When The Light’s On, We Can See
This sounds so stupidly obvious but here, the light means clarity – clear seeing.
“The clear light of bliss.”
When I first took to the spiritual path, a tutor just happened to mention the emotions – the power of emotions. I thought, “I don’t have emotions; I’m not emotional.” Then all of a sudden, emotions came pouring in … pride, jealousy, fear, anxiety, hope, desire … the lot!
The light had just been turned on, and I could see. “Oh dear, am I that bad?!” In those early days, emotions were a taboo: we had to show a calm countenance. It wasn’t until many years later, when I encountered Dzogchen, that the true light in the emotions was revealed. They are wisdom. So I wasn’t that bad!
This doesn’t mean that the emotions had gone away, but they were just noticed. Even after thousands of years in darkness, one instant of light reveals all. It’s like that. Before then, we live in the darkness of thoughts, fixations and emotions. Once we experience seeing, things are never the same.
You don’t have to be a scholar to see. It’s for everyone, at any time. In fact, a scholar who has a title and who can discuss all aspects of Dharma can easily be deluded if they haven’t experienced the emotions in the light, and just talk about the light. It’s the difference between theory and the real thing.
A tough upbringing has its positive side, and can enable us to truly empathise with how others may feel, rather than just repeating predictable phrases.
The joy or bliss of seeing the dark in the light means we are on the right track … the spiritual path! The darkness is our clinging to the emotions, creating fixations about ourself and about what we have come to believe is us. With the presence of the light of clarity, seeing the emotions is now wisdom. We have wised up!
Personally, the joy comes from not having to be a scholar to traverse the path to enlightenment. What a relief!