When the sun is behind you, your shadow is painted in front of you.
Standing so, you can pattern yourself over the grass and flowers. You can scratch your outline into brick or a granite boulder. Even the rippling water can be re-described in your language.
But if the sun were always behind you, you’d stop noticing your shadow.
You wouldn’t see how you darken anything you approach, or notice how the changes in your body are reflected constantly in your vision. Your own presence in everything would elude you because of its constancy – because it’d be so very visible, it would cease to be visible at all.
In the dark days, that’s what’s happening to you.
Only it’s the shadow of your ego and your mind, not your body. You can’t see how your darkness is contaminating every treasure of land and sea before you. If you grow fearful, you grab precious things close to you – and can’t understand why all the shiny things fade to dullness when you hold them to your chest.
The sun that pours out constantly from behind your mind and ego is your spirit. It’s all spirit. It’s soul, it’s love, and it’s God. It’s directly behind you, when you’re lost in yourself… it’s in your witness consciousness, but you can’t see your light through the mental muck.
Sometimes we get to thinking that if we bare our hearts and open our minds, grace and light will bubble through us and illuminate the darkness. It’s sort of true. But really, it’s just the fading of mind and ego to transparency… we stop blocking our own vision when we become open-hearted and open-minded.
In the bright days, we’ve faded enough for the light of spirit to shine through us.
The body is an accumulation. You’ve built it up all these years, and continue to add to it as little bits crumble off the edges. The mind is an accumulation also. You’ve built it up too, and maintain it similarly.
Both accumulations arise and subside. All physicality arises and subsides. Everything mental arises and subsides. It is the nature of the false veil that all phenomena within it arises and subsides.
The constancy within you simply radiates forever, and when the rest of these things that you’ve gathered all these years subside… it’ll keep shining as it always has.
You can’t do good deeds to regain the light. You can’t think positive thoughts, or refuse to participate in the world, or even save the world. Those are all admirable and worthy things, but they aren’t a way of redemption into spirit.
The work of spirituality is the fading of accumulation and attachment into transparency. When your accumulations are as stained glass windows, your brilliance on the world will be a work of art instead of a difficult journey through darkness.
The work of spirituality is not fundamentally different than living. You are here working with brilliant light, that imminent grace that pours out of you as awareness. That same grace that is the profound depth of the sky. That same grace that is the gentle cradling arms of trees rocking in the wind.
Lift the shutters of your ego, let go of your identifications with your job, your family, your gender, your country, and everything else for a minute. Just for a minute, stop grabbing at temporary things and let your shadow fade away.
Illuminate the world with your grace through stained glass.