The man gives his future wife a gold ring with a diamond. Such a ring is a brilliant symbol of connection.
Gold like the sunlight, the source of all life on earth. The gold is forged into a ring, a circle. Unity without beginning or end. The perfect symmetry of the circle is sacrificed slightly to the setting of a diamond crystal. The clear crystal is skilfully cut into a special shape that plays with incident light, and in that play you can occasionally see the colours of the rainbow. Gold, ring, diamond and light. We see beauty. An interaction takes place between light and diamond, between light and matter, and man. When we look deeper into matter, the experience of beauty can deepen. That going deeper into matter does require effort.
Diamond is carbon. A colourless transparent diamond is only carbon. A diamond crystal is a beautifully ordered arrangement of carbon atoms in three dimensions. The element carbon is the sixth most widespread element in the universe. Diamonds are rather rare. The crystal structure of diamond originated deep in the earth in the distant past. At a depth of 160 kilometres, conditions of pressure and temperature – both very high – and presence of other chemical elements were available for diamond crystals to grow.
We find carbon – symbol C – in the periodic table of chemical elements in group 14. That is four groups left to the group of noble gases, in this case neon. Noble gases are non-reactive. If we look at the atomic structure – diving even deeper into matter – we find in noble gases a fully filled outer electron shell: there are eight electrons in the outer ring around the atom. The atom of a noble gas has all the electrons it wants. All places are taken. In the group of carbon, there are only four electrons in the outer shell. Comparatively, carbon lacks four electrons to be complete with a team of eight, non-reactive, like a noble gas chemically at rest on Earth, just present. A carbon atom tends to look for those four missing electrons outside its own structure. Where does it find them? In diamond, there is only carbon. In diamond, each carbon atom enters into an atomic bond with four carbon atoms in its vicinity. Such an atomic bond is formed by sharing electrons between atoms. With an electron from each of two atoms, a pair is formed that gives both atoms an extra electron. In diamond, each of four surrounding carbon atoms give one electron to the central carbon atom or better, shares one electron in the bond, in the relationship between atoms. This completely fills the outer shell of the central C atom.
Atomic structure of diamond – each stone is a carbon atom
In the play of attraction and repulsion of charged particles, we see a tetrahedron forming of four carbon atoms around the central atom in search of completeness. A tetrahedron is a regular quadrilateral composed of four equilateral triangles. We find the atoms on the vertices and in the centre. If we expand the lattice further, we see that each of the four atoms that have been joined can also be seen as the central atom surrounded by a tetrahedron. This is how the structure continues. The connections by sharing electrons are strong and stable. There is no further search for other elements to connect with. Diamond is non-reactive.
Carbon, incidentally, is also the building block of organic life and, in the form of life decaying into petroleum or coal, an energy carrier, which likes to react with oxygen in combustion. That reactivity comes from the same hunger of carbon for connection, for additional electrons to reach the stable, noble state.
The bound carbon atoms in diamond macroscopically determine properties such as density – amount of matter in a cubic centimetre – and hardness. You can only scratch diamond with diamond. The atomic structure of diamond mainly determines its interaction with light. You can think of light as packets of energy or photons. The energy content of those packets varies with the colour of light. Electrons cannot be lifted to a higher energy level allowed by nature by a photon of visible light – that is: a stream of light packets with certain energy amounts. In other words, visible light cannot interact with the electrons of diamond to release its energy to the electrons and lift them to a higher energy level. The next step in the staircase of possible energy levels is too high. No light is absorbed. Because light cannot dissipate energy in diamond matter, light remains complete and we see diamond as transparent.
Because of the high density (matter per cubic centimetre) of diamond, light entering from air will slow down and change direction depending on the angle of incidence of the light. The different wavelengths or colours – photons with different energy – slow down and twist differently and the initially invisible light now becomes visible in the unfolding colour spectrum. You can see the same phenomenon with light passing through a glass prism.
Light and diamant
The diamond in the engagement ring is normally artfully cut. The cut determines how much of the incident light will be reflected by the lower parts of the crystal. There is a change of direction and a further unfolding of light’s colours. To eventually leave the diamond again at the top, where we are looking and admiring. Cutting is a shaping by man based on his knowledge of light and matter. It is an example of human consciousness or mind interacting with matter or substance.
In a coloured diamond, atoms of other elements are enclosed between the carbon atoms. These atoms provide the presence of electrons that do interact with visible light. The next rung on the ladder of permitted energies is lower. Certain wavelengths are absorbed and what remains we see as colouring.
Fas-C-inating, aren’t they (in this case with the C of carbon), chemistry and physics!
We started this article with a gold ring with a diamond as the symbol of connection between two people. We can interpret the diamond, thinking from its physicochemical properties in interaction with light, as a symbol of connection on yet another level than in the relationship between a man and a woman. Let’s enter the spiritual realm in our thoughts.
Consider the soul. We may consider diamond as an image for a particular quality of soul. Diamond is an ordered structure of carbon atoms and therefore does something to incident light. Thinking metaphorically: the special interaction with light requires a specific arrangement of the building blocks of the soul. And the soul must not contain any foreign elements, only in that case is it transparent to light. To make that special light effect of the diamond visible, it is beautifully cut by a consciousness that is above matter. To make the light effective, the transparent soul material is cut by a higher consciousness. Incoming light is then reflected deep into the soul material and will visibly unfold into the seven colours of the spectrum upon leaving the structure. It has become active light.
Consider a spiritual group. Each member of the group is a monad, is like an atom. All are atoms of elements that have evolved through many incarnations to the same level, to the same group in the periodic table of human souls. They have not yet become noble gases. They are full of desire for that state. From that desire, the individual makes connections with its neighbours that, for all the atoms involved in that connection, lead to the stable state, to the noble gas configuration. There is then no more inclination to make other connections. Trapped foreign atoms lead to discolouring in diamond. Thinking figuratively, in that case, although the group has a diamond structure, it also still has a strong colour of its own, a group identity determined by the foreign elements. The group is also cut like a diamond, that is: its hardness takes the desired shape under the influence of great transcendent forces and higher consciousness. Diamond dust remains on the cutting stone. The cut diamond bestows incident light to the world, now unfolded to the spectrum range, now active. The cut diamond group soul bestows the seven-light to all who want to live with active light. Light enters, is reflected internally several times and thereby unfolded and made active. Light emerges from the transparent form as active light. No light energy is absorbed. Everything that was received is released again. The active light makes renewal possible.
Waves: light, sound and the nature of reality.