I did not exactly plan it this way. Three weeks ago, when I collaborated with my good friend Jon Mertz on the topic of “betterment”, I hadn’t looked this far ahead. Two weeks ago, we talked about “common ground”, and how it would be vital for us to find some, despite all our differences, in order to have a thriving and sustainable future. A week ago, with the goal of betterment in mind, we discussed the idea of sowing “seeds of kindness” on “common ground”.
Assuming that at least some of us have planted some seeds of kindness, or are at least planning to plant some, we now need some nourishment for those seeds to successfully germinate. Nourishment comes from the nutrients in the soil, the water, and from sunlight. Yes, seeds are typically sown beneath the surface, but some light does reach them even below ground. Sunlight is in fact essential for the process of photosynthesis – the process by which light is synthesized into sustainable life. In essence, light plays the same role to grow seeds, as truth does to grow love in our lives.
How long would we be able to live a holistic, sustainable, growth-oriented, thriving life of joy without a constant stream of truth flowing into our heart-mind? I surmise that light and truth are interchangeable in our lives. Where there is light, there is truth. Where there is truth, there is light. When truth is felt by our heart, we feel lightness. When untruth is felt by our mind, we experience darkness. The victory which we often talk about, and even celebrate – that of goodness over evil, kindness over prejudice, love over bigotry – is in some ways encapsulated by the light of truth dispelling darkness.
When a seed is able to encapsulate light, its darkness begins to disappear. With light, the seed’s ‘mind’ realizes that its purpose isn’t to remain buried beneath the surface. With light, the seed’s ‘heart’ begins to manifest its truth, which is to become a giant oak tree. With light, the seed starts growing root of truth below the surface and shoots of awareness above the surface. In some ways, seeds and trees are perfect examples of the circle of light, life and truth.
Out of what has the tree been produced? Out of the seed; the whole of the tree was there in the seed. It comes out and becomes manifest. So, the whole of this universe has been created out of this very universe existing in a minute form….….every evolution is preceded by an involution. The seed is the father of the tree, but another tree was itself the father of the seed.
— The Cosmos: The Macrocosm – Swami Vivekananda
Some of you who have read this far are probably wondering – what does all of this have to do with spirituality and spiritual practice? Remember the story of the “bowl of lentils” from last week’s post on sowing kindness? What if every single one of us was to choose to only see the light of truth that shines within us? If we were to practice that, will we not see our own truth, and start germinating rapidly to our manifest destiny of enlightenment? If we were to be in the process of rapid growth, what would we see in the world around us?
Immersed in the light of truth, would we not tend to see more of goodness, joy, kindness, faith, gratitude, honesty, integrity, acceptance and justice? Would we not perform more of the actions that produce light instead of darkness? Light begets light. Truth begets truth. The light of truth begets truth and light, just like the tree begets the seed and the seed begets the tree. “Every evolution is preceded by an involution”. So, where do we begin our new practice of germination?
Any time that we feel ‘darkness’, let us choose to immediately light a new lamp or candle. A newly lit lamp can serve as a reminder that we can evoke the source of light that we carry within us, at any given moment. When we evoke the source, the tree, we, the seed, also evoke its qualities of omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, self-luminousness, joyfulness, awareness and truthfulness.
Is there a better way to celebrate the light of truth?
P.S. Join us for our weekly community gathering on twitter, Sunday, November 15 at 9amET / 730pm India. We will celebrate kindness, truth and light, and perhaps even make a commitment to goodness. I hope you can join me and indulge some of my questions as we gather on common ground. Namaste – @AjmaniK
A reflection – on the source of the light of truth within us…