On Light and Dark

1919_eclipse_neg_pos

The following is not ground-breaking or deep by any means, but just a few observations that I have had about the general concepts of Light and Dark.

Most simply, Dark is described as an absence of Light, but does that then denote an inherent lack of anything that would be considered good or useful, whereas only “the Light” contains those good and useful things? Or is that merely a subjective overlay on what are, in fact, two complementary modes of operation that are each required in measure for life to exist?

Dark appears to be the base of the universe — when we view the cosmos, we see an endless expanse of dark, illuminated by spots of light created by suns and the suns’ reflections on other bodies. All of those suns could potentially be extinguished, and then only dark would exist. Yet the suns do exist, bringing forth the Light and Life that Dark cannot. Light is considered the active principle, the sudden blaze of activity and vibrancy that dispels Dark. So, what can Dark offer? Dark offers rest, and in a sense, we can think of Light and Dark as Radiance and Rest. Each exposes the other and is dependent on the other for survival. Are they mated? Do they give birth to each other? Do they devour one another? Perhaps each acts as the lifeblood of the other, hidden from view as its complement is in the forefront, yet pulsingly present nonetheless.

There is the obvious example of day and night as examples of Light and Dark and how we react to their modalities — we generally radiate activity during the day, and find our rest at night. But here we see something a little more obscure, that the modes of Light and Dark have some overlap. For the day shows the full picture, essentially a completeness in which we see it all, which could be seen as a kind of restful finality, while the night conceals what it yet contains, and in darkness it seethes with potential activity not-yet-born. This is what gives the Dark its mysterious, expectant quality. Dark and Light could thus also be termed Potential and Fulfillment.

During the day, we see the Sun’s light, but if we could observe the Sun and Earth from a great distance, we would see them embraced by the deep darkness of space. At night, we see darkness, and yet the Sun is still there, simply hidden from our vision by the Earth’s position. If you go into a completely dark room, where there is absolutely no light coming in, your eyes can still perceive bits of light before you; you can also be in an environment of overwhelming light and be temporarily blinded by it. I think that these examples illustrate that Light and Dark intersect continuously.

This essay was mostly an attempt to look beyond some of the usual words used for Light and Dark, such as Masculine/Feminine, Positive/Negative, and Good/Evil.

 

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