This is Essay CXIV of Mr. Stolyarov’s series, “A Rational Cosmology,” which seeks to present objective, absolute, rationally grounded views of terms such as universe, matter, volume, space, time, motion, sound, light, forces, fields, and even the higher-order concepts of life, consciousness, and volition. See the index of all the essays in “A Rational Cosmology” here.
What are the conditions under which a human observer can see light? How can an understanding of these conditions be incorporated into rational cosmology’s view of light as a direct relationship between its source and its target? This essay shall endeavor to answer such questions.
A human observer can only see light if he, too, is a direct or indirect target of the relationship. If he sees the light source, he is directly targeted by it. If he sees a target of the relationship, this is because the target has also redirected part of the light to the observer’s eyes.
A common misconception has arisen since at least the time of Albert Einstein, which holds that light must be something other than a relationship solely between source and target, because we can at times see light at its source before we see it at its target — which is taken to imply that light is a “particle” that “travels” to us faster than it “travels” to the more distant target.
This is false view. The only way we would be able to see light from some source before it was manifested on a target far away is if we were targets closer to the source than the original target. If no such targets existed, no light would exist until the source reached the original target.
Because we are closer to the source than the original target, it takes less time for the relationship of light to fully manifest itself, since it is more time-consuming for a source to directly act on a farther entity than on a nearer one. Thus, we are illuminated before the farther target and can see the source.
But this does not mean that light exists anywhere but on the source and targets. Human designation does not necessarily equal reality. The fact that we have designated some farther entity a “target” of the relationship of light does not mean that it is the only target.
If we do not yet see light manifest on that target, this does not mean that the light can exist independently of a target. It simply exists with respect to some other closer target, which happens to be the observer. Some targets — by virtue of their proximity to the light source — are easier for the source to directly act upon than others.
Thus, our ability to see light at a source before seeing it at some more remote target from the source than ourselves is not a refutation of the relationship view of light; it is quite consistent with such a view, once we come to consider ourselves as targets of the light relationship as well.
Read other parts of “A Rational Cosmology” by clicking here.