Rainbows Don’t Exist
“What?”, you might say. “Of course rainbows exist. In fact I saw a double rainbow just recently and posted it on Facebook!” But in fact, rainbows are optical illusions. Otherwise people would be claiming pots of gold pretty regularly.
I remember many years ago driving up the central coast of California in a light rain when the sun started to come out and a beautiful rainbow appeared and seemed to end right in the middle of highway 101. It had been raining plenty that year and the hillsides were quite green and one could imagine they were in the Irish countryside. This was quite a few years ago, there was no traffic other than my lone car. It was easy to imagine leprechauns might be nearby. It looked as if I could drive right through the end of the rainbow and I imagined how wonderful that might be. But the end of the rainbow kept its distance.
After a few minutes the obvious struck me: the rainbow is only visible because of how I observe the light passing through tiny water droplets. Unless they are in front of me, I will be unable to observe them. The rainbow is a product of how my visual cortex processes he refraction of light through all these tiny prisms. What’s more, each of us will process that same information slightly differently because of the angle at which we are viewing the phenomenon and our ability to take in the information. Furthermore, if no one is there to observe it, the rainbow doesn’t exist at all. It must be processed to come into being.
Quantum physics tells us that our observations determine outcomes. In fact, not only rainbows, but anything at all may not exist until it is observed and our observation of it determines how it will exist. This is demonstrated by the famous double slit experiment, where a quanta of light is passed through either a single or double slit. The resulting pattern is determined by whether or not and how it is being observed. Sometimes it behaves like a particle, and at other times like a wave.
The way we choose to observe our life, our past, present and future, our relationships, our work, all of it, greatly determines the quality of those things. If we see only the worst, we will find instances to verify that. If we look for the healthy and beautiful, we can find confirmation of those things.
If life isn’t presenting enough rainbows, it may be that attention is being focused on old wounds and beliefs that keep you from moving forward. Shamanic work uncovers those old stories so they can be exposed to the light and let go, the lessons accepted in gratitude so your inner light can shine its own beautiful pattern in the world. Like a rainbow.