Friday, February 01, 2013
For those who want to understand the things of God and eternity only through the lenses attached to their own eyeballs, who can only believe what they can see, I would like to ask them how they can be so confident of the conclusions they might reach through this means. Science has recently determined that what we can see and measure is only a tiny fraction of the unseen materials and forces that shape the universe. As recently discussed here, mysterious dark matter and dark energy dominate the universe, comprising about 96% of the matter-energy out there. All our glorious instruments, eyes and hands included, are incapable of detecting most of what surrounds us in the cosmos.
Apart from that stunning and recent fact, we stand on one tiny speck of a vast galaxy within a cosmos on millions upon millions of galaxies. Even if your eyes are very sharp, what you see, even if you could see dark matter and dark energy, is a vanishingly small fraction of the scope of the universe. And even for our own domain, in your own town or apartment or wherever you are, what you see even with the sharpest of eyes is limited to photons having a wavelength between about 390 nanometers and 700 nanometers. You can’t see ultraviolet or infrared. You can’t see microwaves or radiowaves or gamma radiation or x-rays. The spectrum of electromagnetic radiation—light—that places a non-trivial role in the physical world extends far below and above the range of visible light by many orders of magnitude. What we can see represents a tiny sliver of the electromagnetic reality right in front of our noses. Are you so sure you’ve got the full picture, even if you’ve got 20/20 vision? (And I haven’t even mentioned optical illusions. Another fun topic.)
Here is a representation of the electromagnetic spectrum, courtesy of Wikipedia’s article on that topic:
There is vastly more to the universe and to life than meets the physical eye, and some of the most important information that we need will be missed if we don’t realize there is a spiritual dimension to life. Light and truth, spiritual information, can be conveyed through the Spirit to supplement the pittance of physical data we obtain with our senses.
Yes, the testimony thing Mormons talk about isn’t easy and can be confusing. But to trivialize the possibility of gaining information from the Spirit is far more serious than just ignoring 96% of reality or nearly all of the spectrum. When it comes to the things of God and His beautiful plans for us, this is one area where we don’t want to be blind.