Light and Life
By Gouri Tripathi
Light, as studied in Physics, is a form of energy. As of now, light is understood to having a dual nature: wave and particle-quantum. The understanding of these natures in modern times has been made simpler by two great physicists- James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein, after the pioneering contributions by the famous British physicist, Isaac Newton.
Life and light are two most precious manifestations of God’s creation. In what follows, the focus would be on the human life. Life has also a sort of duality: flexibility and rigidity. The former may be thought of as an analogy to the wave nature and the later to the particle nature. Waves are flexible while particles are rigid. Both the natures are important in different circumstances. Flexibility in life implies openness, while rigidity conforms to firmness. However, too much flexibility yields to unnecessary compromises as too much rigidity gives way to obstinacy.
Light shows its colours when passed through a prism. Colours are inherent in white light, for example, sunlight. The prism only disperses them. Similarly life has also colours and circumstances can disperse them. Light dispels darkness; so does life. States preceding and following life are wrapped in darkness. Therefore, life is light. Although all kinds of matter absorb light, only some emit it. Similarly, all kinds of people may be imparted with knowledge. But only few can illuminate others by their knowledge. Here knowledge is light.
Light is a unity of two forces: electric and magnetic. Likewise, life is also a unity of two forces: spiritual and material. The former results from renunciation and the later is inseparable from possession. A yogi renounces happily but a bhogi( materialistic person) feels miserable, if denied materialistic possessions. A yogi cultivates the spirit and a bhogi is always attached to matter. Although both the aspects oppose each other, both are powerful, since both are indestructible, and this is the source of their unity.
Light can be amplified by stimulation and the amplified light, which is known as laser, is highly coherent and intense. Similarly a life can also be exalted by moral stimulation, both external and internal. However, the internal stimulation is more important than the external one, because the former can take a person to a spiritual domain. The exalted beings are more coherent in their thought and action and their impact in providing leadership is more intense than the less exalted beings.
Light is a good means of communication. The communication revolution is made possible by optical (light) fibres. The principle behind this process is total internal reflection of light in a glass (core) with a higher refractive index than the glass, which envelops the core. Similarly an enlightened person reaches this stage only after mustering high internal energy, which results after intense multiple internal reflections of vital life forces.
Science is the most modern rational means at arriving the truth. It is based on experimentation and logical analysis. Physics is an exact science. Its laws transcend the space and time dimensions. The ultimate aim of physics is to find a theory of every thing.Whether or not would it be possible, the attempt itself is important, because it expands the territories of knowledge. Spirituality, on the other hand, is based primarily on intuition. Maybe it results from intense introspection and inward drive. Therefore a combination of both is good for both science and spirituality.
It is good for spirituality because it could have a scientific basis. Similarly science can benefit because it is, in the process, exposed to non-science people who find the effort comprehensible, particularly in India, where spiritual thinking still has an edge over the scientific one.