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Friday's Inspiration Weekly
Light and Darkness

I am inspired by the marvelous construction of the human eye, and I am grateful for the Light it brings to my life.

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Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace!
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Imagination is the eye of the soul.

Entrée: Tricks Of Light by Wendy Anderson
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The movie house grows dark, the crowd hushed in anticipation as the lights slowly dim. Armed with popcorn and beverage, I prop my feet on the chair in front of me (like we're told not to) and prepare to enjoy a dazzling display of creative collaboration. John Williams familiar theme music from twenty years past once again fills the theater with resounding fanfare - Star Wars was back! Dashing heroes - a haughty princess in distress (more from the dashing heroes than any real danger) - an evil empire bent on control - and ‘The Force,' a silent co-star makes its first appearance in two decades opening a new generation to the concepts of light and honor.

Unfortunately, having indulged too much in the soda, I had to get up and use the restroom. As I re-entered the theater, an odd string of thought caught in my mind. It started when I saw the stream of light poring from the projector booth and reflecting onto the screen. It struck me that what I'd believed to be the greatest movie series of all time was merely a trick of light reflected back to me through bits of exposed celluloid. All of the images, hopes, dreams and battles were nothing more than illusions of simulated reality. Happily, this realization didn't diminish the experience - I still had a great time. But it did get me to wondering - what if we are tricks of light?

Science has shown that light (electro-magnetic radiation), in its various spectrums flows continuously through our tissues and material matter. Even what could be considered darkness in this world carries trace amounts of measurable light. Without sunlight, our bodies can not produce vitamin D or reset key brain chemicals vital for health and sanity. So in the ‘real' scientific sense, we are creatures of light.

Yoga teaches about light centers of the body, key locations on the spine where nerve centers meet and channel neural energy to the rest of the nerve endings. The constant flow of energy to these pathways is said to produce a specific color frequency that, when visualized can improve health and awareness.

Interestingly enough, these colors correspond to the scientific approach to the light spectrum that when split from the original ‘whole' light, creates a rainbow. Many faiths have stories of rainbows being a message from the heavens. In Norse mythology it's a rainbow bridge to the heavens.

In Greek mythology it's a bridge traveled by Iris to deliver messages from Olympus to earth and the underworld. In the bible it's God's promise to never again destroy man by water. And artists know that the color white contains all the colors of the spectrum.

The Native Americans have a word to describe the family of man. In their language it's Matee. In ours it translates to Rainbow. In their sacred wheels that symbolize creation in motion, east is the color yellow as are the people. South is the red people, west is the black people, north is the white people. In the center of the circle, where Creation is said to be, is the Rainbow Tribe. In their faith, it's as though Creator shone his light into this world and created us - reflections of light.

So now we create through streams of light carrying our hopes, dreams, fantasies and fears. For a few hours we forget our mundane lives and surrender to our creation; living the experiences of our favorite characters, never suspecting that we may only be as children imitating the parent who invented it all.

May The Force Be With You.

About the author:

Wendy Anderson is a longtime journalist who has taught at the grad level in the journalism school at Northwestern University. She has her own writing/editing business, and she teaches a poetry workshop at the Highland Park Community House. She had a book of poetry published years ago, and she's published poems and essays in Rhino, Hammers, Beloit Poetry Journal, Down East magazine, etc.

Main Course: An Admirable Contrivance of Nature
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Seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting - these are described as the five senses. Were it not for these five senses, humans (and indeed all living creatures) would be blind and deaf, without a feeling of contact with the physical universe, not knowing the aroma of cookery or chemistry, never to experience the taste of tears or to savor a fine wine. Isolated, alone, disconnected. No rainbows, no hope.

What would existence be without the senses? Sightless navigation would result in bumping into objects continually; but not being able to hear sounds or feel surfaces, the environment would be perceived as foreign and dangerous, and existence would be, at the very least, frustrating in the extreme. Without smelling and tasting, one could not distinguish between food that is wholesome and that which is nauseous. How would one gain an understanding of their world, their own purpose or an understanding and love of their fellow beings, without the senses?

It seems to me that the senses are designed to connect a being with the environment in a way that allows learning, growth, and achievement. The senses facilitate life, as we know it. And any blind person will tell you, sight is the most valuable of these senses.

Without sight, I would have no idea of the difference between light and darkness. Without ever having the use of my eyes, I would have a completely different idea of beauty, have no clue about the variety of the natural landscape, have no understanding of color and hue, no concept of shape or size other than what was under my hand at the moment. The idea of nearness or distance would mean little to me without sight.

Advances in humankind's understanding of the sciences has not dimmed our wonder at the very physics and mechanics of nature. One of the most fascinating inventions of nature certainly must be the eye itself. Each living thing on our planet, if it has eyes at all, has an eye so constructed and arranged that it best serves the fish, the insect, the animal or the man in a manner well-suited to their situation in the natural universe.

The construction of the eye is therefore, beyond doubt, a masterpiece of creation. The greatest creative effort of man has yet to equal this marvelous but useful device. We may imitate the eye using a camera, but it is a poor shadow of what the eye itself can perceive. The camera focuses and captures the light and dark, the color and hue, in two flat dimensions. Yet, the organic eye is constructed in such a way that the rays of light convey huge amounts of information about the physical environment to the brain in three dimensions, and with more shades of color than the mightiest computer can display.

Without nature's admirable contrivance, the eye, we would have no concept of "light." Without such a physical concept, there would be no understanding of the philosophical concept of "Light," either.

And, just where would humankind be, without Light? Deep in the darkness, without much hope of finding our way out.

Fiat Lux!

Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2005

Second Helping: The Light in the Tree by Julie Jordan Scott
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The morning was simply remarkable. My heart was soaring and my breath needed space. The sun beckoned me outside. Standing in front of my house I inhaled deeply. The sun rays completely washed over my face as my head tilted towards heaven to greet them. My arms lifted up without any effort or thought.

Every cell of my body agreed and rang out, "Yes! Yes!" My feet moved without my consent, taking me for a mind morning walk. I smiled contentedly as I followed.

Around the corner waited a magnificent tree whose friendship was new to me. From its appearance, it had been on the planet for several generations. I have been in residence less than a couple hundred yards from it for more than a decade yet it was only days ago that we had been "properly introduced". It had called to me during a walk with my eighteen-month-old-son, Samuel.

Since our "formal acquaintance" I would nod to the tree as I pulled out of my driveway in the mornings. It towered over all the other neighborhood trees. As I walked out my back door I looked to the North. There it was again in all its evergreen glory towering over the homes and other trees.

On this particular morning, its lessons would continue with strength unlike anything I had ever experienced. The tree has a massive trunk which splits into four separate sections. Each section is as large as any of the other neighborhood trees. It has one fork and then two smaller forks in its trunk branchings.

I was looking up at its majesty when I saw something new. I stopped in my tracks right in the middle of the street. Paused. Halted. The jaw dropping silence was so deep I could feel and hear the reverberations of my heart as it clattered in my chest. I tilted my head to an angle when I saw it.

The tree took a sunbeam into its branching and made the light three dimensional. It held the rays as surely as I have ever held anything in my hands. I had seen this three dimensional light before, though only in photographs. Usually, the intimacy of such photographs would bring tears to my eyes.

And in this moment my new friend, this magnificent tree, held the ray of light in place especially and only for me. I moved to a different angle and the light disappeared. I went backwards and it vaporized. I crouched down and it was simply no more. I stood still, in the pulse of the moment, and the ray of light held me.

With shaking arms, I lifted my hands so that they would mimic the "V" shape of the branching. I wanted to physically connect with the beam of light. With my hands lifted and my head back, I felt a surge of love. I received potent energy. I felt an awareness that I was standing squarely in a place where truth and love and wholeness is conceived.

One of my feet involuntarily moved back to maintain balance as I became unsteadied by the grandeur of the moment as I bowed my head in amazed humility. My hands came down from their V with my thumbs resting at a spot that pointed to my heart.

My eyes closed as a silent tear leaked from my eye. Standing in the middle of the street, my chin rested almost on the tips of my fingers as I held the ancient pose which proclaims in a hushed whisper:

About the author:

Julie Jordan Scott is a Writer, Speaker, Success Coach, Actor, Workshop Facilitator and Mother Extraordinaire who works with creative, action-oriented people to help them discover and lead remarkable lives. Visit - Dare to Discover Your Passion! [Ed. note: "Namaste" means "I honor your spirit."]

Soup to Nuts: From the feedback button
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When Sandy Pofal reprinted a story about my late friend Odell, and my visit to him in the nursing home, he forwarded the following to me: "Dear Sandy, Of all the stories I have been sent from you, this one touched my soul. So many of us try to be 'good' people - try to live each day being kind and helpful to others, but never really knowing if what we say and do matters to anyone but ourselves. This story reminds us that every little thing that we say or do does make a difference... to someone, somewhere, somehow... Ripples of love going around the world. Thank you for reminding me of that, and for giving me a wonderful feeling of peace and joy on this beautiful day Regards, Debbie " It just goes on, and on.

My son is an actor, stand-up comedian, and master showman. From his theatre where he is director and producer as well as star satirist, he recently shared some good news: "Saturday Morning Breakfast Epiphanies with the Jester'Z, Hosted by Jef Rawls is a success!" If you live in the Phoenix Metro area, check out AM1480 All Comedy Radio Saturday's from 10am - 11am. TUNE IN - they'll have FREE tickets to give away - as well as FREE comedy for your listening enjoyment! If you love comedy, your sides will split after the Jester'Z from Theatre168 take the stage. That's my boy! In more family news, my youngest daughter was delivered of my thirteenth grandchild just yesterday (5/19/05). Alexander Michael was 8 lbs and 19" - Papa snuggled him real good, too!

Maralyn was N-Spired by my articles on integrity and Probity - "Oh this is the MOST wonderful shared messages... this integrity really fits our world of today. For more to develop true integrity, just think what life would be like for all to enjoy in freedom. Thank you Michael, you really offer so much for all of us to grow upon. We are forever grateful. Thanks for the healings shared and the needs are added to my prayers and ceremony burning and Reiki Energy I send every day. No one is ever removed from my written names and needs and thanks."

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