by Anniel 11/2/14
The brighter the light of a candle, the greater the circumference of the darkness that surrounds it. — Attributed to Albert Einstein • This thought by Albert Einstein was so illuminating to me the first time I read it that I stopped in front of the poster it was on in my daughter’s classroom and almost went into a trance. It answered so many questions I had about the people and life around me. I could imagine clearly a small birthday candle in the corner of a dark room and how ineffectual it would be, with darkness and shadows everywhere. Then I imagined that the candle began to grow in size until it filled the whole room with light. That was wonderful, but triggered severe agoraphobia as I thought of the vast darkness surrounding my imaginary room. There is always a larger darkness out there.
The classroom teacher told me she thought of the candle’s light as learning, and the darkness as ignorance, which works, but I was thinking of the light being Goodness and Truth, from whatever source, and the darkness as evil and lies, again, from whatever source.
Ah yes, light and dark, the Yin and Yang of existence. Only the presence of light reveals the darkness that surrounds us. Or we might live in darkness and not know the light at all. No wonder children are afraid of the dark, their candles are so small at first, they need time, teaching and night lights before they are ready for those larger darknesses.
This lack of awareness may also help explain why the so-called Elite in our present society seem to still believe they will pay no price, lose nothing, and escape the seeds of the political evil they sow. How is it possible that they cannot peer into the darkness around them and foresee their own doom? Are their candles so weak they cannot apprehend the greater darkness about them or comprehend its meaning?
The people who think they are at the top are like the prisoners in Plato’s cave, all of whom can see only the shadows in front of them. Some of them never even raise their eyes to see anything but the darkness. Socrates, who, in Plato’s telling, narrates the Allegory of the Cave, postulates that one prisoner escapes and is first dazzled and hurt by the light of the fire casting the shadows, and then the sun when he leaves the cave behind. He also leaves fearing what is new in the real world he enters.
A black man called Rush Limbaugh a few days ago and said he had listened to him for years and absolutely hated him. At first he hated Rush because he knew he lied, but he kept listening. Then he began to recognize the truth Rush was telling and hated him for that, too, for he could see no escape from his circumstances. The interesting thing was his description of himself as being in a dark tunnel of despair until the day he heard Rush say each man is responsible for his own life. The man said as he accepted that he saw light at the end of the tunnel, and chose to leave it. Rush asked him if he talks to his family and friends about what he’s found and he indicated he had tried, but no one believes him and he’s called names and shunned.
The prisoner who left Plato’s cave also faced the same problems when he returned to the cave to tell the others they were being deceived. No one believed him and Socrates says that those still imprisoned would first laugh at his assertions, and then kill him if they could. Socrates also taught that anyone who has seen the truth has a duty to return and help free others.
Rush’s caller begged him to never stop what he is doing because there may be more people who are beginning to see the light and need the help of good people to complete their journey to truth.
Maybe this man’s story can help us see how difficult it is to adjust to the dazzling light of truth, and something of our role in trying to help those willing to see.
Our 18 year old grandson, Jack, has been learning from his grandpa just how precarious physical existence becomes in any pandemic, natural disaster, EMP, physical attack, or any other form of warfare that may confront us. What happens when the lights and power are gone? When the World Wide Web is no more? How do we protect ourselves when hungry and angry marauders show up to steal our food, house or other goods? What happens when all the moose and caribou are gone?
I even told Jack about Quantrill’s Raiders and the havoc they created during and after the Civil War. The same type of people still exist, maybe clad now in Saville Row suits, but ready to do whatever is necessary to preserve their perceived power and invulnerability. In their blindness they do not see they will pay a price for their folly.
Grandpa asked Jack how long his iPhone, iPad or computer will last in such circumstances. Even if he could recharge them, what would they be worth? We could see shock closing in pretty fast as Jack learned some hard facts of life.
How much light can you share to keep the darkness at bay? Are we, like the caller told Rush, obligated to help the prisoners in the cave, and how do we do it while still maintaining our integrity?
These are serious questions we need to ask in our current circumstances. We no longer have any trust in government or that we are politically free. And absolutely everything has become political. Even voting seems an exercise in futility. More and more people are surrendering to apathy and what they see as the inevitability of the destruction of the Constitution and our liberties.
There must be some answers on how we prevent freedom’s demise and increase the light of our own candles to help those trapped in darkness. • (2032 views)