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“Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who they are. Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is.” ~Marianne Williamson

Enlightenment in the Shadows.

August 17, 2017

 

I love all the excitement about the upcoming solar eclipse – and I am having even more fun thinking about all the life lessons and spiritual metaphors that an eclipse experience offers… 

 

Carl Jung said that we do not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. Exploring our shadows is a necessary part of our journey.

 

There is a Ute saying: The secret of life is in the shadows and not in the open sun; to see anything at all, you must look deeply into the shadow of a living thing.

 

Another aspect that strikes me is how fleeting the dark shadow is. It reminds me that when we feel completely lost in darkness, it can never last. The laws of the revolving heavens teach us that this too shall pass.

 

Paul Chubbuck has written a beautiful “Eclipse” poem; unfortunately he won’t be here on Sunday to share it, so I have asked his permission to include it here. Enjoy!

 

Much love,
Peggy

 

 

Eclipse
                by Paul Chubbuck
 
I have a date with the Sun and the Moon
at a place where mountains climb.
The Sun and the Moon will not be late
as they speed their journey cross time.
They speed in their journey cross time.
 
Earth, Sun, and Moon have so long danced,
for millennia this meeting was fated.
A great shadow midday looms o’re the land.
The Day When Sun And Moon Mated.
That fateful day Sun and Moon mated.
 
Ages ago such unions wrought fear
of dragons consuming our light.
Today we celebrate and cheer
to watch with awe and delight.
to see the day turn to night.
 
We’re proud to have knowledge of orbits and spheres,
not ignorant as were our forebears.
Yet other great shadows still eclipse our hearts
and senselessly spread grief and fears,
and needlessly spread rage and tears.
 
Darkness and shadows still cross our way.
Superstition still darkens our door.
With veils of the mind we hide from ourselves,
while burqas our hearts obscure.
The veils round our hearts obscure.
 
A man is different in dress, speech, or hue.
A woman speaks firmly her mind.
Do we righteously rise with the need to accuse
those we judge not of our kind?
Those to whose hearts we are blind?
 
No judgments, no blame will sooth our unease.
No cross or church burnings or bomb.
No critique of our lover nor slap of a child
will restore our bellies to calm.
Our tender bellies aren’t calm.

But sadness and dread may ever be brought
inside our own heart’s compassion.
Our painful shadows need light of day
to tenderly refashion,
to once again find passion.
The shadows which eclipse our sun,
the darkness hiding our path
invite us kindly to embrace
our grief and fear and wrath,
bring balm to our fears and wrath.
 
We have a date with the Sun and the Moon
to watch day turn to night,
and to notice what happens afterwards:
that shadows pass from our sight.
We hail the return of the Light.

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.