There is a Hindu metaphor – one to which the metaphysician Joel Goldsmith referred in his writings – about a man who goes into his house just at dusk and sees a large snake coiled on the floor. He reacts, of course, with panic and shock. His heart races, adrenalin pumps, and his reflexes kick in at once. He jumps back and instinctively reaches to turn on the light.
In the brighter light, he can see that what he had thought to be a snake is in fact a coiled rope. His relief is nearly as overwhelming as his initial panic.
This simple example is actually quite intricate to contemplate. There is really no ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ Both reactions – fear and relief – are perfectly valid given the amount of light available at each moment. Some day that coiled shadow may indeed turn out to be a snake. The right choice, therefore, is not to always expect the shadow to be a harmless rope, nor to always react as if it’s a snake. The moral is to be always aware of the light, to introduce more light into any alarming appearance, so that we can move quickly through the illusion to the freedom and security of the truth. With enough light, even a snake can be handled effectively. The light doesn’t ensure that our illusions will always be harmless. It does, however, ensure that the truth will be clear.
We may think our challenge each day is to deal with the assumed reality of a snake; in fact, our challenge is simply to shine the light of spiritual understanding onto whatever illusive threat presents, and to allow that light to show us clearly, so that our choices can be easy and effective.
Today I will remember to keep my inner light bright, to see and react to challenges and shadows from the perspective of spiritual Truth.