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God's Flashlight

September 20th, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #

I was thinking about light the other day and how we only see a very narrow part of the spectrum (visible light).  A funny thought came to mind that if we were able to see higher-energy light like x-rays, we would actually not be able to see most of the world, first because there aren't enough x-rays but second because even if there were a lot of x-rays, it'd go through most things on Earth, so we'd only see the densest matter like bone and rock.  In other words, something with x-ray vision wouldn't be able to see our flesh and blood.  They might think creatures like us have telepathy or telekinesis because the parts of us that connect our bones or contain our vital processes are invisible.  And then something with even higher-energy vision, such as gamma rays, wouldn't be able to see us at all.  The whole time we think we are living in daytime, to these creatures, it would be pitch-black night.  Such a creature would likely have to be made of extremely dense matter to not only survive but actually thrive in an environment of high-energy light, where it is normal to constantly be bombarded by the likes of x-rays and gamma rays.  They would likely be so dense they probably wouldn't even notice if they passed right through the softer materials they couldn't see; they'd literally walk right through us and not flinch.  It gets difficult to speculate any further on such a universe from this angle.  Just trying to picture a creature made of lead or mercury is too out there.

But what if we took this in the opposite direction instead? What if there were creatures that could see much lower-energy light than us? We already know that some creatures have what we dub night vision, in that when it's dark to us due to the lack of visible light, these creatures can still see, and some do this by using the infrared spectrum which is lower in energy than visible light but more abundant in their environment.  The best example is the bottom of the ocean, where it's pitch-black to us, yet there are whole ecosystems of creatures that live and see in this darkness via other spectrums of light.  The most interesting part is both our previous points about higher-energy creatures fit right in.  Just as x-rays see through our flesh and blood, our visible light often sees right through their skins into their internal organs and probably even harms them.  In fact, one of the biggest critiques of our ocean explorations is that we so carelessly shine our flashlights on all the deep sea creatures without realizing that we are literally burning their eyes out.  The second point about density is also spot on.  Some deep sea creatures, such as the blobfish, are actually made up of matter less dense than the water they're swimming in.  Suddenly, all this speculation is becoming eerily less farfetched.

What if we took this to the extreme? What if there were creatures whose "normal" light was something way lower than even infrared light, perhaps as low as radio? Similar to how something that sees x-rays or gamma rays would have to be extremely dense, something that sees much weaker light would probably have to be extremely not dense, and in the same way that something dense enough to see high-energy light would neither see nor feel if they smashed right through us, we would probably neither see nor feel if we walked right through a creature that was so much less dense.  This creature that lives in the "day" of extremely low-energy light would probably find it not just blinding but deadly to encounter visible light, just as how x-rays give us cancer and gamma-rays absolutely obliterate us.  Creatures that to us are invisible, intangible, and only come out at night - what might they be? Spirits.

And the scariest part is it all clicks.  What are spirits known for? Their activities get picked up through radio transmissions.  They seem to have supernatural abilities, when in actuality it could just be that we can't see what they're interacting with (like x-rays going through most things we interact with).  They only come out at night, with visible light being as harmful to them as x-rays and gamma-rays are to us.  And they are so not dense that we pass right through them without knowing.

But there is so much visible light literally every day.  How and where can these beings survive? Well, where do deep sea creatures live? In the depths and darkness of the ocean.  What do we notice about the choice of environment? Despite being less dense than those of us who live in visible light, the environment of the deep sea creatures is much denser and higher pressure than our environment on their surface.  There's almost a reciprocal relationship between the density of the creature and the density of its environment.  What can possibly be denser though than the deep sea? The Earth itself - the same Earth in which we bury our dead.

It suddenly begins to make sense where all our traditions come from.  If spirits truly exist, they would live deep in the ground away from the dangers of visible light and higher-energy light.  Perhaps they live so deep in the Earth that they would actually treat the mantle and molten core as normal as we treat the air or the deep-sea creatures treat the bone-crushing pressure of the oceans.  And the characteristics of such an Earth environment only continues to fit into the existing picture.  Supposing these spirits see and thrive in lower-energy light like radio waves, the Earth would not only best transmit these waves (see military use of "ground waves") but screen out anything higher-energy.  But where would these waves, their source of light to see in, come from? The same as where it comes from for us - the sun.  The sun actually emits such a wide spectrum of EM that there are waves long enough (and as a result low-energy enough) to pass through the Earth entirely.  Quite literally, in this environment, you would only see radio waves or lower, almost exactly like how we on the surface only see visible light and lower due to the atmosphere blocking out anything higher like x-rays and gamma rays.  Here, it's visible light that gets blocked out by the ground.  In other words, the ground for us *is* the atmosphere for the lower-energy world.  It sounds like a stretch to go from invisible creatures in a lower-energy light environment to straight up spirits, but then you read that our brains actually emit very weak radio waves, which, given where our thought experiment has led us, only further adds credence to the idea of us actually being the spirit inhabiting the body from within.  What this basically implies is that, when we close our eyes and "think," we are actually using radio waves created in the contained environment of our brains to visualize that thought - in other words, maybe we are dipping into this weaker energy environment to see from the perspective of our mind, aka spirit.  Perhaps our mind, what makes us conscious or aware, is a part of us that exists in this weaker energy world rather than in the world we can see and feel. Maybe when we try to deconstruct the brain to find ourselves, we find nothing because it's akin to trying to take apart your computer or smartphone as hardware when the real thing is software running online in the cloud (perhaps even across many devices as a decentralized network).  With all this in mind, you almost want to make sure now that if you do die, you either die at night or get quickly buried in the ground, unless you want to risk your spirit to be burned into oblivion by the sun or someone's porch light.

Speaking of which - it suddenly makes sense why all the supernatural and paranormal activity has been dwindling in recent times as quickly as our technology has been growing.  One of the first things we did in the beginning of the 20th century was light up every city in the world, and it's already led to a phenomenon called light pollution.  For most creatures we know of, it's a nuisance or disruption.  For spirits, it's genocide.  Imagine if your day-to-day life was suddenly flooded with x-rays or even gamma-rays.  There's no more darkness for these lower-energy beings to thrive in if they come to the surface.  The second thing we did was flood the lower frequencies with our telecommunications, the internet, power lines, and other ELF radiation.  Remember for these lower-energy beings, these lower frequencies are their visible light.  Imagine if the vision in your day-to-day life suddenly become flooded with random colors; worse yet, imagine if it was never night again because there was always light shining in.  This might actually be worse than us having lights on constantly at night because at least with visible light, the spirits could just stay in the ground.  These lower frequencies that we are flooding the ground with, however, travel through the Earth itself, meaning that there is nowhere left for the spirits to hide.  A simple device measuring under 50 Hz can pick up all the ambient hum of our machinery (ELF and ground currents), and that's only what we can measure - who knows what we're doing to the even lower frequencies we aren't able to detect.  Depending on how low of an energy level these beings thrive in, the frequencies we flood might actually be their equivalent of UV, meaning that while they're not wiped out immediately as with regular light, they are still being killed slowly and this time with nowhere to hide.

So somehow we've rationalized the possibility of a spirit world, but the bad news is if it exists, we are probably causing mass genocide.  What about the other end of the spectrum - the higher-energy beings that see light stronger than x-rays?

Now that we've gone through the exercise of imagining lower-energy beings, it's given us some guidance on how to visualize what a higher-energy being might be like.  Previously, it was difficult to imagine because we tried to imagine it here in our day-to-day life, here on the surface, on Earth.  Just as going down the lower-energy end of the spectrum took us into the deep sea and then into the depths of the Earth itself, going up the higher-energy side of the spectrum means we have to actually look way higher - into the stars.  And just as suddenly as well, the idea is no longer that farfetched.  On Earth, it's difficult to imagine a creature made of material dense enough to thrive in x-rays and gamma rays, but in space and the wide variety of conditions out there, it is not as inconceivable.  Similarly, the lack of higher-energy light on Earth making it too "dark" for these creatures to see is no longer applicable; there are plenty of regions in space where such higher-energy light is abundant (and therefore dangerous for us to visit).

So where are they? Unlike beings in the lower-energy spectrum, beings in the higher-energy spectrum wouldn't be invisible to us.  If anything, they should be way more noticeable because of how dense their build is.  So why aren't we seeing them? We are seeing them.  We just aren't recognizing them.  What are the densest things we know of? All of them are in space - the sun, black holes... The most peculiar part? The reciprocal relationship holds.  With the increase in density of these creatures/objects comes the decrease in density the surrounding environment.  Here, the environment is literally the vacuum of space, and that is where we find the densest things known to man, some of which are also literally infinite density.  What sort of being would live here? What exactly are we talking about? In a single word, God.

It's a funny thought, yet it again clicks into the bigger picture.  Heaven and all concepts of it exist in the sky, which we now know is outer space.  If God were a being all powerful, then it would make sense for him to be infinitely dense in an infinitely not dense environment.  He would be at home in an environment filled with ambient energy so powerful that mere light from that environment (gamma rays, x-rays, etc) would obliterate us while he himself would be made up of matter dense enough to find it normal.  The question remains though - where is he? It almost doesn't matter because so many of the stars and black holes in the sky are so massive we cannot properly comprehend them.  For some perspective, a typical black hole is anywhere from 10 to 100 times the size of our sun, which alone is over a million times the size of the Earth.  We could be staring at something staring right back at us and not realize it because of the sheer scale.  Perhaps he is one of the stars or black holes. Perhaps he is so big that the stars are but a small part of him, just mere atoms to his entire being.  Or perhaps he is outside the observable universe and responsible for Dark Flow.  Those mysterious gamma ray and fast radio bursts that we cannot explain? It's probably God shining his flashlight so he can see.

The coolest part is that all this speculation is so extreme you can neither prove nor disprove it without first having some way to test it.  The fun part is that we may actually be able to one day have technology advanced enough to carry out that testing.  What are some ideas?  One way would be to see the world from the perspective of the other worlds.  It would be eerie to one day have glasses strong enough to see extremely low frequency radio waves and realize there is something sitting in the seemingly empty space in front of you.  Unfortunately for the lower-energy world, we can't exactly phase through the surface of the Earth as we're too dense, and we've also flooded the lower frequencies too much to simply put on a pair of radio-wave goggles and still expect to see anything there.  We would just see the clutter of colors that we've polluted the spectrum with (though it might make for a good spirit-awareness effort to stop the genocide).  Maybe if someone just died and you were next to them with the glasses, it might work, but you'd have to also be beaming a radio-wave flashlight, just like how we ourselves don't necessarily radiate visible light.  It's a little creepy both for you and people watching you.  For the higher-energy world, on the other hand, there just isn't enough high-energy light on Earth to make it meaningful.  We already know what it would look like for such beings - pure darkness.  We'd first have to find some region of the universe with more high-energy light, but we'd likely die just from the exposure if we went there ourselves.  

The other way would be trying to get the attention of someone from the other world rather than us seek them out.  Again, for the lower-energy spirit world, it might be hopeless first because we have likely obliterated the population to the point the few survivors would not want anything to do with us and second because even if they interacted back with us, they are so much less dense than us we wouldn't feel or notice any of it.  It's like if we tried to make a mark on the sun; the difference in energy is just way too big.  For reaching out to beings in the higher-energy world though, there might actually be a way thanks to our advances in technology.  If we take the notion that Earth is dark to these beings, then the logical solution would be to light it up.  Unfortunately, lighting us up means lighting us up in gamma rays, which we can't do without committing suicide.  A more achievable goal might be to project gamma rays outward into space, in other words creating a signal.  It would have to be a massive amount of energy though for someone out in space to notice and then trace back to Earth.  It would essentially be like creating a planet-sized lighthouse or beacon out of gamma rays.

Perhaps the part we should be more worried about, however, is whether we would be ready if such a being did take notice of us.  It's not that hard to imagine what would happen.  It's the same thing we do to creatures we are trying to "discover" in the ocean depths.  The first thing it would do is shine a light on us to get a better look.  And that light would obliterate us.

Further chapters available in book form at Amazon.

Some really cool follow-up posts on the same topic:
- Tetrachromats Seeing a Fourth Color: It turns out there actually are people who can see outside the visible spectrum, and their experience in an urban setting is similar to the description as what I wrote above about manmade lights being unbearable.
- God's Flashlight Novelization: Potential idea to turn this into short animation or game scene.
519 unique view(s)


  1. Ivy said,
    Feb-02-2017, 11:21am

    This reminds me of Neil Degrasse Tyson YouTube, fearing a visit by aliens. Premise being if we are less than 1% genetically different than chimps and both of are evolved in this same environment. How many percentages different would an alien race be, especially one that figured out interstellar travel. They would most likely look upon us as dumber than a chimp or dog, more likely cattle and would likely treat us as such - as food, as slaves, etc...  Kind of makes you think what the cattle think about us as we lead them down the chute to slaughter.
    "Neil deGrasse Tyson Is Worried That Humans Are Too Stupid For Aliens"

  2. bugmaker said,
    Jan-11-2022, 04:53pm

    Questioning my perception of the world.

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