Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124


There Is Always A Light

We are young. We homo sapiens are barely a few heartbeats old compared to the long evolution of this molecular complexity we call life. Someone used the analogy of comparing the time of human existence to the length of our arm. The outstretched arm is the age of the Earth. The tip of a fingernail is the time we introspective humans have been here.

In Earth’s long history, many animal behavior patterns were established long before we evolved from mammals and inherited them. And these old patterns, some good, some not good, affect our behavior patterns to this day. For example, we inherited parental caring, but we also inherited the will to fight over territory in order to protect scarce resources.

When it comes to our human relations, we are still infants growing and learning. We have yet to outgrow war. In our history, millions and millions have died in conflicts large and small. War has been and still is the bane of our existence. It is a blatant indicator that humanity still has a lot of mental evolving yet to do.

It does not seem that animals have war. They fight over territory or resources but do not organize meaningless aggressive action against other animals. Humans, on the other hand, have taken the need to protect resources to a level far beyond physical necessity. Our politics and emotions such as fear of a neighbor’s actions cause a great deal of our crime and wars.

In spite of our woes and wars, however, we have enough confidence in ourselves to believe that our consciousness is gradually moving us toward a human harmony. It is a subtle perception that we feel but do not yet understand. It is strong enough that we have enough faith in our on-going evolution of human consciousness that we believe we can end the madness of conflict and aggression. We know we can do better for ourselves. As one writer put it, “we are not stupid creatures, but we often do very stupid things”. As we mature, we expect to do fewer and fewer stupid things.

Our human consciousness is growing far beyond our animal inheritance.  It is a light within us, not external to us. It stems from a mother caring for her children and a father giving his best efforts for his family. Caring and nurturing are strong emotions that go back many generations in in our evolution. They evolved in us as solidly as our weakness for aggression and conflict.

The light is there in the shadowy corners of our minds, behind the cobwebs of greed and aggression. Although the light is very deep in us, it responds to us when we seek it. The light can be a guide because it helps us to see beyond all of the ambiguities we encounter as a still maturing species.

We could call the light a type of love. But love is an emotion that can fail, it can become weak if not nurtured. To a certain extent we have trivialized the word. I love you, let’s make love, I love chocolate all mean different things. But the light is always the same and always part of us whatever we choose to call it. Of course, never give up on love. Love perpetuates our species and is important in holding us together as a global community. We would perish quickly without it.

We have seen times when love is not strong enough to stop our aggression. Married couples and family members sometimes argue. Nations that seem to have good diplomatic relations can find excuses to fight each other. Excessive pride can lead to irrational behavior.

It is then we know that we can turn to a light in us which is more universal, a light which is deeper and stronger than love. As long as we are conscious of ourselves, the light is in us to guide our behavior, to make each one of us into more of a thoughtful and less belligerent human being.

The light, subtle yet persistently with us, is helping us mature beyond our growing pains, our infantile trials and errors that bring on crime, conflicts, and wars. We must know that we are evolving to continue surviving and to continue flourishing, not to destroy ourselves. We are not evolving to be victims of our own short tempers nor our own shortsighted obsession with power.

Unfortunately, many still ignore the light within them or are unwilling to recognize it because it goes against their foolish desire to seek power or dominance over others. The light encourages us to serve each other for the betterment of all. It does not encourage us to attempt to rule or dominate the behavior or the thoughts of others.

The light is where wisdom is, the wisdom of ourselves that sees beyond our mindless impulses, sees beyond our politics of obeyance, and sees beyond our quick willingness to put morality and ethics aside when they interfere with our selfish desires.

The light is where human harmony is. It is the satisfaction we get when we work together in symbiotic cooperation, whether in our neighborhood or on a global scale. We experience the light when we help each other, when we do good work that makes all of us happier, healthier, and wiser.

The light is the maturity that our evolution of consciousness is moving us toward. It is the growing humanism in us, the deep desire for peace between contending factions who often fear each other only because they have been told to by leaders who demand obedience. This kind of egocentric leader, considers the pursuit of power more important than amicable human to human cooperation and far more important than human life. To these people whose minds rage in psychoneurosis, human life is only an expendable means to an end.

The light is reason and rationality that logically puts human well-being above partisan politics or national agendas. Every person is different, yet each one of us is a citizen of Earth. A global outlook is a priority. Through our technology, Earth is getting far too small to harbor incessant conflicts.

We are too quick to become contentious over such topics as politics, religion, or national sovereignty. In the overall evolutionary maturing of our species, these conflicts are trivial, except for the unfortunate fact that they cause destruction and death. As we mature as a species, the meaninglessness of our conflicts is becoming become more apparent.

The light is the sense of wonder we feel as we learn more about our vast and elegant universe, how it works and our place in it. Our beautiful blue and green planet is little more than an inconsequential speck in the darkness of space and we humans are mere tiny blobs of protoplasm. But perhaps our curiosity is bigger than our physical size, bigger than our Earth. Our minds are not locked in to the bounds of our planet or our solar system. They can expand to the edge of eternity.

Our curiosity is our strength, but sometimes it can be our weakness. The urge to learn, the urge to understand keeps us looking beyond our eyes to the universe, to our Earth, and inside our minds. We want to know everything concerning our existence. It is important to find out what makes us both compassionate and caring as well as belligerent and greedy.

Our minds are strong. Yet, at times, they can be fragile. We can explore the stars and comprehend the complex processes involved in how they produce light, heat, and the elements we are made of. Yet, too easily, many of us are led by our fellow humans into illogical and irrational biases and behaviors that cause us to fall into mazes of futile ideologies. This dichotomy makes living with billions of others like ourselves both comforting and perplexing.

In spite of the seemingly incessant diversity of opinions created by billions of individual lives, each with its own set of likes and dislikes, biases and temperament, as a collective species, we continue to move toward the light of wisdom. It is there at the edge of human consciousness, within our reach, relentlessly pulling us toward it, keeping alive in us the expectation that we will throw off our shortsighted rantings and reach it.

But for now, our ambivalence continues. There are still those among us who do not see other people as important as themselves. To the worst of us, human lives are merely a hinderance to be eliminated, individually or en masse.

Some of us still hold to the pessimistic view expounded by Arthur Schopenhauer when he said: “Hatred comes from the heart; contempt from the head; and neither feeling is quite within our control.” This attitude does not allow for the fact that a human is capable of change and maturity in his or her consciousness. The growing light within us is showing us how to get hatred and contempt under control.

This old pessimistic ignorance is still found in people who cannot get through the cobwebs of outdated biases, superstitions, and dogma. These people do not have the fortitude to seek the light, and in their weakness, they allow themselves to be taken over by an infantile greed and lust for power. Do they understand what they are doing? Do they not care that their name will be reviled as an anathema, a step backward in in the on-going advancement of human maturity.

History has shown us that a few people in each generation have caught a glimpse of the light. These are people who have seen through the confusion of ancient irrational fears that led most of us to give ourselves to imagined gods. They are the ones who have shown us that we are not locked in to old biases and behavior patterns.

They are the ones who are sane and sagacious, truthful, open and honest. They do not seek glory or praise, or power. Their selfless efforts help diminish our many antagonisms. Through their efforts we are made less divisive, less antagonistic. Their rational logic convinces us to open our hearts and minds to each other, to see each other as fellow sojourners on the human journey with the same needs, the same joys and sorrows, and the same emotions.

Where are these people who have caught a glimpse of the light? Is it possible that you and I could make ourselves into one of these reasonable and thoughtful people? How many among us are able and willing to dedicate our lives to being the kind of person who could set a good example for others? Is it possible that the caring, the empathetic, and the compassionate would be able to set the standard of thinking and behavior for the rest of us? 

Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant suggested that each of us should live our life as if our behavior toward others should become universal law. His admonition is one of the many ways of expressing the ancient golden rule of treating your fellow humans as you yourself would be treated. If you do not wish to be robbed, cheated, or harmed, then do not rob, cheat, or harm others. Let the light within you guide your actions.

The light is there for all of us, and even the most hardhearted of us can seek it in the depths of their minds and respond to it. Everyone knows that a hand shake and a smile expressing sincere caring and honesty will open hearts when a clinched fist and scowl will close them.

The light is weak in most of us now, and we have to want to manifest it in our minds and our collective human consciousness for it to help us mature in our humanity. Yet, it is here in us and we must not ignore it. Greet the light within you with reason and rationality, and an open mind. Let the light of reason replace your old superstitions. Let the light of wisdom and harmony replace your fear of the unknown, as well as your fear of cooperating symbiotically with others.

Survive and flourish and allow others to survive and flourish the same as you wish to. Try to make everyone as happy as you wish to be. Seek the light, and by your seeking, attest to others that the light is in you and is in them as well. An important issue is that when you sense the presence of the light, do you seek it further? Do you allow it to soften our anger or quell your impulse to lash out at someone? Do not allow seeking the light to become secondary to other pursuits? As each of us pursues the maturity of our humanity, we perceive the light getting stronger. It illuminates our consciousness helping us move beyond our antiquated fears and hostilities. When we affirm the growing maturity in ourselves and all of our fellow humans,  each one of us can rejoice that we are achieving the essence of our human evolution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *