Light and Shadow #03 August 21, 2017
We are drawn naturally to the light. Instinctively we turn our gaze toward the rising sun and search out its setting in the western sky. There are many many levels to this natural desire for light. The mind has an inbuilt evolutionary characteristic to seek the light of more. Outwardly that more is directed toward fulfilling desires and goals: more education, a better job, a nicer home, a Tesla! The practice of meditation utilizes the mind’s inherent capacity for more and directs it inward toward the light of consciousness, the light of our truest self. That light is the source of everything everywhere, of every creative impulse. Given the opportunity, the mind will naturally move toward this light. The practice of meditation is that opportunity.
On August 21 there will be a total eclipse of the sun across the United States displaying the temporary darkness that naturally occurs when the moon passes in front of our star, the sun. We take for granted the sun’s rise each morning and when she sets, we bid her good night in her magnificent display, confident she will rise again. It is at times like this, when the darkness, that our ancestors did not recognize as temporary, crosses the sun and blocks it from our view that we are palpably reminded of its power. And in that, united in our common humanity, for we all rely on its gifts even as we attempt to fathom our individual place in the universe.
We recognize the shadow effect of the moon and understand what is temporarily being taken from us. We are emboldened to look, to examine, because we know it will return. But what if it didn’t? What if the light was blocked in a more permanent way? Not totally blocked, but just enough so we could survive but not enough that we would thrive. What then? Would we grow use to it and make do? I suspect we would put all our resources toward finding a solution and in the mean time, make the best of it. Such is human nature. If the puzzle was not solved and enough time passed, would our children’s children forget that such a light once existed?
This is the story told by the great masters of consciousness. We once had access to the fullness of light within, but we have forgotten. We have an inkling of this light and we catch glimpses here and there, but it's fleeting. The path of return has been lost. What’s even sadder, is that most have forgotten it ever existed. And if a thing, anything, is unknown, it may as well not exist at all, period. How many things are hidden from our view in the shadows? Shadows come in all sizes and shapes. The ones more easily recognized like sorrow, despair, ignorance and those that cause a kind of blindness, mesmerizing awareness with their bright but always temporary display.
Life is precious. We must discover all that is available to us, what has been hidden from view, so that we can live life to the fullest. In order to fulfill the promise made at birth, to add to life, to celebrate it each and every day, we must render ourselves as full, whole and piercing as the light that floods a dark room when turned on. In doing so we uncover, nurture and use the gifts we have, all of them, in service of life.
Light is something to be celebrated in all its many forms, the light of knowledge, of clarity, of expansion and movement. The light is unitary and it shines on everything, including what we would perhaps rather not see, what is harsh and even ugly. But that brings contrast, offering perspective and in that, choice. What are your shadows showing you? How will you celebrate your light?
Bring The Light!