Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spiritual Illumination


A Light Shines

Mar 16, 2023

A Bridge

A Bridge

Androscoggin Swinging Bridge

Brunswick-Topsham, Maine

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His [Jesus'] disciples said to him, "Show us the place where you are, for it is necessary for us to seek it." He said to them, "Whoever has ears, let them hear. There is light within a person of light, and that one lights up the whole world. If someone does not shine, they are darkness."

*Gospel of Thomas, Saying 24

For Spirit, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ."

*II Corinthians 4.6, Adapted (NLT)

Let your light ... shine ...

*Gospel of Matthew 5.16 (AV)

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In the 2004 movie "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," all have returned to Hogwarts for the start of a new school year. After the students are seated, Professor Dumbledore begins with announcements. He introduces new faculty members. He then speaks of the students' safety. He says, "On advice of the Ministry of Magic, Hogwarts will, until further notice, play host to the Dementors of Azkaban, until such a time as Sirius Black [who was perceived to be a dangerous foe] is captured. The Dementors will be stationed at every entrance to the grounds."

Dumbledore says the Dementors will not disrupt the school. He cautions, however, that "Dementors are vicious creatures. They will not distinguish between who they hunt and who gets in their way. Therefore, I must warn each and every one of you—give them no reason to harm you. It is not in the nature of a Dementor to be forgiving. But, you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

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When we enter a dark space, we turn on a light if we wish to see. We do not push out the darkness. We do not grumble about it or argue with it. We turn on a light. And as far as complaining, how much has complaining enhanced your experience of life? Your love for others? Your appreciation for all the blessings?

There are formless, dark spaces. We might be somewhere and sense this darkness - something is not right, feels off, like an absence. We may discern this concerning another person. Another dark space is times we may enter in our lives - such as a health crisis, a financial downturn, unemployment, the death of someone dear to us, the end of a relationship, or feeling cut off from life, like an absence where we sensed aliveness. These are Dementor-like.

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Jesus, in the Gospel of Thomas, tells us not everyone can turn on the light. How can I enlighten a room if I walk into one with no light to turn on? Likewise, with shining our light - spiritual practice is an intentional act to nurture the light within. We come to shine without even thinking about shining.

There is much darkness. This darkness needs light. Absence needs presence. Hate needs love. Malice needs forgiveness. War needs peace. So, becoming light is an act of selfless compassion. The world does not need your personality first but the light through your personality.

"The face of Christ" was seen as a means of the formless light - so with us. Our faces can shine with light. We can shine without saying a word. When the light shines through us, we illuminate the world. We are not waiting for someone else, like some enlightened being, to do it for us.

So, we are to let the light shine. We do not make it shine. We allow it to shine. Enjoying the light, we want it to shine; we want others to partake of the light with us.

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What does the darkness need? Dogma. Religion. Spirituality. Holy books. Great spiritual teachers or saints. While these can serve the light, the world needs the light. The darkness will remain if I go into a room and quote a creed into the darkness, say a prayer, read some scripture, or meditate.

Nothing substitutes for the light. Means of light are only that - means. A common idolatry is mistaking means of light for the light.

Why do we so easily worship other beings of light when we can be a being of light now, here, anywhere? Are we afraid of the power and beauty of the light? Are we content huddling in the darkness with others of darkness? Do we feel unworthy to commune with and shine the light?

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Jesus disciples want to know where Christ lives. Christ lives in the light, and so is the light. This connotes we can become light. We become light and shine through living in the light. "Christ" connotes more than a man who lived long ago or is relegated to being a Christian-only savior. Jesus points us to what we can point others to - if we choose.

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We light up the whole world by lighting up what is immediately around us or a person standing before us, speaking with us. The world as a whole is always here.

This illuminating is not theoretical. Living in the light is practical. We make daily choices to align with the light for ourselves and to bless others. We learn to descend from the head - thought - into the heart - our communion with all beings.

In what ways do you align with the light daily? In what ways can you more consciously nurture the light within yourself? Are there activities you engage in - listen to, view, read ... - that limit your communion with the light? Is it possible that the closer we are drawn to the light the more we let go of to give ourselves more wholly to Spirit?

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*©Brian K. Wilcox, 2023.

*Use of photography is allowed accompanied by credit given to Brian K. Wilcox and title and place of photograph.

*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse.


Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spiritual Illumination

©Brian Wilcox 2023