Light and Dark
Why do we refer to the light as good and darkness as evil?
Don’t animals take refuge under the darkness of the trees at night? Do we not get the most healing sleep while it is dark? What is the point of villainizing darkness? Heaven is thought to be light and bright while hell is thought of as a dark, fiery pit. Well, how is it so dark if there’s so much fire? Seems like it would be pretty bright in there. We look to the sky and call it heaven, but we see photos of outer space and it’s dark out there.
Maybe we all need a little bit of darkness from time to time.Perhaps heaven is on a distant star or sun. But suns and stars are big balls of flames that would kill us. Hell is depicted as below the surface of the earth. Earth nourishes us and gives us life. Why would we think anything bad is at her core? I have to ask, “Is ‘light versus dark’ a valid metaphor?”
A little while ago, a friend and I had dinner and deep conversation. I mentioned “the dark side.” I was surprised when he said he thought I should just say “good” or “evil,” not “light” or “dark.” I wondered, searching the eyes of this friend who has skin the color of cappuccino, if he was being sensitive. I didn’t see what he really meant. He was just asking me to think about why dark is bad. That’s what I’m asking now.
I was in meditation last night in the park—the darkest part of the park, in the shadow of a giant tree—so no one would see me. I like the shadows because they envelop me and make me feel safe. My eyes adjust and I see and hear things no one else does. Neptune runs patrol while I ground myself, pray and listen to heaven and earth. I love it out there. It is a completely different experience than the park in the light of day. It feels sacred. There’s nothing evil out there that isn’t also there during the day. The evil cannot see me if I use the darkness as protection.
It will take time to break the habit of referring to “the dark side”: Since Star Wars was released during my most formative years, it’s drilled into my psyche pretty strongly. But this is a habit I must break. I suppose I need to stop wishing you light, even though it sounds beautiful alongside the words “love” and “happiness.” What happens if what you really need is the darkness? I pray for the light of exposure to fall over people doing evil things, and for the lives of those who just want to be safe while walking their life paths.
Maybe the ego wishing everyone light isn’t what our higher selves or our divine creator needs us to ask for. Maybe we all need a little bit of darkness from time to time. I can only speak for myself; most of my growth has been during my “darkest” hours. When tears fall, when prayers for help are uttered after we have fought our most valiant fights—that is when strength comes in.
It was in the quiet darkness that this epiphany came to me last night.That’s not to say we shouldn’t let our light shine. We need the light to see our way through life. We need to be light for others who struggle too. We can light up the world with truth, joy, compassion and love. But we also have to be comfortable in the darkness. It isn’t bad; it’s just dark. In my experience, the dark serves and protects us.
So, today for a change, I wish you “favorable conditions” for accessing your growth, love, good fortune and good health. I will find a better way to say it. Until then, good day, my loves!