Richard: Telling The Difference Between Light and Dark
"For the unaware there are many traps,
and, for the aware, perhaps many more."
Ann: Richard, how can you tell a good spirit from a not so good one?
Richard Burton: Very carefully, love, very carefully. We all wander in and out of truth and fiction, what we know, what we need to hear, who we really are in one moment and the next and who we wish we were and try to present to the world. In the midst of all this too-ing and fro-ing, light can get caught up with dark and vice versa. Are we important enough to connect with a dark force? Is that an ego trap? Are we unimportant enough to be sucked into the same trap?
I would say, love, that we travel this world interacting day and night with dark and light and can use our own compass if we can hold on to it long enough to discern the difference.
Who brings us closer to those we love? Who makes us more tolerant? Who asks us to give of ourselves but still take care of our own body, mind, and soul?
And who flatters us, threatens us, asks us to go out on a limb and then glories in our fall when they cut it off? Who brushes up against us and causes a shiver in our souls?
This is what to go for - or to run from.
Ann: Sometimes though, can’t you be engulfed in darkness and never know it?
RB: Yes, for the unaware there are many traps, and, for the aware, perhaps many more. When we think we have it all under control, when we know our own powers of discernment are in good operating order, when we cease to question, when we ignore the niggling little feeling of unease, when we try to please or throw our weight around, there is Danger Will Robinson as you would say.
Ann: What about just general misery?
RB: Ah yes, the eternal question. Are we miserable because we have cut ourselves off from God or are we enduring a dark night of the soul which, when borne with courage and openness, can result in our deliverance from many of the chains of human consciousness and fear?
Love, I don’t think we can know. We must do as St Paul says, embody love as best we can and strive to stay in that all-encompassing and eternal world in which “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 3:7.
This is why we must maintain our spiritual practice in good times and bad, for this is where we can both take refuge from storms on the mountain and celebrate peace in the valley. Each person must find their own. Do not worry overmuch about some externally touted meditation schedule or some other such thing. Just keep returning in all kinds of weather to what is true, to what feeds your soul not your ego, and you will stay on the path which is guided by your better angels.
February 21, 2020
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