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A  Facebook friend, Elaine Matthews, posted this very simple yet profound quote in her news feed recently. I just love the quote: ” Do not be afraid of your own darkness. Do not be blinded by your own light…”. What does that mean? I know what it means for me…

“Do not be afraid of your own darkness” – We all have pasts – some more torturous than others. We have all faced loss, defeat and yes, sometimes we are our worst enemies. The ego functions of the mind; born from the past and subliminal hard wire thoughts and behaviors; act as the point of intent for many of us. The ego is rooted in fear, anger, guilt, narcissism and a false sense of self-worth – whether positive or negative… Like looking in a mirror, that reflection; like the ego is a fabricated image of ourselves. Like storm clouds the ego can obscure the illumination that is intrinsic to our being. Deep down bubbles our True Nature – this unadulterated and unfettered true-self free from the constraints of societal immersion. For some the darkness is suffering and loss. Experience has shown that deep within the darkness wells lights – It is almost as though we need darkness to raise the vibration of our awareness and clarity. We all have darkness but having faith that light will find its way through the cracks in the walls of false-self, loss and suffering is key to self-discovery and betterment. Further, knowing when to accept the fruits of our labor and suffering is paramount. Do not fear the darkness for within its shadow lies a gift…

“Do not be blinded by your own light” – There lies the fine line between self-discovery and social evolution and the ability to not be sucked back into the ego abyss. It is a paradox of sorts: Through self-discovery the trap is growing another ego from your new found vision and power. Those mindful enough to see the light; to understand that we are just energy changing form – the power of god sitting within the palm of our hands; a spacious connection to this grand Responsive Universe: Well it is easy to let such understanding and power unknowingly rebuild the ego you just reigned in. In times of challenge, sometimes silence is the best wisdom. The lesson in mindfulness is to continually self-check our intent to ensure our actions and reactions remain rooted in True Nature and not False-Self. As illumination warms our face, we want to share this new insight with others but as I have found with excruciating detail; the best teachers lead by actions and not words – a lesson I continually need to remind myself daily. It is easy to become blinded by the light of self-discovery. The art of life is to let the light illuminate your path forward while leading others without dogmatic trappings.

The balance of Light and Darkness is not about opposites but the circle of energy that binds them as one: A Mandala… Both light and darkness exist together – the key is finding the balance between the two facets of human nature. Maybe that is why the hour before sunset is my favorite time of day…

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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