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Aaron: I’d like you to try something with me. Please clench your fists, clench your jaw, tighten your body just for a minute, 10 seconds. Feel the contraction. Then release, ahhh… I am certain you can feel the distinction between the contracted and open state.
When we live with a lot of fear, when essentially we have lost touch with our essence so we are more connected with the physical and emotional bodies than we are with the spirit, all the systems start to shut down. The chakras close, the flow of energy closes. Everything becomes contracted and all sense of spaciousness is lost.
The experience is as that of somebody who had walked into a cave, walked a distance in, but when you turn around you can still see the cave opening. There is a sense of safety with that connection to the light. You know where the light is. You’re 50 yards in. Picture yourself turning around and looking at that very clear doorway. It’s mid-day, no danger of the sun setting and leaving you in darkness. You have the choice. You can stop right there, knowing that the light is there with you. Or walk on!
If you keep walking into the cave, it grows darker and you believe you don’t have a torch. Fear comes. Contraction comes. You walk around a bend so you completely lose sight of the light. As you go around that bend you no longer can see the big opening and the light. Suddenly you don’t know which way to go. No torch, and you’ve lost touch with the light. What are you going to do? Can you feel the contraction that that brings? This is the frequent human experience, as the human loses touch with the inner torch. Your work as a human is to maintain connection with the light. The inner torch is always there. You are that Light.
If you just sit in the doorway, fully out of the cave, fully in the light, you never can explore the shadows. Part of your commitment as a human is to begin to explore the shadow side, to be able to bring compassion and wisdom rather than fear and hatred to darkness.
You cannot just stay outside of the cave, and you can’t become lost so deep within the cave that there is no longer possibility for learning and growth, only fear and despair. Your meditation practice, your prayer, these practices help you to stay connected to the light and rest more firmly in the light, no matter how deep the darkness. Then you can go as deep as is needed and bring your portion of Light where beings flounder in darkness. Just a smile will do wonders!