“Beings of pure energy” are oft-used tropes in sci-fi. They have no physical bodies, tend to be “enlightened,” and transcend time and space. But, is this transcendent state possible? Xaq Rzetelny at Ars Technica investigates:
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If you’ve experienced science fiction in any of its many forms, chances are you’ve encountered “energy beings.” Unlike the other aliens in sci-fi, they have no ‘physical’ bodies but rather exist as beings of pure energy. They’re usually able to flit about the Universe at will and often demonstrate great abilities befitting their advanced, ultra-evolved state.
They are also typically portrayed as more powerful, more enlightened, and possessing a deeper understanding of the universe. It’s almost a given in most science fiction that sufficiently advanced civilizations will eventually develop this way. Converting themselves into beings of pure energy seems like the ultimate stage in the development of any civilization. It’s a ubiquitous trope—as if “pure energy” is our own mass cultural idea of humankind’s far future.