The Light & The Shadow

~a short meditation on healing~

Each person sheds her own light on the same landscape, allowing us to experience shifting perspectives as the cycles of day and night circle one another. Who among us would stop day at high noon, saying truth is only revealed through full exposure to sunlight, at the expense of never again feeling the gold of sunrise or peering into purple shadows at dusk? Indeed, the nature of a rock is not just in its exact proportions, mineral content, etc., but also in its relationship to sun and moon light, hot and cold, wind and rain. In its fullest capacity, truth is known in the continuous spectrum of light and dark, changing continually through the seasons and expanses of vast time. 
~excerpt from my master's thesis chapter discussing research methodology

There is a tendency in western culture and/or in the English language, to equate light with truth and revelation, and shadow with obscurity and dishonesty. To “shed light on” means to reveal something previously hidden or unknown; to “descend into darkness” communicates an anguished journey into mental/emotional confusion or ignorance. In this dualistic and dichotomous worldview, truth is reduced into a series of either/ors incompatible with a holistic realization of experience. In the fanaticism of either/ors, of light versus shadow, we may experience blinding whiteouts and loss of vision in violent flashes of light, or, we may fall into states of alienation and estrangement and depression in the pitch dark of blackouts. 

When we suffer, we are counseled to seek the light, to lift ourselves out of gloom and doom, to step into the light, to come out of the shadows… What if, on the other hand, we were encouraged to embrace both the light and the shadow, to befriend our monsters, to live with our angels and our demons—both? Perhaps we would then see that there is a special glow in the between spaces that connect rather than separate… In these spaces shared and cohabited by the light and the shadow. We would see that it is a dance—a beautiful and an intimate partner dance. A warm embrace. A love, unconditional and eternal. 

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