THE SHROUD OF TURIN – Problem Solved


The Shroud of Turin, Christianity’s most precious relic, is firmly linked to its foundational doctrine: Jesus’s miraculous resurrection from the dead. This well defended connection limits Shroud research to the investigation of the mechanics of image formation, the underlying cause ( the cause of the cause), being a foregone, non-debatable conclusion; it was a miracle. The miracle status limits the investigation because otherwise it would  infringe on foundational doctrine.  Advances in science, scholarship, observation and experience since the Gospels were written reveal a natural explanation for what actually took place on the first Easter Sunday and, thus, the cause underlying the cause of image formation.  Arriving at this conclusion requires outside the box thinking: looking beyond the Bible into other religious expressions for answers, engaging in non-literal interpretation of the Bible, invoking the well-known principles of matter duality and inserting the role of human consciousness into the investigation platform. 

An image formation model based on natural cause is presented herein. The model confirms the many technical observations that have been revealed in Shroud research. Said differently, the information that is needed to prove that resurrection is a natural event is evident through Shroud research results and is primed for publication. Researchers, however, must interpret their findings in the proper context by stepping outside of the box which is guarded by the silent bully…non-debatable, doctrine. It is a difficult thing do for, in one of the greatest, most successful marketing efforts in the history of man, Christian leadership installed a mindset that faith is immune to fact in order to advance its product. 

The bottom line is this. This cloth, this magnificent cloth, accepted and revered by the faithful as proof of Jesus’s miracle resurrection from the dead actually denies it. The world would be a much, much different place if Shroud investigators could only remove the shackles of sacrosanct doctrine and reveal what the cloth really has to say. The hard-earned research data is there, out in the open to see, screaming to be evaluated and professed. It changes everything with a radically new view of reality,  what life is all about and what it really means to be human. And, it has nothing to do with God or religion. 

A remarkable thing happens when science, scholarship, observation and experience are allowed to come into contact with foundational doctrine. Here one finds an alluring connection between Christian trinity and resurrection principles and Tibetan Buddhist practices and beliefs. What seems to be strange bedfellows on cursory look turns out to be not as strange as one might think. Perhaps, cultural practices and traditions, in addition to merchandise, were traveling on the ancient Silk Road.


For well over a century, Shroud of Turin researchers have struggled, without success, to determine how the straw-colored image of a beaten, flogged, thorn-crowned, crucified, side-jabbed, prone, naked, long haired, bearded man came to be deposited on the herringbone weave, linen cloth. The mystery that the Shroud has become was unveiled with the first photograph which was taken in 1898. Serious scientific investigation began in 1978 when a thirty-one person team of prominent scientists equipped with an impressive array of scientific equipment was granted 24/7 access to the cloth for five straight days. In the end, the study team (known as STURP) had not the foggiest idea of how the image came to be. Miracle was the default option. Today, work continues without consensus as to the authenticity of the cloth and how the image was deposited thereon. Global info meetings are held throughout the years in the Western world where parish communities are informed about the Shroud’s tangible proof of miracle and international conferences are conducted where researchers come together to renew friendships and exchange ideas in somewhat of a cult setting. 

The wounds that are displayed on the cloth are consistent with the biblical description of Jesus’s crucifixion ordeal. The Roman Catholic Church, the owner of the cloth, treats it as a bona fide Jesus relic but has not taken an official position.[1] Except for hard core skeptics, there is wide agreement that the image on the cloth is that of Jesus.  Current research is inclined toward radiation as the cause of image formation. But, classic science knows of no way a human body can emit (or vanish by) radiation. With the cloth’s strong connection to Christian foundational resurrection doctrine, the reason for image formation is typically explained, as noted, as miraculous, consistent with the claim for the conflated event that produced it; Jesus’s miraculous resurrection from the dead. The miracle claim effectively reduces the investigative effort to one of discovering God’s handiwork in implementing miracle. The question of why an all-powerful God would invoke any of the exotic measures which have been proposed when he has the capability of simply bringing Jesus back to life, remains unasked. The Shroud research effort long ago crossed the line where common sense no longer makes sense, a tell-tale indicator of a forest-tree problem.

Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That saying seems to apply to Shroud research. Meeting after meeting, paper after paper, conference after conference all end with a big question mark; how did it happen? If Shroud research was a commercial venture the investigators would have been fired a long time ago. Magic and miracle are unacceptable responses to problem solving in any effort that dares to call itself research.  

This blog presents a new paradigm from which to evaluate the hard-earned, valuable observations of  past research. The paper denies the miracle claims that underpin current research in favor of  a natural scenario that explains how a human body can, in fact (and repeatedly does) transform from form to formless, flesh to spirit, just as Jesus did on the first Easter Sunday. The explanation leads to the earth-shaking, inconvenient conclusion  that, that which Christians call resurrection is, in fact, the natural way the human body is designed to gracefully exit planet earth. Shroud research results confirm the conclusion. It’s just that the results need to be interpreted in the proper context. The naturalness of Jesus’s resurrection is slowly but surely making itself into the light of day. After much study, a highly regarded Catholic priest (Father Francis Tiso-you will read about him later) arrived at the conclusion. The Pope himself has challenged the notion of bodily resurrection.[2] The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is abundantly aware of this development. It is a well-kept secret within the Catholic hierarchy.

The rationale which supports the naturalness of resurrection (and image formation) requires venturing into territory which is off-limits to modern Shroud science because of the religious nature of the cloth. This blog is based on studies that: 1.) use non-literal interpretation of the Bible, 2.) venture outside the Bible into ancient, but still viable, religious traditions and 3.) engage the well-known but oft-ignored science of matter and the role of human consciousness. Collectively, the measures constitute the colloquial “climbing outside of the box.” Typically, because of the Shroud’s religious connection and unyielding scientific bias against inserting consciousness into an investigative platform, any one of the three tenets would result in the carte blanche dismissal of the entire premise. I ask the reader to keep an open mind as I lay out an explanation and its far-reaching, earth-shaking implications.  It is soberingly tragic that a message which radically changes the view of reality, what life is all about and what it really means to be human is hidden for failure of Shroud investigators to know how to read the Bible and connect the dots of observation and experience. There is more to reading the Bible than knowing how to read. How ironic is it that this amazing cloth, widely and solemnly revered as confirmation of a first Easter Sunday miracle, actually denies it. 

There is more to reading the Bible than knowing how to read.

The Shroud of Turin has nothing to do with God or religion. It is about the nature of reality which is nothing like has been told.

The Light at the Tomb

Jesus was not the first person in human history to die without leaving a corpse behind; that is, to “vanish from sight.” And, he was not the last. The many recorded incidents of human bodies “vanishing from sight” have one thing in common; light! The major flaw in Shroud research is the failure of the investigators to recognize and account for the presence of light at Jesus’s resurrection. 

The flash of light in Jesus’s tomb

The words “vanish from sight,” are the operative words in the preceding paragraph. They were carefully chosen to convey what actually happened on the first Easter Sunday and will be explained later.

Light is a wiggle in the earth’s electromagnetic field, jiggling at an up-and-down frequency that can be detected by the human eye. The unit of light is called a photon. Photons are generated when an electrically charged atomic particle, such as an electron, transforms from an unnatural, energized state to its normal position in the mother atom. When a human being detects light it is because abnormally energized, charged particles have given up their energy in a return to normal. That released energy manifests as photons. 

The four Gospels subtly tell of the presence of a flash of light within Jesus’s tomb. If one accepts the presence of human detected light at Jesus’s resurrection, one must also accept that an energy release took place in the tomb, as is confirmed in Shroud research.

Matthew’s account is the most telling.[3] Speaking of  resurrection, Matthew 28:2-3[4] reads: “And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightening and his clothing white as snow.”

It is interesting that Matthew chose to describe the physical appearance of the first Easter Sunday angel. By my count there are seventeen references to angels in the four Gospels and the Book of Acts. None, other than Matthew’s, describe them. Matthew’s angel is special and for some reason merits distinct recognition. The passage reveals that the angel: 1.) appeared in a flash, “like lightening” and, 2.) wore “snow white” clothing. The English word “white” is a translation of the Greek word, “leukon.” The definition of the word “leukon” isn’t limited to “white,” as in the absence of color. It has a bright, brilliant, flashy dimension to it.[5]

Matthew goes on to say that the angel’s descent to earth triggered an earthquake. Here, the outside the box mind asks: “How does a descending angel cause an earthquake?” Having landed in a stir on earth, Matthew says that the angel then rolled back the entry stone to the tomb, revealing that Jesus’s crucified corpse was missing. It had “vanished from sight” even though the entry to the tomb was blocked. Be that as it may, might there have been an energy release in the tomb as Jesus’s body went from form to formless,  producing a flash of light while powerful enough to cause the earth to rumble to the extent that it dislodged the entry stone? Based on non-literal interpretation, perhaps Matthew’s account should read:

There was an energy release within the tomb. For, behold, there was a lightening like flash of light and a rumbling of the earth that was so strong that it dislodged the stone that blocked the entrance to the tomb, revealing that Jesus’s body had “vanished from sight.”

The Gospels of Mark and Luke also speak to the presence of light at the tomb.[6] In both accounts, the early morning visitors found men in the tomb…one in Mark, two in Luke. These were men, natural creatures, specifically not heaven-sent angels. The outside-the-box mind again inquires: “What are natural creatures doing inside the tomb? How did they get there?” Mark’s man wore white clothing. Mark, like Matthew, used the Greek word “leukon” to describe the man’s clothing. As noted, the word embeds the quality of bright and brilliant. Luke’s men were also dressed in flashy clothing. He used the Greek word “astraptouse,” connoting, in English, flash of lightening.[7]

There was an energy release within the tomb. For, behold, there was a lightening like flash of light and a rumbling of the earth that was so strong that it dislodged the stone that blocked the entrance to the tomb, revealing that Jesus’s body had “vanished from sight.”

 So, in Mark’s and Luke’s accounts of the happenings on the first Easter Sunday, we find natural creatures wearing dazzling, flash-of-lightening clothing present inside Jesus’s empty tomb. It was sunrise so surely it was dark inside the tomb. Thus, the dazzling-ness of the clothing couldn’t have come from reflected sunlight. It had to have been internally generated. Who were these men? Would a bathroom scale have registered if they stepped on it? Would a video camera have captured their form? Why were they emitting light? Or, were they present at all? Was their presence the vehicle the unknown authors used to communicate the presence of light? 

John’s Gospel also suggests that light was released in the tomb. John reports of two angels seated at opposite ends of the burial slab. They were dressed in the familiar dazzling, flashy clothing; “leukon” in Greek. The “leukon” dressed angels, seated at opposite ends of the burial slab, suggest a light release along the entire length of the slab as Jesus’s body transformed from form to formless and “vanished from sight.”

Other Light Emitting, Corpse-less Deaths In The West

As noted, Jesus was not the first person in Western tradition to die a corpse-less death where a human body “vanished from sight.”  Consider Old Testament prophet Elijah. In 2 Kings 2:11 it is written that Elijah and his protégé Elisa were walking together when they were suddenly separated by a fiery chariot and fiery horses. Elijah, it is written, was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. Under literal interpretation of the passage, God spectacularly took Elijah to heaven sending a fiery, horse-drawn chariot for transportation. In a non-literal, common sense interpretation, Elijah’s body “vanished from sight,” giving off a shower of light. 

Elijah ascends to heaven in a chariot of fire

Another Old Testament example is found in the person of Enoch, Genesis 5:21-24: “The whole lifetime of Enoch was three hundred and sixty-five years. Then Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him.” 

The passage takes on particular significance as the leading and trailing verses tell of lineage who actually died. Enoch never died. His strange, corpse-less death is also referenced in St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews 11:5 and in Sirach 49:14. What happened to Enoch? The book of Jasher provides insight. Jasher is a lost book. It is known only by references made to it in other books of the Bible.[8] Copies have recently surfaced but their origins are unknown. Even so, in them we find noteworthy language that suggests validity.  Jasher 3:36 reports that Enoch ascended to heaven in a whirlwind of horses and chariots of fire. There it is again…a vanishing body with reference to light and most likely the origin of the wording of Elijah’s strange passing. Like Elijah and Jesus, Enoch’s body “vanished from sight” with a flash of light.

Light Emitting Corpse-less Deaths in the East

Jesus, Elijah and Enoch were not the only historical figures to experience the transformation of the body from form to formless with a release of light. Similar passings have occurred thousands of times in the Eastern religious traditions, particularly Tibetan Buddhism. None are referenced in the Bible or Shroud research. The happenings predate the Christian era and are taking place even in modern times. In the Tibetan tradition the phenomenon is called rainbow body. In rainbow body the body gradually “vanishes from sight” until it becomes completely invisible to the naked eye, transforming from form to formless, flesh to spirit. The transformation is accompanied by the release of rainbow colored light. 

A well-documented rainbow body death occurred in September 1998, at a small monastery in the Tibetan highlands. The adept was eighty year old Buddhist monk, Khenpo A-Chö. There were five key eye-witnesses to the passing. In 2018, I interviewed one of them; Lama Lobsang Nyendrak. The Lama was the Khenpo’s disciple for twenty one years.  Highly regarded Roman Catholic priest Father Francis Tiso (mentioned earlier) interviewed three of the other eye-witnesses in 1999. The fifth has since passed away. However, my Tibetan guide knew the deceased monk personally and confirmed to me that he too attained rainbow body.  For additional details the reader should reference my books on the subject,[9],[10] Father Tiso’s book,[11] or my website.[12]

Tibetan Buddhist Monk Khenpo A-Cho (left) and twenty-one year attendant Lobsang Nyendrak

 The four eye-witness accounts hold together. A human body “vanished from sight.” And, it gave off light in the process. I stood over the spot where the strange disappearing act took place. The spot is soaked with bone-chilling mystery and wonder.

In summary, a few hours after the Khenpo’s passing (he had no known health issues) the eye-witnesses noted that the body was wrinkle free with a pinkish glow. As time passed the body became smaller and smaller until on the seventh day it had completely “vanished from sight.” Rainbow colored light was present throughout the process. The Khenpo was highly educated, dedicated to disseminating the Buddha’s teachings (“no time for chit-chat” he would say) and deeply compassionate. He was saddened when earth was dug, grass was cut and was known to give away his provisions, then beg for his own subsistence. On more than one occasion he offered his body to mosquitos out of concern that they were suffering from lack of blood.  The Khenpo was also master of the ancient yogic practice called Dzogchen which is time-tested, proven to produce rainbow body. Buddhists accept it as the highest practice for achieving enlightenment. 

The memorial to Khenpo A-Cho’s rainbow body attainment. The hermitage on the left is where the dissolution took place.

Lama Lobsang described the  rainbow light effect. He said that it was not visible when standing at the spot where vanishing took place (the Khenpo’s hermitage). It was only visible when standing at a distance, like say, one hundred yards or more. People in the city of Ganzi, some twenty miles away as the crow flies, reported seeing it. 

The light emission, when connected to the Dzogchen practice that produces it, provides, as will soon be shown, meaningful insight into the psychophysiological aspects of the human mind-body complex. It is a revelation that has completely fallen under the radar screen of physical and cognitive scientists as well as theologians.

The Lama spoke to one other insightful aspect of the Khenpo’s strange death. He told of the sound of soft music which seemed to be coming from the roof of the Khenpo’s hermitage. Music is melodious sound that is caused by wiggles in ambient air. The wiggles interact with the human nervous system (specifically the hearing organs) to produce a conscious sensation of sound. In other words, something in the Khenpo’s strange vanishing act produced a pressure surge which jiggled the ambient air which then manifested as soft music to the human ear. There will be more about this important observation later.

 The Khenpo was also master of the ancient yogic practice called Dzogchen which is time-tested, proven to produce rainbow body.

My 2016 book lists eight other rainbow body deaths (in addition to the Khenpo’s) which were taken from trusted websites.[13] I personally investigated one of them in my 2018 visit to Tibet.  It was the 2011 passing of Lama Akhyuk Rinpoche. Details of his death can be found on my website. [14]

Inside the memorial to Akhyuk’s rainbow body
attainment in July, 2011

Another well document rainbow body death is found in the case of Hindu saint Ramalinga Swamigal. He realized rainbow body in 1874 at the age of fifty-one. Ramalinga was a frank, outspoken, maverick thinker who taught that man’s highest priority is the pursuit of immortality and the only path was through selflessness manifest in compassion and mercy. He lived in South India. On January 30, 1874 he wrote a farewell letter to his followers and retired to his hermitage. That evening, the followers who had gathered outside the hut noted a sudden flash of violet colored light under the door. Authorities, upon opening the door found his body had “vanished from sight.”[15] His strange death was investigated and authenticated by British police. India, at the time was colonized by the British Empire


As  noted, Dzogchen is an ancient yogic practice which is widely used in Tibet for rainbow body attainment. The Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen Monastery actually includes a school that teaches aspirants how to achieve rainbow body using Dzogchen. The school has been in operation since the late 1950’s after having been destroyed by the Chinese in the violent, cultural revolution that followed China’s take-over of Tibet in 1950. As of late 2018, the school had twenty-two candidates. According to an attendant, there have been thirteen rainbow body deaths at the school since reopening.[16]

Dying without leaving a corpse behind is a teachable skill. I describe Dzogchen in my 2020 book[17] and in summary fashion on my web site.[18] Unfortunately, the practice does not particularly lend itself to words. In order to be fully appreciated, Dzogchen must be experienced, not read or told about. The objective is to return the practitioner to his or her true state of mind. What is true state of mind? 

Try this. Put this paper aside and relax for a few moments. Take a few deep breaths, dismissing, as quickly as they arise, the daisy chain of thoughts that normally corrupt human calmness. Once calm and relaxed, imagine a world where the quantities small and large do not exist. All there is, is medium. Or, imagine the number 50 with the understanding that there is no such thing as 49 and below or 51 and above. With those understandings, now derive a definition of the quantity medium (or the number 50). Take a few moments to contemplate……….

Welcome back. That blank spot you just experienced is your true state of mind. Now, imagine experiencing it 24/7 yet still being present to what is taking place around you. That is Dzogchen. It produces a mind filled with emptiness where thinking is not, yet where awareness persists. It can be compared to being aware that one is asleep while one is asleep. It can be compared to knowing that one knows that one knows how to drive an automobile.

Dzogchen methods vary from the all-important teacher to teacher. One method is to train the mind to exist in spontaneous, non-contrived, non-dual thought. That is, to view, with sameness, that part of physical and cognitive reality that manifests in polar opposites. Thus, for example, in non-duality the polarities of tall/short, fat/skinny, elite/common, gay/straight, male/female and so forth, give way to “is-ness.”  In Dzogchen, everything just “is.” A world view of “isness” is tantamount to 24/7 non-thinking meditation for, when everything just “is,” there is nothing to think about. In particular, under non-duality the notion of self is eliminated. Self is the agency, a pure state of mind, that makes one think he or she is different from everyone and everything in his or her field of vision and thought. But, when everything “is,” there is nothing to be different from. For example, the quantity “medium” has no meaning without a small and large to compare to. Thus, bottom line, Dzogchen is the practice of total selfless living. Realization of true state of mind equates to the cessation of observation of self. Self is a pure figment of the imagination. No surgeon has ever found one on the operating table. No mortician on the autopsy slab. Yet, it is the most difficult of all dualities to overcome. 

It is pure torture, in a brain-twisting sort of way, for the human being to accept that his or her physical existence is actually a state of mind which manifests through attention paid to the agency known as self. But, rainbow body and Dzogchen attest to this mind-boggling truth, figuratively, on a daily basis. The practice has become so prevalent and challenging to the norm that the Chinese government has declared it illegal.[19] An underground “don’t ask, don’t tell” practice about masters going rainbow has developed in Tibet. My desire to go to the Ganzi Newspaper Office in my 2018 trip to fetch the article that publicized the Khenpo’s death was quickly dismissed by my guide as a very bad idea. It would likely have produced a quick deportation ticket out of the country for me and a little slammer time for my guide.   

Jesus Taught Dzogchen

Jesus taught Dzogchen. That he did is subtly found in the Gospels but clearly evident in the obscure, non-canonical text known as the Gospel of Thomas. (Refer to my book[20] and in a blog that is available on my website[21] for more information on the Gospel of Thomas). Orthodox Christians are unaware that he taught Dzogchen because the Gospels portray him in a way that obscures it. In the Gospels, Jesus is presented in a redemptive capacity offering the promise of everlasting life at some nebulous point in time in the future called the end of time. Thomas portrays him as one whose life purpose was to show the way to immortality in the here and now, as is demonstrated in rainbow body and as was demonstrated in resurrection.

 Thomas is a Jesus sayings gospel: Jesus said this, Jesus said that. It contains 114 pithy sayings placed in seemingly random order.[22] An extant copy written in Coptic was discovered in 1945. At the outset, Jesus says that those who understand the teachings will never taste death. The Tibetan rainbow body adepts prove the validity of this saying; they follow the teachings and never taste death. 

In Saying Number 3, Jesus explains that the kingdom we all seek is a state of mind. That is, there is no physical afterlife locale known as heaven. He goes on to say that in order to find the kingdom one must think non-dually (Saying Number 22). In Saying Number 29 he acknowledges rainbow body. Here he speaks to what a wonder it is when spirit comes into being because of the body. Saying Number 37 tells of the need to eliminate self. 

Jesus taught Dzogchen. That he did is subtly found in the Gospels but clearly evident in the obscure, non-canonical text known as the Gospel of Thomas.

Unfortunately, Thomas’ non-canonical status makes it inadmissible evidence in resurrection/Shroud of Turin debate. Reference to it is taken as a blatant violation of the unwritten but strictly enforced eleventh commandment: “Thou shalt not look outside the Bible for knowledge.” Not only is Thomas outside the Bible, it also speaks to the primacy of mind (consciousness) in human experience, yet another reason for the mainstream to dismiss it. How can it be? How can it be that a  teaching that says do “this” then “that” will happen, and, then, when “this” is done, “that” actually happens, be ignored? This paper subscribes to the old adage,  “the proof of a pudding is always in the tasting.” 

Be that as it may, there is evidence of Dzogchen teaching in the Gospels. But, one has to look closely to find it. For example, when Jesus teaches to “do to others whatever you would have them do to you,”[23] he is actually teaching selflessness. He is teaching selflessness for, one can’t possibly treat others with unfettered equality unless the others and self are viewed with sameness. The same can be said of  the passage in Luke 6:35 where Jesus instructs his followers to love their enemies, do good to them, and, lend to them while expecting nothing back. Those commands are impossible to fulfill as long as self persists. When self is in the picture and resources run short the “after me you come first syndrome will always kick in.” Jesus taught selflessness in the Gospels. But, in Thomas, unlike the Gospels, selflessness is presented as the portal to eternal life and not something done in order to gain merit with a monotheistic god.  In Saying No. 14 he warns his disciples that churchy conduct, such as fasting, prayer and charity, are not helpful for bringing for their spirit nature forth. But, when the spirit blossoms, churchy things become an active part of the practitioner’s life. Churchy things are not things one does. They are things that happen to one when the spirit dominates daily living.

Resurrection Explained in Natural Terms

As shown, human bodies “vanishing from sight,” while not common, is not unheard of  either. The vanishing of a human body does not a miracle make. Where does the body go when it “vanishes from sight?”  It doesn’t go anywhere. It just vibrates at a level that cannot be detected by the human eye. As outrageous as that sound, consider the facts.

All matter has a dual nature. Matter is either a solid, pellet kind of thing that stings if hit by it, or it is an intangible, wiggly packet of energy, a disturbance in earth’s electromagnetic field, which scientists call wave.[24] And, here is the deal. Human consciousness determines the actual mode of expression, particle or wave. Science has known that matter is a derivative of consciousness since the days of Einstein, Planck and their peers. Unfortunately, matter duality is received in science and religion as a novelty of the atomic world and discarded as irrelevant in the world of large scale objects like, for instance, a human body.[25],[26]

Under the principle of matter duality, an atomic particle cannot exist in solid form unless it is “observed.”  The word “observed” embeds perception but is more than looking with a set of eyeballs. It has a cognitive dimension to it. If the atomic stuff of which the human body is made cannot exist in material form unless it is “observed,” then it logically follows that the  human body (which is made of that stuff) cannot exist in solid form either unless it too is “observed.” 

In the laboratory, an atomic particle is  “observed” when an attempt is made to establish its physical location in space and time.[27] Take, for example, a simple flashlight. A flashlight is a photon generating machine and the photons it generates behave to the principle of matter duality. Turn it on and it churns them out at the rate of trillions per second. When one points the flashlight at a target, like a wall, an illuminated spot appears. The spot has longitude, latitude and elevation and is time dated. It has been “observed” by a human source of consciousness. The photon is a particle. And here is the thing about it that is so difficult to accept. One does not look at the illuminated spot. The illuminated spot is there because one is looking at it. That is, the wavy, jiggling photons coming from the flashlight were “observed.” This strange property of matter was brilliantly demonstrated by Dr. Dean Radin, the lead researcher at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.[28] Rightfully a candidate for a Nobel prize, his findings have been ignored in the mainstream.

Similarly, as demonstrated in rainbow body and Dzogchen, a human body is “observed” when an attempt is made to establish its location in space and time. The attempt is made by investment in the agency known as self. This is demonstrably true since, with cessation of observation of self, the body “vanishes from sight.” It doesn’t go anywhere. It transforms from particle to wave on a human scale. As noted, the practice of Dzogchen and the Gospel of Thomas provide instructions on how to cease observation of self by eliminating all dual thought. Something cannot exist in space and time unless it has something else to compare to, no more than the quantity “medium” can have meaning if there is no “large” or “small” for comparison.

The Planetary Model

The planetary model of the atom is useful for explaining resurrection and image formation. The physical human body (and all other material objects) is made of atoms, seven thousand trillion, trillion in number. So, what better place to model the human body than by modeling the things it is made of. The planetary model, while an oversimplification of reality, works well to explain the concept that is being presented here. In the model, atoms are viewed as solid electrons orbiting a mother atomic nucleus, much the same as a satellite orbits mother earth. Like a satellite, the electron can occupy higher orbital planes that differ from one another by their relative distance from the mother nucleus.  Energy is required to move from a lower to a higher orbital plane and stretch the atom. And here is the essence of the model. This energy is released when the electron returns to a lower orbital plane. The released energy manifests as photons, that wiggly disturbance in the earth’s electromagnetic field, as noted above. 

In the planetary model, electrons (yellow) orbit
around a mother nucleus (red and blue). The electrons
are capable of higher orbits but energy is required.

Thus, the electrons which are attached to each atom in the living, human body exist in higher, abnormal orbits. And they are there through the person’s observation of self. That they are is intuitively obvious as, when cessation of observation of self ceases, the energy that sustains the higher orbit is released and manifests as radiation, some of which is visible to the human eye. This is the origin of the light found in rainbow body, Jesus’s resurrection and Enoch, Elijah and Ramalinga’s vanishing act. The direct correlation between light and cessation of observation of self has been confirmed thousands of times over the last two millennia in the Tibetan Buddhist rainbow body tradition. It is not a subject for debate. It can only be denied through willful ignorance.

In resurrection, two forces are in play and their presence is confirmed by Shroud research results.  

One of the forces, a pressure surge, was released when Jesus’s body transformed from particle to wave in accordance with the principle of matter duality. Here, Jesus’s solid body spread itself out into expansive wave form. Think of the small accumulation of air that is compressed into a blown-up balloon. When the air is released it rushes into the surrounding atmosphere with expansive force.  Matter duality goes beyond the simple atom. It has been demonstrated on biomolecules containing fifteen amino acids.[29] But an entire human body? Why not? An intact body existing in a heavenly realm lies at the heart of Christian resurrection doctrine. Here, every human corpse that ever existed will be resurrected come the last day while every human who is alive at the time, will also resurrect.  In other words, as outrageous as an entire human body “vanishing from sight” may sound, that it is possible is foundational Christian belief.

Most certainly, the atomic forces which hold the atomic nucleus together remained intact in Jesus’s resurrection. Otherwise, the energy release would have been catastrophic and there would have been no tomb or Shroud left to examine. 

Shroud research confirms the pressure surge. The surge straightened the cloth from its contoured position around Jesus’s body, bringing it parallel to the burial slab at the time of image formation. Had the image been created when the cloth was contoured around the body it would be badly distorted when the cloth is laid flat for viewing, as it is  today. The blood stains on the cloth, one for each wound, also confirm the surge. The individual stains on the cloth are mirror images of the wounds that created them. In other words, some type of force lifted the blood on the body, wound by wound, and pushed it into the cloth, intact. In some cases the penetration was deep enough that it is visible from the back side of the cloth.

 As noted, the presence of the sound of heavenly music in Khenpo A-Chö’s hermitage also confirms that a pressure surge occurs when a human body “vanishes from sight.” It created wiggles in the atmospheric air which translated to sound to the human ear.

The second force, a wiggle in the earth’s electromagnetic field (radiation), is also found in Shroud research. It is this force that produced the image. The force derived from the energy which is released as outer orbit electrons returned to their normal positions within their respective mother atom.  The resulting radiation altered the chemistry of the cloth’s atomic substrate, severing normal carbon to carbon chemical bonds, making them hyper-reactive, whereupon they rearranged into new molecules which were more susceptible to ageing. The image is superficial, indicating a shallow penetrating, high frequency wiggle. Research also indicates that some of the released energy wiggles were in the frequency of x-rays. The presence of x-rays is confirmed as the metacarpal and phalange bones in Jesus’s hands are visible to the naked eye, as are his teeth under high resolution photography. And, of course, there was visible light.

The high energy electromagnetic wiggles also explain the phenomenon known as banding. In the image area of  the Shroud, all fibrils are colored to the same degree. The difference between light and dark color rests in the number of fibrils which are colored. Dark areas have more colored fibrils than do light areas. And, here is the glitch. A particular fibril may be colored while the next door fibrils are not. Called banding, it is tell-tale of wave behavior where waves interfere with one another. That is, when a wave that is wiggling in the up direction collides with a wave that is wiggling down, the two offset and cancel out. This is called wave interference. Shroud expert Dr. John Jackson, a member of the initial Shroud study team, once commented: “It is as if every pore and hair of the body contained a microminiature laser.”[30] Laser beams are typically used to demonstrate wave interference. 

It is interesting to speculate on the sequencing of the two forces. The pressure surge appears to have been in the lead as the blood stains on the cloth have no image beneath them. That is, the blood was deposited first followed by the blast of radiation. 

The radiation blast is also responsible for the faulty carbon dating exercise. Radiocarbon dating tests were run on samples of the Shroud in 1988. The results indicated a manufacture date of 1260-1390 AD, adding fuel to the already existing blaze that claimed the cloth to be a forgery. The radiocarbon test actually confirms a radiation event. The radiation created more of the carbon isotope which radiocarbon dating measures, skewing the test results to a much earlier manufacture date. A linen cloth that has been exposed to radiation cannot be accurately carbon dated. 

There are many more reasons to support radiation theory for Shroud image formation. For more information please refer to my 2020 book.[31]

Vanishing from Sight

Where does the body go when it “vanishes from sight?” As noted, it doesn’t go anywhere. It just enters a state of vibration that makes it invisible to normal human sight. It transforms from particle to wave, form to formless, flesh to spirit. As Jesus so aptly stated in the Gospel of Thomas: “it is a marvel of marvels when the spirit comes into being because of the body.”

Tibetan Buddhists have an interesting explanation. As world experts on vanishing bodies, having experienced the many instances that have occurred in their tradition over the last two thousand years, their testimony carries weight. Refusing to accept miracle explanation, the Tibetans rely on the enlightened mind for insight. They conclude that the vanished body still exists, but in subtle, formless (wave) state which they refer to as the three kayas. The three kayas come interestingly close to the Christian notion of Holy Trinity.

The first kaya is known as the Dharmakaya. Here, the formless body (formless, that is, to the common eye) is in full communion with other formless bodies, all of which have the capacity to resolve the wave state and view that which is otherwise formless, with form. 

The second kaya is known as the Nirmanakaya. The Nirmanakaya, otherwise formless (to the human eye) chooses to reenter the material world (takes on form, making it visible to the human eye) out of a sense of compassion in order to demonstrate to the material world what is required to achieve spiritual perfection and eternal life. In Buddhist thought, Jesus was a Nirmanakaya as was the Buddha. John’s Gospel knows of this also, but the unknown author didn’t use the word Nirmanakaya. Instead, he called it “the word made flesh.” 

The third kaya is called the Sambhogakaya. The Sambhogakaya seldom reenters the material world for any length of time, but influences it through mind-to-mind transmission from the heavenly to the earthly realm. Jesus spoke of the Sambhogakaya on several occasions. He called it the Advocate. For example, in John 14:16-17, he says: “And I [Nirmanakaya] will ask the Father [Dharmakaya], and he will give you another Advocate [Sambhogakaya] to be with you always, the Spirit of Truth, which the world cannot accept because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you.”   

The tree kayas compare to the Christian Holy Trinity: the Father (Dharmakaya),  the Son (Nirmanakaya) and the Holy Spirit (Sambhogakaya). One body, three manifestations, all of which are of the same essence. Of course, the differences between the Tibetan Buddhist three kayas and the Christian Holy Trinity is that in Christianity there is one Holy Trinity which is made up of three distinct persons who are of the same essence. Everyone else of common birth is separate from the Trinity personage. On the other hand, in Buddhism, there is only one “Holy Trinity” but it allows for individualist expression within that tri-arrangement. In other words, for example, there is only one Nirmanakaya but it is expressed as many different personalities. One person in Christianity; more in Buddhism. The point is that as outrageous as the model that is presented herein may appear to the orthodox mind, it has a strong connection to sacrosanct Christian thought.


The Gospel accounts of Jesus’s post-mortem appearances indicate that his followers believed he was still alive after, for sure, being crucified dead. This belief is sometimes used to defend resurrection as a miraculous event, separate from, and superior to other incidents where a human body “vanished from sight.” Somehow Jesus’s resurrection is held to be special.

There is little doubt that Jesus made contact with the material world after he stopped breathing.  But, the varied appearances are difficult to reconcile. Did he appear in a physical body, one that reflected light, registered when placed on a bathroom scale and knocked things over when running into them.  Or, did he appear as apparition; a hallucination induced into the minds of select followers (i.e., Sambhogakaya). 

In Mark, the first Gospel written, the early morning visitors to the empty tomb were told that Jesus had been raised and was going to Galilee (16:7). The word going connotes physical movement. Two verses later, Mark writes that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene (16:9) and, from this meeting, the apostles came to understand that he was still alive. What happened to the trip to Galilee? Meanwhile, he appeared to two followers who were walking to the country, but in another form. Another form? Apparently he appeared in a form that was different than the form he was in when he appeared to Mary Magdalene. Can a real body change forms? Later that evening he appeared to the eleven disciples (Judas was no longer) while they were at supper. He fussed at them, gave some final teachings and was then taken up into heaven without fanfare (16:14-19). The word taken means something that happened to him, not something he did on his own.

It is challenging to understand Mark’s accounting other than to say that Jesus made contact with the material world in a form that was not the typical human body. 

Jesus appears to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Or, did he?

The difficulty continues in the other Gospels.  Matthew has the risen Jesus going to Galilee. Again, physical movement. The early-morning visitors are told to go there to see him.  It would have been a two-three day walk. Why did they have to walk that distance to meet up with Jesus who had a head start?  As the early-morning risers rushed to tell the others of the empty tomb, Jesus then appeared to them. Again, what happened to Galilee? As in Mark, Luke tells how Jesus later met and conversed with two travelers, but his identity was obscured, for their (the travelers’) eyes were prevented from seeing him. This odd wording implies that Jesus didn’t change form. He just messed with the traveler’s vision system to prevent them from recognizing him, an old Sambhogakaya trick that, as will soon be evident, his mother knows well.  In John’s Gospel, Jesus first appeared dressed as a gardener. Where did the gardener clothes come from? John also tells of a bare-chested Jesus with a side wound who walked through locked doors. In addition, he writes of a Jesus who offers fishing advice while standing on the shore of Lake Tiberius, and with cooking skills. Where did the food and the cooking utensils come from? In the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that Jesus appeared to Paul as a talking flash of light. Would a voice recorder have picked up the conversation?

For sure, it is uncommon for deceased saintly figures to appear in the material world. But, it is not unheard of. The synoptic Gospels report of Jesus’s transfiguration where Moses and Elijah not only appeared alongside of Jesus but conversed with him as well. Lama Lobsang told me that Khenpo A-Chö was seen circumambulating his hermitage shortly after his death. Ramalinga, who was discussed earlier, is said to have appeared many times in the material world.[32] India’s envoy to the West, Paramahansa Yogananda, claimed that his guru Sri Yukteswar (1855-1936) appeared to him in a hotel room in Bombay.[33]

Fatima crowd thinking they are
witnessing a miracle of the sun

The Virgin Mary’s many appearances in the material world are the coupe de grâce. According to a study conducted by National Geographic, Jesus’s mother Mary has appeared in the material world over two-thousand times since 40 AD.[34] Mary’s appearances at Fatima are noteworthy. Surrounded by large crowds, the three child visionaries were the only ones who could see her.[35] It is as if, as in Luke’s Gospel, the eyes of the on-lookers were prevented from seeing; as mentioned, a Sambhogakaya trick of the trade. Was Mary messing with the crowd’s vision systems? Yes she was! Consider this. On her last visit at noon, October 13, 1917, the crowd of seekers, estimated at 70,000, witnessed the so-called Miracle of the Sun. Here, the sun appeared to dance, plummet toward earth and then return to its normal position in the sky. Strange behavior indeed as the billions in the parts of the world where it was daylight at noon, October 13, 1917 witnessed no erratic sun behavior.[36] Nor were any atmospheric disruptions reported across the globe. The sun absolutely did not dance in the sky that day. The onlookers only thought it did. The neural equivalent of a dancing, plummeting sun was imposed onto the brains of the onlookers.

Jesus’s post-mortem appearances, far from confirming something miraculously unique to him, attest to the influence that the spirt realm has over human perception. The spirit world has such sway over the material world as to challenge the objective nature of reality that Westerners are so heavily invested in. What is really “out there?” Is it real or is the spirit world messing with the human mind? How can one be sure? The veil that separates this life from the afterlife is indeed thin. In Jesus’s case, post-mortem contact with the material world does not a miracle make nor does it make him special in the company of the many others who have made similar appearances, especially his mother. His post-mortem appearances are not a viable defense of resurrection miracle.

Closing Thoughts

Reality looks quite different when the naturalness of what has come to be called miracle resurrection is reversed. The data which supports naturalness has been collected. The hard part is over. It is now a matter of interpreting the data in the context of the large corpus of information that is available through non-literal interpretation of the Bible, forgotten scripture, quantum science, and the hard observation and experience offered by other religious traditions. Of course, what is written in this paper doesn’t preclude a miraculous resurrection and, thus, miraculous cause for the image on the Shroud. But, it does raise the question as to why miracle when a scientifically sound, validated through observation and experience, natural explanation is available. In a backhanded sort of way, a miracle claim asserts that Jesus needed divine assistance to do what commoners do on their own. For, it cannot be denied. Rainbow body is real and the actions that produce it are a teachable skill, making it a viable method for gracefully exiting the planet. The fact that most of us lack the capacity to go rainbow is irrelevant. The fact that it is possible is the only matter of significance. 

Shroud of Turin research results support the naturalness of resurrection and image formation but the message is held hostage to the silent bully: sacrosanct, non-debatable religious doctrine which prevents adherents from opening up to creative thought. The difference between scientific theory and religious doctrine is telling. Scientists devise theory to explain their observations and beliefs. Theologians rely on doctrine to explain their belief. In science, when new, contrary information arises, theory is adjusted accordingly. Religious doctrine however, is frozen; immune to new facts. This odd approach to learning limits Shroud research with disastrous consequence to a needy world.  

The image on the Shroud, by confirming naturalness of resurrection, embeds a message that radically changes the world view of reality by establishing the primacy of mind in human experience. The implications are many and far reaching.  And, they also open the window to better insight into Christian resurrection and trinity doctrine by introducing science, observation and experience to compliment what heretofore had to be accepted on faith alone. The similarities between Holy Trinity/three kayas and resurrection/rainbow body invite further study as to the lines of communication that may have existed between the Eastern and Western world as Christianity began to take shape. This we know. The two worlds were commercially connected by the Silk Road. And, it appears that information in addition to garments and trinkets were in the travels.

What a tragedy that this magnificent cloth remains muzzled with its life changing message hidden from a world that is in dire need of a life changing shot in the arm. Oh what a different world it would be if Shroud scientists would go for the gold, uninhibited by past understandings which are now shown to be false, and loudly broadcast what the cloth really means.

the words of Genesis 3:19, “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” are not a divine verdict rendered in wrath. They are a personal choice. 

Genesis 3:19

It would take another 8,000 words to cover all of the implications that are hidden in the Shroud. It is something which will not be undertaken here. If commenced, the discussion would begin by pointing out that the words of Genesis 3:19, “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” are not a divine verdict rendered in wrath. They are a personal choice. 

 And that changes everything. 

Thank you for reading my blog. I would appreciate your comments.


[1] Actually, title to the Shroud rests with the reigning Pope.

[2] He made that comment to his long-time friend and confidant Eugenio Scalfari. It is reported in the November 5, 2019 issue of La Repubblica. Pope Francis has proven to be somewhat of a maverick thinker relative to the orthodox views of the Church. The Vatican denies that he made the statement claiming he was misquoted while discrediting Scalfari. However, the Pope himself has not denied it even when given the opportunity.

[3] The author of Matthew’s Gospel is unknown. I use the word Matthew as a literary convenience. The unknown author was a second generation follower of Jesus and not an eye-witness to the events of which he wrote. He relied on the oral and written, such as letters and sermons, communication to express his thoughts in ways he believed appropriate to his intended audience, taking into consideration their particular view of reality at the time.

[4] This, and all other biblical references, are taken from the New American Bible, Revised Edition, Copyright 2010, 1991, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved. This particular Bible is commonly known as the Catholic Bible.


[6] See endnote 2 above. It equally applies to all Gospel accounts.


[8] 2 Samuel 1:18 and Joshua 10:13

[9] Devins, J Thomas, The Illusion of Death – What Jesus and Buddha Taught About Death and What Science confirms, Self Published through Amazon Create Space, 2017, pp 45-55 and 231-239

[10] Devins, J Thomas, Christianity’s Dirty Little Secrets – The Truth About Resurrection, The Rainbow Body, Religion and Reality, Self Published through LuLu Publishing Services, 2020, pp 38-53

[11] Tiso, Francis, Rainbow Body and Resurrection – Spiritual Attainment, the Dissolution of the Material Body and the Case of Khenpo A-Chö, (Berkeley CA: North Atlantic Books 2016), pp 303-304

[12] Click on the Blog tab for the Rainbow Body blog and on the tab Video for the video of Khenpo A-Chö.

[13] Ibid, pp 231-239

[14] Click on the “Videos Tab” and find the video Akhyuk Rinpoche.

[15] J. Thomas Devins, The Illusion of Death, pp 45-48.

[16] Unfortunately, I was unable to visit the school during my 2018 visit. Bad weather and the need to stay on schedule cut my visit short. After returning to the states I contacted my Tibetan guide and had him return to the school for information. The information I relate to you comes from him. My plans to return to the monastery in 2020 were cut short by the pandemic.

[17] Devins, J Thomas, Christianity’s Dirty Little Secrets –d, pp 57-75

[18] Click on the Blog tab and go to the blog, “Dzogchen-The Ticket to Enlightenment.”

[19] Investigating the Rainbow Body, Lions Roar Magazine, Michael Sheehy, March 7, 2018. Article is available on line at

[20] Devins, J Thomas, Christianity’s Dirty Little Secrets, pp 76-87.

[21] Click  on the Blog tab and go to the blog, “The Gospel of Thomas.”

[22] The Gnostic Society Library The Nag Hammadi Library,

[23] Matthew 7:12 with variant in Luke 6:31.

[24] Actually, both wiggle. The degree of wiggle is what separates them.

[25] Radin, Dean, Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities, (Deepak Chopra:Kindle Edition, 2013), especially chapter 12.

[26], click on “videos” tab and find “The Truth About Matter.”

[27] Re the Thomas Young Double Slit Experiment. It was first conducted in the early 1800’s by English scientist Thomas Young. In it, a photon is passed through a slit in a filter, in which case it expresses as a particle, or, through two side-by-side slits, in which case it expresses as wave. In the former case, the photon is locatable in space and time. It has one and only one option. That is to pass through the single slit in the filter. It is observed. In the latter case, the photon has options, the left slit or the right slit. It cannot be  observed and thus expresses as wave. Refer to my website (, click of the Video Tab and find the video, “The Truth About Matter.”

[28] Radin, Dean, Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities, pp262-264Also see the video, The Truth About Matter available through my web site

[29] A natural biomolecule has been measured acting like a quantum wave for the first time, MIT Technical review,

[30] As quoted in W. McDonald, Science and the Shroud, the World and I (October 1986) pp 420-428, via The Shroud and the “Historical Jesus,” Simon J. Joseph, PhD. Paper is available at

[31] Devins, J Thomas, Christianity’s Dirty Little Secrets, pp 102-115.

[32] Tiso, Francis, Rainbow Body and Resurrection, p 16.

[33] Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi, (Crystal City Publishers:2003),p259

[34] Mary, The Most Powerful Woman in the World, National Geographic, December 2015.

[35] In her many appearances, only the visionaries can see and converse with her.

[36] The reader may be interested in a blog on my website, The Fatima Apparition – There is More to the Story. Click on the Blog Tab to find the blog.

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