Re: Speed of Light in the Sun
Oct 02, 1996 11:48 PM
by Eldon B Tucker
You make some good points in your comments on "Moving at the
Speed of Light". Your warning at the end is particularly
> It may be a tricky business to develop far reaching speculations
> on the basis of popular expositions of scientific ideas found in
> magazines for non-professionals as those expositions are usually
> grossly oversimplified and may be misleadingly 'clear.'
If we were to take a stray scientific fact and from it extrapolate
wildly about the world, it would be easy to get lost in
speculation. This is especially dangerous if the information is
new, perhaps in an area we haven't studied, and subject to
I don't think, though, that any thinking that we may have about
the sun is solely built up from fragmentary and
partially-misunderstood scientific information and theories. At
lest in theosophical studies, we have the information available in
the source teachings, and additional inferences and intuitions
that we may have based upon our prior studies of the literature.
I do think that what we can find out about the physical sun can
provide us with clues about what goes on in life in a solar globe.
This is not detailed knowledge, but rather suggestive hints and
physical symbolism that through the law of correspondences or
correlations would point to things on other planes.
Those correspondences may, I think, hint at things about life on
solar globes that we might not otherwise know, things not spelled
out for us in the occult literature of the world. This would be
especially true of newer scientific discoveries, *if correctly
understood*, which I also agree is important.
You mention that the speed of light is always 186,282 miles per
second, yet has an apparent speed of 140,000 miles per second in
glass. Could you explain how the "apparent speed" works?
You also describe radiative transfer (or photon transfer) as the
process where photons slowly approach, then exit the surface
of the sun. This happens since photons are quickly absorbed in the
solar matter, then emitted in other directions. They are absorbed
and reemitted continually, moving along broken trajectories in a
My prior description of light as though it were like a photon
reaching the sun, slowing down, crawling through the sun at a
snail's pace, then finally reaching the other side and exiting is,
as your say, an oversimplification, if not wrong.
Instead, we have a model where light reaches the sun, then is
split up, undergoing a process of continually leaving and coming
into existence (being absorbed and reemitted). In coming back into
existence it's direction tends to be randomized. This "churning"
causes it to become diffuse (scattered in many directions) and to
have an effective speed through the sun of 1.5 feet/hour.
There's much symbolism possible in the above paragraph, and I'd
like to hear if you think there's anything incorrect
scientifically to it.
One visual symbol, although I'm not saying it's necessarily right,
is the following:
We have a being of pure light with perfect freedom, moving through
cosmic spaces. That being approaches and enters a world or realm
with tremendous "mass" or density. Forced into a series of rapid
reincarnations, the being, although apparently progressing at
random from one life to the next, eventually works its way towards
liberation and return to the free cosmic spaces that the being had
initially came from.
This isn't exactly the theosophical model as we're taught it, but
it's what we'd find symbolized in the physical process of the sun
that we considered earlier.
Does it really matter if it's exactly right or not? I don't think
so. The purpose of symbolic thought is not to arrive at concrete
answers about the world. It's not a supplement to rational
thinking, which is important in its own right.
Symbolic thought allows us to see the world in yet a different
way. It's a different and equally important faculty. And it
allows us a change to learn about things that we aren't yet,
because of our intelligence, training, and occult background,
equipped to know from rational studies and direct personal
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