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.

 

Yoga Exercise for Kyphosis

My dad bought a copy of Frank R. Young’s Yoga for Men Only in the early 1970’s. I started reading it when I was a teenager and have used some of the techniques from time to time throughout my life.

According to the author, his paternal ancestors were “long-lived Yogis,” and he learned the basic exercises and techniques directly through that lineage. But Young was also a chiropractor, and he altered the exercises from a chiropractic point of view for the modern man. The exercises mainly deal with angles of pull and push. The case studies are often quite funny and almost certainly, in my opinion, either made up or embellished. That doesn’t detract from the usefulness of the book’s information, however.

The book has long been out of print, and prices for used copies can be a bit high. I thought that I would occasionally put up an exercise from the book for anyone who is interested, starting with this one. I’ve been using this particular exercise for about four weeks now, and have noticed some improvement in my posture; if you have a sub-clinical kyphotic back condition, you may find it useful. Although the book is “for men only,” I think that this exercise would work equally well for women:

"The Lower Back Doorway Pull" Frank Rudolph Young

“The Lower Back Doorway Pull” Frank Rudolph Young

Grasp both door knobs of an open door, feet close to the bottom of the door. Extend arms to full length (dropping back), with straight legs. Then,

1. Round your shoulders. (Turn them inwards, downwards and backwards.) 2. Inhale deeply as you pull your still straight body towards the door, with your fingers. At the same time 3. Arch your back, and drop your weight backwards. 4. Hug your body tightly with your elbows. 5. You will rise up on your toes, as the movement progresses. If you are tall bend your knees a little. 6. Keep your shoulders rounded all the while, with 7. Your elbows still hugging your body until the end. Hold the contraction, at the end, for two seconds. Then relax.” (Young, Yoga for Men Only, 1969, page 37)

Young recommends doing this from one to ten times a day, “depending on how fast you want results,” and he suggests putting a wedge under the door’s free end to take pressure off of the hinges. It takes practically no time to perform ten reps of this, and it does help with the humped shoulders look that many of us get from sitting at computers most of the day. Pay heed to keeping your elbows tight to your body as you do the exercise (don’t let your elbows drift outwards).

–quotes, instruction and illustration taken from Yoga for Men Only by Frank Rudolph Young, Parker Publishing Company, Inc.: West Nyack, New York, 1969, pages 37-39.

Lucifer’s Coming!

On YouTube today, I ran into this: http://youtu.be/6Jc61xBfcGI It’s been around for a while and I’m not going to embed it on the post, but it supposedly shows Pope Francis invoking — Lucifer? The poster is obviously implying that the pope, through his cantor, is blatantly praying to “the Anti-Christ”, and most of those commenting fall right into line with that assumption.

In case you’re not already aware of it, Lucifer is not a Biblical synonym for Satan. The word Lucifer occurs only once in older English translations of the Bible, in Isaiah 14:12:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (KJV)

(In Latin) quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer qui mane oriebaris corruisti in terram qui vulnerabas gentes. (Vulgate)

In that sentence, the word is a metaphor for the earthly king of Babylon. In Latin, Lucifer literally means “light-bearer,’ from the root noun lux (light) and the verb fero (bear), and it refers to the morning star (the planet Venus). Jesus also was called the morning star in 2 Peter 1:19. The Vulgate again uses the word lucifer for that reference, and that is why, when that word lucifer is used in that ancient hymn in the video, it is completely referring to Jesus. Later Christians simply took the verse in Isaiah out of context and created a fanciful story about Lucifer as a fallen angel.

If you want to read more in-depth about this subject, a couple of thorough and well-written articles from a Christian perspective are at http://jdstone.org/cr/files/luciferaproblemforchristianity.html and https://bible.org/article/lucifer-devil-isaiah-1412-kjv-argument-against-modern-translations

Update

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Reviving the blog from a year-long slumber, with a new, mobile-friendly theme (I’ll miss you, MistyLook). My thanks to you for stopping by and reading, more content on the way.

Music for Cthulhu’s Awakening

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Heavy, dark, intense, slow-grinding doom metal at its best. Catacombs is the one-man project of John Del Russi (currently doing projects under the name Xathagorra). This is a track from his 2006 recording, In the Depths of R’lyeh. Put out the lights and sink into this album’s oppressive transcendence. This is meditation music for the rest of us.