the glow of humanity

the light of humanity
Travelling through any urban area at this time of year and you will see light leakage. The glow of illumination. Street lights, office lights, car headlights, security lights, early evening lounge lights, Christmas lights…

Humanity’s presence reflected in the surrounding environs.

Unintentionally. Light just creates a halo. It spreads like a smokey haze. Leeching into the space around the light source. Unselfishly sharing its light.

We do that with our own light too. Our personal light of presence, of compassion, of capability, of friendship, of appreciation, of recognition, of love.

If we light it up in ourselves, the effect is seen in those around us.

Give it a go. Shine on someone and watch them glow.


the gift of light, the tune of life

light gets in

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That is how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen

We only see, because light enters our eyes.
Light illuminates everything.

Yet so often we try and keep light out. If we aren’t perfect, we attempt to conceal our weaknesses, our failings. Our judgement of self means we often wrap up our gifts, our truth, our own light. All sealed up like a neatly wrapped Christmas gift, with tape on every edge. Our gifts wrapped safe, but hidden from view.

We do this, not just in our work, our projects, our outputs, our external offerings to the world. So too with parts of our internal self, our humanity. We attempt to neatly package away our mistakes, our unwelcome behaviours, our memories, our judgements, our fears and our dreams.

Often we wrap them badly. So that despite our efforts, when shaken, the contents leak out.

Still we persist, as if boxing them neatly away is the best thing. The safe option. Yet as the lyric suggests, we simply give ourselves fewer bells. Our melody is simplified. Our music reduced to a few chords or notes. We are less.

Maybe we should embrace the cracks? Enjoy the light? Peek in through the partly open corner, remove a small piece of tape and see what the dim light illuminates?

Seek to play our tune with all of our musicality?
Percussion adding brightness to woodwind,
strings showing dexterity to booming brass,
baritone adding depth to our tenor?

we are merely part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe…

illuminate your self
I watched a BBC programme the other day on the ancient world and the philosophies of Buddha, Socrates and Confucius. This episode followed the life and ground breaking thinking of Buddha.

One moment stayed with me.

A part of Buddhist philosophy says …¬†“We are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe”.

What an interesting and beautiful idea.

The programme showed that our sense of self, the notion of “I” does not begin with birth. We exist in the womb. We exist in the genes of our parents, and they in the genes of theirs. Our ancestors literally make us. Our version of “I” is constantly evolving, influenced by culture, society, experience. In this way the self is merely an imagined entity,¬†manifested from your journey. It existed before you were born, evolves through your living and doubtless continues in your children and the legacy you leave in the universe.

I am not religious but I am attracted to this philosophy.

As the programme hypothesised – Buddha was espousing cognitive psychology twenty five centuries before it emerged. But for me also this connects to another interest of mine – the systemic constellation – the notion of the significance of the system and our relationship to other parts in that system.

Buddhism offers wisdom and compassion as a way forward. Not wisdom in the conventional cognitive, intellectual, knowledge sense but in the old Sanskrit sense of awareness, discernment, insight and consciousness.

That with compassion for yourself and others makes sense to me.

So… maybe bringing into awareness, into consciousness, with insight and compassion your sense of who you are, is a good step forward?

… maybe bringing into awareness your relationship to the rest of the universal system you belong to, is a good step forward?

… maybe having an emerging sense of why you’re here and what your legacy to the universe will be, is a good step forward?

Be your own lamp.
Illuminate yourself.