Coming out of the Dark

July 2, 2011

Leaving a light on is not the same as letting your own light shine.

Most humans seem to be somewhat afraid of the dark (especially when alone at night) – and go out of their way to avoid it. Only the blind seem unaffected by darkness – although even they can usually detect the presence or absence of light (through the “third eye” of their pineal gland). Some blind people can even “echo locate” – like bats and dolphins. With a little instruction and practice, even most sighted people can develop their other senses and learn to feel or “sense” the “energy” (or “aura”) of what is around them in the dark – yet most people still seem to become more fearful even in dim light, let alone where there does not seem to be any (visible) light at all.

The night sky may seem darker to us than when the sun is visible during the day, but it is rarely even close to as dark as it used to be in the past due to the number of lights and fires shining so bright all night that they are visible to astronauts orbiting the planet. Not only major streets and various “important” man-made structures, but even the borders of entire countries are clearly visible from (the darkness of the vast space beyond the tiny blue marble we call “home”).

Some cities may seem to “never sleep”, but most people in them do for at least part of the night and often shut themselves in (even if they stay awake). With very few exceptions, anyone not inside their “home” or working a “late shift” tends to be assumed as “up to no good”. Unlike many other life forms on this planet, humans are not naturally “nocturnal” – and just being awake and outside at night is often enough to attract the attention and suspicion of “security” personnel and “law enforcement” officers.

The importance of sleep for good health cannot be emphasized enough. More people than realize it are chronically sleep-deprived (often as a result of artificial lighting and the all-night activity it allows). Like with sleep, humans are healthiest and happiest not only when they get enough natural sunlight, but when they get enough darkness and quiet in their life.

It’s important to be sure that the light at the end of our tunnel vision is not an oncoming train before rushing toward it like a moth. Looking too long at a bright light can blind us and make it impossible to ever see anything else again. Many religions worship the sun (light) as God – and have warnings about looking directly at the Source (of all “illumination”).

Light and darkness are relative – not just to each other, but to how they are perceived. Light is usually considered good and darkness either neutral or evil. Depending upon your perspective, darkness may be what we (don’t) see without the presence or addition of light, or light could be what fills the void in the absence or lack of darkness. Either way, like yin and yang, darkness would be better appreciated as the natural and necessary complement to light than wishing it were eliminated, reduced, or replaced.

What, when and how we eat, sleep, exercise, and innercise affects every aspect of our (personal and professional, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) life. We do not adapt, grow, and evolve during active stimulation, but in the “passive” pause(s) between it.

A black hole is now known to be at the center of every galaxy. Rather than being “collapsed suns” or “dark stars” that suck light and everything else into them like a vacuum, black holes are now known to be (somewhat) “selective” about what they “swallow” – perhaps even more so than many people (or sharks). Worm holes probably do not really exist, but if they did, they would end in a light hole. Either way, what goes in does not seem to (ever) come (back) out – at least the same way (in any form). If energy cannot be created or destroyed, it must be transformed into something else. No-thing exists in a vacuum. Content requires context – and contrast.

The essence of life is time and relationships. Time is measured by the speed of light (in a vacuum). Unlike light, time Perhaps it is not light, but darkness that is actually faster and more “constant”. Either way, light, like everything else in the (“known”) universe is “relative”. Everything is energy and all is connected in the “uni-verse” – and within our own bodies. We are all apiece – as “holons” (whole parts of a greater whole made of whole parts) – simultaneously “nowhere” and “now here”.

What we call darkness (and space) is not (just) what seems to separate us – but what connects us (and may even be necessary for light and any kind of “individuality” to exist).

The black hole in the center of our eye is called the “pupil”. Another word for pupil is student – and we can learn a lot from our eyes.
The colored part of the eye around the “pupil” is called the “iris”. Iris was the Greek Goddess of the Rainbow. Iridology is the study of the iris – and it’s relationship to the rest of the body (and our personality). Shining light though a prism allows us to “split” (white) light into a rainbow of colors (we can see separately). Placing another prism at the end of the rainbow “re-unites” all colors “back” into (it’s original) “white” light. This is more than a metaphor for just light and how we “see” (it).

The eyes are often called the “windows of the soul”. Windows allow looking both in and out. Humans not only receive light through their eyes (and pineal gland), but also emit and transmit light (from many other parts of their body). No (exterior or artificial) light is needed for us to see, sense, send, or be truly “seen” – for who we are (as beings of light – and darkness).

Like aperture of a camera lens, the size of pupil determines how much light enters (or leaves) the eye at any given time. Photography is really recording light. Seeing takes place in our minds (and “imagination”) – where light is “re-coded”. The new field of “epigenetics” reveals that how our cell membranes “encode” everything they contact has more influence on us than anything else (on either side) – and thus what we think and say to ourselves and believe may more access and influence over us than our environment, activities, or genetic inheritance.

How the iris reacts (especially to light) is an indication of many aspects of our physical, emotional, and mental state – including our “sensitivity” and innate “appetite” (for life). Pupils increase whenever we LIKE what we see – and want to let more (light) in. Pupils expand NOT when there is more light, but when there is more darkness – either in an effort to make it easier for any light present or perhaps to make it easier to shine more of our own inner light outward.

The area of the iris closest to the black hole of the pupil is associated with digestion – which is one of the most fundamental and necessary functions (of every cell) in our body. More body space, time, and energy is devoted to digestion than anything else. It is often easier and more important to control what we put into, and let out of, our open mouths than almost anything else we do (other than what we say to ourselves – especially about ourselves).

The digestive tract (from the mouth to the anus) is, for all practical purposes, “outside” the body. We are not our thoughts – and we are NOT (really much of anything) just because we may think (we are). What we do and/or don’t matters more. We are also not so much what we eat, as what we assimilate (and allow ourselves to eliminate). Some things we take in pass right through us, some influence us for a period of time, some gets stuck in an “outer space” inside us, and the rest actually becomes (not just part of us, but all of) us. Reincarnation (and recycling) is simply the recognition that what enters or leaves us is something else before and after it is “us”.

What we call a “gut feeling” is often more “accurate” (and immediate) than what we call emotion or thought. The intestines may even be more “intelligent” (and essential) than either the heart or brain. It’s usually a good idea to “trust your gut”. Hearts and even brains can be “replaced”. That is not (yet) true for our intestines. What you “hunger” for could be a good indicator not only of what you need (in the form of food and fuel for your “inner fire of desire”), but also what you may have to offer – and share with others.

Rather than ignore, deny, or fear our “dark side”, we would be better acknowledging, embracing, and incorporating every “aspect” and “part” of ourselves into an integrated whole. Our lives revolve around what we say to ourselves and believe as much as they do around people, places, and activities. Our planet may orbit the sun, but our sun – and everything else in our galaxy – revolves around a black hole. Emptiness is as much the center and essence of all that exists as feeling we are all part of one, and one part of all, with parts of all within each one of us.

An essential part of creation and innovation is not just observation and evaluation, but appreciation (before, during, and after).

An essential part of digestion, health, life, and perhaps even the entire universe itself, is not just stimulation, “perturbation”, discrimination, integration, assimilation, incorporation, and “transformation”, but also “elimination”, “letting go”, and making more (dark, empty) “space” – for rest, relaxation, and recuperation. A voluntary vacation is usually preferable to involuntary evacuation.

It is possible to go many weeks without any food at all – but only a few minutes without breathing. Unlike protein and fat, there are no “essential” carbohydrates, yet we need sufficient sugar as much as blood and oxygen for our bodies to function. If we are not feeding ourselves from outside sources, even respiration and blood and oxygen circulation require fueling ourselves from “resources” within.

Inspiration is related to, but not the same as, inhalation (in the same way that exhalation is not the same as expiration). Choosing to go without food for a period of time is called fasting – which refers not to its speed or duration but to (the dedication of) sticking with it.

Less is not always more, but the less fear, the less stuff, the less complexity, and less distraction we deal with, the more time, space, energy, freedom, and opportunity we usually find to make the most of what attracts our attention and fills our lives in its absence. A shadow exists not only because of the presence of light, but also because something is blocking it. Darkness (and our shadow selves) may not only be a necessary for our light to come out of, but also for our light to enter into – especially if we wish light to spread and grow. The same is true regarding what we refer to as negativity and positivity.

Rather than fearing the dark, perhaps we would be better perceiving and welcoming it as open space – and an invitation to seek, shine, and share more of the light within us (as well as required to rest and retreat into to to discover the dreams we desire to bring to light).

That’s my perspective. What’s yours?

© 2011, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.

2 Responses to “Coming out of the Dark”

  1. After reading your blog, I feel compelled to do this: turn off the lights, move deeply into the dark and the soft layers of my bedding, and curl into and embrace all of myself and bask in all that is and all that I discover there, slowing down to open and listen, curious, relaxed, receptive, awake, aware, attentive.
    Deep communion.
    Thanks for this gift!
    … turning off the lights …
    xo Kazia

  2. Wow! That’s great! Thanks so much for your comment.

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