Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Source of darkness or source of light?

Last night, while we were watching TV upstairs (an old episode of The Buccaneers, courtesy of Netflix) I heard an unfamiliar noise and realized the dog wasn't in the room with us. I hurried off in search of him and found him under the dining room table, feasting on a loaf of bread he'd managed to snark off the kitchen counter.

The loss of the bread is bad enough -- it was a loaf specially baked for my husband by a friend, in honor of his "retirement" -- but the real reason I was distraught (it's all about ME!) is that our dog is diabetic. Which means (and we know this because this is not the first loaf of bread he's demolished when we weren't looking) that his system can't handle all the carb content, and he'll be up all night drinking and going to the bathroom.

Which is why I found myself wide awake at 2 am after rushing downstairs to let the dog out. So I sat at my computer to tackle again the meditations I'm revising for the Gospel of Thomas. By 3 am I had finished the meditation for Logion 90 (I had been pondering that one for most of the day yesterday) and had also had a flash of insight about a better numbering scheme to be sure the finished ones were all filed in order, so I was re-labeling the files and slowly walking through to see if there were additional changes needed in some of the ones I had done earlier on, and I came to Logion 24, which reads like this:

His students said to him, "Take us to the place where you are, since we are required to seek after it."

He answered them, "Whoever has an ear for this should listen carefully! Light shines out from the center of a being of light and illuminates the whole cosmos. Whoever fails to become light is a source of darkness."

I realized, looking at the meditation I had done, that this was one of the unedited ones, left over from the first time I walked through the Gospel of Thomas some three years ago, and that it definitely needed work. So I went wandering through my files and found the image posted here, which is a lovely picture to illustrate light shining out from the center illuminating the cosmos.

But in the end, this Logion is really not about That Light -- it's about US, BECOMING light. Which made me think of a conversation I'd had with a dear friend yesterday. She's been working for a church -- a good one, that does lots of good works -- for some time now, and she's been pretty miserable in her job. Those of us who love her know her as a light-filled being, but her job has pretty much extinguished that light because she is doing something she's good at, but it's not what she was born to do. (How many of us have been in THAT situation!).

Later, talking about her situation with my husband -- partly because it parallels a long-ago situation of my own -- I was able to see that what finally propelled me to leave that job was not knowledge that my gifts could be better used elsewhere: I'm not sure I even began to understand at the time what my gifts actually were. I left because the job was making me a source of darkness -- particularly for my family, but for my friends as well.

If you're reading this blog, you probably already know there is a source of light in the world. But, like me, you may not yet see your own role in bringing that light into the world. So I invite you to look around you, to see where it is that you shine and to find ways to do more of that. Look also, then, to be certain the stresses in some corner of your life have not made you a source of darkness. And if they have... well... I hope it's possible to find a way to lighten up that corner. Because now I understand that whenever we make a choice to linger in the darkness -- as opposed to walking determinedly through to the light on the other side -- we can become caught, and become a source of darkness. It's an easy trap to fall into -- I've been there several times -- but not a healthy place either for us or for those we love.

PS: to see the new -- but possibly not final -- meditation for Logion 24, visit my poetry blog for today... I don't think it's there yet. But I'm getting close...


karengberger said...

This is a good reminder, because I've walked that path myself. Thank you for posting it, and of course, your beautiful photos.

I admire Nemo's taste, though not his stealth attack. The things we do for love of animals!xo

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...when you tell me that by lingering in the dark that I become a SOURCE of darkness, that seems to propel me out of the dark much quicker than if you had just told me that it's BAD for ME. Must be the mother in me that is more protective of others than of myself. Rather sad. But at least it's a clue into motivation...really something to chew on!