For as long as the earth has revolved around the sun, and the moon has revolved around the earth, the play of light and shadows has been part of life on earth. The sun, with its rising and setting, has influenced the rhythm of life on earth for millenia. The moon, wih its reflected light, and its varying phases from full moon to new moon and back, has evoked wonder and inspiration in human hearts for millenia.
On certain occasions, the interplay between the sun, moon and earth is such, that we get events like the total solar eclipse that will be viewed across many states in the USA on August 21st 2017. The moon, much smaller in size than the sun, will position itself at just the right distance from the earth, so as to block the entire light of the sun from observers in certain areas. Day will turn into night for a few minutes, casual observers will marvel at the spectacle, and scientists of all degrees of expertise will collect data for latent analysis and discoveries.
Eclipses – partial and total – happen in our (spiritual) lives too. However, the eclipses that occur in our personal lives, the lives of communities, and of nations, often come with uncertainty and unpredictability. In contrast to the duration and location of eclipses in nature (solar and lunar), which can be precisely determined and planned for, life’s eclipses are not so deterministic. However, experience does teach us that the plays of light and shadow in our lives are temporary in nature.
Shadows cast into our lives tend to remove us from silence, stillness, happiness and joy. In moments of angry reaction despite our better judgement, we inflict short-term and even long-term damage to our own selves. So what is the one key that can sustain us through our moments of darkness, of being in the shadows of partial or even total eclipses? It is perhaps the rememembrance, the discernment of what is temporal and what is permanent in our lives.
What is (are) the permanent Source(s) of light in our lives? Beyond the (temporary) shadows, what is the Truth, the higher purpose of our (daily) existence? How much of our energy do we derive from Light and Truth? How much of our energy do we expend in doing battle with our shadows? What preparation(s) are we making for the temporary but inevitable occasional eclipses of the heart?
Like often felt by the ancients, we need not fear eclipses (and their shadows) as angry punishments from the celestials. We can observe our personal eclipses and learn many life lessons from them. Eclipses can give us an opportunity to evaluate the role of light in our lives. As the wheel of life turns, eclipses will come and go. Why not let them help strengthen our remembrance of That which is permanent?
P.S. Join me as I host our next weekly conversation with the #SpiritChat community on twitter – Sunday August 20th 2017 at 9am ET/1pm UTC. And learn more about the historic upcoming eclipse at NASA’s Eclipse Website. Share your photos at NASA’s Flickr Gallery. Get Ready!