Near the very beginning of the very first book of the ancient Hebrew Torah, in His first creative act, God said “Let there be light.”
Light is made up of electromagnetic waves. We know what electricity is, even if it’s just from sparks caused by static electricity and lightening. We also know what magnets do. How strange and wonderful that “waves” combining these two (related) kinds of energy can manifest as visible light. Each electromagnetic wave has
a frequency of vibration and an associated wavelength. The higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength. We can see electromagnetic waves in a certain frequency range, with each specific frequency being perceived as different in color, from red (the lowest frequency and longest wavelength we can see) through all of the colors of the rainbow up to violet, the highest frequency we can see. Beyond that are invisible ultraviolet waves, X Rays, and gamma rays. Below the color red, are infrared waves, and radio waves.
Electromagnetic waves are important. The speed of electromagnetic waves is a constant and defines the fastest speed at which anything can move. Nothing is more crucial to understanding the physical universe than electromagnetic waves. But electromagnetism can also behave as particles. The smallest quantum of electromagnetism possible is called a photon. Photons are massless particles and move at the speed of light. Normal physical objects, such as electrons or protons or human beings, can approach the speed of light, but never quite get there, because as they speed up, their mass increases, they become heavier, and at the speed of light their mass would become infinite. Another oddity is that, as matter moves faster, time as perceived at that speed slows down, and at the actual speed of light, the passage of time would stop. Light, (or any electromagnetic wave), can and does travel at the speed of light because it has no mass to become infinite. If a photon could perceive the passage of time, it would perceive that it took no time at all for it to travel across the entire width of the universe, it would seem to itself that it crossed the entire universe instantaneously.
To a photon, everything is everywhere and every time is now.
How miraculous is light! Many religious traditions describe God as being light-like. In the Bible, God created light first, and God is described by using light as a metaphor. God’s face shines so bright that no man sees His face and lives. In many near death experiences, people see the Light of God, and often see new colors of light.
The human brain creates electromagnetic waves, and these waves radiate out into space. These do decrease in strength as time passes and they dissipate into space, but they are never actually completely destroyed. Perhaps remnants of these electromagnetic waves persist. Quantum processes in the brain also leave their marks, which like all energetic phenomenon, are never completely destroyed. The Penrose-Hameroff theory hypothesizes that our consciousness itself arises from quantum processes in the brain.
Like scratches on wet clay, hardened in the sun, the records of our existence are faint but eternal.
To a photon, all times are now.