Lucifer and the Light: Letting Go of Singularity
By Erin Johannesen, M.A., M.D.
Erin Johannesen, M.A., M.D., Author
In a Wednesday seminar this past May, Rudy talks of Lucifer as the ‘light-bearer,’ as the angel with the brightest, most beautiful, most radiant light, who, one day, realizes he is the light and is everything the light contains. Upon realizing he holds all within himself, he arrives at an isolating place where nothing and no one matters to him, for there is him and only him. In that involuted instant, this amazing angel becomes suddenly ‘demonic.’ He grows smaller and smaller, and with no felt radiance, he enters the realms of hell where he ever remains.
We may find this story unsettling as it perhaps tugs and pulls at the bits and pieces of our own ineluctable narcissism, and so, we may not wish to know how to bring this disturbing and powerful story into ourselves. Perhaps though, if we like, there can be a way of easing our holding it, of deepening our way of knowing it.
Rudy's talk on Lucifer begins with the word sunyata. Whether translated as 'emptiness' or 'openness', sunyata leads us toward feeling an implicit container, as something perhaps once filled and now 'emptied,' or as something perhaps once closed – or ‘boundaried' – and now open and so, unbound. Either way, we are left with the feeling of an emerging thingness, or non-thingness...we are left with the 'whatness' of the 'what' that is empty, or of the 'what' that is open and ever opening.
And so, perhaps his talk is not about 'Lucifer,' but rather about the container, and more specifically, about the porosity of it. In our lives, it is always by the felt immediacy of an ever present flowing-in and flowing-out of space and time and place through us that we may experience directly the continuous becoming of the light. In other words, we (each one of us) may feel the shared and sheer vibration of beingness within us by inviting it in and by letting it go......Just as a boat's vast sail may have vents in its cloth so it may both hold and become one with the wind – and in so doing may swiftly move the entire boat more effortlessly through the element of water – so too may we similarly move through the congealed light that is the world of our lives. In this open flow, being (the Beingness of our being) manifests the world, and the world manifests our being.
[The phenomenologist] Herbert Guenther writes that the Tibetan word for 'empty' is ston-pa, an "adverb with a vector feeling." In this way, in emptiness, or sunyata, there is inherent movement...a pulsating sponda, like the patterns a gazer sees in the wide open sky, vibrating, shimmering, and opening...
Holding it, stopping it, keeping it...that is perhaps the 'Lucifer' that breaks our sail. In concretizing his singularity into himself, only himself, Lucifer loses porosity, forecloses Beingness, and loses 'livingness,’ the alive, vibrational sponda of singularity. It is as though he stops breathing, and in the unmoving, suffocating, mortalizing stillness, he vanishes, caught in the inhaled instant of his own darkness...and even then, he still does not let go.
So, it may be that enlightened beings are those of us whose self is both so stably known and simultaneously so open, so porous, that in every moment they happily 'let go' of enlightenment; it is perhaps how an enlightening being breathes...like a sail becoming as one with the wind.