“Shadow owes its birth to light.”

— John Gay

It is important to remember, as we walk through our days, that shadow does not exist in its own right.  There is darkness in the world — varying levels of shadow that can make us feel as though we are being overtaken by something sinister and frightening — but we must remember that the only thing that can create a shadow is light. We must not allow ourselves to feel lost in the shadows.  Instead, we must walk as long as it takes to discover what is being touched by the Light in order for that shadow to exist.  We learn little about anything by looking at its shadow.

If we study about light, we learn that there are three types of objects — transparent ones that allow light to pass through them, translucent ones that filter a bit of light but block some of it and cast a faint shadow, and opaque ones that do not allow the light to enter at all and create a heavy shadow where the light cannot penetrate.  We can learn the outer shape of an object by seeing its shadow, but we cannot begin to understand its details and its substance simply by looking at the darkness it casts when it blocks the light.

We are human, and that means that we are beings of Light who live in solid bodies.  When we stand in the sun, we cast a shadow — long in the morning and the evening, and shorter in the middle of the day.  Our physical form is opaque, and we can move it into different positions that change the look of its shadow.  Any child can tell you, or show you, that the shadow of a very small being can be made to appear huge and frightening by adjusting the angle of the light that hits it.  We must not judge another only by the shadow he casts.  There is so much more to being human than simply being opaque.

We are beings of Light.  We are not only our physical bodies, but we are transparent and translucent as well.  Our eyes take in the Light in an unfiltered way and carry it to feed our souls.  When we look at another in love, that Light shines from us and touches them with its beauty.  No shadow is cast inside of me when the Light shines into my eyes and I see it in all its splendor.  When I see that Light in another person — eye to eye — his shadow means nothing to me.  It cannot exist without the Light to create it.  When we feel the Light as it penetrates our being and allow it to migrate to our heart and be pumped to every part of our body, we can sense a sort of glow.  When that warmth shines from our heart in the love we send to the world, we learn about being translucent.  Although we do not disappear in the shadow, we can diffuse the light so that it touches everything around us.

We are human.  We cast shadow, we diffuse love, and sometimes we radiate with the very Light that creates our existence.  We must not be afraid of the shadows.  Instead, we should search for the Light that calls them into being.