THE LIGHT RETURNS – ARE WE DONE WITH THE DARK?
Light: The First of a Series on the Process of Creation
by Christopher Love
I must say, it is hard to relate to the metaphoric darkness and going in time of Winter while living in Santa Cruz, California. Yes, we have some rain, a few cold days, however, this is nothing when compared to weeks of snow and below freezing temperatures seen in much of our country. Blessed we are to have the opportunity for beach days and light in February.
In many spiritual traditions, and I think intuitively, Winter is a time for inwardness and introspection. The seeds of Fall’s harvest are waiting patiently in the cold dark earth for the time when the rays of the Spring Sun penetrate the soil and warm their Winter beds.
Once this occurs, something magic happens, the seeds begin to move. You can not see this movement with your naked eye, yet we know, through the advances of science, that a seed, when activated, begins a metabolic process, called germination, that results in an emerging sprout.
How does the seed know what it is and what kind of sprout it will send out into the world? The answer may be hidden in the strands of it’s DNA. If so, the seed is encoded with a blueprint, a life plan. This plan lays out a path for the seed to follow and determines what kind of plant being the seed will become and what fruit, if any, it will bear.
All of the plants we find growing on the earth are of benefit in some way to their environment. For many creatures, plants are simply food. Plants can also provide shelter and medicine. Millions of people worldwide use plant medicine to heal and cure many afflictions, and many modern drugs are derivatives of plant based medicines. Plants have purpose. Their purpose is not activated until the right conditions appear for germination to occur.
Winter, darkness, dormancy, stillness and silence are a part of the path of the seed on it’s way to becoming something established in the world. Perhaps we can learn from the seed’s process. Many people today have forgotten their dreams and visions for life. Life in the modern world has become busy and full.
Technology was intended as a gift, something that would give us more time to do the things we love, follow our dreams and be with our families. Although it has afforded us many time saving luxuries (I do love my clothes washing machine), there is a price we pay. Take a look at how many service trucks there are on the road today. We work hard to maintain the technological infrastructure of the life we have come to regard as normal.
How much time and resources does it take for you to maintain your way of life? Do you feel you have the time to take good care of your self, your family and your community the way you would like too? Are you afforded the luxury to follow your heart and create the life of your deepest desire? Do you even know what that is?
Getting back to Winter… my take is that most of us are so busy with the daily grind of life we do not have the time to follow the example of our seedling friends. How many of us take the time to go into the darkness afforded by Winter’s presence and really think about out lives, where we are coming from and where we are going? Are we willing to take the time to make this a practice, and what would this practice look like?
A dive into the dark could look like what some call meditation. What is meditation? Perhaps it is simply a time to do as the seed does, become dormant and sit patiently in a silent place. In today’s loud and busy life, where does such a place exist?
The benefits of mediation have been touted for thousands of years by many spiritual traditions. In recent years, scientific research has shown that people who practice regular meditation experience less stress, are less prone to illness, are healthier and may even live longer than those who do not meditate. Why then has this tool for life been overlooked in our modern quest for healthy, happy life?
The seed in the stillness of the earth is resting in total peace. We can tap into this peaceful energy by taking time out from the business of our lives. According to the master teachers, taking the time to let go, relax and empty ourselves of the burdens and responsibilities that we carry in life will bring us true peace. Inspiration and creativity are born from peace and emptiness. We must clean the slate of our mind, so to speak, and prepare a fertile soil for the seed of inspiration to be planted.
Relaxing into the silent place is not something that can wait for a planned vacation. Besides, vacations are usually packed with activities that we do for our families and ourselves because we are not doing them the rest of the year due to our busy schedules. Taking time to be in silence is rare in today’s world, so rare that many people have become uncomfortable with silence. This is illustrated by always having the T.V. on when no one is watching it or being plugged into technology, such as, cell phones, portable computing and music devices in all the spaces between other life activities.
In pre-modern days, silence and stillness were naturally occurring. Now, just like the seed, a return to the silence is necessary for our creative potential to be activated. Is it not possible that we contain the plan for our highest creative potential within us, just like the seed does? Are you willing to find out what is encoded in your DNA?
Perhaps a retreat from the busy world into the silent and still place within does not create the emptiness for something to come to us from outside ourselves, rather we empty of all we have filled ourselves up with so we can find something that has always been there, waiting dormant in the dark recess of our hearts.
Let us explore this process together and discover what lies within. What we may find may be surprising. Won’t you join me? Begin with five minutes in the morning upon awakening and five minutes in the evening before slumber. Just allow yourself to be, without thinking about things. Be easy with yourself. Allow thoughts to come and go. It will not matter if you get to the place where thought stops. This simple, short practice will give you many benefits, including a renewed sense of well-being.
This year, I will be using this column to explore the process of creation as it is birthed from the depths of the still place of silence. Feel free to write me and let me know about your experience with this process, no matter where you are in it. To stop everything for just a few moments a day will not only bring you more peace, it will be of benefit to the busy world in which we live. Thank you for being.
Christopher Love is a Social Sustainability Facilitator for Empowerment.Net. His E-mail is: Love@Empowerment.Net.