Ephesians 5:1–20, Light

Verses 13–14, “But everything, when once the light has shown it up, is illumined, and everything thus illumined is all light. And so the hymn says: ‘Awake, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine upon you.’”

Where do you sleep?
Where do you refuse to wake up and be alive?
Alive to the nuances of what you feel, see, touch, know.

Tasting the sweetness and the bitterness of what happens day in and day out.
How much of it can we bear?

Moving in and out of our ideals, our perceptions, our distortions
To see fully and clearly what is.
Who we are; who we aren’t.

Truth is sometimes ugly.
It lurks in the dark
Creating shame that hides the suffering that is.

‘Awake, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine upon you.’

An invitation…
To life…to Light…to God Within…
A Self that transforms ugly truth and suffering.

To see, to know, to be aware
I release the shame that keeps me hidden
The secrets that keep me feeling dirty, wrong, useless

Shame is the underbelly of darkness.
Not seeing, denying, ignoring, pretending
I give power to that which destroys me

No longer will shame kill me
I gather all I know me to be
And I call for the me I Am

I Am comes
Bringing Light that mutes the power of darkness
I Am awake, I Am alive, I Am my Self.

As a species, humans struggle to move from living in the dark—unaware, numb, unconscious, hidden—to living in the light, awake, feeling, conscious, seen. We are animal, so we have automatic, reflexive patterns and behaviors in our body and mind. We don’t have to worry about making ourselves breathe or digest food. It happens automatically. Yeah! Other patterns, such as the survival instinct, prompt responses that are not life-giving. We act reflexively and we destroy life—ours or another’s.

In a historical context, this scripture addresses the differences between the common morality and religion of that day and the new standard of the Christian community. The norm was gratification of bodily needs and living out instinctive desires without regard for oneself and others. The negative and destructive behaviors (i.e., fornication, greed, indecency) that accompanied such choices violated the guidelines for human interaction given in the Ten Commandments. Now, as then, we all have to deal with our animal (instinctive) nature and our central nervous system responses that prompt reflexive, instinctive, “kill or be killed” responses to ourselves and others.

Christ’s teachings call us to live consciously—knowingly, intentionally, relationally. Consciousness starts with seeing. Awareness is the first step, but not the whole. Consciousness involves our felt experience, our body and our mind. Seeing with only our head is one-dimensional because the light penetrates deep into the soil below the surface of ego awareness. We have the capacity within our psyches to see the whole. Our egos may fear falling apart in the face of what is, but the Self/God Within can and does hold us together.

The scripture says, “Everything, when once the light has shown it up, is illumined, and everything thus illumined is all light.” Consciousness has a way of lightening us up! Naming, knowing, feeling, experiencing, and expressing our selves is powerful medicine. Ultimately, it releases the bogged down, heavy feeling states that make us sluggish and inert—dead.

Inner Reflection
Where are you stuck? Where are you not moving in spite of a desire to do so? Ask God Within to shine light on what is happening inside of you that keeps you caught. Remember to call on the Self to help you as a self/ego. The ego can bring a head consciousness, but the Self brings the embodied consciousness. We need both!

Dialogue with the various states (thoughts, feelings, images) you find and receive what they have to offer. Invite each to take their rightful place in the whole of you. Remember, the Self is the totality of psyche that can and does hold all.

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