Attraction to Light: Light as Communication and Imagined Evolution

In the Babylon 5 season 4 episode, “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars,” (1997) we are given a possible image that takes place a million years into the future where humans have evolved into beings of light. They have not forgotten the trials of the Babylon 5 station or its crew. This light is a regular theme that might be worth noting in a summary conclusion towards evolutionary and ontological realization. Emmanuel Levinas wrote that the only way for true completion of self was to become another, or, the Other. This removal of self, emptying the space of one’s entirety to make room for another is essentially about light; creating light in oneself.

In the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode, “Momento Mori,” (2022) we are shown that the Gorn represent the opposite of light, but as everyone who has seen Star Trek: The Original Series knows, even this darkness is temporary. Captain Pike has the most compelling line, “When we seek out the unknown, we will find things that challenge us. Frighten us. But we do not back down. We do not give in to fear.” The episode highlights it is light that saves the crew from darkness when they jettison the atmosphere processor to create the illusion that Enterprise has been destroyed, which creates a large explosion of light. With that sight the Gorn leave. However, in a very interesting twist we learn in the last episode of season two, “Hegemony,” (2023) that Scotty theorizes that the Gorn are biologically attracted to the explosions of light such as the coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the sun in Shangdi system. Sam Kirk agrees that some animals evolved with such instinctual attractions to light. This does, in the end, go hand in hand to the eventual resolution with the Gorn as seen in the TOS episode, “Arena” (1967). Light enters and captures darkness.

While we on are this topic of light entering as a entry point to unlocking truth, please recall the Strange New Worlds episode, “Children of the Comet” (2022). The egg only opens with music and upon opening gives off a great light that then drops the force field and allows the landing party to transport back to the ship. It is also the harmony woven into this music that Uhura later analyzes and discovers the “comet,” M’hanit, provides a detailed signature or outline showing what will happen to it, foretelling the rest of what we see in the episode. Music that gives light provides a form of celestial prophecy.

The question is: Are we at a pivotal point in our development? Is there more than one possible future that we might be heading towards? Do we have the character to recognize the moment and move towards the light? These are topics that should be more at the center of normal day to day conversations. If we hope to achieve the type of societal stabilization that greatly increase our chance to make it to deep space, the conversation needs to change.

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