The Oxford English Dictionary gives several definitions of Illuminate:
“Light up something”
“Help to clarify or explain something”
“Decorate a page or initial letter in a manuscript with gold, silver, or coloured designs”
The origin of the word is from the Latin Illuminare (Illuminate), from Lumen (Light).
I think all of the above are relevant for the purposes of this post, after all this blog consists of “musings of a wandering mystic” as I like to call myself, in addition to being a “non-poet” of course!
I’m aware that some of my posts may appear a little incomprehensible in their subject matter. Apologies for that. They take their place on the (virtual) page when my inner world deems that a little enlightenment is due. More for my benefit than anyone else’s. Perhaps I’m hoping to “light up” the shadowed places my feet take me on this life journey. There are many challenges being faced in the inner and outer worlds, some harder than others to overcome. It isn’t as bleak as it sounds. These things occur in cycles, differing in energies, much like those of the natural world and the greater Cosmos.
Our burdens can at times feel like those of the Titan Prometheus, although perhaps not to such an extreme extent. Prometheus sacrificed himself essentially to bring divine fire to humanity to help them survive and lighten the darkness of their existence (in more ways than one). Zeus punished the Titan by having him chained to a rock and an eagle eat his liver, which regenerated daily. The gods were rather imaginative and cruel in their choice of punishment dear readers.
Darkness gives us a time to recollect, rest and regenerate ourselves. On the negative side we have a tendency to view it as a home for all the terrible things of our nightmares. What did early humans do in the absence of fire? What did they fear lurking in the darkness of their environment? It’s not a mystery why the coming of light, sunrise, was celebrated so joyfully by all cultures. Although the idea of perpetual darkness and light is not a comforting one. Balance in all things is what we should aspire to, if only for sanity’s sake.
What of this mysterious thing “Iluminare”? Have I been successful in lighting up the hidden places in life and within myself? Have there been moments when I’ve shouted eureka and the scales have fallen from my (inner) sight? Yes and yes. Also No and no. My feet have walked from the shadowed places at the sight of light emerging in the distance and it has been a wonderful sight! At other times the torch lighting my way through the darkness has gone out and a sense of heaviness has descended. It can be described as a sense of desolation. The infamous “Dark Night of the Soul” then envelops us, revisiting our lives many, many times. That’s not to say we’re on our own at such times, we’re never alone. I recall one occasion years ago when I’d reached a very low point in life, my spirit felt utterly crushed. I asked, no one in particular why this was happening to me. No audible answer was forthcoming, except for a gentle and compassionate touch on my shoulder. There wasn’t anyone there, not visible to my sight anyway. I was quite upset at the time and brushed it away. A strange incident but whoever you were, thank you from the depths of my heart.
Moments like this are when we add further embellishments in a page in the Book of Life, our life. They act as gifts from our Higher Selves or Guardian Angels, bringing beauty and light for us to use. We use them to illuminate our lives to best reflect the wonder and splendour of both sorrow and joy. The contents of our Book of Life can be read on so many levels, nothing is what it first appears to be. Words become unnecessary at the moment light strikes at the very heart of our being.