We have to learn, so to speak, to get out of our own light, because with our personal self – this idolatrously worshiped self – we are continually standing in the light of this wider self – this not-self, if you like – which is associated with us and which this standing in the light prevents. We eclipse the illumination from within. And in all the activities of life, from the simplest physical activities to the highest intellectual and spiritual activities, our whole effort must be to get out of our own light.
In Brain Pickings, it was mentioned that there was a time when Alan Watts was beginning to popularize Eastern teachings in the West said:
Obviously, if we have to get out of the way of the traffic on Hollywood Boulevard, it is no good being aware of everything that is going on in the universe; we have to be aware of the approaching bus. And this is what the brain does for us: It narrows the field down so that we can go through life without getting into serious trouble.
But … we can and ought to open ourselves up and become what in fact we have always been from the beginning, that is to say … much more widely knowing than we normally think we are. We should realize our identity with what James called the cosmic consciousness and what in the East is called the Atman-Brahman. The end of life in all great religious traditions is the realization that the finite manifests the Infinite in its totality. This is, of course, a complete paradox when it is stated in words; nevertheless, it is one of the facts of experience.
So I’m going to continue letting go, rushing around too much trying to do this and that and let the light of what is meant to be, for me, find me, as it will, naturally.
I was drawn to this beautiful photo by Carrie Hilgert who took it at a recent wedding. As a woman with Asian blood surging through my veins I recognise this photo so very well; the mehndi on the bride’s hands she would have had applied so very diligently the night before her wedding 💒 accompanied by her hopes and dreams lighting up her soul alongside the bright 🔆 and happy future she envisions waiting quietly and patiently for her.
The Hindi word “Mehndi” is used to describe the henna plant, the act of henna painting. It is also a way of making the sacred visible, and communicating with a higher power. Religious and cultural divisions aside, there are also other myths surrounding that reddish-brown tattoo. One of the most popular beliefs are the deeper the colour, the stronger the bond between bride and groom.
The candle and its light serves to remind us that darkness is ever present but so is light. And Light, light is ever so important in all our lives. We cannot live without it. Our souls crave it all the time. When I lie on the grass with my face turned towards the Sun ☀ I feel all my cells and atoms in my psyche come alive, become alive once again. And there’s more, I feel a sense of peace, a communion and union with the world around me. That everything’s ok even if it’s not. And for that brief, special moment in time, I feel held and comforted.
Carrie is right when she says that Light is so very important. There is a wonderful quote that says:
There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle.
How true. We long for the Light and I’d like to think that the Light longs, equally, for us. It is our Home, the illuminating answer to our questions; more so when the night has been unkind.
So thank you Carrie, for this special reminder and in turn, paving the way for the urge to write, to come forth once again, from its place of sleep.
With only a few days left in this month’s theme of Love, I choose to share this inspiring post with you, from Broken Light.
Murakami once said something to the effect of “you can only know darkness because of light”.
I agree. One cannot exist without the other. Suffering and Hope co-exist. Even if it’s hard and near impossible, trust that there is life and activity beneath the frozen ground. Trust, because it is true.
Be well and be kind.
And may you all have Light (and Hope) even in your darkest moments.
Photo taken by contributor Kyle Anderson, a man from Saskatchewan, Canada. Kyle is a 41-year-old health care professional who has battled depression and addiction for most of his life. He escapes by letting the camera become his mind’s eye, and hopes that each photo he takes allows others to see the world as he sees it, even for a split second.
About this photo:
I call this submission ‘the Lights of Love’, not just because it was taken on Valentine’s Day, but because it show us that even in the darkest of night our lights can shine in heavenly beauty.
The Lights of Love.
Photo taken by contributor Ty Fitzgerald, a man who has been diagnosed with Bipolar II. Ty has a fondness for Lo-fi and Lux filters because they intensify shadows, highlights and colors. Such photos visually represent the way he sees the world, a little brighter and darker than he imagines those without bipolar disorder see the world.
About this photo:
“This photo of a lamppost is compelling because of a menacing sky moving towards a single light. I think this can be taken two ways. It is either the power of light holding steadfast against the storm, or the certainty that the storm will destroy the light. In Florida we have incredible sunsets with amazing clouds almost every day, but I was so overwhelmed with these clouds, I had to run out of my house and photograph them.”