Saturday, August 07, 2010

Candlelight Perception

Practice Candlelight Perception

The light of modern consciousness is not gentle or reverent; it lacks graciousness in the presence of mystery; it wants to unriddle and control the unknown. Modern consciousness is similar to the harsh and brilliant white light of a hospital operating theatre. This neon light is too direct and clear to befriend the shadowed world of the soul. It is not hospitable to what is reserved and hidden. The Celtic mind had a wonderful respect for the mystery and depth of the individual soul.

The Celts recognized that the shape of each soul is different; the spiritual clothing one person wears can never fit the soul of another. It is interesting that the word revelation comes from re-valere, literally, "to veil again." The world of the soul is glimpsed through the opening in a veil that closes again. There is no direct, permanent, or public access to the divine. Each destiny has a unique curvature and must find its own spiritual belonging and direction. Individuality is the only gateway to spiritual potential and blessing.

When the spiritual search is too intense and hungry, the soul stays hidden. The soul was never meant to be seen completely. It is more at home in a light that is hospitable to shadow. Before electricity, people used candlelight at night. The ideal light to befriend the darkness, it gently opens up caverns in the darkness and prompts the imagination into activity. The candle allows the darkness to keep its secrets. There is shadow and color within every candle flame. Candlelight perception is the most respectful and appropriate form of light with which to approach the inner world. . . . Candlelight perception has the finesse and reverence appropriate to the mystery and autonomy of soul.

— John O'Donohue in Anam Cara

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