“We speak of the sun’s light as “pouring down on us,” as “pouring over us” in all directions. Yet it’s never poured out. Because it doesn’t really pour; it extends. Its beams (“aktai”) get their name from their extension (“ekteinesthei”).
To see the nature of a sunbeam, look at light as it falls through a narrow opening into a dark room. It extends in a straight line, striking any solid object that stands in its way and blocks the space beyond it. There it remains – not vanishing, or falling away.
That’s what the outpouring – the diffusion – of thought should be like: not emptied out, but extended. And not striking at obstacles with fury and violence, or falling away before them, but holding its ground and illuminating what receives it.
What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness.” – Marcus Aurelius
The human heart and mind are bound by the temporal, but have the capacity to clothe the eternal. To assume as the poet, painter and scholar often do that the capacity for giving is finite is to mistake the mortal capacities of body, mind and heart for the source of being.
Darkness is nothing more than the absence of light. If there is darkness around you, it is neither to be feared nor disdained, in fact, it is nothing more than an empty canvas upon which you can and must extend your illuminating thoughts, words, and deeds. Reaction to darkness invariably prevents the outpouring of light and only serves to perpetuate the darkness.
Where are the enlightened men of our day?
Photo by Paulius Dragunas on Unsplash