A Gathered Radiance

Golden Radiance Mandala 2

Sir Arthur Eddington said that the conflict between the quantum and classical theories of physics becomes sensitive in the problem of the propagation of light. It comes down to a conflict between the corpuscular theory of light and the wave theory. In defining how large a quantum of light is, he said it must be large enough to cover a 100 inch mirror, but small enough to enter an atom. Paradox and contradiction abound! He also goes on to say…

“We must not think about space and time in connection with an individual quantum; and the extension of a quantum in space has no real meaning. To apply these conceptions to a single quantum is like reading the Riot Act to one man. A single quantum has not travelled 50 billion miles from Sirius; it has not been 8 years on the way. But when enough quanta are gathered to form a quorum there will be found among them statistical properties which are the genesis of the 50 billion miles’ distance of Sirius and the 8 years’ journey of the light.”

Reflecting on Eddington’s statement above, Preston Harold meditates on how it parallels a particular teaching of Jesus:

An ancient symbolizing h in terms of “I” might convey that when the “statistical requirements are met” – that when a “quorum of quanta are gathered” – light will be there, by saying: “…where two of three have gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Jesus’ summary statement is not a riot act, unmeaningful to an individual thinking of himself in connection with light, space, and time. He simply says that God is Father, is love, that with God all things are possible – as He, Himself, symbolized that of each man which is like h, one totally committed to action, an indivisible unity that overleaps time and space, an “unbroken glory” as Jesus was upon the cross, a “gathered radiance,” as He was in life and death.

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It is notable here that Harold mentions Jesus on the cross as an “unbroken glory.” According to Rudolf Steiner in his lectures on the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus’ words while on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani), can also be translated from the Aramaic as “My God, my God, how you have glorified me!” The word “sabachthani” is very similar to the Aramaic word “shevachthani,” which means “elevated,” or “glorified.” In his “The Return of the Mother,” Andrew Harvey tells of a German scholar of Aramaic who was researching the possibility that Jesus “may have been punning on the cross.” An ancient speaker of Aramaic could have heard these words from Jesus in both ways, therefore understanding that there was something special happening while Jesus was dying a terrible death. It does make sense to interpret the “light of the world” being glorified in death. After all, after Judas had left to turn Jesus over, Jesus said,

“Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify the Son in himself – and will glorify him immediately.” -John:13:31,32

On the cross, the “I” of humanity was glorified in Jesus, He Himself leading the way for the rest of us to follow. “If one is to be my disciple, he must pick up his cross and follow me.” Until next time, peace.

Jesus, Symbol of h

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Preston Harold takes us inside the world of the atom and tells us the same rules apply inside the world of mankind. He lets Jesus be our guide:

Jesus’ words bespeak the uniform chance of energy – the energy of one. He said, “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” And His words must also indicate that something within – the atom and the man – must make itself equal to one, to h, before the light or the quantum can enter. As Eddington puts it:

The mysterious quantity h crops up inside the atom as well as outside it….the electrons orbit is restricted to a definite series of sizes and shapes. There is nothing in the classical theory of electro-magnetism to impose such a restriction; but the restriction exists, and the law imposing it has been discovered. It arises because the atom is arranging to make something in its interior equal to h. The intermediate orbits are excluded because they would involve fractions of h and h cannot be divided.

But there is one relaxation. When wave-energy is sent out from or taken into the atom, the amount and period must correspond exactly to h. But as regards its internal arrangements the atom has no objection to 2h, 3h, 4h, etc.; it only insists that fractions shall be excluded…

…when the atom by radiating sets the aether in vibration, the periods of its electronic circulation are ignored and the period of the aether-waves is settled not by any particular mechanism but by the seemingly artificial h-rule. It would seem that the atom carelessly throws overboard a lump of energy which, as it glides into the aether, moulds itself into a quantum of action by taking on the period required to make the product of energy and period equal to h. If this unmechanical process of emission seems contrary to our preconceptions, the exactly converse process of absorbtion is even more so. Here the atom has to look out for a lump of energy of the exact amount required to raise an electron to the higher orbit. It can only extract such a lump from aether-waves of a particular period – not a period which has resonance with the structure of the atom, but the period which makes the energy into an exact quantum.

So what does it all mean? Harold tells us how Jesus interprets Eddington’s statement:

If h could speak, it must say to all atoms, as Jesus, symbol of h, said to all men, that unless within themselves they accept its own “name and being”-become equal to it-they cannot receive light, for “I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you….” so that one’s operation itself determines the seemingly artificial h-rule or Jesus’ “I” rule.

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So our spiritual/scientific rule here is “h=I.” Enjoy the applicational possibilities! Until next time, peace.

Paying the Piper

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In answer to the previous post’s question, Preston Harold once again quotes Sir Arthur Eddington at length…

Attempts to account for this phenomenon follow two main devices which we may describe as the ‘Collection-box” theory and the “sweepstake” theory, respectively. Making no effort to translate them into scientific language, they amount to this: in the first the atom holds a collection-box into which each arriving group of waves pays a very small contribution; when the amount in the box reaches a whole quantum, it enters the atom. In the second [theory] the atom uses the small fraction of a quantum offered to it to buy a ticket in a sweepstake in which the prizes are whole quanta; some of the atoms will win whole quanta which they can absorb, and it is these winning atoms in our retina which tell us of the existence of Sirius…

A phenomenon which seems directly opposed to any kind of collection-box explanation is the photoelectric effect. When light shines on metallic films…free electrons are discharged from the film. They fly away at high speed, and it is possible to measure experimentally their speed or energy. Undoubtedly it is the incident light which provides the energy of these explosions, but the phenomenon is goverened by a remarkable rule. Firstly, the speed of the electrons is not increased by using more powerful light. Concentration of the light produces more explosions but not more powerful explosions. Secondly, the speed is increased by using bluer light, i.e. light of shorter period….

Every electron flying out of the metal has picked up just one quantum from the incident light. Since the h-rule associates the greater energy with the shorter vibration period, bluer light gives the more intense energy. Experiments show that (after deducing a constant “threshold” energy used up in extricating the electron from the film) each electron comes out with a kinetic energy equal to the quantum of incident light.

The film can be prepared in the dark; but on exposure to feeble light electrons immediately begin to fly out before any of the collection-boxes could have been filled by fair means. Nor can we appeal to any trigger action of the light releasing an electron already loaded up with energy for its journey; it is the nature of the light which settles the amount of the load. The light calls the tune, therefore the light must pay the piper.

Harold then comments:

An ancient could convey all of this only by making a symbol of himself to show it. Jesus “radiated” His realization to speed the expansion of consciousness in a brief, intense effort – as symbol of light, “bluer, of shorter period.” As light’s symbol, having settled the amount of the load on the elect-ones, He, Himself, paid the piper. But there is more to the story of h and to the parallel that Jesus’ drama presents.

We will continue to explore this continuing saga in our next installment. Until then, peace.

Light’s Single Action

We will delve right into Preston Harold’s statements regarding Jesus and h:

…if an ancient were trying to state the case of h, how could he have done it? If he could utter but one word to give evidence of his grasp of h, then that word must be, “single,” singularity expressed in such a way that it would be true at every way. Jesus said: “The light of the body is in the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” These poetic words reflect light’s single action, relate light and singular behavior in its absorption – and they also present truth in another field: strangely enough surgeons now know that the cornea is the single bit of flesh that may readily be transplanted and truly grow into man’s body, so that its singularity bespeaks the sameness of one.

One can’t help but think here also of the “third eye,” also known as the ajna chakra in Hindu philosophy. The effects of this eye becoming active are a sense of oneness and connection amongst everything, therefore reinforcing the concept of singularity.

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But Jesus, Himself, had to symbolize h, the one atom of action that coheres as one unit in the process of radiation, single (as He remained), an indivisible likeness to One, bespeaking a unity that overleaps space, a unity He called the same, without reservation, in every man for each hath one. He could do no more than present a clue as to the dimension of His realization – He did not attempt to state it in full: I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” How could His disciples bear to generations unborn more than poetry of the quantum, enveloped in Jesus’ drama and in the one singularly expressed reference to light’s absorption. How is it managed?

We will explore this question in our next post. Until then, peace.

The Elemental Unit

In order to set the stage for the rest of chapter 7, we must explore in depth the concept of the elemental unit of energy, h. Preston Harold writes:

In physics, the might, magnificence, and yet exquisite delicacy of the control of one is come upon when man encounters, as he must at every turn, h, an elemental unit of energy: .00000000000000000000000000655 erg-seconds. The erg is the unit of energy, the second is the unit of time, h is of the nature of energy multiplied by time.

Harold then goes on to cite Sir Arthur Eddington. I will quote Eddington at length:

Evidently h is a kind of atom – something which coheres as one unit in the process of radiation; it is not an atom of matter but an atom or, as we usually call it, a quantum of the more elusive entity in action. Whereas there are [103] different kinds of material atoms there is only one quantum of action – the same whatever the material it is associated with…. You might perhaps think that there must be some qualitative difference between the quantum of red light and the quantum of blue light, although both contain the same number of erg-seconds.; but the apparent difference is only relative to a frame of space and time and does not concern the absolute lump of action…

Eddington

The indivisible units in the shuffling of energy are the quanta. By radiation, absorption and scattering energy is shuffled among the different receptacles in matter and aether, but only a whole quantum passes at each step…

The paradoxical nature of the quantum is that although it is indivisible it does not hang together. We examined first a case in which a quantity of energy was obviously cohering together, viz. an electron, but we did not find h; then we turned our attention to a case in which the energy was obviously dissolving away through space, viz. light-waves, and immediately h appeared. The atom of action seems to have no coherence in space; it has a unity which overlaps space. How can such a unity be made to appear in our picture of a world extended through space ad time?

The pursuit of the quantum leads to many surprises; but probably none is more outrageous to our preconceptions than the regathering of light and other radiant energy into h-units, when all the classical pictures show it to be dispersing more and more.

Consider the light-waves which are the result of a single emission by a single atom on the star Sirius. These bear away a certain amount of energy endowed with a certain period, and the product of the two is h. The period is carried by the waves without change, but the energy spreads out in an ever-widening circle. Eight years and nine months after the emission the wave-front is due to reach the earth. A few minutes before the arrival some person takes it into his head to go out and admire the glories of the heavens and – in short – to stick his eye in the way. The light waves when they started could have had no notion that they were going to hit; for all they knew they were bound on a journey through endless space, as most of their colleagues were. Their energy would seem to be dissipated beyond recovery over a sphere of 50 billion miles’ radius. And yet, if that energy is ever to enter matter again, if it is to work those chemical changes in the retina which give rise to the sensation of light, it must enter as a single quantum of action h….

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Just as the emitting atom regardless of all laws of classical physics is determined that whatever goes out of it shall be just h, so the receiving atom is determined that whatever comes into it shall be just h. Not all the light-waves pass by without entering the eye; for somehow we are able to see Sirius. How is it managed?

So how would Jesus express these words of Eddington concerning h over 2000 years ago? We will look at that challenge in our next installment. Until then, peace.

Chapter 7: One, Itself, Is Teacher

One (adj): Being a single unit or thing – Merriam Webster Dictionary

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In his Essays in Science, Albert Einstein writes, “evolution has shown that at any given moment, out of all conceivable constructions, a single one has always proved itself absolutely superior to all the rest…The important point for us to observe is that all these constructions and the laws connecting them can be arrived at by the principle of looking for the mathematically simples concepts and the link between them. In the limited nature of the mathematically existent simple fields and the simple equations possible between them, lies the theorist’s hope of grasping the real in all its depths.”

Could Jesus have been the theorist who grasped the real in all it’s depths? Preston Harold writes:

The ancient, then would have had to employ the simplest number: one. One is adjective, capable of adding to or being added to, yet itself unity, a complete whole, indestructible, a coherence that regardless of how often it is self-divided or self-multiplied is no more and no less than it was. The ancient’s every expression about one must be made in the simplest possible way, and he must also convey the full significance of the mathematically simplest link between the mathematically simplest concept: one and one, choosing a symbol that would in time come to express the significance of organization – as Eddington says, the significant of and. Thus, he must choose the cross +.

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Here’s a view of the cross I’ve never before entertained. As a symbol for “and.” Of course taking it out of a religious context expands the view considerably.  Why hadn’t I ever thought of this before?

Jesus chose the cross, and He based His teaching upon the number one. He said, “Why call me ‘good’…? one alone is good…” He said that one is teacher, leader, Father. His message points to the absolutely superior concept of one itself. If one and its nature and working could be understood, in time understanding of all else must follow. Jesus saw that each One drawn into expression as “I” must contain the quality and quantity inherent in one: ”

…as the Father has life in himself, so too he has granted the Son to have life in himself…it is not the will of your Father in heaven that a single one of these little ones should be lost.

Can the will of one be thwarted – even by one itself? So wondrous are one’s ways, so unlimited are its possibilities, that man calls it “God.”

In our next post we’ll look at the nature of an elemental unit of energy, delving at length into the work of Sir Arthur Eddington. Until then, peace.

Empathy Trumps Conscience

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Preston Harold tells us that over time, our empathy will begin to replace the role of our conscience:

If, in time, under evolution’s “psychic entropic” working, abuse and error should decrease, then empathy, not fear or conscience, would guide man into the paths of compassion and decency – that is, the voice in conscience in man must lessen as empathy takes over its role, governing action from a higher level of consciousness. In the Gospels the voice of conscience calling man to repentance comes through John the Baptist, whereas the voice of empathy, the Christ, speaks of abiding love and says: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

We discussed the identifying of John the Baptist with conscience in an earlier post here. Preston Harold continues that discussion:

The voice of conscience, John the Baptist, says of this voice of truth: “He must increase, but I must decrease…” The concept that conscience must in time lessen as evolution’s purpose is fulfilled may be a startling one, but [Robert] Ardrey’s words are also startling – he says: “…conscience as a guiding force in the human drama is one of such small reliability that it assumes very nearly the role of a villain….Conscience organizes hatred as it organizes love.” Jesus says of conscience – that is, of John the Baptist, it’s symbol – “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” In the kingdom within, conscience must have little part – does empathy take its place?

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“Conscience organizes hatred as it organizes love.” Quite a statement and an idea that has never crossed my mind! But thinking about it, I can understand. If my conscience tells me to take a particular side, I certainly may develop an aversion for the other. How many times do we find ourselves in “over and against” situations, whether it be religion, politics, or any other human endeavor? And how much energy is spent feeding this “over and against-ness” in our media, education, and professional lives?

Harold continues to explore empathy:

If a core of perfect empathy exists in the unconscious, it provides for man’s capacity to love others no matter how far they fall and to love his own soul whatever its hue. How many people have glimpsed in their dreams this inner realm that is utterly theirs?… As yet, psychologists offer no satisfactory explanation of a sublime self-love that draws the soul or ego-group together toward “home” – neither do philosophers. Both seem blind to all but lust. Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld describes man’s lust…: “All unknowingly it breeds, nourishes, rears a variety of affections and hatreds, some of them so monstrous that when it has brought them to light it fails to recognize or refuses to acknowledge them.” And so they are repressed – as psychologists have observed – but Love takes them in, reverses and reclothes them, makes them sufficient to re-enter the conscious domain and under life’s supreme law be redeemed.

And that does it for Chapter 6! We now move on to Chapter 7 where we will look in depth at the concept of the number One. Until then, peace.

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