‘Come forth into the light of things, Let nature be your teacher.’
– William Wordsworth
Last week, mid-walk, I glanced up and noticed a rainbow-
a myriad of beautiful colours blessing the, previously dull, sky-
and, it got me thinking;
What actually are rainbows?
What are they, and why/how can they exist?
How can they exist/ how can they display, quite literally, ‘every colour of the rainbow’, in the sky above us,
a sky which, the rest of the time, is reserved solely to displaying variations of blues, blacks, and greys?
Having researched the reasoning behind rainbows on the trusted ol’ Google, I was able to understand the science behind them, but not the philosophy–
the surface, but not the ‘depth.’
The science behind rainbows then…
A rainbow is a multicolored arc, formed when light from the sun strikes, and is reflected and scattered by, water droplets (e.g. raindrops or fog) at different angles and through different wavelengths, into the eyes of an observer. It is the varying wavelengths (long=red, short= blue/violet) that leads to the separation of colours in the spectrum and is what, ultimately, leads to a rainbow* being produced.
*Now, it should be noted here that;
the appearance of a rainbow will vary from person-to-person, depending on where the viewer(s) are standing, and where the sun (or other source of light) is shining (usually behind the person seeing the rainbow).
This is because;
the angle of scatter from raindrops is different for everyone, which means that every rainbow is unique to the observer…
Sounds very philosophical, right?
Well, it is–
as you will come to understand in the paragraphs below…
The philosophy behind rainbows then…
Philosophically speaking, the rainbow symbolises the complex relationship between the real and the illusory.
Being based on an optical illusion (shifting their location along with the spectator), rainbows do not actually exist as physical objects- instead, they act as a ‘bridge’ between the physical and the metaphysical/
a pathway for souls to the ‘upper world’,
and, as such, we can learn a lot about ourselves from observing them,
for, like you and I, with our material bodies, rainbows also have a material ‘body’, and yet, this is not their true esssence. In fact, it is actually nothing other than an optical illusion
(i.e., what we see and perceive as a rainbow isn’t actually there at all. It is simply a ‘trick‘ our eyes play on us),
and, whose to say that the same isn’t the case for us?
Whose to say that, we too are, in a physical sense, ‘not really there?’
That anything is, in fact, ‘not really there?’
The truth is that; because we are all spiritual beings at our core, the likelihood is that we are not really there, for, the spiritual (our true nature) exists beyond space and time…
Most of us fail to realise this though-
we are all so adept at perceiving our form and the form of everything/everyone else around us, yet we remain unable to perceive the deeper parts of us-
the most important parts-
we are unable to perceive the soul.
The majority of us therefore go through our lives existing within a realm that few people understand or, at least, few people are open to understanding…
Like the true nature of rainbows,
most people remain oblivious to it-
to the truth–
the truth that they,
all at once-
metaphysical beings living in a physical world-
an optical illusion–