Are gods in the frequency domain, and we talk to them via regular rituals?

Ming
4 min readMay 21, 2023

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Many religions hold that gods are omnipresent. That is, god exists everywhere, at all times. In mathematics, how do you comprehend something that extends throughout time? You Fourier transform it.

Maybe god lives in the frequency domain. Any action of theirs affect every moment in our world. On the other hand, we attempt to send a message to gods by performing certain activities at regular intervals, hypothesizing that we can make a presence in the realm where — instead of time going by — frequency flows.

Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

Examples and Illustrations

One kind of religious ritual is attending communal worship services. In the 3 main Abrahamic religions, followers usually go on a weekly basis: Jews go to synagogues on Friday evenings or Saturday mornings (“Shabbat”), Christians go to churches on Sunday mornings, and Muslims go to mosques on Friday afternoons (“Salat”). Since there are

7 days 24 hours 60 minutes * 60 seconds = 604,800 seconds

in a week, one may say that they go to church at a frequency of 1/604,800 Hz, or 1.65 microhertz (μHz). Don’t talk like this in your everyday life, though.

A more frequent ritual is prayers. This is also where we see more variety across those three Abrahamic religions: Jews are expected to pray three times a day (Shacharit, Mincha, and Maariv or Arvit), which amount to 34.7 μHz. Christians don’t have a fixed rule for how often or when to pray, but a friend of mine prays before going to bed every night, so that’s 11.6 μHz for him. Muslims are required to pray five times daily, approximately 57.9 μHz.

Of course, I omitted an important detail in the above calculations. No one spreads the prayers evenly throughout the day — I don’t think Allah would enjoy seeing Their believers getting up from bed after only 4.8 hours of sleep. That’s quite destructive for sleep cycles. To account for the unevenness, we can decompose each religion’s prayer activities into separate data points by phase. We would have a phase-frequency diagram that looks like this:

On this plot, each point represents a praying ritual performed at a specific time during the day. Since each praying ritual are repeated daily, they all share the same frequency of 11.6 μHz. You can see that I have omitted the dot representing communal worship services. It would extend far beyond the Y-axis limit of this graph. Also, in practice, day-to-day variations of when certain activity is performed will “smudge” the dot into a small stain along the Y-axis.

You may learn about what your god looks like from a painting; your god may know about you from a graph like this.

Magnitude?

Now that we have shown how religious rituals can be described with phases and frequencies, one may wonder whether we can quantify rituals by magnitude as well. We would have a Bode plot then! That sounds fun, but these questions are hard to answer:

  • Magnitude of what? Number of people performing this activity at this time and this frequency? Sincerity?
  • Within a specific religion, can you compare magnitudes across different activities? Is going to church is “stronger” than saying a prayer? Is observing Christmas “better” than getting baptized?
  • Can similar activities be compared across religions? Is a Jewish prayer stronger than a Muslim one?

Many of these questions are invalid by nature, so I haven’t yet figured out a concept in religious studies that I can map “magnitude” to.

Afterword

As someone who learned about signal processing before studying religions, I found Fourier transformation a convenient tool for understanding omnipresence. This odd idea fascinates me, and I’m looking forward to a Sci-Fi production with this premise.

Disclaimer. Knowing that religious topics can be sensitive to some, I’d like to emphasize that I meant no disrespect by applying mortal science to divine concepts. I hope no religious believer gets offended, just like how atheists weren’t offended (AFAIK) when some people started to worship technology, either in the past (“cargo cults”) or recently.

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