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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Sun is Rising

The Sun is rising, so to speak, as it must, virtually by definition, this and every morning.  Although from my perspective it is artificially delayed by the warehouse outlet discount variety store between Her effulgent body and myself.  And it is understood, as it were, that the dawn is not as a result of the Sun’s movement but because the Earth continues His spiraling Sufi dance in orbit around His Source.  Although the Sun is not visible to me at this moment, the air is alight.  It is shining.  This glory is poorly understood by me, but not only by me.  It has been explained to me, and I still remember the first time it was so explained away, that the air absorbs certain frequencies of light and radiates others.  So, the sky is blue.  This explanation has been enhanced by later knowledge and experience.  For instance, the Sun fades colors in a predictable order, red first and leaving blue.  Still, the knowledge hardly suffices. 
As I understand it, the mix of molecules, which is the air, absorbs energy and remits it at certain frequencies or wavelengths in space, or in the form of corpuscles, (now known as photons, which may or may not have mass) or as waves, or as quantifiable quantum probabilities that exist in superposition but collapse on observation.  That is, the light remitted by the molecules may be particles or waves and may exist in a localized form or in superposition depending on whether there is an observer to hold the light to task, to force the issue.  This is, more or less, a scientific description, albeit abstracted by my artistic penchant and likely inaccurate in some respects due to my poor understanding.  Even so, it is a wonder, and the explanations hardly serve to dispel my wonder.  For this, I am grateful.  I suspect that no matter how deep the explanation might go, my wonder would still persist, redirected to the next thing not yet explained away.  And the last fact, that observation contributes to the light’s situation is telling, to me. 
The air is transparent but not perfectly so.  It is translucent.  As it happens, life requires light, and it is available to us because the nature of the air supports and facilitates life’s use of the light.  Or, life is what it is due to the nature of light and the translucent air, among infinitely many other factors, not least of which is the air. 
Perhaps these observations seem patently obvious, or it seems they miss the point, entirely.  Perhaps, cause and effect do not provide a complete picture of reality. 
I’m not minimizing the accomplishments of science.  It has taken millennia of civilization and centuries of science for people to approach the truth of the ubiquitous and apparently simple phenomenon of Sunshine, along with other realities of the interactions of light and matter.  I am saying that it is easy to conclude prematurely that one understands the reality because one can describe it. 
Love knows this is not so. 
There is silence in science; by which I mean there are some things about which science is rightfully silent, or it should be.  Love is one of those things.  To scientifically study the emotions that we all experience is at best a soft science full of uncertainty.  We can all be comfortable with that uncertainty because it doesn’t affect our experience, at all.  One can attribute proximal causes to our emotions, but we experience our idiomatic emotions regardless of whether or not cause and effect can be demonstrated to us.  Our own reasons are enough for us, and no matter whether they are very insightful or scientific, these reasons are as detailed and rational as they need to be for our own comfort. 
This is not to say that Love can even be reduced to an emotional state, far from it.  And at the risk of presenting what may seem at first blush to be a non sequitur, this is to say that we do not understand the way light and matter interact.  Science may provide material facts along with a rationale for how our emotions are created by them, including but not limited to an extremely complex internal chemical environment facilitating electrical potentials via ion exchange.  But this is preposterous.  To attribute the entirety of life to material causes makes no more sense than to say clothes make the man (incidentally, the emperor has none).  Science cannot possibly attribute an emotion to an internal chemical environment, no matter how complex, when it cannot begin to describe how light interacting with matter conditions our experience.  But if it could, that would suffice.  After all, we can only be light and matter.  Right? 
In order to approach the truth of how light interacting with matter conditions our experience, one has to take a leap of faith of which science is not capable.  Science will never explain consciousness with its current, proof-driven, bootstrapping from-the-ground-up mindset.  In order to explain consciousness, science must give its devil his due.  That is, it must grant consciousness primacy and give up the preposterous view that matter could ever possibly create it.  Nothing else in our bodies is created by us, not the matter, not the light, and none of the properties of either of them.  And, if matter created consciousness, I think it would be obvious to us how matter and light interact, and it is not.
Still, the Sun is rising, so to speak.


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