Brian’s Reflection: Saturday, July 26, 2008
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence
is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among those in the
second half of life - that is to say, over 35 - there has not been
one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a
religious outlook on life.
- Carl Jung, born on this day, 1875
At the Easter Vigil Liturgy of the Christian Church each year, a great candle is lit with a “new fire”. It is called the Paschal Candle, the “Passover” Candle. After being lit, it is lifted up, and the deacon sings, The Light of Christ! The people respond, Thanks be to God! The Paschal Candle then becomes the central liturgical symbol for the whole Easter season, to be removed only at Pentecost, when the invisible Spirit becomes the symbol of inner Divine Light leading through Life.
Though my friend Harry Cook+ and I disagree about this, the word “religion” comes from the Latin root “to be re-tied to” [as in a ligament]. I “know” that to be human is to know the connection between our human being-ness and the Source of Life, which we often call “God”. That connection, which I believe to be a “given”, is easily “lost”. I agree with Jung, that Life becomes “a problem” when we become untethered, and that we must be retied if we are going not to be sick of soul.
God must be Light. God must be that which leads us out from “the darkness of mere being”. God cannot be Dark. Alas, God has often been portrayed or promulgated as Dark – and then God is only a projection of the dark shadow of the potential Evil of the human heart.
If God isn’t Light, then “God” is worth diddly. The Christ is the divine light within each of us. It makes each of us a light-filled Being. Today let’s, as the hymn says, Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.