As Jesus opened the minds of his followers to their true identity, he mentioned another truth that science is beginning to figure out. Jesus had just told a woman named Salome, "I am the one who comes from what is whole," but then added, "For this reason I say, 'If one is whole, one will be filled with light. But if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness."'
Few things are mentioned in connection with the Divine as often as love and light. Since we can express love, we appreciate it more readily. But light can tell us a great deal about the Divine, the universe and our own nature. Light has several meanings in spiritual teachings, but science has recently contributed information that can take our understanding of Divine light to a new level.
In the Bible, the contrast between light and darkness is often used to symbolize the duality of good and evil. John 3:20, 21 reads in part, "For everyone who does evil hates the light ... But he who does what is true comes to the light."
Light is also used as a metaphor for God's word as Psalm 119:105 makes clear, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." And Jesus' famous Sermon on the Mount likens light to good works that reflect God's love, "You are the light of the world ... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
In gnostic writings, the Divine is often described as a 'life-giving, perfect light.' The Secret Book of John explains, "The One is the immeasurable light ... Not that the One possesses this. Rather, the One gives immeasurable and incomprehensible light."
The gnostic view that light and life are synonymous is also reflected in the Katha Upanishad, "There shines not the sun, neither moon nor star, nor flash of lightning, nor fire lit on earth. The Self is the light reflected by all. [Source] is shining, everything shines after him." Science is now recognizing that these sayings are far more than platitudes, in fact, light and life are inseparable.
We usually think about light in terms of the energy that's released from stars and illuminates the universe. The creation story in Genesis tells us God said, "Let there be light" and thereafter, light separated the day from the night. But the light spiritual masters spoke of was something completely different. It's becoming more and more evident to scientists that quantum light serves as the foundation or matrix for the material portion of the universe.
In the previous chapter we made a comment about the 'fullness' of the so-called empty space that appears to take up 2/3 of the universe. Scientists once believed this space was filled with something they called 'ether,' then they thought it might be a vacuum. But now research has demonstrated it's a quantum light field they call the 'zero-point field.' This field is so potent; the energy contained in a single cubic meter has the potential to boil all the water in the oceans of the world.
The zero-point field appears to be much more than a place for the warehousing of quantum energy. Classical physics assumed that all matter had mass. Mass can be thought of as the amount of resistance an object has to acceleration. The more mass, the less acceleration and vice versa. This appears to be correct because the force needed to throw a bowling ball far exceeds the force needed to throw a ping pong ball.
But as we've learned, the seemingly solid, stable world of matter is really an energy field that doesn't innately possess mass. New quantum theories propose that mass is an illusion created by the light energy of the zero-point field as it opposes acceleration. Simply put, the universe is built on a foundation of life-giving quantum light that has all the properties needed to create and sustain the illusion of our virtual reality.
A Very Different Light
This theory finds surprising support in an ancient Jewish manuscript called the Haggadah, which reads, "The light created at the very beginning is not the same light emitted by the sun, the moon and the stars, which appeared on the fourth day."
The early gnostic writing, Creation of the World and the Alien Man agrees, saying, "There is no boundary for the light and it was not known when it came into being. Nothing was when light was not, nothing was when radiance was not. Nothing was when the Mighty Life was not, there never was a boundary for the light."
Scientists have also discovered that tiny particles of light, called biophotons, are emitted by all living things. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus took this description a step further when he recognized the Divine quality of light, and told his followers they were part of that Divine light.
He said, "If they say to you, Where have you come from?' Say to them, We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established itself, and became manifest through their image.' If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father."'
Now we see that the universe permeated with consciousness, energy and light is synonymous with the Divine, and we are one with the Divine. Instead of being the material image of a creator God that's separate from us, we are the very being of our Source.
Unfortunately, we rarely recognize this Divine light in ourselves or others. When Jesus said, "For this reason I say, if one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness," he wasn't using darkness as a symbol of evil. Instead he meant that our desire for separation had blinded us to oneness and left us in spiritual darkness.
The gnostic Dialogue of the Savior agreed saying, "As long as your hearts are dark, your light ... is far from you." That's why Jesus told his followers, "No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, nor does one put it in a hidden place. Rather, one puts it on a stand so that all who come and go will see its light."
Many interpret Jesus' words as an admonition to use your talents for good, but when we realize that we are actually beings of light, we understand that he wanted us to recognize and reveal our true identity. No matter what we achieve as the self, it pales in comparison to this realization.
Even so, the Divine light we radiate in this world is a reflection, not the light itself. Our inability to see ourselves as we actually are has not dimmed our light. We remain as we always have been: beings of Divine light. Now that light is a reflection only because physical eyes are unable to see it. Regardless, we can still radiate and reflect the light of Divine love.
As Rumi pointed out, "You think you are earthly beings, but you have been kneaded from the Light of Certainty. You are the guardians of God's Light, so come, return to the root of the root of your own Self."
~ From: The Gospel of Thomas: Where Science Meets Spirituality pp 123-128, by Lee & Steven Hager. Oroborus Books, 2011. ISBN: 13: 0978526163
About the Authors
Brought up in fundamentalist Christianity, Lee and Steven Hager spent most of the first twenty years of their marriage as dedicated Christian teachers. While they found that serving others was the most satisfying aspect of their lives, they were constantly disappointed that their faith did not result in the deep and sustaining peace and joy they believed it should and did not offer satisfying answers to their questions about God.
Eventually their continued questioning resulted in excommunication and the loss of friends and family. Severe illness, family problems and their seeming failure to find God led them to make a suicide pact, but before carrying it out, they decided to give God one last chance. They prayed that they were willing to surrender all personal preferences and preconceived ideas and accept any message, as long as God would show them He exists and cares for us.
Within days the answers began to appear, but from the most unlikely source: quantum physics. Their thinking was turned upside down, but in the process their questions were answered and their lives were changed in a wholly positive way. Their new perspective played a large role in their overcoming multiple sclerosis, lupus, a massive brain hemorrhage, severe sleep apnea and relentless clinical depression.
While that may appear to be quite dramatic in itself, they feel that this is a mere side benefit next to the peace and joy they have found. Their highly recommended books, Web site and blog are the result of their desire to share this peace and joy.
Lee and Steven now reside in Portland, Origon, in the US.