Unknowable essences

If we ponder a moment, we realize that the essence of light is not knowable. I do not mean the many manifest lights that we see here on Earth, but that essential quality of light which imparts to material light its meaning. Without this quality, light would not be light – light would not exist.

In life, we encounter many different kinds of light: bright, dim and colorful. Some we consider more truly light than others. For instance, the brighter and whiter a light is, the more we liken to light; while the dimmer a light is, the more we regard it as something nearer to darkness.

Of any light that we can imagine, there exists another which is closer to being called true light. If we consider a one hundred watt light bulb, wouldn’t the brightness of a one million watt light bulb cause this smaller bulb to appear even dim? And if a one million watt bulb is our standard, how about one billion, or a billion times a billion? No matter how great the light that we imagine, another even greater exists – so much greater, in fact, as to force our previous conception to retreat into comparable darkness.

This is how the essence of light stands in relation to our understanding of it. In its true form it is imperceptible, yet it manifests itself in varying degrees according to the possibilities of this plane of existence. It would be even truer to say that it manifests its qualities – i.e., those of brightness, whiteness, etc. – than to say that it manifests itself, since we have already said that its own essence was imperceptible.

In the physical world, then, our world, we are able to perceive the existence of light’s essence by recognizing the varying degrees of its attributes as they manifest themselves on this material plane.

I testify also that there exists one single light which exhibits these attributes flawlessly in the degree to which it manifests them. This most great light we call the Sun. Next to the Sun, which is composed of almost nothing but pure light, all other sources of illumination seem like darkness. And yet, it is because of the light of the Sun that these other, lesser lights have a chance to exist. Without the Sun we would have no life, no awareness, and no understanding of the meaning of light.

I testify further that the pure light which shines from this Sun contains all the possibilities of color. If one were to say that the colors that we see on the Earth occur here, and exist within the things which manifest them, I would say that this is true, for an apple appears red in no matter what place we view it. But it would also be true to say that the color does not exist here, because if the sun ceased to shine and all lights were extinguished, colors also would cease to be. Everything would appear uniformly black. Thus we we should be able to say that the colors exist in the sun, and we merely become aware of them through the agency of material objects.

In a similar way, I testify that we, as human beings, are rays of the Divine Sun, and are as varied and beautiful in hue as the many different colors. If one were to say that we each have an independent soul, and that this soul is related (though not contained within) our physical bodies, I would agree that we each possess our own, unique individuality in this respect. But were one to then state that we are all contained within the Sun, that we are all born of the same essence and thus are inherently united, and that, like the colors, we merely become aware of each other through the agency of our physical bodies – for in this sense we would be like one soul living in many bodies – I think this is also true.

Without the light of the Sun, we would not exist; without the essence of that light, the Sun would not exist. And deprived of the existence of the unknowable and unsearchable Divine Essence, the essence of light itself would find itself without even a name to be.