‘[F]iguring out your life has become figuring out your job, which is still coming from an industrial revolution mentality’.*
‘Attend. Listen to what your life calls you to do.’**
To shed light on something means to see it more clearly, to be able to know something more fully. My experience has been that I have needed others to help me shed light on different aspects of my life, and I hope it means, I have become a shedder of light for others, and they to others.
Stephen Pyne writes about how we live in a world defined by fire:
‘The nature of life based on photosynthesis assures this will happen: fire will occur unless something blocks it.’^
Fire has been such a significant contributor to the development of human life on earth that we are able to refer to this period as the Anthropocene. We are able to describe ourselves as fire-creatures. One of the developments from being artists in fire has been the creation of the lightbulb, the symbol we use to identify the appearance of an idea. Our brains are firing with electricity. This is where everything beautiful, noble, good, and kind (and many more things) begins its life. And we have no idea where all of this will end unless the light is blocked in some way or by some thing.
Those who’ve been light-people to us will have been able to do so because they foster certain behaviours in their lives, developing the art of light. Erich Fromm suggests developers of an art will have been disciplined, focused, patient and valuing of the mastery of the art:
‘With regard to the art of loving, this means that anyone who aspires to become a master in this art must begin by practising discipline, concentration and patience throughout every phase of his life.’^^
Keri Smith adds more things to our list of helpful practices when she identifies the critical elements of wandering:
‘We use the tools of instinct, intuition, and experimentation.’*^
Instinct, intuition and experimentation are more curious and creative elements for inhabiting Fromm’s characteristics, the things that allow us to develop our unique form of light. The human eye is unable to detect some 95% or so of light in our universe is a helpful reminder that we need to become better at seeing the unique light each person has to bring. Richard Rohr express this when he declares:
‘I love what I see: life excites me.’^*
He confesses how this drives him on to help others see:
‘Primarily, I am concerned with why people cannot see very well and how we perhaps can.’^*
Here are some more ways for developing our personal light:
Read as much as you can (this also includes listening to podcasts and watching videos, …).
Attend the things where your kind of light is being taught and practised.
Have conversations with people who are further ahead in expressing your kind of light in their life and ask lots of questions.
Shed a little light of your own: experiment, prototype.
(*From Patrick Dodson’s Psychotic Inertia.)
(**From Otto Scharmer’s Theory U.)
(^From Stephen Pyne’s Fire.)
(^^From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving.)
(*^From Keri Smith’s The Wander Society.)
(^*From Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now.)