the shadows

Posted on July 7, 2006


the shadows

On May 14, I wrote about the healthiness of depression. Facing . . . embracing the shadows of our lives is an essential step to seeing . . . knowing the “man in the mirror” (see April 15, “Who Am I?”).

Western culture glorifies the light. Even in the darkest of night, man-made light is there, dimming the darkness . . . dazzling our eyes. Have you ever gone far into the country, away from the city lights, laid on your back, and looked at the stars? Words fall short of describing the beauty given birth by the darkness.

Silent places are drown out by the din of traffic, radios, music, television.

Dark places are lit up by neon flashing lights, head lights, street lights, television

Why do we humans work so hard to light up the dark and silent places?

Why do we often associate darkness with evil and light with good?

Is there evil in the light?

Is there good in the darkness?

What do we hide in the darkness?

What do we cover with the light?

In our techno-glitz society, flashing lights and noise prevail . . . on the streets, in our schools, in our churches, in our homes.

What are we missing as the noise and lights press in? What are they drowning out?

Where is that still small voice?

What is that still small voice?

Is there a still small voice?

in the darkness,

in the silence,

in the solitude?

What if darkness became a friend?

What if we sought out times of silence?

What if we learned to contemplate?

What if we learned to learn?

What if we learned to think?

The path of contemplation lies in the shadows of silence and darkness . . . away from the glitz and clamor . . . away from the lights and noise.

What if we learned to think about life???

What if . . .


“If nothing that can be seen can either be God or represent Him to us as He is, then to find God we must pass beyond everything that can be seen and enter into darkness. Since nothing that can be heard is God, to find Him we must enter into silence.” (Thomas Merton in Seeds of Contemplation, p. 131)