Light is the intelligence of life. That’s the conclusion Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D., has come to after decades of exploring light, vision, and consciousness. Light is much more than the particles and waves you learned about in physics class, he insists.
“It is a purveyor of consciousness,” he writes in his new book, Luminous Life: How the Science of Light Unlocks the Art of Living (to be published by New World Library in February). “Light is not just ‘out there,’ something we need to find in order to see, but light seeks us out and guides us … There is something inherently alive in it.” Not only do our bodies absorb light, he continues, but “we literally have light emanating from within us.”
This is why quantum physicists say light is the fundamental energy from which everything emerges, he says. It’s also the reason the Bible speaks of God as light.
Bright vs. Light
To understand light and its impact, we must first understand what light is and what it is not. When we think about light, most of us are actually thinking about brightness, explains Liberman, an optometrist who also holds a doctoral degree in vision science. Light reflects off objects and then interacts with the complex mechanism of our eyes, which then sends the information to our brain, where it’s transformed into an image we can then see. What we’re seeing isn’t actually light—it’s a mental interpretation we experience as brightness.
Light is made up of photons, Liberman notes, subatomic particles that are invisible to the naked eye. They have no mass, no weight, and no electrical charge. They are basically energy and information that directs just about every cell in our bodies.
“Everyone knows that light guides every facet of a plant’s existence,” Liberman says. “Yet most of us do not realize that our lives, and the lives of all living beings, are reliant on, guided by, and the result of light.” Light, he succinctly notes, is the invisible that makes everything visible.
Just like the plant, all our physiological functions are light-dependent, linked to the 24-hour light and dark cycle. Light guides not only the rhythm of when we sleep and when we awaken, but it also guides other body functions. By significantly impacting the production of the energy-rich molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), light triggers the body to fuel its own growth, regeneration, and function. All our life-sustaining centers, including our nervous, endocrine, and immune system, as well as our emotional response to life, are tied to light.
“Routine exposure to sunlight reduces resting heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar,” Liberman reports, “while increasing energy, strength, endurance, and the ability of blood to absorb and carry oxygen.” Light and life, he concludes, are inseparable. “Every cell of the body perceives and responds to light, which means light is continually guiding the actions of all our cells.”
Our Guiding Light
Most of the light entering our eyes is in fact not related to seeing. As light informs our most important brain centers (starting with the hypothalamus, which then communicates with the pineal gland—often referred to as the “third eye”), our bodies receive information about environmental light changes and even the earth’s electromagnetic field that allows our internal functions to synchronize with Mother Nature. In this way, light guides us toward a state of oneness with everything in the universe.
This guidance goes beyond our physicality: The light that catches our eyes focuses our actions and movements so we may fulfill our purpose for being. That is the primary goal of light—to actually “enlighten us.”
After all, Liberman explains, everything and everyone on the planet is intimately connected to and collaborating with everything else. “The same force that moves the tides and changes the seasons also animates the beating of our hearts,” he explains. When we get an intuitive hit or a spiritual insight, “it’s the intelligence of life looking for us, effortlessly directing us toward the next step on our journey.”
“When the light within us merges with the light illuminating our awareness,” he writes in Luminous Life, “we are effortlessly moved toward our source, in the same way that a flower is moved toward the sun.”
In technological terms, Liberman describes light energy as continually “updating and upgrading the software of our humanity.” He sees “being in the flow” as flowing with the intelligence of life.
The Spirituality of Light
“God, light, and consciousness are the same thing,” Liberman explains. “Throughout history, spiritual texts speak about these fundamental ideas as if they are interchangeable. Physicists echo this truth, noting that light behaves as if it is aware of everything, inseparable from everything, and everywhere at the same time. In other words, light behaves as if it is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent—the very words the Bible uses to describe God.”
Our own place in the universe, the solar system, means “of or derived from light.”
“Everything that exists is light,” Liberman says. “That’s why the study of light marks the convergence of science, religion, and spirituality.”
Liberman cites the renowned physicist David Bohm, who stated: “All matter is frozen light.”
“Bohm was saying that everything we experience is condensed light,” Liberman explains. “Things that we perceive of as solid are actually made of a nonmaterial essence (a vibration) called light.”
From Separation to Oneness
Envision being in a relaxed state, where you have no demanding decisions or choices to make. You are not grasping, confused, or frantically searching for answers. You are simply present and at home in the universe.
“When we understand that the light within us is no different than the light that guides us, we enter a state of oneness,” Liberman says, “an acceptance of life as it is.”
Most people have been conditioned to believe that we are separate from each other. Once we realize that all beings are inseparable, everything changes, even though things may look the same.
Liberman suggests looking around a room with one eye covered. “Notice what everything looks like and where it’s located,” he says. “Now, uncover your eye. On one level the room looks the same, but on another everything looks wider and more expansive. By opening both eyes, you can see more deeply.”
This quick exercise hints of the dimensions we might experience when we awaken the pineal, the brain’s true “master gland.” Referred to as the “seat of the soul” by philosopher René Descartes, the pineal has always been associated with enlightenment because its biological function moves us toward oneness.
“The body is in a continual homeodynamic state,” Liberman explains. “This critical preservation of harmony is accomplished by constantly synchronizing our totality with the rhythm and timing of the cosmos. Acting as the body’s light meter, the pineal concurrently communicates information about the time of day, time of year, spectral characteristics, and the earth’s electromagnetic field with every cell in the body simultaneously. In so doing, each cell orchestrates its internal function to come into congruity and oneness with all of life.
“In oneness there is unconditional acceptance for who we are and who we have always been. Instantaneously, our life is transformed,” Liberman says.
Many of us are used to protecting ourselves from light. Liberman acknowledges that we need to wear sunglasses to avoid excessive glare and we should apply sunscreen when we’re exposed to hours of intense sunlight. But using sunglasses every time we go outdoors artificially filters the light energy entering our eyes, affecting every function of our body.
Liberman suggests that we spend at least a little time outdoors each day without such protection—even if it’s only one to two minutes at first. He suggests building up this exposure gradually, aiming for 20 minutes total, to ensure the minimum daily requirement of light.
Science vs. Spirituality
While it sometimes seems there is a battle between science and spirituality, Liberman sees the perceived conflict as two different ways to reach the same truth.
Scientists examine issues intellectually, striving to discover life’s underpinnings through technology and detailed analysis. Spiritual explorers seek to understand through the heart, accessing the truth through their own unique experiences.
“We are often told that science must confirm ‘the truth,’” Liberman says, “but science is built on continually changing theories. The ultimate truth comes from our own direct experience, something we intuitively know, but do not understand.”
Although Liberman is a student of science, his real understanding of life has come through direct experience—which yields the key to awakening an entirely new way of seeing. The ultimate truth, he adds, is the truth beyond our beliefs.
For much of his career, Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D., practiced as an optometrist and specialized in working with children who had vision-related attention difficulties and learning problems, as well as professional athletes. He is the inventor of several color therapy instruments, as well as the Eyeport Vision Training System, the first FDA-cleared medical device that significantly improves overall visual performance.
Through a profound experience he had while meditating, his vision spontaneously corrected, catalyzing insights that became the foundation for his first two books, Light: Medicine of the Future (Bear & Company, 1991) and Take off Your Glasses and See: A Mind/Body Approach to Expanding Your Eyesight and Insight (Three Rivers Press, 1995).
Liberman’s third book, Luminous Life: How the Science of Light Unlocks the Art of Living (to be published by New World Library in February) shares ideas readers can implement to make transformations in consciousness he describes as “rapid, significant, and permanent.”
For more information, visit jacobliberman.org.
Deborah Shouse is a writer, speaker, editor, and dementia advocate. She is the author of Connecting in the Land of Dementia: Creative Activities to Explore Together (Central Recovery Press, 2016). Shouse’s essays have appeared in many national publications and more than three dozen Chicken Soup books. Visit dementiajourney.org.