[IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

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[IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

Post by Thelos on Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:24 am

This essay written by Anchorite Thelos has recently been posthumously published and is circulating amongst the theo-philosophical community of Azeroth and Draenor.

The Light understood as Darkness, and the Darkness understood as Light.
By the late Anchorite Thelos.

Zuladaan the Confounded wrote:
The mind is the void in which stars shine
The stars come and they go, but the void remains untouched
The void is inherently black and clear, and although its blackness and clarity can be obscured,
it can never be destroyed.
The stars are like hindrances and delusions that pollute the mind.
Because of the transient nature of these mental states, they cannot be said to be inherent part of the mind.
They may obscure the mind's inherent awareness and compassion
but those qualities are never absent.

This old Eredari poem reminds us of an ancient and profound fact: that the concepts of “Light”, “Shadow”, “Void” and “Darkness” are but mere shallow approximations of eternal ideas that far transcend the Eredari (now Draenei) intellect. Hopelessly we sieve the ancient Naaru-bestowed knowledge with our hapless fingers, foolishly grasping at the Eternal as it runs trough us. We can consider ourselves blessed if it leaves even a single trace; a single grain of sand would be more than plenty to enlighten the darkened mind that so desperately thirsts to be liberated from its ignorant dwelling in darkness.

The Darkness is not “Darkness”,
The Shadow is not “Shadow”
And the Light is certainly not “Light”.

Words and meaning; truth and mind – these are distinct and incommensurable. A mortal, limited mind can only hope to climb so far; all hopeless us Eredari are, pride forsaken, prostrating at the Naaru's shining crystal-feet that are no feet. Servants, not masters, are we. Thus we sing the Light's praise and beg for forgiveness for our ignorance.

The limited mind is in want of the Word. In grasping the inexpressible, we turn to the expressed; the Light can only be seen trough the lens of the World. The mind's eye would be blinded if it were to directly perceive the sublimity of the Divine. Thus it turns to the the suns in the skies and stars in the void that offer themselves as the First Parable. The star burns like the Faithful; it is live-giving without life-taking, it consumes only itself, not others – it enlightens without the need of light. It pierces the otherwise black void, the present parable for Darkness and evil – and fills a cold cosmos with Good and Compassion.

Yet, Light is not “Light” is not The Light. Every star must inevitable collapse and fade into the nothingness from whence it came, whereas the most profoundly subtle and eternal love of the Light is inexhaustible and infinite, permeating every atom of the cosmos. Often the confusion is made between parable and identity; primitive tribes, taking their first strides in the Light, turn to their world's Star, understood and seen as a Sun as the source of Light. This is the origin of all idolatry. While Suns are indeed one of the Light's Great Inspirators, they are not the Light; and worship of the inspiration, rather than the inspiration, is sacrilegious and an offense to the most profound subtlety of the Light. Even the Naaru, who are, as Inspirators, even greater than the Suns still, ask not to be worshiped; there is nothing Holy but the Holy Light. Sermon, Scripture, Words and Song are also like this; Inspirators alike to the Light, but not the Light in themselves. They are the channel trough which the Light's Love flows; but one does not drink channels; one drinks water.

This brings us back to the poem. The Void and the Darkness, often fallaciously used interchangeably (though this is a matter to be addressed another time), are used as parables for Evil, opposite to the Good of the Light. When the Stars in a the endless Void of Space are taken as the model of the profound subtlety of the Light, this is of course an unavoidable consequence; but this is so only in this model, insofar it is applied to the spiritual life. The merits of this poem lie in the destruction of this model and the standard use of language in which we speak of and understand these most important matters.

In the poem, the “Void” is not the cold evil opposed to the Light, but rather the calm stillness trough which the Light is to be perceived: the immortal and pure Mind; the channel trough which the Water of Light flows. As the Doctrine of the Five Hindrances teach us, only a clear and unpolluted Mind has unmediated access to the Grace and Salvation of the Light; here not directly described but implied to be a perfect quiet Blackness. Understood as a Blackness, the star's lights are what confound our understanding of the Light; they distract us with their shining bright lights from a direct and undiluted appreciation of the Light, which offers us peace and serenity in all things.

This Destruction of the standard model in which we speak of Spirituality enriches our understanding of the Light; it allows us to pierce trough the confounding confusion of language and allows us a more direct understanding of the Higher Concepts of the Divine (which cannot be adequately put in words.) When we understand that it is possible and even prudent to speak and understand the Light as a void and the Darkness as lights, we will intuitively understand that words and scripture are arbitrary and cannot hope to fathom even an inkling of the deep profound subtlety of the Light. That is why we must remain ever ardent in our scrutiny; our fickle minds are restless and always in flux and in great want of stable and steady teachings. These teachings, unlike the Light, are rigid and temporally fixed, whereas the Divine is fluid and eternal and will always take on different forms unique to any given temporal and cultural situation.

It is often said that the Light speaks to us in our own voice. To an advanced people with no visual faculties, the Light would be described primarily in terms of Sound; in a people that lack both sight and hearing, it would be a scent; in a people that lack all three, it would be a feeling of touch; for a people that lack all of these sensory faculties, it would be a thought; and for a people that lack even that, the Light would simply be the Light; which is how the Light is experienced by the Naaru, the celestial beings closest and dearest to the Light.


Last edited by Paozi/Thelos on Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: [IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

Post by Gogol on Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:53 am

(Bravo old boy!
Though. You lay off the Shadow! Infidel.)

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Re: [IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

Post by Thelos on Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:43 am

Gogol wrote:(Bravo old boy!
Though. You lay off the Shadow! Infidel.)

That's what you got out of it?

...Oh dear. That's not good. I need to be more careful about how I word things.

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Re: [IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

Post by Drathun on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:21 am

Very eloquently written, I like it a lot. I'd respond ICly with a declaration of praise, but the character seems to be dead. >.>

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Re: [IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

Post by Gogol on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:25 am

Paozi/Thelos wrote:That's what you got out of it?

...Oh dear. That's not good. I need to be more careful about how I word things.
Never try and argue with a zealot. It's like playing chess with a pidgeon. No matter how many smart moves you make, they will always knock over all your pieces, shit on the board and strutt around like they own the world.

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Re: [IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

Post by Thelos on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:32 am

The irony being that this is a piece against zealotry and dogmatisism Sad

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Re: [IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

Post by Melnerag on Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:54 am

I had to reread it several times, over two days, to have a feeling that I understand what is written and what the implications are. Great work!

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Re: [IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

Post by Gesh on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:18 pm

Gogol wrote:(Bravo old boy!
Though. You lay off the Shadow! Infidel.)

Always reminds me of the good times within The Cult of Shadow!

<3

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Contactable ingame via Geshel(Alliance)

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Re: [IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

Post by Thelos on Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:27 am

Drathun wrote:Very eloquently written, I like it a lot. I'd respond ICly with a declaration of praise, but the character seems to be dead. >.>

Well...

Undead, as it turns out, since a rather rude Necromancer recently raised him against his will. That's not supposed to be common knowledge though, but I am sure his students and colleagues would love to read a decleration of praise!

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Re: [IC] The Light understood as Darkness, and Darkness understood as the Light: A Commentary.

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