During the darkest time of the year, we light candles and string garlands of electric lights inside and out to celebrate the return of light. It makes the long nights more tolerable and downright cheerful. There can be great comfort in the winter season here in the northern hemisphere when we cuddle up around a fireplace and watch the flames dance.
Light and shadow are not opposing forces; they are inextricably bound together, dependent on one another. Light without shadow is amorphous, shapeless and featureless. Spirit dancing only in light cannot experience and grow. It cannot express its own fullness unless there is contrast.
Shadow and darkness are creations of Spirit as much as light is. They are not independent forces pitched in a battle against light. They are simply the light dimmed down as far as spiritually possible. That dimming down is the existential requirement for a world of infinite manifestation. It allows Spirit to express and experiment. Creativity is the essence and nature of Spirit.
Spirit has to create; it has no other choice. By doing so, it grows in Self-awareness.
Right now we are living in a time when the shades of grey seem to be intensified into starker and deeper contrasts day by day. Black and white thinking is prevalent, especially in politics. Fear turns more frequently into violence, locally and around the world. How do we deal with this as travelers on a spiritual path?
First of all, let it be. It is not “wrong”. It is Spirit experiencing stark contrasts. Recognize what position on the grey scale is yours at this moment, and be ready for change. For change you will. And so will others. Do not concern yourself with their present position. That too will change. For the world we know is changing.
Plato’s cave is a perfect allegory for our condition right now. Inside the cave all we can see is shadows dancing on the walls. Only those who dare to free themselves and venture outside into the wide-open world of sunlight will perceive the full color spectrum our eyes were meant to see.
Keep in mind that every person on this planet and every being beyond is an expression of Spirit. No exceptions. As we enter the earth density, we get cut off from our memory of Oneness. We enter selfhood for the sake of experience. We experience isolation, hurt, abandonment, abuse, but also joy, pleasure, exhilaration and our own creativity. Our senses and emotions are the reason for entering into this most challenging environment in the first place. Pure spirit does not have those luxuries. They do provide contrast, and therefore experience. We entered into the earth plane intentionally and voluntarily. But we forget and get lost in our painful feelings and emotions.
Next time you meet a particularly obnoxious person, try to remember: Everyone is trying to find their way home. This one may have a different idea how to get there than you do. But there is not just one right way. Many circuitous paths lead to great discoveries, and sometimes loosing yourself in a maze is exactly how to find your Self again!
Allow others their detours and byways. Allow yourself to get lost without judgment. As you are Spirit exploring and expressing, so is the person you judge, blame or resent. What you see in them is a part of you that you have been hiding from yourself. Why would you do that? Because as children our culture teaches us shame. Shame is the most toxic of all feelings, and it leads to great suffering. When you can love all the aspects of you that you secretly are ashamed of, you can find peace and joy in yourself, and that is the prerequisite for Peace on Earth.
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ So said the christed one. You are yourself one of his brothers and sisters. Treat yourself kindly and with regard for the Spirit Within You.
‘You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.’ So said the enlightened one. Treat yourself kindly and with regard for the Spirit Within You.
To the degree you are able to do that, you will recognize the suffering in those who struggle with fear and hate. You will be able to treat them with compassion. Do the best you can. Nobody can ask more of you than that. Not even you. Try not to hurt anybody, including yourself. Take a deep breath when you feel exasperated, and allow your body to relax. Suspend judgment, not discernment. Walk steady in your truth, and let others find their own path, however rocky it might be.
There are greater forces at work in the world right now than human ambition. ‘Trust Allah, but tie up your camels.’ Says an old Arab proverb. Take care of your daily obligations, and trust that the world is unfolding exactly as it should. All is well in all of creation! And you’re not the one running it.
Relax and enjoy the Holiday Season!
Wishing you and your loved ones peace, health, joy and prosperity in the year to come!