Light is not only the brightness of day but, for the last 3,000 or so years, a symbol of goodness and of Spirit or God.  Similarly darkness is now cast as anything inimical to Spirit and to ourselves.  The danger of this is that we lose our natural balance, and our lives don’t honour the importance of the dark.

Have you tried sleeping under a bright light?  Not easy and not fully restful.  Our bodies need the daily rest of darkness as do other creatures, many of whom suffer from light pollution in our cities.  As well as our daily dose of darkness, for those of us nearer the poles than the equator, we have the dark days of winter, long recognised spiritually as a fruitful time for inner work.  New life starts in the dark – in a womb, in a seed, in the soil.  Plants grow taller in the dark.  And Eben Alexander’s experience of the presence of God in ‘the core’ during his near death experience was of a shining darkness.                 

I love the light, the sun and the summer.  But I am learning to value the dark times, the slow times, the digging deep and hoping for growth times.  Honouring the dark is part of knowing that all of nature is filled with spirit and we are part of that.  I have found it helpful seeing life is a spiral, not an upward trajectory interrupted by difficulties.  The problems that before I berated are part of my life and my growth, my journey in Spirit.  And death too is part of that journey, returning us home to Source and future life experiences.    It is true there are forces seeking to harm that we should recognise.  But let us not confuse them with the God-given dark or base our outlook of life on them.  Our lives need the richness and wholeness that comes when we embrace the dark.


Eben Alexander. Proof of Heaven – A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. Piatkus. 2012.

The dark

In the dark
there is a gift
I might have missed
in the bright of day.

It is the slowing of time,
the sense of air
soft filling each space,
touching my face,
of self with no mask
or pretence,
no agenda,
no inner or outer pressure,
just silence so loud
I can hear it.

It is so empty, it is full.
I can feel all that is there,
all that is always there,
although I am not.

I can honour it
by doing nothing.