September 8, 2011

How Does Your Light Shine? – (Part I of II)

"How does your light shine in the halls of Shambala?" - Daniel Moore, American Songwriter

The light from a single match flame can light up even the darkest places.
The light from a single match flame can light up even the darkest places.

When I was six years old, which, for the record, was almost 50 years ago, my family went on vacation to Lookout Mountain in Tennessee. We lived in Nashville at the time and I have two specific memory recalls from that summer trip. First, me and my middle brother Ron, aged 5 at the time, both had a severe case of mouth ulcers that resulted in us having to eat cold tomato soup and have our mouths coated with some kind of ultraviolet solution that stained them purple. The other memory was a guided cave tour we took somewhere along the way. I remember the guide leading our group into the cave, down deeper underground as the air got colder and we received a touristy history of the caves.

There came a point, probably at the deepest part of the trail where our cave guide pulled everyone to a halt and asked us to gather round. There was some kind of a light source casting an interesting glow in the cave alcove where we all circled up, and the cave guide told us he was going to extinguish the light, so that we could experience true darkness. When he did flip the switch and killed the light, it became so pitch dark, I could not even see my hand held directly in front of my face.

After some nervous laughter and semi-frightened gasps, the cave guide spoke reassuringly and told us he was going to strike a match. He did and interestingly that single match provided enough light in that pitch dark alcove that we could all see one another again. There were still pockets of darkened shadows in the cave alcove, but I will always remember the power that a single flame at the end of a match held to illumine the pitch cave space. It would not have taken much more to dispel all of the darkness in that underground alcove.

We Are The Light Of The World

There is a powerful metaphysical lesson to be learned from that incident, which holds incalculable spiritual and creative value, if perceived correctly and accepted as the principle of truth it demonstrates. The light always casts out the darkness. Any truth student earnestly seeking the path of self awareness and the authentic realization of their personal divinity has, at one time or another, in one form or another, been introduced to the idea that, in our spiritual essence, we not only come from the light, but are in truth, individual manifestations of the One Divine Light, as represented by God in any of the many forms and names by which God is known throughout the world.

In a world seemingly grounded in fear and separation, it seems easier to believe in the darkness and the triumph of so called evil, than it does in the power of the light to overcome. If we only look with our eyes at the external world, it is easy to gather evidence that the darkness seems to be winning. Wars, disease, famine, corporate and governmental corruption, genocide, biological weapons, rape, murder, drug trade violence, slave trading, child abuse and so many more examples seem to provide ample evidence that darkness, some would say evil, is the power that holds sway in the world. Yet, in a very real sense, it is a matter of physical scientific principle that darkness is nothing more than the absence of light. It has no actual properties itself; and, in the very instant that a source of light is introduced, the darkness immediately disappears.

"You are the light of the world." - Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world.” – Matthew 5:14-16

A Course In Miracles encourages its students to not only recite the affirmation, “I am the light of the world” as an ongoing practice, but further to accept personal responsibility for the creative and healing power implied by the import of its affirmative truth.  In Christian teachings, Jesus himself encouraged us each to understand that not only was he the light of the world, but that we too were also the light of the world.  We are each of us created by the Light, as the Light. Stated another way, “in the image and likeness” of God, the one true source of light. In our spiritual essence, our Divine Identity, we are pure light, and therefore, have absolute power and dominion over all forms of darkness.

What If You KNEW You Were A Light Being?

In 1985, film director Ron Howard released his otherworldly film classic, Cocoon, which featured extraterrestrial beings made almost entirely of light, a light with the power to heal everything and effectively regenerate aging bodies back into their youthful vitality. Once again, the power of the light is emphasized. Yet, in our humanness, we seem to routinely forget that at our spiritual core, we too are beings of light.

What if you knew for sure you were a light being with unlimited power to heal? Would you assume responsibility for your power?
What if you knew for sure you were a light being, like the extraterrestrials in the 1985 movie Cocoon, with unlimited power to heal? Would you assume personal responsibility for your power?

All too often in the midst of life’s struggles whether personal, interpersonal or collective, we humans demonstrate an almost over abiding tendency to abdicate the power of our light and instead believe that the forces of fear and darkness can actually overthrow the light. Yet, the metaphysical and scientific principle unerringly proves otherwise every single time.

At this juncture,  philosophical inquiry would ask: why is this so? In moments of crisis, why do humans tend to have a crisis of faith, go into doubt and first believe the power of darkness is greater than the power of light? Why do humans often tend to believe their personal power is no match for the forces of darkness? Why do humans often times shrink back into the safety of their own comfort zones and too often fail to test the limitless boundaries of their personal power? These may be valid inquiries to some, but can often lead to circular reasoning that can feel like being on an endless hamster wheel of motion, never actually going anywhere.

Me? I am not so interested in “why” we do it. With even a little bit of inquiry, it seems to me that all investigations into “why” will ultimately distill down into two principal reasons for abdicating the power of our light. The first possibility is we just flat out do not believe in God, the Light, or the power it implies. Not believing in a higher power, either outside of us or within us, will definitely lead to a belief in the power of darkness to triumph in the world. The second possibility is we do believe in it, but are afraid to assume personal responsibility for wielding the light. There are various reasons we might feel afraid ranging from feelings of unworthiness on one end to being crucified by the world at the other extreme. So, we either do not believe at all, or we believe, but are afraid. There really are no other meaningful answers to the “why” question.

I am more interested in what, in any given moment, an individual believes about the power implied by a higher power and their own personal power in relation to it. It is of little interest to me “why” they either believe in or deny their power. I am only interested in what they believe about their power. I am interested in learning if they are interested in learning how to turn up their personal power, how to demonstrate more of the light upon which their essential being is founded.

If they are, then we have a basis for further inquiry. Until then, everything, including life itself, is a waste of time and space.

Continued in Part II…

© Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved by Rick Busby.


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