Be a light unto the world

Be a light unto the world

28 Dec 2019

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

—Matthew 5:14-16

While it is possible to see in such a quotation an element of religious self-righteousness, I believe it is also possible to interpret it in a more modest way. Be like a candle that shares its light with the world, but take care that the heat of your flame does not burn others in the process. Fill your mind and heart with inspired thoughts and feelings. Accept into your awareness sources of wisdom, skillfulness and beauty which uplift, enliven and enlighten your spirit. In so doing you will radiate with the trans-formative power that such forces have on you. Radiating through your presence, your joy, your enthusiasm, and devotion without a care for who sees it or not.

The true shining, does not need to imply some kind of missionary like attitude where one imposes their beliefs and opinions on others, but rather comes when we are able to actualize the wisdom which we receive, through sources of inspiration, within ourselves in meditation. Allowing such knowledge to penetrate deep within, untying knots and loosening the layers of contraction, we discover greater and greater degrees of freedom; the freedom for our thoughts and subsequent actions to manifest in more and more refined ways. Then the shining is a spontaneous and direct result of having cleared away the 'dirt' of our limitations and selfishness. It is then seen through and in our attitude and actions and thus we radiate this freedom out into the world.

Very often people rush forward in their sense of righteousness to impose their morals, ethics, opinions and beliefs on others, often thinking that they act out of a desire to help. But in many such cases it is simply an attempt to enforce some degree of egotistical superiority or to counter the insecurity that an opposing notion creates in them. The need to be right, to feel justified and validated in our stories about life is the source of so much conflict in the world.

Rather than 'bringing' our light to others and potentially setting the world on fire, the humbler and more harmonious way is simply to shine for those who have the eyes to see.