We live in a dark and cold world. Many of us are confused; others feel alone. It is hard to find our way in a material world that conceals the path of truth. Our souls wander the earth in search of our destiny, in search of some peace. The good news is that we are empowered to deal with this darkness: every single encounter allows us the opportunity to bring in some light and warmth to others and to ourselves. We have the ability to shine; to light up the darkest crevices. Every interaction offers us the choice.
Forms of Darkness
There is a form of darkness that is merely the absence of light. For instance, when someone makes a mistake in judgment due to ignorance or inexperience. The confusion and error is a state of darkness, yet it does not have its own substance — it is not necessarily malicious. Certain information and experience could have illuminated the situation and not allowed for the error.
Similarly, a child could be deprived of a nurturing parent, which would cause a level of insecurity, but it may not become a force of its own, and with a special measure of nurturing one can supplement and provide for the proper nourishment and validation of the child’s identity.
There is however, a level of abuse, which actually creates a darkness and fear with “a life of its own.” Not merely an absence of something, that can be supplemented, but an actual force that now has to be dealt with.
There are people who maliciously cause destruction, not out of ignorance, but because they may be corrupt or greedy. Ignorance may have been the initial cause that led them to that place, but at this point it has become a very real part of their personality.
Dispelling the Darkness
We always have two choices: Either to illuminate others or to add to their misery. There is no third option. As the wise say, “If you are not busy being born, you are busy dying.” If you are not part of the cure, you are part of the problem. If you are not bringing light into this world you are contributing to its darkness.
Psychologically speaking, we need to achieve two things in dispelling the darkness in our own psyches and lives. First, we must introduce light – true knowledge that illuminates and brings clarity. We must also bring in love and compassion, which nurtures the soul, like water that revitalizes a withering flower. Second, in the areas where the darkness has manifested itself to the point where is has a life (substance) of its own, we need to find ways to channel and harness that “life” (energy) into positive areas, and ultimately transform it into a force for light. Like containers or words – we use the actual dark matter of the material universe to express and channel the sublime. We do that by learning from our mistakes (in darkness) and using that knowledge constructively, to help others.
Indeed, we can say that darkness as absence of light can never truly be elevated or transformed, because it has no substance of its own; it is nothing more than the absence of light, and thus is dispelled by shining a light. Darkness as substance can actually be redeemed and transformed.
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