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Now is the time to let the light shine!

By Michael Ketterhagen

Now is the season of lights—Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa. Now is the celebration of the dying of the sun’s presence in Earth’s northern hemisphere. However, that dying is always celebrated with increased human activity of lighting up the world as much as possible. During dark times, we humans always work hard to remember that the darkness can never put out the light. It is our innate wisdom that the real essence of life is light; the real essence of the Source of Life, the Divine, is light. That Divinity is always present, always there to guide us on our Earthly journey.

The yoga tradition calls the presence of that light, Prana Shakti. In Christianity, the Light is Christ. In Kwanzaa, the light is the brilliance and beauty of the African cultures.  Each of these lights are considered divine and has its source in the Creator of the World.

The yoga tradition believes that the Source of Light is the source of all that we see in the world. That idea is often hard for the Western world to understand because we often see the physical world separate from God, even in a war against peace, goodness and joy. We often see separation rather than oneness. Because of all the “sin,” war, hatred, destruction, fear we often see another source of Life in our world.  We often attribute that pain and suffering we see to the force of evil instead of the force of the One God.  People ask: How can there be such pain and agony in the world if all the world is created by the Light of the World? How could there even be a good God?   

A short story might help us understand that all life comes from the one Light, God.

When I was in St Francis Seminary, I was part of the film projection team for our regular weekend movies in the seminary’s movie theatre. The light of the project was the only light in the entire space. All the pictures that were projected onto the screen came from that one light. Some of the pictures were bright and others were cloudy or dark. It all depended on the figures on the film.  Reality for the viewers in the theatre was determined by whatever was presented on the film. The film’s colors, lightness, darkness controlled the cinema’s story. 

That is the same way with our perception of reality. The one Light of Life comes through the film of our mind. Whatever is on the film of our mind represents the One Light. Our mental fears, hatreds, worries, suspicions, whether they be individual or communal, block the light of peace, hope and joy from coming through and showing up on our theatre screen. It is the film that projects the

pictures of the movie; it is our mind that projects the pictures of our world today.

The one source of all that we see is shaped by the clarity of our mind’s film.  If our mind is clear of fear, anger, worry, insecurity, then we are able to see clearly what is truth and therefore the activity and will of the Divine Light. If our mind is clouded by ignorance, we only see pain.

Today, the world’s mind is projecting much darkness, war, hatred, fear. Individual minds do that as well. All our fears, worries, selfish concerns project the Light within ourselves--the Prana Shakti, the Christ Light, the Kwanzaa beauty—out into the world.

Clearing our minds of those fears, worries, angers, and insecurities will allow the Light of the World to shine through our mental celluloid and present an entirely new “movie” of our earthly journey.

Let’s take some time each day to let our divine light out into the world by quietly sitting and allowing our mental focus on the breath clear away the darkness in our minds.  It might take a while, but the longer we stay focusing on the flow of the breath, the flow of our life force in and out of our nostrils, the clearer our mind will become. 

May the Light shine through us more and more so we can truly see that brightness and joy present in ourselves, in others, in the animals, in the plants, in all of creation.

Let the Light shine through us!

I bow to the Divinity within you!

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