THE DANCE OF SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL LIGHT
It is 5PM, December 18, 2021, and I am eating dinner. There is a plate of food in front of me and a bottle of water. The food is delicious. However, my mind being the mind of a philosopher could not just savor the tasty food but wandered off. It says that the chicken, vegetables and the other parts of the food that I am enjoying is made of matter.
Matter is a name we give to the ninety-two elements in the universe (hydrogen, helium, lithium, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium…all the way to uranium).
These elements are different arrangements of the atom.
The atom is composed of electrons, protons and neutrons. Each element has different numbers of particles of the atom in it.
Hydrogen, for example, has one electron, one proton (and in its isotopes may have one or two neutrons); helium has two elections, two protons and two neutrons; carbon has six electrons, six protons and six neutrons; oxygen has eight electrons, eight proteins and eight neutrons…keep going until you get to the heaviest element, uranium with ninety-two electrons, ninety- two protons and one hundred and forty-six neutrons.
What are electrons, protons and neutrons made of? An electron is a packet of photons (light photons bunched together to give it mass; light itself has no mass). Protons and neutrons have two stages in their formation. First, light, photons bunched themselves into quarks and quarks then bunched themselves into protons and neutrons. In effect, electrons, protons nd neutrons are bunched photons, they are compacted light.
In effect, the food that I am eating is nothing but bunched light. My body, the table on which the food is placed, the walls of my dining room and the entire house, animals, trees, mountains, stars, planets, everything in the universe are made of bunched light and thus are light.
When I am eating, all that I am doing is taking light in one form of its bunching and transferring it to my body where it would be bunched as my body.
A few years later (people can live to be 120 years) my body dies and decays to the elements that compose it and over time those decay to light; the same happens to all existing material things. Thus, in effect, the universe is light dancing in different forms of light.
My body, food, and everything I see is light bunched differently. Light is playing with itself in different forms. Our physical universe is made of light in different forms, light playing with itself. This is a scientific statement, not just philosophy.
Now, we go from science to philosophy. Philosophy asks the question why and science asks the question how.
Science asked how questions about the physical universe of space, time and matter, and answered some of them; it has demonstrated that our universe is composed of light in different forms and showed us how it arrived at those facts. The answer is airtight and has no room for disagreement. My body, your body and all matter and energy are bunched light.
But why did physical light bunch, compact itself into particles and thereafter to atoms and then to elements and to all energy and matter? What is the point, why did it bother to do so?
Why did the universe even bother to exist, Stephen Hawkins asked? Given all the trouble the universe took, over the past 13.8 billion years, to transform light to energy and matter and used them to construct stars, planets, plants, animals and our bodies; all things that are destined to die and go out of existence, why did it even bother doing this sort of things?
Arthur Schopenhauer, a German Idealistic philosopher, in his magnus opus, World as will and idea, said that it was better that the physical universe did not exist, for there is absolutely no reason it exists.
Given the suffering and pain people live in, it was better they and the universe that produced them dd not exist.
The universe wastes its time and our time (unless there is a reason for its existence that, as Immanuel Kant said, is beyond our critical reasoning and understanding).
Science cannot answer the question: why the universe exists. Science merely describes phenomena as it is without the ability to answer the question why.
The question why leads to philosophy. Philosophy posits rational speculations and conjectures to why questions. Speculations and conjectures are not ascertainable, they cannot be proved with the scientific method that only accepts the observable, verifiable and falsifiable.
So, why does the universe exist? Science says that the universe exists and that that is all we know for certain.
Who is the “we” that know? Rene Descartes said: “Cogito ergo sum,” I know for certain that I exist but beyond that I know nothing else for sure; but does he exist and if so, where is he today? Was his existence temporary or permanent?
Philosophy says that there ought to be a reason the universe exists. Who says that there must be a reason the universe exists?
It is an assumption to say that the universe must have a reason for existing. The universe might as well exist without reason for doing so. We do not know why the universe exists. This is the agnostic’s copout.
The theist posits God for the existence of the universe and the atheist responds to the theist and says that there is no God. Theism and atheism are belief systems; both are not rested on facts.
For example, we have not understood 96% of the universe composed of dark energy and dark matter; if you do not understand 96% of something, how can you make a dogmatic assertion regarding its nature or lack thereof? Atheists tend to be arrogant folks; humility requires us to say that we do not know enough to make finalistic statements about the nature of the universe.
Philosophy has a need to provide reasons why things exist and are the way they are. Philosophers recognize that their explanations are mere conjectures, not facts.
Religion enters the picture and takes the unproved explanations of why things exist and reify them, making them seem to be true.
For example, having traced the chain of causation and understood that it could lead to infinity, Aristotle arbitrarily stopped and said that there ought to be a God that is the uncaused cause of the causes we have in the universe. He knew that he was assuming about the existence of God.
Religion took it from there and talks as if it has demonstrated the existence of God. Religion says that God caused the universe to come into being. Religion says that God created us (since we did not create ourselves).
But how can we prove the hypothesis that God created us? We cannot use the instruments of pure reason to prove it.
Nevertheless, religious humankind assumes that there is a God that created them and everything. They even pray to their imaginary God to help them survive on earth. Of course, he does not help them to survive.
Priests, from the pope to the village priest and Pentecostal pastors, ask them to pay tithes to them for they help them to get to God to help them. The people give the quacks called clergy their hard-earned money and those live high on a hug while the people remain poor. The people sustain the clergy.
The point to all these is that science describes empirical phenomena, and that philosophy asks why phenomena exists and says it cannot demonstrate a reason it exists.
Religion takes discarded primitive philosophy and deify it, and say that God created them, and people fear that imaginary God of their religion.
I do not pretend to know whether God exists or does not exist; I am agnostic. I am an existential philosopher. Pure reason shows me a meaningless universe. I do not see any meaning and purpose to our universe.
Science tells me that the physical universe of space, time and matter is careening to death. In a few trillion years the stars would be overexpanded from each other, and the universe dies from heat loss.
The universe would be so cold that stars and planets would break up into the elements that composed them and those decay to particles and everything returns to light, now cold light.
Science says that the universe would end in a Cold Chill. May be at a certain point the universe would stop expanding and recontract and die in a Big Crunch.
The Big Crunching of all matter and energy into one state of singularity could lead to another big bang and another universe begins, another universe rebounds from the old one, I do not know.
I eat my dinner with the understanding that what is happening is light transferring itself from the light in the food to the light that is my body; both the food and my body are light; what I see happening before me is the dance of light.
But what is the me that is making this observation? I would like to believe that there is another self in me, in the universe, what I call spiritual light and that that spiritual light plays with physical light. That is philosophy, speculation; the fact is that I do not know for sure that there is such a thing as spirit.
I am done eating and am going to go wash my dishes, for I do not like seeing dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.
Is this the way you think? If not, could you understand that people are different? Think about it and do not assume that every person you see is like you.
I typed this essay in less than twenty minutes, after eating my food; see how long it would take you to understand what it says.
And how does understanding phenomena at this level put food on your table, is it not better that you are a practical man and go work for your food to support you and your family?
But man does not live by bread alone; man is a rational animal, at least, some of them are, and asks questions.
Practical people produce the food that sustains the thinkers and scientists of society. And without thinkers’ people are mere animals!
If you understand this essay, give yourself an A. You are a highly intelligent person. But if it does not make sense to you, do not sweat it; not everyone is supposed to be a philosopher and or scientist. We need practical persons to produce food for all of us; in a beehive there is the queen, the solders and drones (workers).
December 18, 2021