Considering today is not only the solstice but Chanukah, I figured it would be a good time to talk about light and what it’s become a metaphor of.
One of the principles of Chanukah that I like the most is the idea that one candle may kindle the light of many others and yet lose none of its own light. Some people say that we’re already enlightened. I don’t subscribe to that idea because I for one have too many hangups and issues to consider myself to be on par with Lord Buddha, someone who I think we can all agree was enlightened.
What I do have, what we all have, is a soul, a spark, a piece of consciousness. In other words, light. I consider enlightenment to be a state of grace where consciousness or light is so vast and bright that the separation between me and what is not me no longer exists. I consider it my duty to remind others of their own light, of their own consciousness. In other words, to be a candle that kindles the light of many others.
During this holiday season it’s both easy to forget and easy to remember that life is not just about consuming things: food, drinks, or gifts. That we are more than human machines driven by impulse and instinct. We each have a light within us that is longing to burn ever brighter, to radiate ourselves and those around us.
Something important to remember though, is we do have human bodies, we aren’t just light beings. A friend circulated this post by Jeff Brown the other day who said:
“Real spirituality is all about ‘enrealment’ — it includes everything human in the equation. The real now is the one that includes everything we left behind on the path. We must work through our story, before the unresolved elements of our story kill us.”
I absolutely agree. My spiritual path is about using everything as a vehicle for liberation or enlightenment. About not running from feelings and tough times, and yet always remembering there is something more to me. Something outside the drama, the ups and downs, a witnessing part of me that remains unaffected and emits a light that can never be diminished. It’s my job to keep growing that light, to keep remembering its presence, and to kindle that light in others.
May you also remember the light being that you are. May you remember you are more than the sum of your parts, and may you also endeavor to shine a light on all parts of yourself because that is where enlightenment happens.
I dream of a world where we remember our brightness and we share that brightness with others. A world where we’re not scared of shadows because shadows are where light is most needed. A world where we embrace all parts of ourselves as we kindle the flame of enlightenment.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.