Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light) or, in a technical or scientific context, the word is sometimes used to mean electromagnetic radiation of all wavelengths. The elementary particle that defines light is the photon.
The sensory perception of light plays a central role in Spirituality, and the presence of light as opposed to its absence (darkness) is a common Western metaphor of good and evil, knowledge and ignorance, and similar concepts.
- Alphabetized by author
- Corruption springs from light: 'tis one same power
Creates, preserves, destroys; matter whereon
It works, on e'er self-transmutative form,
Common to now the living, now the dead.
- Philip James Bailey, Festus (1813), scene Water and Wood.
- The light in the world comes principally from two sources,—the sun, and the student's lamp.
- Christian Nestell Bovee, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought (1862), Volume II, p. 16.
- For I light my candle from their torches.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III. Sect, II. Memb. 5. Subsec. 1.
- The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.
- A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, in "Self-Reliance: in Essays : First Series (1841).
- Light (God's eldest daughter!).
- Thomas Fuller, The Holy State and the Prophane State (1642), Book III. Of Building.
- Light itself is a great corrective. A thousand wrongs and abuses that are grown in darkness disappear, like owls and bats, before the light of day.
- James A. Garfield, as quoted in General Garfield as a Statesman and Orator (1881) edited by the Republican Party National Committee, p. 59.
- And God said: "Let there be light," and there was light.
- Master, Master of Light,
Whose eye dwells in the seeking fingers of the blind,
You are still despised and mocked,
A man too weak and infirm to be God,
A God too much man to call forth adoration.
- Khalil Gibran, in Jesus, The Son of Man (1928), "A Man From Lebanon: Nineteen Centuries Afterward".
- There is strong shadow where there is much light.
- And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
- Nations will certainly go to your light, and kings to the brightness of your shining forth.
- Isaiah 60:3
- Our faith is a light by nature coming of our endless Day, that is our Father, God. In which light our Mother, Christ, and our good Lord, the Holy Ghost, leadeth us in this passing life. This light is measured discreetly, needfully standing to us in the night. The light is cause of our life; the night is cause of our pain and of all our woe: in which we earn meed and thanks of God. For we, with mercy and grace, steadfastly know and believe our light, going therein wisely and mightily.
- Julian of Norwich, in Revelations of Divine Love (c. 1393)
- Genius is not so much a light as it is a constant awareness of the surrounding gloom.
- Stanisław Lem, in His Master's Voice (1968) as translated by Michael Kandel (1983)
- I will love the light for it shows me the way. Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.
- An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it.
- He that has light within his own clear breast
May sit i' th' centre and enjoy bright day;
But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts
Benighted walks under the mid-day sun.
- Hail, holy light! offspring of heaven firstborn!
Or of th' eternal co-eternal beam,
May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate!
- And from her native east,
To journey through the aery gloom began,
Spher'd in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun
- There swift return
Diurnal, merely to officiate light
Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot.
- And this I know; whether the one True Light
Kindle to Love, or Wrath consume me quite,
One flash of it within the Tavern caught
Better than in the temple lost outright.
- In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.
- Blaise Pascal, quoted in Thoughts from Earth (2004), p. 9.
- God is the light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass.The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light, God guideth unto His light whome he will. And God speaketh to mankind in allegories, for God is knower of all things.
- Quran 24:35.
- In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.
- Aaron Rose, quoted in The Reader's Digest Vol. 152 (1998), p. 185, also in Live in the Light : A Journal of Self-Enlightenment (2003) by Mary Engelbreit
- Light seeking light doth light of light beguile:
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies,
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes
- There are two kinds of light — the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.
- James Thurber, in Lanterns and Lances (1963).
- Love is not consolation, it is light.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 455-57.
- Now that the sun is gleaming bright,
Implore we, bending low,
That He, the Uncreated Light,
May guide us as we go.
- Attributed to Adam de Saint Victor. Old Latin Hymn said to have been sung at the death-bed of William the Conqueror.
- Misled by Fancy's meteor-ray,
By passion driven;
But yet the light that led astray,
Was light from Heaven.
- Robert Burns, The Vision.
- Hinc lucem et pocula sacra.
- Hence light and the sacred vessels.
- Motto of Cambridge University.
- Light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature, Chapter III.
- I shall light a candle of understanding in thine heart, which shall not be put out.
- II Esdras, XIV. 25.
- And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
- Genesis. I. 3.
- Against the darkness outer
God's light his likeness takes,
And he from the mighty doubter
The great believer makes.
- R. W. Gilder, The New Day, Part IV. Song XV.
- Mehr Licht!
- More light!
- Said to be the last words of Goethe.
- Wo viel Licht is, ist starker Schatten.
- Where there is much light, the shadows are deepest.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Götz von Berlichingen, I, 24.
- Blasted with excess of light.
- Thomas Gray, Progress of Poesy.
- Like our dawn, merely a sob of light.
- Victor Hugo, La Legende des Siécles.
- The true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
- John. I. 9.
- He was a burning and a shining light
- John. V. 35.
- Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.
- John, XII. 35.
- The Light that Failed.
- Rudyard Kipling, Title of Story.
- The prayer of Ajax was for light;
Through all that dark and desperate fight,
The blackness of that noonday night.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Goblet of Life, Stanza 8.
- Fra l' ombre un lampo solo
Basta al nocchier fugace
Che già ritrova il polo,
Già riconosce il mar.
- In the dark a glimmering light is often sufficient for the pilot to find the polar star and to fix his course.
- Metastasio, Achille, 1, 6.
- Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom.
- John Milton, Il Penseroso (1631), line 79.
- But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight;
Casting a dim religious light.
- Where art thou, beam of light? Hunters from the mossy rock, saw ye the blue-eyed fair?
- Ossian, Temora, Book VI.
- Ex luce lucellum.
- Out of light a little profit.
- William Pitt's description of the Window Tax. Also suggested by Robert Lowe, Chancellor, as a motto for matchboxes, when the British Government introduced a match tax, 1871.
- Those having lamp will pass them on to others.
- Plato, Republic, 328.
- Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
God said, "Let Newton be!" and all was light.
- Alexander Pope, Epitaph Intended for Sir Isaac Newton.
- Nur der Gewissenswurm schwärmt mit der Eule. Sünder und böse Geister scheun das Licht.
- Only the worm of conscience consorts with the owl. Sinners and evil spirits shun the light.
- Friedrich Schiller, Liebe und Cabale, V. I.
- But it is not necessary to light a candle to the sun.
- Algernon Sidney, Discourses on Government, Chapter II, Section XXIII.
- 'Twas a light that made
Darkness itself appear
A thing of comfort.
- Robert Southey, The Curse of Kehama, Padalon, Stanza 2.
- An unreflected light did never yet
Dazzle the vision feminine.
- Sir Henry Taylor, Philip Van Artevelde, Part I, Act I, scene 5, line 88.
- Thy prayer was "Light—more Light"—while Time shall last
Thou sawest a glory growing on the night,
But not the shadows which that light would cast,
Till shadows vanish in the Light of Light.
- Alfred Tennyson, Inscription on the Window in memory of Caxton, in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, London.
- A remnant of uneasy light.
- William Wordsworth, The Matron of Jedborough, and Her Husband.
- The light that never was on sea or land,
The consecration, and the poet's dream.
- William Wordsworth, Elegiac Stanzas. Suggested by a picture of Peele Castle in a storm.
- But ne'er to a seductive lay let faith be given;
Nor deem that "light that leads astray" is light from Heaven.
- William Wordsworth, To the Sons of Burns.