LIGHT IS ALIVE
An Encounter With the Infinite
I couldn’t sleep so I decided to take a walk in the desert. There was a new moon that night, and I could see millions of stars in the sky. I was alone in the middle of the desert, perceiving so much beauty. I saw eternity, the endless, the infinite in those stars, and I knew without a doubt that the stars are alive. The infinite, our Mother Earth, all of creation, is alive. It is one living being.
Surely I had seen those stars many times before, but never in that way, from that point of view. My emotional reaction was overwhelming. I felt intense joy mixed with the most exquisite peace in my heart. Then something incredible happened. I had the sensation that I was not alone in the desert. While I was perceiving the immensity of the infinite, the infinite was perceiving me. All of those millions of stars were part of one living being who knows everything and perceives everything.
The universe knew that I existed!
Then something even more extraordinary happened. My perception shifted, and for a moment I was the immensity of the stars perceiving the infinite in my physical body. I could see myself in the middle of the desert–so small. I saw that my physical body was made of billions of tiny stars, which I knew were atoms, and they were as vast as all of the stars in the sky.
That night, I knew that the infinite inside my physical body is just a continuation of the infinite all around me. I am part of that infinite, and so is every object I perceive. There is no difference between any of us, or between us and any object. We are only one because everything is made of light. Light expresses itself in billions of different forms to create the material universe. More than that, I knew that there is only one force that moves and transforms everything. The force that moves the stars is the same force that moves the atoms in my body. I call it life, and light is the messenger or carrier of life because light is sending information all the time to everything in existence.
And it was incredible to understand that light is alive. Light is a living being that contains all of the wisdom of the universe and occupies every space. There is no empty space between the stars, just as there is no empty space between the atoms in my body. The space between the stars is filled with light; it only appears empty when there is no object to reflect the light. Any object we send into space will reflect light because all matter reflects light, just like a mirror.
Then I looked in my pocket for a little mirror that I always carried with me in my practice. In the mirror, I could see an exact copy of all of creation, a virtual reality made by light. In that moment I knew that my eyes were just like a couple of mirrors. Light projects a virtual reality inside my brain, just the way it projects a virtual reality inside a mirror. It was obvious that everything I perceive is a virtual reality made by images of light. The only difference between my eyes and a mirror is that my eyes have a brain behind them. And with that brain I have the capacity to analyze, interpret, and describe that virtual reality I see at any moment.
I co-create with God, with life. God creates what is real, and I create the virtual reality inside my mind. Through light, life sends all of that information into my eyes, and I make a story about what I perceive. If I see a tree, I describe the tree, I have an opinion about the tree. I like the tree or I do not like the tree. I may feel that the tree is beautiful or not, but my point of view, my opinion about the tree, is a story of my own creation. Once I interpret, qualify, or judge what I perceive, it is no longer real; it is a virtual world. This is what the Toltec call dreaming.
Now everything started to make sense in my mind. I finally understand what my mother and my grandfather had tried to teach me for so long about the ancient philosophy of the Toltec. The Toltec believe that humans are living in a dream. The dream is a world of illusion made by images of light, and the mind dreams when the brain is both asleep and awake.
The word Toltec means “artist of the spirit.” In the Toltec tradition, every human is an artist, and the supreme art is the expression of the beauty of our spirit. If we understand this point of view, we can see how wonderful it is to call ourselves artists instead of humans. When we think of ourselves as humans, we limit the way we express ourselves in life. We hear, “I’m just a human; I’m not perfect.” But if we call ourselves artists, where is that limitation? As artists, we no longer have any limitation; we are creators, just like what created us.
How do we live our life? This is our art, the art of living. With our power of creation, we express the force of life in everything we say, everything we feel, everything we do. But there are two kinds of artists: the ones who create their story without awareness, and the ones who recover awareness and create their story with truth and with love.
You are dreaming your life in this moment. You perceive not only your own dream. but the dream of the supreme artist reflected in everything you perceive. You react and try to make sense of what you perceive. You try to explain it in your own way, depending on the knowledge stored in the memory of your mind. This is something wonderful from my point of view. You live in the story that you create, and I live in the story that I create. Your story is your reality–a virtual reality that is only true for you, the one who creates it.
Long ago, somebody said, “Every head is a world,” and it’s true. You live in your own world, and that world is so private. Nobody knows what you have in your world. Only you know, and sometimes even you don’t know. Your world is your creation, and it’s a masterpiece of art.
That night in the desert changed the way I perceive myself and humanity, the way I perceive the entire world. In a moment of inspiration, I saw the infinite, the force of life in action. That force is always present and obvious for anyone to see, but there was no way I could see it without my attention focused on truth. What my grandfather had tried to tell me was true: “Only perfection exists.” It took a long time for me to put it into words, but I finally understood what he meant when I experienced this truth for myself. I realized that I am perfect because I am inseparable from the infinite, the force of life that creates the stars and the entire universe of light. I am it’s creation. I don’t need to be what I am not.
– Don Miguel Ruiz
from ‘The Voice of Knowledge:
Practical Guide to Inner Peace’
A Toltec Wisdom Book