The Speed of Light in the Vacuum of Consciousness

What can contemplation tell us about the speed of light or causality? Perhaps a lot, even All.

The speed of light (or more precisely, of causality) is always the same in relationship to an inertial frame of reference, or perhaps better, to a subjective relative mind in that frame, hence Einstein’s theory of “relativity.”

This was an odd finding. If you get in a rocket and speed up to half the speed of light, and check the speed of light again, it will not be half what it was, but will still be same same speed as before you left. You have not actually gained on light/causality at all, at least in your own reference frame. You’ve just changed your frame of reference, but light/causality will be the same speed in that frame.

Why might this be?

It is perhaps the subjective relative mind that perceives light/causality moving through spacetime relative to that mind. And wherever there is a subjective observer with a finite mind, light/causality moves the exact same in relationship to that relative finite observer-mind. The mind, any mind, cannot perceive anything differently, perhaps because it is an aspect of the mind itself. The movement of light/causality may be a relative perception of the mind.

But eliminate (or transcend) the subjective relative mind, as in many contemplative practices, and there is no movement of causality, no speed of light, and there is no spacetime. Spacetime has become a void, or infinite. In pure consciousness there is no relative mind for light/causality to move in relationship to. There is no self-mind in which a perception of light/causality would occur. The subjective mind that perceives all such phenomena has ceased cognition of all such activity. There is no inertial frame of reference, because there is no relative mind.

Pure consciousness, devoid of subjective activity (thoughts, feelings, sensations, perceptions), a vacuum of thoughts, is at-one with the Cause itself, the Source of Being, not perceiving anything as a separate object apart from itself, in relativity to itself, and that includes light/causality. Rather, consciousness is unified with the Absolute, Ultimate Reality, which is an eternal timeless void of perfect nothingness, stillness, silence, emptiness, from which all manifestation emerges.

The speed of light/causality there is zero, or infinite. It has no speed, or is all speed. It is speed itself. It does nothing, goes nowhere. Spacetime itself is “annihilated,” it seems, because there is no mind to perceive it. Spacetime is perhaps an emergent property of mind itself.

As the 17th century German mystic Angelus Silesius once said,

Time is of your own making;
Its clock ticks in your head.
The moment you stop thought
Time too stops dead.

-Angelus Silesius

How could that be? How can spacetime be an emergent property of mind? Maybe because it takes a mind to perceive anything like space or time. These are things the mind perceives, and only a mind can perceive them as such. They are not qualities independent of a mind, isolated from perception in a non-mind reality. They seem to be only qualities that we know of, because we have minds that can perceive them, because they emerge in the mind’s perception, from the ground of pure consciousness.

So is there nothing outside of a mind? Is this idealism, solipsism? No, I think (wink) there is, but what it is we cannot say, and we cannot know it, ever, because as soon as we try to say or know anything about it, we are back inside of a mind in spacetime. That is why I say it is a void, nothing, emptiness, and why many mystics have said the same thing throughout history. And yet, even these “empty” apophatic terms are inaccurate, because it is not as if nothing is there. There is no such thing as nothing, by definition. Nothing doesn’t exist, by definition. And so we have to deny that it is nothing, and we cataphatically affirm that it is therefore everything, the All in All, as many mystics of the West have attested. But yet again, these descriptors fall far short, and we have to deny them. Why? Because they are merely linguistic symbols, relative terms, concepts in your relative finite mind. They are not the Ultimate Reality itself, the All in All, and never will be.

The only way of “knowing” (gnosis) the Ultimate Reality is by transcending the subjective relative finite thinking mind (commonly called the ego, or what Mormonism calls the “natural man”), and “going there,” and “experiencing” it directly, immediately, intuitively, “personally.” This is traditionally known as contemplation in the West (or theoria/contemplatio in Christianity).

It is a state of mind, or more precisely no-mind, in which consciousness perceives itself, pure consciousness, because that is all that is there, which is somehow also the Ultimate Reality, or God. Consciousness knows itself as in a mirror, not in a subject-object relationship as in the finite mind, but through intuitive being, and it is the Being of the void or totality, emptiness and pleroma (fullness). It the Ground from which mind emanates, the Source from which mind shines, as light shines from the sun. But within the sun itself, there is no shining.

It is the Light itself.

This is perhaps partly the meaning of enlightenment. It is the recognition of the light/causality or Source from which all things, thoughts, concepts, and even spacetime springs. The formless pure consciousness, which holds no “mass” of thoughts, and so it “travels” like a photon at the speed of Light, going nowhere. When you are Light itself, you cannot perceive it as such, just like an eye cannot perceive itself, a tongue taste itself, or a finger touch itself. It is It. It is a dark void, because you are Light and its Source. The Light shines from you, Consciousness! You now recognize the Singularity of the All, and that One is also Love, shining on one and all, emanating all things, giving life and being and mind to all creatures.

One of my favorite insights of Joseph Smith, the prophet-mystic of Mormonism, is this:

And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;

Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—

The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.

-D&C 88:11-13

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One thought on “The Speed of Light in the Vacuum of Consciousness

  1. E=mc², Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Love, Grace, Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (f(x) raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

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