One of my favorite people, my friend Marion (mother to my dear friend Helen, who I mentioned seeing at the Adrian Belew show a few days ago) gave me a set of Chinese calligraphy cards with the meaning of each character in English, as well. There are probably 40 or 50 2x3 inch cards in the set. I decided that every day I would pick one randomly from the deck to post on the wall above my desk and that word would be one I would ponder for the day. Today, the third day of this new practice, the word was "Enlightenment". Hmmmm.
The first thing I think are the lyrics to the above quoted Van Morrison song. But then I begin to really think about it and what I come up with is the knowledge that when I am enlightened I am filled with God's Light. I am aware of God in all things, in my relation to God and to all things; in the system of God's world-how all things are of God and connected. When I have moments of enlightenment I understand that the physical and mental boundaries that separate us from one another are temporary and that what unifies us is what is eternal: God, the One.
Carrie Newcomer a singer/songwriter (who happens to be Quaker, although I just recently found that out) used to be in a folk band, Stone Soup, that played around Indiana back when I lived in Muncie a couple of decades ago. Their music is out of print and I've long ago lost my cassettes but a line from one song runs through my head often: ..."And we're all links in a chain, yes we are." I can hear the clear simplicity of Carrie's voice in my head and I wish I could remember where the lyrics go before and after.
Enlightenment is being aware that we're all links in a chain.