*NB: Retreat SOLD OUT – stay tuned for the book!
How can we learn to live in the light, more often, with better outcomes?
Let’s start with the physical reality of being lit from within, with a loving glow, and then work our way towards putting that into practice in everyday life. First of all, if you have had an experience like this, there is no reason to doubt its value or ‘truth’, because we are literally lit from within, just as all matter is aglow with life. Part of any modern concept of ‘enlightenment’ must include this physical reality: that all life radiates out from a cosmic conflagration in space, which is still happening everywhere, all the time. Light is associated with so many positive connotations because of this fundamental life-giving force. This is why an experience of inner light and its gnosis is so highly valued, whether it arrives spontaneously or is inspired by a particularly radiant sunrise or sunset, the romance of moonlight, the simple glint of a dewdrop on a leaf, sparkling in the breeze, or any other phenomenon.
However, despite learning from physics that everything is made from starlight, including our minds and bodies, the origin of consciousness still remains a sacred mystery. Being self-aware allows us to live a life filled with meaning and spiritual growth. Understanding how and why light has been used as the preeminent metaphor for consciousness – for our ability to think, to read these words, to consider them, weigh them up and decide where we stand in relation to them – can deepen our capacity to become more awake to the miracle of our lives as conscious beings.
I have also learnt, mainly from my experience of meditation practices, but also from neuroscience, that this realisation can improve with practice, just like everything else. As self-aware primates, we truly are the universe becoming aware of itself. Both our bodies and our minds are lit from within, in a way that overcomes the seeming separation of mind and matter. In fact, we are better off thinking of ourselves as a ‘bodymind’ that glows with life and consciousness, something the shamanic arts have always known. Experiencing this realisation can dissolve doubt and confusion, leaving spiritual generosity, forgiveness, understanding and gratitude in its wake.
Now, we need to rekindle the light within more than ever. In a ‘post-truth’ world riven with fake news and political corruption, media propaganda and data mining, we need trustworthy guidance. This will become increasingly important as climate chaos, resource wars and other forms of societal breakdown threaten us with correspondingly fierce internal storms of anxiety, depression and grief.
Such guidance is available to us, both as we grow in faith in our own personal abilities to discern right from wrong and in great stories filled with the power and authority of collective wisdom. These kinds of stories are traditionally called myths. Mythic lore is not merely the fanciful narratives we have been taught to mistrust, as if they were the childlike explanations of a universe that hadn’t yet been explained away by science. Myths are multidimensional universes of information, designed to enable us to manoeuvre through chaos and evolve beyond dangerous new circumstances. The mythic symbol of light is especially capable at conveying such information, when it is interpreted with respect, appreciation and familiarity.
‘That Inner Glow’ Retreat is now SOLD OUT. However, the book is forthcoming, so keep your eyes open for that later in the year!
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