On August 21st, I was at my sister’s cabin in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and all were grateful for an uncharacteristically clear day. Though I had originally planned to experience the eclipse from a music festival in Oregon, I had been led to fly east to be with my family.
Anticipation had been building for months and millions were staged across the diagonal swath of our country where totality could be viewed. Kayaking that morning on a huge lake we joined excited spectators who were camped along the shoreline and on the water for the event. I was heartened that multitudes had detached themselves from their terrestrial fascinations with sports and tumultuous political happenings and were focusing on a momentous cosmic event.
The moon’s courtship with the sun extended over hours, though totality would last for less than three minutes. My first inclination was to meditate indoors as totality approached but I found myself instead on a forested hill above the serene cabin with a clear line of sight. I wondered if darkness would descend that early afternoon with totality, but a surreal gray sepia enveloped our surroundings as crickets began their harmonious chirping. “This is disturbing,” my niece announced as our normal reality was mysteriously being rearranged. Gazing upwards with now naked eyes, we were spellbound. A solid black sphere, the moon, was surrounded by a mesmerizing halo of vibrant, dancing pure white light as if encircled by innumerable fast darting white fire flies. I had not researched the eclipse phenomena beforehand and was gratefully unprepared for what occurred next.
Some background information might help you comprehend my experience. There is growing awareness in spiritual circles of the ancient knowledge that the deepest level of existence is infinite, non-visible black light. Some traditions refer to it as the Void, Nothing, Beingness, Dark Light, or simply the Unmanifest. Even the mystics of common religions refer to this in their writings and I have heard it from Zen Buddhists and the Mexican Toltecs. This black light is the “Source of All” and not to be confused with the destructive psychological and emotional darkness caused by human repression. No, the Unmanifest is profound stillness, deep silence, the peace that surpasses all understanding and the source of all manifestations and infinite possibilities. Shamans access and use this power for regeneration, healing etc. However, most religions and spiritual paths focus on finding or realizing the visible spiritual light. Many overlook this dark light inside them since it is “no thing” or they may experience abject terror peering into eternal vastness.
A spiritually awakened man guided me to this awareness when I was in my twenties. When I looked within myself, I saw what appeared exactly the same as the clear night sky dotted with stars. Turning away, I screamed imagining I would disappear if I went into it. Interestingly, for many years now, I no longer see any stars or visible light in that blackness but find comfort as if being enveloped in a velvety soft black blanket. One shaman-friend reports seeing it as a dark purple black.
I refer to this deep inner reality as God/Goddess and some ancient cultures named it the “Great Womb” or “Mother.” Obviously on a physical level, humans and mammals are conceived, nourished and grown in the dark of the womb before these beings emerge into this outer realm of visible light. Women are known, for a variety of reasons, to have a spiritual advantage in being able to access this inner reality more easily than men.
Now, back to totality on that hill I was perched on. The celestial mating now complete, the moon began her leisurely slide to the left off the sun. Shockingly brilliant, absolutely pure translucent white light burst out at one o’clock on the black sphere. I gasped at the miracle before me and finally understood what the words the “Glory of God” meant. My awestruck educated niece uttered the astronomer’s label for the phenomena, “the diamond ring.”
Though I have studied the Course in Miracles intermittently for decades, I had never before understood how the Unmanifest or Black Light created us. The white light or Christ was born in a single burst and is the one and only “Child of God.” Light is genderless and that afternoon it struck obvious that the “Son of God” would more accurately be named the “Sun of God.” Jesus fully realized he was that light and referred to his Creator (the Unmanifest) as “His Father.” Now there was infinite black eternity and also pure white light but they are somehow inseparable.
How this single burst of white Light became the “10,000 things” is another tale. Our physical eyes perceive innumerable forms today- people, animals, birds, insects, trees, oceans, etc. But whether it is realized yet or not, everything contains the brilliant white light which some refer to as the Christ. The term Christ comes from a Greek word meaning the “Anointed One” which is one who remembers their divine origin. The man named Jesus Christ realized this fully and spent his life attempting to awaken others to this fact. When we remember we are immortal light and not primarily an impermanent body we are “saved” or enlightened. Other Christed beings have walked the Earth including Buddha, Krishna, Rama and Sita, and alive today are Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti and the female hugging Indian guru Ammachi to name a few.
If you resonate with the great teacher and our powerful loving brother, Jesus, honor him. His entire existence is dedicated to helping us remember who we are. Everyone is the beautiful immortal Light of God/Goddess (Christ consciousness) though purification is often needed to become aware of it. Do you think you are primarily a body that is changing every moment? How depressing is identifying with a decaying form? You, as well as the rest of all physical forms, are made of light! A practical way to train yourself to remember who you really are is to begin to look past the physical forms of people, animals, objects etc. to the light of who they are. Each being you choose to see as light reminds you that you are light also! How cool is that?
What to do with any resentments, hard feelings or grievances you carry about yourself, others or the world? What to do with deep disappointments or judgments you may be addicted to that form the dark clouds blocking your sunlight? This year I have been learning about the stupendous power of true forgiveness. Not the world’s version of arrogant forgiveness that says, “I am better than you so I will bestow forgiveness on that awful thing you did.” Not the namby-pamby version that feigns holiness while suppressing anger or even murderous rage at what happened. True forgiveness accepts our human emotions and works through them until we realize we are all the same. As we forgive others we begin to undo our own shame and guilt about all the errors and mistakes we have also made. We learn to forgive ourselves more quickly. It is a purification practice that is a free ticket to inner peace and freedom. A enlightening book you can delve into is, “Radical Forgiveness” and I invite you to consider committing to a practical forgiveness practice in the coming year.