10.26 PechaKucha Talk "Without Darkness, There is no Light"

I was really trying hard with this topic to be super intellectual, but to be honest, I could not find a way to talk about darkness and light outside of the context of God.

Not religion, but God.  Creation.  Something from nothing type of stuff.  Something more satisfying than science or art.

I never used to consider myself a faithful or religious person.  In fact, I kind of avoided the whole messy topic.

I was raised Catholic and loved that has a child, and I loved the churches and the light and the sounds and the rules and the ceremony of the catholic church. 

but from the very beginning I was definitely a “wink wink” kind of Catholic.  

I felt like God and I understood each other and we were in direct communion with one another.  I didn’t’ want to tell the priests, but I really didn’t buy into their necessity.

My god was the kind of God that understood all of my jokes before I said them out loud. 

God was big and complex but we were way tight.

So, I was told as a young person that God made everything.

I think the story is typically told that

First there was darkness


There was light.

I don’t think it is a given that light is born from darkness.

When imagining the nothingness of pre-light, It feels impossibly dark.

The pure saturation of darkness must have been too cold and heavy dense to give rise to any kind of entropy.  The whole thing must have been completely static and silent. 

There just HAD to be a profound spark and the spark is neither darkness or light. It is something else entirely.

When I was little, I had an audio book called “Creation” it was read by Burl Ives.  I listened to it all the time and I still vividly remember its images.

This is how it begins:

Before God created the Earth,

This was just an empty place. 

Without a trace of things that you and I know.

There was no land,

Not one grain of sand,

Where you and I stand.

There was no place to go.


There were no boys or girls or flowers or trees.

No fish no birds no chimpanzees,

No macaroni and Cheese, no summer breeze.

There were no puppies no guppies,

No pink lemonade,

It must have been lonely,

So, God formed a mighty plan and the creation of the world began.


He started by making light,

Then he separated light from what wasn’t bright… 

I sat on that thought for a long time.  Eventually I grew up and traded my assumption of God for facts.

I didn’t have time for considering God or darkness or light.  It didn’t seem to matter. I had tests to take and bills to pay.  Besides, all of that stuff seemed private and unrelated to what I was doing. 

Eventually things started to shift for me.

I became a mom. I made a person.  It was wild and magic and to be honest it was a miracle.

And one day I was in a yoga training and my teacher asked me to write down a word that described the thing that has served me in my darkest moments.  I summoned up a memory of a particularly dark moment, and to my extreme surprise, I wrote the word “God”.   I thought it was weird and I wanted to change my answer, and I looked around at all these yogis and figured it was probably what everyone wrote.  We later discussed our sanswers.

I learned 2 things that day:

1.     God is important to me
2.     That answer was not normal among my pears

I believe in the spark at the beginning.

I don’t think of God as a white guy in the sky with a white beard, but more often now, I imagine god as light.

I don’t think it has to be true that Light cannot exist without darkness.  Light, at least to my mind is not a response, or a cure to darkness.

I don’t really mean to split hairs about semantics, but light can definitely exist without darkness.  It just wouldn’t have a purpose.  It wouldn’t feel like anything.

It might be possible that light created darkness because it needed a mirror.  

There is another children’s story that I really love.  It’s called “The little soul and the sun”  It takes more than 6 minutes to read, so I will tell you my favorite parts.

In this story, the sun is made of bazillions of tiny flames each one is a little soul. 

One particular little soul or light wants to be the brightest possible light. 

God hears this and explains that she is as bright and lustrous and perfect as possible


So is everyone else.

She wonders how can I possibly experience the scope of my own light if that is all I can see.

God recommends darkness and kind of walks away.

Another helpful little soul walks in and says, Imma do you solid and become darkness.  I love you so much that I want you to see your brilliance and I will extinguish my light and be darkness for you.  I just need you to remember who I really am and agree to not turn away from me if you don’t like what you see.

This is my how I currently think of God – as the light of a gajillion lights all traversing lifetimes together. 

All of us on a spectrum exuding different qualities of light - vibrating at different frequencies. 

The darkness and the light remain eternally in service of each other.

I imagine the broadest sense of the universe like 2 infinite fields one of light and one of darkness and where they crash into each other, that is the horizon and it is filled with spark and can’t stop creating.  That is where we live.

The little soul realizes that she is already at her fullest brightest potential but she cannot figure out a way to experience herself. 

And she so badly wants to experience her full brightness.

Another sweet little soul  - one of the bazillion candles -shows up and agrees to extinguish her light in order to allow her friend to to experience the power of her own light.

This sounds like a very “light-like” thing to do in my opinion

The new helpful little soul has conditions.  She explains the risks in this plan.   

Once her light is extinguished she will be hard to recognize.  She will be hard to recognize even to her own self. 

She will appear dull and less vibrant and dense.  She will not be able to reignite herself.  She warns her friend to not be confused by her no matter what she may do.  The price of this favor is to make sure the bright little soul is committed to remembering that the two are equals from the same place and the bright little soul must return the helpful little should back home to the light.

This is my new picture of God.  A million little souls.  A million little lights.  Some are dark and some are bright.  The darkness and the light remain eternally in service of each other.

I imagine the universe like 2 infinite fields one of light and one of darkness and where they crash into each other, that is the horizon and it is filled with spark and can’t stop creating.