1. The quantum of electromagnetic energy, generally regarded as a discrete particle having zero mass, no electric charge, and an indefinitely long lifetime.
2. A unit of retinal illumination, equal to the amount of light that reaches the retina through 1 square millimeter of pupil area from a surface having a brightness of 1 candela per square meter.
- photon´ic adjective
Photon, small unit of light energy or electromagnetic radiation. Max Planck and Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize winners in physics, discovered that light, which usually travels in waves, sometimes behaves as if it were made up of a stream of small quantities, or quanta, of energy. The energy, E, of a photon is calculated using the equation E = h, where h is a universal constant (Planck's constant) and is the frequency (number of vibrations per second) of the light.
element: light quantum, photon,
Like theaxis mundi of shamanic traditions, DNA has the form of a twisted ladder (or a vine ... ); according to my hypothesis, DNA was, like the axis mundi, the source of shamanic knowledge and visions. To be sure of this I needed to understand how DNA could transmit visual information. I knew that it emitted photons, which are electromagnetic waves, and I remembered what Carlos Perez Shuma had told me when he compared the spirits to "radio waves": "Once you turn on the radio, you can pick them up. Itís like that with souls; with ayahuasca ... you can see them and hear them." So I looked into the literature on photons of biological origin, or "biophotons."
In the early 1980s, thanks to the development of a sophisticated measurement device, a team of scientists demonstrated that the cells of all living beings emit photons at a rate of up to approximately 100 units per second and per square centimeter of surface area. They also showed that DNA was the source of this photon emission.
During my readings, I learned with astonishment that the wavelength at which DNA emits these photons corresponds exactly to the narrow band of visible light: Its spectral distribution ranges at least from infrared (at about 900 nanometers) to ultraviolet (up to about 200 nanometers).
This was a serious trail, but I did not know how to follow it. There was no proof that the light emitted by DNA was whatshamans saw in their visions. Furthermore, there was a fundamental aspect of this photon emission that I could not grasp. According to the researchers who measured it, its weakness is such that it corresponds to the intensity of a candle at a distance of about 10 kilometers, but i has a surprisingly high degree of coherence, as compared to that of technical fields (laser). How could an ultra-weak signal be highly coherent? How could a distant candle be compared to a "laser"?
After thinking about it at length, I came to understand that the coherence of biophotons depended not so much on the intensity of their output as on its regularity. In a coherent source of light, the quantity of photons emitted may vary, but the emission intervals remain constant.
DNA emits photons with such regularity that researchers compare the phenomenon to an "ultra-weak laser." I could understand that much, but still could not see what it implied for my investigation. I turned to my scientific journalist friend, who explained it immediately: "A coherent source of light, like a laser, gives the sensation of bright colors, a luminescence, and an impression of holographic depth."
My friend's explanation provided me with an essential element. The detailed descriptions of ayahuasca-based hallucinatory experiences invariably mention bright color, and, according to the authors of the dimethyltryptamine study: "Subjects described the colors as brighter, more intense, and deeply saturated than those seen in normal awareness or dreams: 'It was like the blue of a desert sky, but on another planet. The colors were 10 to 100 times more saturated.'"
It was almost too good to be true. DNA's highly coherent photon emission accounted for the luminescence of hallucinatory images, as well as their three-dimensional, or holographic, aspect.
One the basis of this connection, I could now conceive of a neurological mechanism for my hypothesis. The molecules of nicotine or dimethyltryptamine, contained in tobacco or ayahuasca, activate their respective receptors, which set off a cascade of electrochemical reactions inside the neurons, leading to the stimulation of DNA and, more particularly, to its emission of visible waves, which shamans perceive as "hallucinations."
There I thought, is the source of knowledge: DNA, living in water and emitting photons, like an aquatic dragon spitting fire.
- Jeremy Narby - _The Cosmic Serpent: DNA And The Origins Of Knowledge_