Light, Love and Fluffy Bunnies, Oh My! (Thoughts on Polarities)
I’ve always been a non-conformist. I suppose a lot of us are, or we wouldn’t be Pagan in a largely Judeo-Christian society. Here we are, doing the best we can to better ourselves spiritually in the most non-hypocritical manner possible.
So when I come across books and people that stress again and again the importance of light, love and compassion, unfortunately my knee-jerk reaction … is a gag.
No really! Let me explain! I’m not some goth pessimist who’s into the Pagan community just for the shock value and the cool darkness theme. I consider myself a student of Life and actively read anything I can get my hands on with mention to Paganism, new, old or ancient, well or poorly written, just for a nice broad spectrum to base my opinions on. When I was first initiated into Wicca, the reading list was rich and informative. Now it’s hard to find a read out there that isn’t blandly 101 or just a rehash of what I already know. So I started reading the basics once again. Just to see if there was anything I’d missed.
The concept of polarities was consistent in every page I turned, and it got me thinking very hard on some of the more “fresh” books in my library. It occurred to me that a lot of advanced or specialized published material out there stresses the goodness, wholesome love of our Source and how we should spread the love and be good, decent people to better all of humanity.
All well and good of course. Very noble indeed.
Polarities kept nagging me. So you’re trying to ascend to a “higher vibration, ” “seek the light” and “open the love” in all you meet. In a world where such crappy things keep happening such as violence, rape, intolerance and greed, its no wonder a lot of people are trying to pull away from such a nasty mindset. Kudos for those who are trying, I’m sure the world could use a bit of uplifting. But when I review the most basic fundamentals of polarities, I find that favoring this “higher vibration” is no better than being in the dark and ignorant of higher consciousness.
I would much rather be in balance with the vibrations of the world. To be so high up on that divine ladder is to lose touch with our humanity. Gods are Gods for a reason; we are human for a reason. Life is to be experienced, not transcended. Some humans may indeed move on to another stage of existence, and more still may even guide humanity in a positive or negative fashion. But here, now, in the present, the only moment that truly matters, we are human and experiencing what it’s like to be incarnated.
Some humans (most even) are entrenched in their primal instincts (or vibrating on a “lower” or “denser” level) , and simply using their self-awareness and intelligence to serve their own egos and are slaves to their whims. These kinds of people are clearly out of balance and could use a bit of light and love.
But what about the rest of us?
It would be ridiculous to think that one side of the spectrum is better over another. Striking the right balance should be our goal, as many of us knew when we first saw an image of a yin yang. Favoring the light over the darkness would be like favoring men over women, day over night or right over left. Forget the terms good or evil – there may well be no such thing as pure manifestations of either. Neither the high nor the low end of this vibrational spectrum has anything to do with such simple-minded notions. But as for the rest of the comparisons… it doesn’t make much sense to play favorites, does it?
Let’s face it, negative emotions exist. Fear, anger and sadness all have very useful functions. Some of our reactions to them may or may not be acceptable, but to think of a world without such things? How would we know when we were happy? Starhawk once said, “To light a candle is to cast a shadow.” You simply cannot have one without the other. Some fantasy utopia in which everyone is happy and lovey and full of nothing but light is nothing but that – a fantasy. In that world, we would be mindless robots with no motivation to seek, change or develop. Boooooooring.
Helping people grow to the point where they can control their reactions to negativity in a productive manner might be a more realistic goal. “An it harm none, do as ye will.” That’s a loaded moral code right there, and the topic of other essays, but living it out in a mature fashion might be the better destination.
There is no one single point upon which we are all in balance, either. Balance for one person might be totally wrong for another. To better ourselves as human beings, finding that middle ground (not a monotonous, static stay-in-one-place point, but a baseline of sorts) in which we can make wise and unbiased decisions seems to be ideal.
So forgive me if the world “naive” comes to mind when people start talking about “being one with the light” and “being filled with nothing but compassion and love for all of humanity.” Yes, yes, but don’t be so silly to believe that you are above anger, fear or even hate. We are human. As humans, we need to deal with both the joy and the horrors of being incarnate. It is our duty to do so in a responsible manner. Why? Well that one is up to you, according to your creed or personal ideals. I think it’s a pretty universal concept in Paganism however, to want the best for our brethren and ourselves.
Why not go back to some basics, and see what you can find for yourself?
Starhawk (1979) . The Spiral Dance. First Edition. San Francisco: Harper.