Be the Light unto the World

Posted by Chiu Chi on 3 July 2020 | 0 Comments

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Be the Light unto the World

During meditation, I place 12 candles on a large round mirror to represent the Spiritual Sun. You may have recognised the fire (the light) in the form of burning candles and incense. This light is often shown symbolically through sun-like symbols (frequently 12 pointed) and it can be seen in the halo of light shining through stain glass windows. This ‘light’ is also common in religious paintings. But what does this light represent and why do we refer to ‘light’ so often in spiritual and religious contexts? We can gain a better understanding of this simply by studying the humble candle. You may even wish to light a candle now and meditate on it!

Truly, the humble candle has achieved great mastery. The wax (corresponding to the earth element or our physical body) is upright and pure. The molten wax (water element or our emotional body) is clear and flowing. The air (air element or our mental body or mind) that rushes in to feed the flame is constant, consistent and singular in purpose. The light (life) of the candle joins with the light of the stars to create life in the universe.

Can we be like the humble candle? Do we have strong and upright bodies, or are we weakened by over-indulgence and lack of self-control? Are we harmonious and flowing with our emotions or are we ‘burnt out’ by fear and anger? Do we have principal and focused minds or are our heads suffering from ignorance, bigotry and pride? Can we be star-like; luminous, living souls that create conditions for more life?

When you become luminous, the “River of Life” becomes your playground. You know you belong to a bigger WHOLE. You become more complete, whole and perfect – stress, anxiety, fear and life negating feelings in you are greatly diminished.

Mother Earth has achieved great mastery! The trees are its “light”. Mother Earth gives freely, giving the trees physical form. It freely gives water, air and light so that the trees flow and expand with life. The elements of earth, water, air and light combine in perfect harmony so that the tree may shine with life. If any element is corrupted, life is compromised.

Most people have not achieved the same level of life-giving harmony. Many do not look after their physical body. Spiritual practice demands full awareness to experience the “Light within you”. If you are distracted by physical ailments or your awareness is dulled by lifestyle choices such as poor nutrition or excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs, consistent meditation practice is impossible. And the subsequent benefits of regular meditation can not be experienced.

Many people are emotionally obsessive and mentally fixated. We worry about small matters, we get angry with slights, we find it hard to forgive others and we find it even harder to forgive ourselves. We feel trapped and we blame our shortcomings on an unfair world. Spiritual practise requires that we meditate on, and be one with, the fountain of love and goodness within us – radiating light and warmth to all. Being enlightened, really is as simple as ‘being the light’ – just like the humble candle.

“ You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Matthew 5:14 - 15

Peace be with you,

Chiu Chi