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Light is electromagnetic radiation within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The word usually refers to visible light, which is the portion of the spectrum that can be perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range of 400–700 nanometers (nm), or 4.00 × 10−7 to 7.00 × 10−7 m, between the infrared (with longer wavelengths) and the ultraviolet (with shorter wavelengths). This wavelength means a frequency range of roughly 430–750 terahertz (THz).

Beam of sun light inside the cavity of Rocca ill’Abissu at Fondachelli Fantina, Sicily

The main source of light on Earth is the Sun. Sunlight provides the energy that green plants use to create sugars mostly in the form of starches, which release energy into the living things that digest them. This process of photosynthesis provides virtually all the energy used by living things. Historically, another important source of light for humans has been fire, from ancient campfires to modern kerosene lamps. With the development of electric lights and power systems, electric lighting has effectively replaced firelight. Some species of animals generate their own light, a process called bioluminescence. For example, fireflies use light to locate mates, and vampire squids use it to hide themselves from prey.

The primary properties of visible light are intensity, propagation direction, frequency or wavelength spectrum, and polarization, while its speed in a vacuum, 299,792,458 meters per second, is one of the fundamental constants of nature. Visible light, as with all types of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), is experimentally found to always move at this speed in a vacuum.

In physics, the term light sometimes refers to electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength, whether visible or not. In this sense, gamma rays, X-rays, microwaves and radio waves are also light. Like all types of EM radiation, visible light propagates as waves. However, the energy imparted by the waves is absorbed at single locations the way particles are absorbed. The absorbed energy of the EM waves is called a photon, and represents the quanta of light. When a wave of light is transformed and absorbed as a photon, the energy of the wave instantly collapses to a single location, and this location is where the photon “arrives.” This is what is called the wave function collapse. This dual wave-like and particle-like nature of light is known as the wave–particle duality. The study of light, known as optics, is an important research area in modern physics.

In theology, divine light (also called divine radiance or divine refulgence) is an aspect of divine presence, specifically an unknown and mysterious ability of God, angels, or human beings to express themselves communicatively through spiritual means, rather than through physical capacities.

he term light has been used in spirituality (vision, enlightenment, darshan, Tabor Light). Bible commentators such as John W. Ritenbaugh see the presence of light as a metaphor of truth, good and evil, knowledge and ignorance. In the first Chapter of the Bible, Elohim is described as creating light by fiat and seeing the light to be good. In Hinduism, Diwali — the festival of lights — is a celebration of the victory of light over darkness. A mantra in Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (1.3.28) urges God to ‘from darkness, lead us unto Light’. The Rig Veda includes nearly two dozen hymns to the dawn and its goddess, Ushas. And Buddhist scripture speaks of numerous buddhas of light, including a Buddha of Boundless Light, a Buddha of Unimpeded Light, and Buddhas of Unopposed Light, of Pure Light, of Incomparable Light, and of Unceasing Light.

Various local religious concepts exist:

  • Inner light – Christian concept and Quaker doctrine
  • Prakasa – Kashmiri Saiva concept of the light of Divine Consciousness of Siva
  • An Noor – Islamic term and concept
  • Ein Sof – in Rabbinic Judaism
  • Tabor Light – in Eastern Orthodox theology
  • Theoria – in Christian theology, illumination on the path to theosis
  • Ayat an-Nur – in Arabic, the Sign of Light

Light is the core concept in Iranian mysticism. The main roots of this thought is in the Zoroastrian beliefs, which defines The Supreme God Ahura Mazda as the source of light. This very essential attribute is manifested in various schools of thought in Persian mysticism and philosophy. Later this notion has been dispensed into the whole Middle East, having a great effect of shaping the paradigms of different religions and philosophies emerging one after another in the region. After the Arab invasion, this concept has been incorporated into the Islamic teachings by Iranian thinkers, most famous of them Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi, who is the founder of the illumination philosophy.

Although this school had stemmed from the Iranian culture and beliefs, it has spread far into Europe and can be seen and traced in the teachings of the Enlightenment era, Renaissance movement, and even the secret cults as early Illuminati.

Manichaeism, the most widespread Western religion prior to Christianity, was based on the belief that god was, literally, light. From about 250-350 CE devout Manichees followed the teachings of self-proclaimed prophet Mani. Mani’s faithful, who could be found from Greece to China, believed in warring kingdoms of Light and Darkness, in “beings of light,” and in a Father of Light who would conquer the demons of darkness and remake the earth through shards of light found in human souls. Manichaeism also co-opted other religions, including Buddhist teachings in its scripture and worshipping a Jesus the Luminous who was crucified on a cross of pure light. Among the many followers of Manicheaism was the young Augustine, who later wrote, “I thought that you, Lord God and Truth, were like a luminous body of immense size, and myself a bit of that body.”[4] When he converted to Christianity in 386 CE, Augustine denounced Manicheaism. But by then, the faith had been supplanted by ascendant Christianity. Manichaeism’s legacy is the word Manichaean — relating to a dualistic view of the world, dividing things into either good or evil, light or dark, black or white.

In the terminology of Sant Mat, Light and Sound are the two main and expressions of God and from them all the creation comes into existence. Inner Light (and Inner Sound) can be experienced with and after an initiation by a competent Guru during meditation, and are considered the better way to reach Enlightenment.

In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the Divine Light illuminates the intellect of man through “theoria” or contemplation. In the Gospel of John, the opening verses describe God as Light: “In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5)

In John 8:12, Christ proclaims “I am the light of the world”, bringing the Divine Light to mankind. The Tabor Light also called the Uncreated Light, was revealed to the three apostles present at the Transfiguration


The Essential Dialectic of Light is:

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The Intermediary Dialectic of Light is:

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The Complete Dialectic of Light is:

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