Lighting the Darkness
At this time of year when fall is ending and winter is coming in this part of the world, we move physically into the darkest time of year. This is when there is the least activity in much of the animal kingdom, and almost all of the plant kingdom The life that’s been manifested in the nature kingdoms – in animals and trees and other plants – begins to withdraw and internalize. It is also an opportunity for we in the human kingdom to do the same: to do fewer outer activities – or at least focus less of our attention and energy into the outer activities and expressions – and begin to withdraw our attention more to the inner kingdom. It’s a wonderful time to regroup and reflect, to spend more time on our awakening, on our relationship with God, and to sort out some things that need to be sorted out in there before engaging into the more creative parts of the year again.
One of the interesting things to me about this time of year is that in almost all cultures that experience this physically darker time of year, people in these cultures have intentionally made holidays. I believe that this is because there is an inclination in us that when things get dark, we’re to bring forth light. We do that culturally, and we do that individually. If tonight you walk into a room in your home and it’s dark, you don’t just wander around in the dark room looking for whatever you’re looking for or doing whatever you’re going to do; as you step into that place of darkness, you immediately, even automatically, turn on a light. In olden days it was lanterns or candles, not electricity, that was used. But however we manifest it, we bring light to dark places.
We may not think about that much, and may not realize that that’s inherent in us, but that’s just what we do. And we not only do it in our physical lives by bringing light to a dark room, we also do it by bringing hope to a difficult situation, by bringing comfort to a sad situation, and by bringing friendship to lonely situation. As a matter of fact, even if we’re not consciously doing those things in any outward way, we’re still doing it…because the fact is, we are light. The essence of our souls is the same stuff that is God. We are emanations of that very same living, loving, radiant essence that is God’s being; it is our being as well. So wherever our soul is, it brings light. And wherever our soul is the most focused, it brings the most potent light.
If the soul is only dimly radiant, peripherally present somewhere, then it brings a dim, weak light. If it’s more fully focused somewhere, it brings a powerful, dynamic light. Our souls’ light goes most to where we hold our attention. That’s an important key in our spiritual journey and in our spiritual awakening process, in our healing processes, and in our relationships. Because, if we hold our attention into the dark places – the ego, selfishness, anger, resentment – that’s where our energy goes as well. It’s not the experiencing of them that is the problem; it’s the fixing of our focus onto those things. If we’re holding our focus in that area through the mind or the emotions or the imagination, then what we’re doing is getting further immersed in the darkness and pain. Mind, emotions, body, and imagination don’t have the power to transmute that, because those dark things are inherent in those vessels.
What does have the power to transmute them is love, and love is not inherent in any of those vessels; it’s a component of the soul that infuses those vessels to the degree that the soul is present within them. If we want more of that light of loving, then we need to allow more of our soul to be present in what we’re doing.
So this month, as you turn on your Christmas tree lights or light a candle, or even flip on the light switch as you enter a dark room, remember that in this season of bringing light into the darkness, the most important light is the loving light within you. Let it shine.
Steven* (By Steven McAfee)