There is an old saying, or maybe it is an old teaching, that says we humans live in the dark. When I first heard this, I thought it was saying that we were not very enlightened, or perhaps not very bright in some intellectual way. Later I wondered if the saying was really referring to electricity or the lack of it in early days. Not until I entered into some very advanced states of consciousness did I realize how true the saying was – literally. I was in the midst of some deep research into consciousness and was paying attention to every nuance of what was happening in my mind. I had been in this hyper-alert state for months and had maintained this watchfulness even when I went to bed. I would watch myself slip out of the body and enter into other dimensions of life and consciousness, noting carefully what I did, always believing that I was truly awake, but later waking up to what I thought was reality…only to wake up from that reality, and maybe even waking up again to discover I had only thought I was awake. The question in the back of my mind was, “How do I know when I’m really awake?” One afternoon in late June it was hot and I was extremely tired. I decided to lay down for a brief nap. Napping was something I rarely did, but I had worked in the garden all morning and thought the nap would not only allow me to refresh my energies, it would give me another chance to observe consciousness out of the body and perhaps further my research. I climbed up on my bed and curled up on top of the cotton quilt. No coverlet was needed because it was so hot that day. Within a few moments I slipped out of the body, but for some reason I didn’t go anywhere. I just stood beside the bed looking back at myself and had the thought, “She’s asleep, but I’m awake.” A powerful voice right beside me startled me with the words, “No, you’re asleep and I’m awake!” I was so shocked that for a moment my consciousness fluttered from one body to the next – the one on the bed, the one standing beside the bed, and the one with the powerful voice standing next to me also beside the bed. As I fluttered back and forth, I was full of confusion. Who was speaking…and who was really awake? Then I merged fully into the consciousness of the one who had declared she was awake. It is difficult to describe that experience because it was so very far beyond what we can easily imagine. First, it was a state of all-knowingness. To say I knew all things in complete detail without limit would be an understatement. For example, I knew every thread in the quilt on my bed, what country that cotton had come from, which field the cotton had been grown in, which cotton plant it had grown on, where that plant was located within that field, and which boll of cotton the thread had been in on that plant. I knew how much rain and fertilizer it had experienced, who picked it, who baled it, who washed and combed it, who spun it into thread, who dyed it, who wove it into fabric, who cut and pieced it into a quilt, and who shipped and sold it. Every thread was like a personal, private friend that I was intimately aware of. The same was true of every single thing in my entire home and my environment. I knew the life and history of every piece of clothing in my closet, every two-by-four in the walls and every nail holding them together. I knew every bit of clay, glass, porcelain and metal in my dishes and silverware, and every vegetable, fruit, and cut of meat in my refrigerator or freezer. In the same way, I knew the siding on the house, the shingles on the roof, and every grain of silt, sand, and soil that covered the area in which I lived. I was a personal friend of every particle and molecule in existence and had been in intimate relationship with them for eternity. It is difficult to imagine the power that is inherent in that state of consciousness. I turned to look across the fields and had only the window to look through. I felt a moment of impatience or irritation that the south wall of my home was in the way and I could not see because of it. In response to my thought wishing the wall away, the wall began to crumble and I could hear the entire building begin to groan and crack under the stress. Instantly, I realized what I had done, and just as instantly I reversed my thought, thanking the wall for being there, for holding up the roof, and for being of service. The crumbling stopped and the wall repaired itself! The thing that is perhaps the easiest to get your mind around, is the fact that during this entire experience, a brilliant but soft golden light was coming from my body. It lit up the entire room and extended out through the walls of the building another 20 feet or so on each side. My bedroom was an old hayloft that was 30 ft. by 40 ft. and I estimate the light to have been at least 60 feet in diameter. I knew that the light went with me wherever I might go, and that this was what true enlightenment meant – being able to generate light from within the body. We are all moving steadily toward becoming beings of light, and it is my wish this season that we might begin to grasp what that means in real, practical terms. It means being completely open and loving with one another – even loving the messy, crabby chaos of families during the holidays. It means trusting what you know and inviting more of that knowing into your mind and heart – even if that information contains hurt, sorrow, or disappointment. It means being willing to use our power with humility – even if we have to reverse what we have already said or done. Most of all, it means moving toward becoming more of what we already are – beings filled with light. While the sun is low on the horizon, and we wait for the winter solstice, may you light up the season of darkness with your inner light and send the glow of love in every direction during this holiday season!