January 12 – Seeing into Darkness – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“Seeing into darkness is clarity. This seeing is called practicing eternity.” La-Tzu

Fear gets its power from our not looking, at either the fear or what we’re afraid of. Remember that attic or closet door which something terrifying waited, and the longer we didn’t look, the harder it was to open that door?

As a boy, this obsessed me until I would avoid that part of the house. But, finally, when no one was home, I felt compelled to face the unknown. I stood before the attic door for the longest time, my heart pounding. It took all my small inner boy strength to open it.

I waited at the threshold, and nothing happened.  I inched my way in and stood in the dark, even longer, until my breathing slowed and to my surprise, my eyes grew accustomed to the dark. Pretty soon, I was able to explore the old musty boxes and found some pictures of my grandmother, my father’s father, the only one in the family that I am like.  Seeing those pictures opened me to aspects of my spirit.

It seems whatever the door, whatever our fear – be it love or truth or even the prospect of death – we all have this choice, again and again; avoiding that part of our house, or opening the door and finding out more about ourselves by waiting until what is dark becomes seeable.

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