02 Feb The True Nature of Reality: Waves of Light – 15

The sense of sight is a miraculous wonder. Take a look around you and take in everything you see. What your brain is using to process all the images and many colors is something called electromagnetic radiation, something we more commonly refer to as light. Light is made up of waves and the various size of the wavelengths give light different properties like color. Wavelengths vary greatly from many kilometers wide right down to the atomic level. Theoretically an electromagnetic wave can be as large at the universe itself and as small as subatomic particles. That’s an extremely large scale with the everything that exists on one side and the breaking apart of a single atom on the other. It is incomprehensible.

The human eye is capable of perceiving part of that scale, but how much? We are not talking about how big or small of something we are capable of seeing, but of the size of the wavelengths that our eyes are able to capture. How much of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum can humans see? We are able to perceive the wavelengths that range from 390 to 700 nanometers. How big is a nanometer? If you took a one meter (about 39 inches) and cut it into one billion equal parts, our eyes are only capable of registering a variance in wavelengths the size of 310 of those pieces. That’s 310 pieces of the one billion pieces of 39 inches. This is an extremely small variance in wavelength size. To put those 310 nanometers in perspective, the typical germ is about 1000 nanometers long.

Electromagnetic-Spectrum-BLACKSo, what about the other 999,999,690 pieces of that one meter? And what about all the other meters of wavelengths that extend out to the size of the entire universe and all the way down to the atomic level? Well, we cannot see any of those. Think back to our journaling exercise on The Falling Tree and Unobserved Reality. We spent a few journaling sessions grasping the concept that just because something is happening outside of our awareness, it is still real, even though we are unable to perceive it as such. In the case of the unfathomable amount of electromagnetic wavelengths we are unable to see, they are out there and functioning in a very real way, even though we aren’t able to perceive them. I find it amazing that as big as the world is to our eyes, it is equivalent to virtual nothingness when compared to the waves we cannot see moving around us. We aren’t just failing to see some of reality, we are hardly able to see any of it at all.

Take a moment to contemplate one type of wave that we cannot perceive with just our senses, radio waves. There are several types of radio waves most people are aware of like FM (frequency modulation) and AM (amplitude modulation), the waves most radio stations use to transmit their music and talk shows. There are also the short wave radio stations that can be received from all around the world. There are other radio waves from military bases, police and fire stations. And, of course, how could we fail to mention the radio signals used by cellular phones and wifi. All of these waves, and many more, are moving about us at this very moment. What would the world look like if we could see all these waves going back and forth? Can you imagine what radio waves would look like passing through and by us? Just like the tree that falls in the empty forest, this part of reality is just as real as the things we can see, and we must always remember our senses have severe restrictions. Just because we cannot sense something does not mean it does not exist. Stated another way, everything we perceive is just a fraction of what is actually out there.


Some living creatures are cable  seeing wavelengths of light that humans cannot. For example, the bee is able to see ultraviolet light which helps them locate flowers (food) more easily. Google Ultraviolet Photography Nature and take a look at the world through the eyes of a bee.

Ultraviolet light is not just another way of seeing what we see, it is seeing something we cannot see. What scene in your daily life would look most impressive if you could see ultraviolet light? Describe what it might look like.

If we could see ultraviolet light, how might the way we design the world we live in be different? How would architecture, design, signs, clothes, pens or anything you might work with be different?

The part of reality that humans have created has all been designed around what we can perceive. Think about what this means for human endeavor in relation to Ultimate Reality.

What would the world look like if we could see radio waves? How about the cell phone waves coming to and from each person’s cellular phone, traveling back and forth to cell phone towers? Write about what you might see.

Draw a scene in your journal (or cut out a picture and tape or paste in inside your journal). Draw in the radio waves, ultraviolet rays, sonar, gamma rays, cell signals, etc. Be imaginative. Write about how much you are failing to see right now. What are the benefits of not seeing more? What are the disadvantages of not seeing more?

How has technology served to augment what we can perceive?


Michael Ken