What is light? We take it for granted but it isn't just a thing. It is nothing and everything at once and once again, scientists discover the astonishing multi-oness of light, it is everywhere at once and yet nowhere unless we perceive it. It is the paradox. I know this deep inside. I have been one with It.
"It's weird stuff," says Boyd. "We sent a pulse through an optical fiber, and before its peak even entered the fiber, it was exiting the other end. Through experiments we were able to see that the pulse inside the fiber was actually moving backward, linking the input and output pulses."
So, wouldn't Einstein shake a finger at all these strange goings-on? After all, this seems to violate Einstein's sacred tenet that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
"Einstein said information can't travel faster than light, and in this case, as with all fast-light experiments, no information is truly moving faster than light," says Boyd. "The pulse of light is shaped like a hump with a peak and long leading and trailing edges. The leading edge carries with it all the information about the pulse and enters the fiber first. By the time the peak enters the fiber, the leading edge is already well ahead, exiting. From the information in that leading edge, the fiber essentially 'reconstructs' the pulse at the far end, sending one version out the fiber, and another backward toward the beginning of the fiber."
It sounds weird if one assumes time and space are pretty much flat and moves in only one direction.
Light is a queer thing. It is not like a molecule or element. It isn't solid yet it has something, energy. It comes in many manifestations and what we call "light" is merely a part of the Oneness or this thing that is really what gravity generates when it has enough mass, what can I say?
I have been hit by lightning several times. Not small, stray jolts, the first strike was huge. It tore up the entire side of a huge oak tree and united a branch with myself, sitting in the dark for the power was cut off by the storm, on a Victorian iron bed.
Let me explain what happened: I became part of the Lightning's universe. This terrified me, being only five years old, for up is down, inside is outside, thick is thin, dark is light. Everything is mirror image and time flows in two directions at once. Just as all things generating power have two poles, our earth has poles, invisible currents of magnetism flows through our planet and ourselves. We are caught in a net of magentism, gravity, energy and light. As seemingly solid organisms which are solid only because we see ourselves as solid, cosmic rays pass right through us and where do they come from?
All these queer things wracked my poor brains all my life. I knew that science would catch up with what I thought in that micro eternity when I was One with Lightning. I remember it all very vividly. I could feel it developing. The lightning doesn't "travel" anywhere! One minute, one is sitting there, feeling itchy, feeling as if static electricity is making the hair raise in a soft cloud about the shoulders, it is hard to breathe. I looked out the window and thought, "That tree and I will merge with the sky," and I was very scared but I couldn't move, it was as if this were already happening.
Then it happened. Or rather, to an outside observer, there was a brilliant flash and the air was rent with the explosion of the bolt. From my point of view, I blossomed into a net of pulsing blue/white and pink light, each was distinct.
As an adult, the last time lightning managed to nail me, I knew it was going to happen for an hour. Three bolts nearly hit me, I even screamed each time and lay there, panting, saying to my husband, "It missed! It missed!" But I knew in my heart, it wasn't going to miss in the end. He thought I was being silly, we were married only a short time when this happened.
The storm moved off over the mountains. Barely heard in the distance, muttering darkly to itself. Everything electrical in our home was smoking, all destroyed by the bolts. My husband handed me a cooked inverter and said, "The storm is over, here, take this out." And as I reached for it, the lighting bolt I knew was going to hit came snaking across the mountains, it hit the telephone pole next to our place, ran into the wiring, shot out of the wall into the inverter and simultaneously shot from the telephone behind me and the wall and the inverter. I was, as always, wearing rubber or I would have been killed. Instead, it kicked me to the ground.
You see, the connection between me and the storm was not broken even when it moved far off. And so it is with these experiments. When the observer sees the light at one end, it can be at the other easily since light isn't like gasses or molecules.
It is a very peculiar state of being/nonbeing. This is why it still astonishes us even as we expand our horizons. Science is a wonderful thing but we can only understand what we experience. And there is something even faster than light, it isn't "information" but rather, the thing that passes through the backwards time of lightning, that which I like to call "the Portals to the Outer Darkness."
Where up is down and slow is fast and the future is the past.