the skeleton of events that appear sketchily as dotted waves in the next panel along the sun path (see 7 Noon, consciousness).

    The breathe in panel is top right. The full path of cosmic juices transmuted in a person leads drops of wholeness back down to earth at the bottom.

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    13 Looking north, overview
    Moving to the south, you look north from the point of view of the person in the green arc. A rounded deep blue panel above gives off fine waves of rainbow colors with the aura of a mandala. Below, forms spiral dynamically in a warm red glow of presence, of spiritual being. See the aura as an expression of the magenta arc. See an exploded microscopic view of the being in the red arc, converging on gold, centering.

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    14 Essence of being
    The entire northern part of the dome radiates a red halo. Within, intricate forms hint at the essential qualities of a spiritual being, a wholly developed person. The red stands for unconditional love, home fires, the hearth, and blood. It also stands for lust, anger, and violence. Red expresses the entire range of human passion that releases on the way to becoming whole. It evokes the path with heart.

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    15 Being: closeup to left
    This photograph zooms up to the left of the being, in the far northwest of Wholeo. A spiral twists up to toward another tweezle wootz.

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    16 Aura/Wavelength notation
    The mandala up north in Wholeo has two aspects: an aura and wavelength notation.

    You could use the blue shapes between the colors as a literal notation for wavelengths of light. Red, the longest wavelength, is the longest shape, clustered in the middle. Orange, the next longest wavelength, is a shorter shape, and surrounds red in the mandala. The other colors (yellow, green, aqua, blue, and violet) have progressively shorter wavelengths and shapes. So they move toward the edge in that order. Using the notation, you can draw colors in black and white.

    As an aura, the warm red physical heart is in the center. The colors gradually cool as they step through the spectrum toward the outer edge, where they meet the white light of spirit.

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    17 Up, front, center: triangulation
    The circular panel up south in Wholeo has two aspects: relationship and triangulation.

    The two orbs (of pink partially covering gold behind) could be planets, people separated in space and time, or aspects of yourself. They relate directly and through the stars. For example, when I go on vacation, I can relate to my city life through the stars, which remain relatively fixed with respect to both locations.

    Given three points, if you know the distance between two of them and the angles to a third point, you can find the distances to the third. The calculation is called triangulation. In Wholeo, two points are prisms located on separate orbs of pink and gold. The third point can be any one of the stars around.

    In this panel, the paths come round, encompassing stars and planets. Suddenly a macrocosm, a telescopic view zooms amidst the microcosmic, cellular or personal, feeling-level processes. Triangulation lets us probe and understand vast spaces through the power of our minds and creative imaginations. We find meaning in the cosmos. Processes we discover within or without can be equally valid.

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    A curved table for glazing
    Wholeo's panels were made (glazed) on custom-built curved tables. This picture shows the first concave table, holding glass cut and ready for leading. That is, the next step is to fit strips of lead between the pieces of glass, solder the joints, and force cement under the lead.

    The table is made from curly wood shavings called excelsior, plaster, and 2' x 4's cut to the curvature of the dome. The next set of tables and shipping forms were cast in plastic using this table as a mold.

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    18 Breathing cloud spectrums
    Visitors to Wholeo often reach out to the colored light and to catch rainbow spectrums floating by. In this picture, hands receive light and are refreshed with breezes from the openings in the breathing cloud.

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    Geodesic tube framework
    Here is Wholeo with panels half installed. The northern half of the dome is bare. You can see the aluminum frame skeleton that is ready to hold up the skin of leaded glass panels. When finished, Wholeo stayed up at this site in Monte Rio, CA for six years. Now it is in storage, awaiting its next site.

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    Secret garden: installation design by Elizabeth O Mlulu
    Conceptual installation design "The Secret Garden of Wholeo" Copyright 1995 by Elizabeth O Mlulu. This design is called a secret garden because you must get a key to enter the locked gate to the garden. Also, only the exterior of the dome is visible from outside the wall.

    You walk across grass and up steps into the dome. Below, a reflecting pool shimmers in the colored light.

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    This page last modified : Feb 26 1997  Return to the Wholeo Exhibit page.
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