9/16/13 Darkness

I am going to quote Genesis. This may raise some hackles a bit. Regardless of what one might think of the Genesis creation story, there is much to learn from it as men recorded what they felt were the words of God. You may believe this. You may not. You may not even believe in God. But you can read the beautiful, poetic words of the writer of Genesis, bear with me for a moment, and see for yourselves if there is any wisdom contained wherein men may profit, for the questions that Genesis deals with are as old as mankind, and the issues we wrestle with are as modern to us as they were to Genesis’ author(s).

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void;

and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good:

and God divided the light from the darkness.

Darkness is never associated with anything good. Thieves operate under the cover of darkness. Vagabonds and miscreants prefer the cover of darkness. Cockroaches and rats work their magic under the cover of darkness. Crooked deals are done in secret (darkness). Politicians sell themselves for money in private (darkness). Prostitutes advertise their services under clever pseudonyms (darkness). And we all took a cookie (okay, several), from the cookie jar when no one was looking (darkness). As we look at the scales, look about for our spouse to determine their whereabouts so that we will not get caught red-handed, we quietly, furtively, remove the ice cream from the freezer in the dead of night (darkness). We conceal our misdeeds (darkness). We run for cover when accosted with the truth (darkness). We fabricate elaborate stories (darkness). We apprehend the truth and hog-tie it so that it cannot escape; we camouflage the truth and point to the fabrication (darkness).

It is the light that drives out the darkness. The darkness cannot be contained, since to contain something would imply that it has properties that can be apprehended, and darkness has no such properties. Darkness is merely the absence of light. God saw the darkness. He said, “Let there be light.” He saw the light and that it was good, and He divided the light from the darkness. Where there is light, there can be no darkness. Darkness cannot stand in the presence of light; it must falter…it must fail.

As I look at the world around me, we seem overcome with a malaise of foolishness and mayhem. It overtakes us at every turn. Murders, mass murders, chemical murders, genocides, suicides, fratricides, regicides, and others, besides. The world is gone crazy. Or has it? Could it be that we simply have more light shed on these things than we once had? As the ever increasing speed of media brings light to bear on formerly dark actions; as media changes in an ever accelerating manner so that everyone has become a news reporter, a photographer and videographer, a writer, and a publisher, we are spraying light in much the same manner as a tomcat sprays a houseplant. There is an abundance of light, though much of it is filtered.

Run through a prism, visible light breaks up into separate bandwidths which we see as colors. White light gives us a clear picture and is the most revealing, but filtered light brings us a portion, which is better than darkness though still only a portion. If we are viewing the world strictly through yellow or blue, we see only the yellow and blue reflections of those things. It would be better to view the world through the green, since we cannot have green without yellow and blue; with green, we get them both. Better yet is to view the world through clear white, since clear white brings everything into view and focus; it conceals nothing. With clear white, only the shadows from its brightness are able to conceal anything, and even with bright, radiant light, if it is coming from a single source, there must be shadows. It is in the darkness of the shadows that the truth is obscured. It is also light through the prism that filters things in such a manner as to  allow us to see only certain bandwidths. Sometimes a partial picture is worse than no picture.

Isn’t the truth what we are after? Isn’t light what can bring us the truth? Isn’t darkness the truth’s obscurer?

Oh, give me light! Let me be a light! And let me be a light that shines in such a manner as it conceals nothing but reveals everything. To be a bringer of light is not to be a constant admonition to others; it is to be a light so that others may see for themselves. They must make their own adjustments based on what is revealed, at least the wise ones do. Light is of no benefit to those who see what is revealed but have no wisdom to make use of it . . . who have no desire to make use of it . . . who’d rather have shunned the light and continued unabated in darkness. Let us never be those people. Let us be the ones who search for light and rejoice when we find it. Let us be those who welcome the light, turn our faces towards it, and reach out to it as it burns away the chaff from that which would nourish us.

We all have had bright lights appear and pass through our lives. They are those people who reveal to us a different us than the one we had perceived so that we are never the same anymore. I am thankful for every one of those lights which have shone on a path heretofore unseen. As more and more of those lights pass into the great light, we must become the light in their stead. Eventually, the white light overtakes us all, and then we go clear. We accelerate to the speed of light and become invisible to those around us. We came from the light and we yearn to return to the light. We only have darkness in this world. When we have gone clear, we have merged with the light of lights, and in that light is no hint of darkness, for it is a light that casts no shadow, since the source is not a pinpoint, but encompassing.

A single, weak forty watt bulb hung from a wire disperses the cockroaches. Give me the light, please. More light, less roaches.

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