Dawn has often been used to symbolize a period of time when everything is new. In the hours immediately before dawn, darkness prevails, and during darkness it is difficult for us to have clear perception, whether we are concerned with visual perception or with clarity of thought. Darkness seems to be the place where fears and superstitions find shelter. Most of our fears and superstitious belief are n some way connected with the dark; that is their origin seems to be related to darkness. However, the person who imagines conditions that cause him or her to fear, or to develop superstitious practices, will find that with the dawn, the basis for such practices and beliefs disappears. The objects that may have caused us concern cease to have such importance. With the dawn light seems to shed a degree of understanding on all that we perceive and cause us to reanalyze our environment and our own mental processes. 

     In a certain mystic ritual are the words: "Darkness is the absence of light". This phase, which mystics who attend convocations in lodges and chapters throughout the world hear during the early part of the convocation ritual, has been heard so often by so many that is has probably ceased to have the meaning it really should have for each of us. When we say that darkness is the absence of light, we are literally setting forth a basic principle of mystical doctrine or belief; namely, there are no grounds for people's fears or superstitions because they are, as already pointed out, evolved in darkness, and darkness is a state that exists only by being the absence of something else. Darkness is not an actuality. 

      By stating that darkness is the absence of light, we are specifically saying that darkness is a negative  quality. It only exists because something else is missing. This can be illustrated by imagining two windowless rooms that are connected by a door. The rooms are sealed, airtight and light tight. In one room a great bank of fluorescent lights illuminate the room to a level almost equal to that of day light. The other room has no source of illumination whatsoever. When the door is close, that room is in total darkness. Now if i stand at the door separating these two rooms and then open it, i know before i open the door, that one of two things will happen; either the light will enter the darkened room or the dark will enter lit room. We of course know what will happen. The light will enter the darkened room.The room, previously so dark that it was impossible to see, will take on the degree of illumination entering through the open doorway .There will be a small area of bright light near the door and a lower degree of illumination where the direct light does not reach .

     In other words, as stated in mystic rituals, darkness is the absence of light, and light can replace darkness. If light could be replaced by darkness, then darkness would be the dominating force. Since darkness is only an absence of light, it has no power in and of itself. It is not a force; it is an absence of  force. It is not even an existent entity . its function and power exists only to the extent that we permit it to exists if we give free reign to our imagination and permit fears and superstitions to develop in our consciousness when it is in darkness. Let us term for a moment from the actual consideration of light and dark as states of making it possible or not possible to use our visual sense, and think of light and darkness in terms of knowledge and ignorance; or illumination as opposed to complete lack of inspiration, illumination or moral concepts. Knowledge is light. That is why we sometimes refers to knowledge as illumination. Darkness represents ignorance and superstition. Implied in the concept of darkness is slavery, or being bound to ideas or things. 

     The mystic philosophy advances the principle that we may gain illumination, literally and figuratively. We may gain it literally by working as a material entity within a material universe illuminated by the light of the sun and the artificial forms of illumination that we have evolved. We also gain illumination by becoming conscious of the knowledge that exists in the world through reading or being told of the experience of others. But this illumination is only secondary to the illumination which we have the potentially of achieving by becoming aware of the cosmic force of which we are part and which can function through our own entity, thereby illuminating us to the realization of ourselves as a segment of the Divine, as a part of the God-force itself.

    Thus, when we speak of throwing light on a problem, or upon any matter, we are literally directing the force of our consciousness toward problems or conditions about which we seek further information or a solution. Every dawn brings a new day, and every new bit of knowledge we perceive bring a new opportunity for further illumination of our own consciousness. The attainment of Cosmic Consciousness is the terminology we use to apply to the illumination that comes to us when we are able to relate our objective consciousness to the impulses coming to us through our intuitive faculties equal in strength to what we perceive through our five sense. 

Close your eyes a moment and visualize your consciousness as being a circle. One one side of the circumference of the circle are five holes. One the other side, there is one hole. The five holes on one side represent the five physical sense faculties: seeing, hearing, tasting,smelling and feeling. Though those five channels the physical world enters our consciousness, and within our consciousness the physical world with a relative fair degree of adjustment to that world simply for the reason that we perceive it . In other words, we gain knowledge of it. But for people to adjust themselves to the physical world is not enough. We have a soul, and the soul that motivates or activates our life and consciousness is of the immaterial or cosmic world and so, on the other side of our imaginary circle is one opening. This opening , which we call intuition , represent the means by which we perceive the impressions that into our consciousness from the Cosmic. 

People will always live in disharmony and imbalance, trying to cope with serious problems, until the balance their consciousness by perceiving the physical with their physical senses and the psychic world with their intuition. Proper balance is essential to illumination, because only through perceiving through all six of these channels can we have consciousness fully illumined. Therefore, the exercise that help us to develop this faculty of intuition are the exercises that lead us to Cosmic Consciousness. We are giving a number of simple exercise in mystic schools . One that we should use from time to time is visualizing a symbol found in ancient symbolism and which has been used by mystics school for centuries. This is the dot within a circle.When we visualize this symbol, we should direct our attention toward the dot as being representative of ourselves, while the circle represent both the physical and the psychic or divine universe. The circle in its entirety represents the whole cosmic scheme. We might think of the line constituting the circle's circumference as being the physical world and the space between this line and the dot as being the transcendent or Divine. Then we should visualize ourselves as the dot with this area, equidistant from physical impressions, and from the Divine, thus being able to absorb impressions from the physical world and from the Cosmic, thereby gaining illumination.

 

Rev Dr Summers Nwokie

Theosophist , Priest ,Scholar and Author.