Friday, February 25, 2011

The Speed of Dark

I have an uncle who is always making up riddles.  He loves to have fun with me and my relatives who also have a background in physics. . . I am the fourth of six physicists in my family!  So, one day, my uncle unveiled his latest riddle: They say that nothing else can travel the speed of light, but what about dark?  What is the speed of dark?  It has to be at least as fast as the speed of light, because as soon as I turn off the light, there's the dark.

Now, he meant this all in fun, but it occurred to me that there could be a profound underlying principle here.  Maybe it's a limitation of our language, but sometimes we confuse our condition with a 'real' thing.  Take my uncle for example.  He is confusing 'the dark' for a physical thing when it is really just a condition.  Light is a thing.  It can travel.  You can measure how much light you have.  Dark, on the other hand, is not a measurable thing that travels.  It is simply the condition you find yourself in when you don't have light.

I began thinking about this when pondering the question of the creation of sin: Why did God create sin in the first place?  Well, if I apply my principle from above, I think it reveals what we all know to be true.  God didn't exactly create sin.  He created people.  He created us with an ability to choose His way, or not.  When we choose His way, we find ourselves in the condition of being blessed, peaceful, fulfilled, etc.  When we don't choose his way, we end up carrying baggage, hurt, stress, and emptiness.  Sin, then, is the stuff that brings this condition of emptiness.

So, God created fulfillment.  Sin is simply a churchy word we apply to the stuff that precludes the condition of fulfillment.

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