In Northern Europe, the goddess Frigga - also called "Mother Night" - gives birth to Baldur the sun god on the winter solstice - today! I love the symbolism here, for it reveals the fact that light is actually born from the womb of darkness.
Applied to the inner life, this means that the light of insight is always given birth by the night of challenge and suffering. In my own life, I've come to realize that every "aha!" experience of revelation comes as a solution to a previous difficulty.
For example, as a young adult, I felt an intense, insatiable longing for divine union, one that it seemed could never be quenched. While spiritual seekers all around me received the consolation they were looking for, all I could ever claim was unfulfilled longing. This situation made me feel, in fact, that there was something terribly wrong with me. As a consequence, I entered into a period of deep depression.
Then one day, an inner light switched on, and I suddenly realized that the reason why my longing would NOT go away was because the desire was actually its own answer! In fact, I discovered that my infinite thirst for union with the Divine was actually a participation in the infinite longing OF THE DIVINE for union with ME! It's no wonder, then, that the desire refused to go away. How could it, when The Beloved's desire for human love is limitless?
My experience teaches me here and in a multitude of other instances that revelation is ALWAYS born out of a logically prior experience of absence; in other words, out of some kind of "dark night of the soul" :)
Photos: Bellvue Dome and Watson Lake; The Loch; and Alpenglow on Long's Peak, Larimer County, CO
Please visit: http://www.resourcesforspiritualgrowth.com/
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.