Know Thine Footing:
Truths & Falsehoods Regarding Light & Darkness
Dispelling Laboriously Successful and Popular Manichaeist Myths.
In introducing these concepts, I’d like to first point out that, in my hypothesis, there are three stages to the existence of things. The First (1st) stage is God’s being; His divinity. He tore of His own cloak and sheared of His own perfect mane to create all that we know. The Second (2nd) stage is that series of separated figures—Earth, the Universe, and all of its inhabitants. The Third (3rd) is the rearrangement of the members of the series. In The Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. Our Universe is a nigh-empty bubble amongst an infinite sea of Light & Fullness (1st) which is God and Heaven. In The Beginning, God created the prism of our world, through which He shed His Light and separated the colors (2nd). It is also important to keep in mind that one must always question whether they’re using an improper metaphor.
“Everything is Grey.” This statement implies that black cannot be known apart from white, and vice-versa. But black and white do exist as separate entities. The three most important questions for any logician to consider are, (1) What are the implications? (2) What is the core; the root; the axium? (3) Why? Logic, in fact, is built upon what is truth and what is error. Without the acknowledgement of the two, there would be no use for it. It is important to dissect matters in order to differentiate between what is good and what is evil; what is and what is not; what is, once again, truth and what is error. The concept of value is learned more greatly by those who wait and take the time with a longer process to achieve a more beneficial end.
“Man in his flesh is the proprietor; he is the ‘packaged deal’.” This is a 3rd-stage argument, meaning that while man does have many good qualities, he is still incomplete. Essentially, the presence of the lesser is evidence of the greater, more pure and complete original. As discussed in the Gunman series, the ‘proprietor’ of a complete nature must also reflect all things good. This is not an arbitrary definition but one that has been logically derived. In this world, one might easily come across one who is intelligent but also unkind, or compassionate yet naive. This is not to say that the two former are incompatible, but simply that one has not yet achieved both high compassion and high knowledge. In fact, in the realm of perfection, all traits of righteousness must by default coexist. If one were to dissect the contents of fruit punch, one would find the various ingredients used to make it. Since man’s character is a 3rd-stage product instead of a 1st-stage Proprietor, he is subject to this dissection as well. The presence of the lesser is evidence of the greater, more pure and complete original. Just as in the fruit punch, an orange, gingerale, sherbert, among various other ingredients, were likely used to make it.
“Darkness holds the force of pull.” Light is the force of push—try to think of it in terms of light doing all the work. Any physics or chemistry study will inform you that areas of higher concentration will tend to trickle and spread into areas of lower concentration as the molecules are forced away from each other. Objects of opposing charges tend to gravitate toward one another, or one with weaker charge flowing toward one with greater charge. But essentially, darkness does not have being and thus it has no force with which to pull. It is merely the case, in this instance, that light, akin to only itself, spreads apart.
“Why shouldn’t darkness have its day?” Almost every word in that sentence, right off the bat, is hysterically amusing. “Why shouldn’t darkness have its day?” Seems a bit odd, doesn’t it? More so the word “shouldn’t”…. But let’s be as generous as possible and presume that this sentence makes some sense. Darkness and light cannot be opposites if both are equal. The truest opposite is the difference between Good and nothingness.
“Certainty is the affirmation of truth, for real truth cannot be known.” Certainty is no affirmation of truth, for truth to be itself is to be external; nor is certainty the same as truth. Our minds are ultimately the only means by which we may experience reality and interpret it, so more problematic still would be the proposition that certainty is unknowable and absolute knowledge unattainable–a possibility not worth bearing in mind if used as an argument for one’s own uncertainty or mistrust. It is still a problem for Theism in that there are those who are convinced of certain lies and cannot or will not be shaken from them (and according to Rene Descartes, men do err in reasoning). If, for example, this happens to be the case, it would seem one would have to choose between the two harsh ‘realities’ that either there are many truths (and thus none, as exclusivity and thus transcendance would have logically been removed), or that the victims of delusion do indeed face the demise of irrationality but without hope outside of their own deciding (hinting at an absence of justice). But this is a false dilemma.
“Mind and reality are one and the same.” One is right in presuming that what one thinks matters more compared to what is. However, the factors failed to be taken into account are as follows: 1. The individual’s choice keeps them from reasoning. Just as when the deluded individual presumes that they are acting more reasonable by holding their position than those who refuse to accept it, so they are also able to turn from their delusion. 2. Information and understanding of any sort is usually attainable, and this hints at 3. that the word ‘delusional’ hints at the fact that generally, a mind functions normally and most, mad or sane, are still capable of some degree of reason. But while what one thinks and what is are still separate, it is still the duty of the mind to reflect the external world that transcends other minds who interpret the same world. This is no illusion. Whether by willof the mind’s proprietor or the malfunction of the mind itself one finds oneself in disagreement with reality or others is due not to reality but to the individual.
“Error and lies are myth as there is no real truth or light.” There is no reason to believe this and every reason not to. One must learn not only to look at a pint of grey paint more closely but to decipher which speckles are black and which are white. Such is the foundation of logic–truth and error. In looking at this problem one must first do away with the idea that being ‘accepting’ is the same as being noble in all cases and that Relativism is humble. If one’s friend wanders off the edge of a cliff and is asked, “Why did you allow this to happen?”, one might answer, “Because he wished it.” However, one has a moral obligation to circumvent invalid requests, evenif against the will of the other. Perfect laws transcend individual preference.
“Traditional definitions are merely conventional.” Traditional definitions are actually logical. In associating or creating any word and its definition, one would hope to avoid as much confusion as possible. It would be counter-productive to act otherwise, invalidating communication altogether, which means that said definitions are less-likely to be arbitrarily derived. In defining good and evil, as mentioned earlier, it is best to associate them as they likely, in their perfect and original state, coexisted. Thus, it is also best to identify light as goodness, righteousness, justice, wisdom, completeness, perfection, omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. Darkness can be associated with evil, discord, lack-of-light, chaos, imperfection, incompleteness, emptiness, coldness, and corrupted, lacking, or mixed-up goodness, hence the common association between wickedness and “impurity”. Something is not ‘pure’ if it is any of the above, but that’s all that evil is.
“Darkness is an independent, equal, opposite entity.” If light is already an entity, then what is darkness? Let us think for a moment about the definition of darkness, as well as the above correlations. Don’t they make more sense? What is a shadow? Is it a thing, or a lack of light? When asking this question to begin with, we really must reflect first on whether we understand what ‘opposites’ really are.
“Darkness can exist on its own.” Evil is merely corrupted, mixed-up, or lacking good. In fact, the word, “Good” is derived from “God”. Quoth St. Augustine, All of nature, therefore, is good, since the Creator of all nature is supremely good. But nature is not supremely and immutably good as is the Creator of it. Thus the good in created things can be diminished and augmented. For good to be diminished is evil; still, however much it is diminished, something must remain of its original nature as long as it exists at all. For no matter what kind or however insignificant a thing may be, the good which is its nature cannot be destroyed without the thing itself being destroyed. When, however, a thing is corrupted, its corruption is an evil because it is, by just so much, a privation of the good. Where there is no privation of the good, there is no evil.
“Darkness is necessary for balance.” If all were light as was originally the case, darkness wouldn’t exist. It does not need to. Darkness is neither necessary, powerful, nor eternal; a statement in favor of the opposite infers that darkness carries a trait of light (necessity), and thus it is no longer fully itself. Everytime we see one of those words in a sentence that vouches for evil or neutrality, we must say to ourselves, “Huh, that’s a funny word to be used in that sentence.” By the hand of light, darkness knows its place. Its boundary is defined by light; the boundary between any two things is defined by that which has the higher concentration, and hence it is a given that darkness—that which has no being nor concentration whatsoever—is not the boundary-keeper.
“Darkness is necessary for good character.” This is incorrect because it makes the same mistake as does the sentence above, namely in giving necessity to evil. The good thing that you learned in any experience is the important part (not the bad stuff that happened, as it was not necessary); more full would life be if we remember to stay good. Send the mind first; send the mind instead. Let us know the evil only so that we may avoid it, but experience the good so that we may gain both worlds. While it is true that, oftentimes, one must go through evil in order to experience good, this can be looked at in two separate ways: either the individual brought the evil on themselves (directly unnecessary evil), or their indeliberate suffering produces goodness (indirectly unnecessary evil). The reason evil existed to begin with was the fall of man; but through any situation can goodness be accomplished–this is not to say that any situation that is named good is actually so. If Christ is our example, then let us not presume that mankind must falter.
“Darkness is necessary for learning.” The definition of learning is “to gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.” Does that not lean in favor of the good, rather than the evil? The words “gain” and “acquire” should have been the first indicators, not to mention the rest in that sentence. But remember, not all things that claim to be or are defined as having being or being absolute are actually so (much like the falsehood addressed above which began, “Man, in his flesh…”). Evil can be mixed-up good as well, but it cannot exist in a complete vacuum (the same with madness contrasted with lack of self-awareness, or immorality contrasted with amorality). It is a baseless myth to suggest that darkness will always exist somehwere. This is not only unknowable but also does not provide reason to put any stock into it.
“Darkness is necessary for creativity.” Creativity comes only by the presence of good. God’s creativity was already with Him; man’s creativity is but derived from things he has already seen. The presence of problems is necessary for only a few types of creativity, but altogether these types would exist in a more pure version of themselves without being mingled with lack. Much like a ‘solution’, the type of creativity addressed brings an end or a person back to the ideal state in which it should have been in the first place. Derisively, this is what’s known as a “Plan B” or 3rd-stage.
“Too much goodness is a possibility.” This statement is often referred to when explaining the situation of one who is embittered, seemingly by having lived and loved too openly or freely in the past. But, one who forgets their heart hasn’t loved too much as is alleged, but has stopped loving at some point. Perhaps they assumed they would die or go mad if they continued their unconditional self-sacrificie, or perhaps they were tempted with selfish desire, but all in all, one’s choice to do something is directly related to one’s choice in doing something; all in all, such a person only stopped loving because they decided to. Ultimately, even if this person viewed eternally acting in the first way as an impossible feat (for them), wouldn’t it still be more ideal if they could reach that end, to love eternally and perfectly? It is silly to think that there is a point at which love suddenly, randomly, becomes evil. And as addressed above, such traits are not incompatible just because mankind does not perfectly keep all of them.
“Darkness was original; all was once empty.” Light was original—all was once full and one. In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. As I had mentioned before, this universe is very likely a nigh-empty bubble amidst a vast and eternal sea of light and fullness (assuming the universe’s expansion is due to the matter, and not the bubble itself, expanding within the bubble toward its edges). Time only began when matter and energy were created; these three things, separate yet working together, are the lesser-version of the fullness lying outside of them that is our Maker and His Kingdom. They existed when He held that metaphorical “prism” to Himself through which He shed His light and it became many colors from His singularity, ever-spreading and incomplete without the others, yet still evidence of His and Heaven’s existence.
“Choosing between light & darkness is a false dilemma.” Calling everything grey is actually the false dilemma. If we are given a pint of grey paint to inspect, then naturally by standing away from it we would come to conclude that grey is an original shade (given that we had never before been subjected to any other color). But by standing up close to it, magnifying-glass in hand, we would notice little speckles of black and white. In a situation calling for our reason, such as when deciding which of our children has done the wrong thing in sibbling dispute, we ought to pick out which of these specks are ‘black’ and which of them are ‘white’. It may very well be the case that each child has done both wrong and right in different ways, but this does not indicate that the whole of each child’s situation or story must be only one of the trio-ultimatum of black, grey, or white. It is the same as when two people are standing near a car, and the one behind a certain pole, unable to see into its windows, explains to the other why he thinks the car has no inside. And likewise this fallacy is used when Relativism is promoted, but there aren’t “different moralities”; there are simply those who act out different aspects of the same morality.
“Balance is the goal.” Balance between good and evil is only half-right (by definition). If we were out to buy a series of clocks for our clock-collecting uncle, would we choose the clean-looking set or the one that was rusted and half-polished? Clearly, if we are in our right mind, we would choose the former in any general, average case as they are in a more useful and aesthetically-pleasing condition (anecdotal cases are not good for reason or research because they provide a smaller scope than what is usually the case—this having to do with the odds of likelihood that should be addressed).
“Ruin begets creation; darkness begat light.” Understand that light is not completely itself unless it retains its nature. If darkness is given necessity, light must give up that part of its nature and hence, whether it still retains a part of that nature, it is no longer itself omnipotent because it can now be challenged and even defeated by darkness. And nothing can be beaten by its own lack as long as it does not lend itself to that lack. Light’s nature was defined above when it was given its respective associations as was darkness.
“Light is responsible for evil.” Since light is a thing, it cannot therefore block itself. Evil is the near-absence of light. “For good to be diminished is evil; still, however much it is diminished, something must remain of its original nature as long as it exists at all.” The ‘original nature’ to which Augustine refers is goodness. Remember that all things came from God, the ultimate good.
“Evil has always existed.” Technically, darkness existed at the beginning of time, and not ‘before’, but evil was only a possibility before man’s fall. To understand this correctly, we must, again, view darkness and evil as existing but unnecessary. In fact, darkness is not only unecessary, but by definition it is also harmful. The concept of lack was surely present when God separated His colors through that imaginary prism as in the continually present metaphor of this particular writing. But the concept of discord, mixing-up or corruption only manifested as real after man’s disobedience. That was the only act that caused more possibilities to exist.
“Darkness cannot be destroyed.” Light replaces darkness; it does not simply displace it. Darkness has no essence of its own to move or be moved. Again, refer to the argument above regarding the physical nature of light: “Areas of higher concentration tend to trickle or move toward areas of lower concentration.” Think of this in terms of light doing all of the work, for only it has being and therefore power, existence, and energy to do work. If darkness were to pull, it would not only cease to be itself, but it would also cease to ‘exist’, for lack of a better word. It is quite possible to reach a point of absolute zero and/or nothingness. Contrarily, any entity can be supremely, infinitely complex, forever divisible, and forever to intensify.
“Light casts shadows.” Objects that are not light, reflect light, absorb light, and block light cast shadows. Light cannot block iself. When standing in the presence of the Lord, or perhaps someone who is supremely good or toward whom we harbor feelings of envy, it is not their shadow that we see, but our own, especially when we turn away from them, for that is the only place a shadow can hide. Remember that darkness is associated with lack, and hence weakness.
“Nothing is omnipotent.” For this to be true, the statement, “because one thing cannot accomplish any task, this is evidence of the nonexistence of omnipotence.” But an omnipotent entity cannot accomplish only those tasks that do not lend themselves to power. For instance, if the act of remembering was used to remedy and support the above statements, it does not count as an absolute trait, as not all qualities presumed to be or claimed to be absolute, authentic, perfect, and complete are really so. This means that to remember infers that one must first forget. Forgetfulness is a lesser-trait than that of being eternally aware. It is a trait, nonetheless. It is also a thing, having retained part of its original nature (to know) but being diminished by darkness (to be unaware).
“Creativity, the act of remembering, and the like are absolute traits.” Once again referencing the above arguments, this sentence makes the mistake of referring to said traits as their perfect forms when in fact they are incomplete. Contrary to Aristotle’s “Golden Mean”, these traits are mixed—yet incomplete—versions of the originals. The Ten Commandments hold the original character man is to portray, and Jesus acts as a role model for said character. According to Aristotle, the Golden Mean exists between two extremes; both of which are evil. This infers not only a straight line but a third angle unaccounted for—making a triangle between three extremes (the two originals hence being rendered obsolete) where happens to be located the middle. There is a third dimension, one which was disregarded. The Wikipedia states, “For example, in the Aristotelian view, courage, a virtue, if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness and if deficient as cowardice.” But this can be taken apart as courage does contain traits and the possibility of both recklessness and nobility. Nobility is the third angle; the one on which our King resides, among many other points of convergence. In essence, two bad traits cannot make a good one. The adapted version of the previous view has lead many to distrust accepting one good quality for the sake of another, believing them to be separate or incompatible. But as mentioned earlier, in the qualities of a conceptual Deity and in the realm of absolute perfection, such qualities of righteousness must by default coexist. As with creativity, the act of remembering is also found to be in a state of lack as it implies that something was forgotten. That which is omnipotent and omniscient logically cannot accept something that does not fully lend itself to power. The ‘packaged-deal’ analogy may be inserted here.
“Light must know its place.” Light, by its nature, will and should overcome darkness. ‘Should’ is a funny word to be used in a sentence supporting darkness, isn’t it? Physically, light will spread into darkness. This little bubble was not meant to last forever. Sooner or later it will pop, and Heaven will come flooding in. Nothing opposed to light would survive, and everything in submission to it will only experience more joy. Recall that areas of higher concentration tend to flow into areas of lower concentration. The boundary between any two things is defined by that which is stronger.
“Learning takes place by all experience, good and bad.” Only illumination provides the means for one to learn. Without light, no one would know what they studied, and without Our Father’s shearing of His own mane and tearing of His own cloak we would surely fail to know anything whatsoever. “Hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil.” is not simply a phrase used by the naive and cowardly. In our previous definition of learning, it was mentioned that the purpose of learning leaned toward gaining goodness. If that is the case, then learning itself may be more-completely achieved via the absence of absence itself (darkness). Again, evil is not only unnecessary but corrosive. It is for good reason that we are told neither to hear, see, nor speak any evil, for this is not inhibitive to our learning but sheltering to it. It may at times be the case that one must walk through darkness in order to reach the path of light, but that is an indicator of the 2nd stage and not the original state.
“Learning takes place by knowing why & how.” This statement is true, but not in the sense it is intended. This is yet another argument in favor of bad experience. Learning takes place when one acknowledges what is good. How and why something works can be just as easily traced back to ultimate goodness; darkness is not only unnecessary but also inhibitive. As in the above argument, experience cannot be the best teacher. One does not have to depart the light in order to learn; that is just another trick. One can stay safely on the side of light and the Lord and remain a student to the gift of life–a better life.
“Darkness and light are enemies.” Light has no enemies; or, it is enemy to none of its kin and a threat to those that will not become kin. Look back to the clarification regarding light’s nature—namely omnipotence, the definition of which refers to being all-powerful. Where, then, does that leave darkness?
“The closer to light, the more intense the shadow.” False. The closer to light, the more intense the contrast. In relation to light, darkness has a point of absolute zero. There is a point to which all things can be absent from something, but no more than this. Numbers may expand in opposite directions into infinity, but entities do not. The existence of negative numbers is a purely artificial and man-made concept; the existence of quantity is not. The number zero, in that case, is less an absolute absence than it is a ratio, like most other numbers, of one thing to its quantifiable lack. When speaking of a physical absence, however, (and thus the better metaphor for the spiritual situation), there is nothing past a complete vacuum. The definition of ‘shadow’ is merely the absence of light.
“Obedience inhibits the acquisition of knowledge.” One learns what is just only by studying what is just. In this sense, we ought to refer back to the set-of-clocks metaphor by selecting only the most-supreme version of things so as not to have a poor impression of what is the perfect original. And again, all things originate from the Good of Goods.
“Experience is the best way to knowledge.” Only experience of good and truth can inform. This is another argument dedicated to the idea that if one does not have a bad experience, they will never understand their world completely. It is like saying that the half-rusted set of clocks better represents the goal of logic than does the polished set. This is purely false, for, if we dissect the previous sentence, we will find all sorts of funny words in there which suggest otherwise. Such a limited vocabulary sits on the tongues of those who deny truth.
“One must know darkness to appreciate light.” Light can be known and appreciated independently. Naturally, if we were to trace things back, again, to their origin, there really is *nothing* else to depend on. Recall that darkness was never a necessity; merely a possibility. We are currently living in “Plan B”, as an old pastor of mine used to say. Remember that power and necessity are solely the property of light.
“Learning cannot occur without evil.・ Only perfect specimens may accurately represent perfection (or even account for it), and perfection is the goal to which reasonable creatures wish to strive. This is another set-of-clocks metaphor. Google defines ‘goal’ as: “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” Now just look at how many funny words you can find in that one. Experience teaches us the slow way what those willing only to experience righteousness already know. A well-polished clock more accurately represents what a clock is meant to be than one which has accumulated more rust. Evil is not necessary for learning–the contrary provides that goodness and knowledge have a limit.
“Shadows sharpen the eyes.” One’s knowledge is more full when illuminated. Naturally, by definition, etc.. What could this mean? It shouldn’t be the opposite if this is the most reasonable position to take. Granted, skin becomes tougher when it develops scar tissue, but that substance is an alternative to the original, which contains nerves, follicles, and pigment, among other useful things. Take once more into consideration that all was originally good, even after it was created as being separate from the Creator. It is not necessarily a uniform creation, but it is a unit that, when working properly, also works symbiotically.
“Light has a limit; darkness does not.” Light is limitless; darkness can be filled and conquered. This is due, again, to the fact that light has being that it may replace, rather than displace, darkness and emptiness. In the beginning, GOD (translates to “good”) created the Heavens and the Earth. In the Garden, everything was perfect. Both quality and quantity are found in this thinking; not in its reverse.
“Injury is the only way to strength.” Discomfort, perhaps, but injury is merely inhibition–it is better not to get the two confused. One man calls to the other, “Come up the mountain, we’ve much ground to cover!” and the other responds from below, “Naw, I’ve got to stub my toe at least eight times before I get up there, it’s the rules.” With this idea also arises the implication that one must “choose” his or her “mountain” to climb, path to walk, person to be, etc. much as in the metaphor pertaining to man in his flesh not being the ‘packaged deal’, for that position is filled by light, and not a half-creature like man.
“One must choose his/her mountain to climb.” This, too, is a false dilemma. Every good trait found in each (in this case the peak–from where one can see most clearly) should be the goal of everyone. Derisively, the phrase, “I’m just not that kind of person” is no excuse to put off modification of one’s behavior. The true ‘packaged deal’ is goodness and its components. Such thinking as the phrase in quotations often results in the suggestion that, since we are mortal, we have only enough time to learn how to be one person. Contrarily, only goodness must be known, and since it is infinite, learning about the imperfect versions of things in reality is even more a waste of time. According to my own discoveries, including the words of St. Augustine, all things were originally good and darkness is not an equal, opposing entity to light. This only reinforces my claims thus far.
“Darkness is unavoidale; those who think otherwise deceive themselves.” This may be the case, but as we refer back to previous arguments, we ought to use perfect specimens to represent what is perfect. One would not use a dog to represent a cat, nor (anyone arguing bravely and properly, anyway) use Mr. Columbus rather than the Christ, Himself, to represent Christianity. Deception truly lies in giving up and making excuses for one’s actions. A standard may be high but not impossible; all the more reason to see it as being perfect, for all of its loftiness is evidence of this. Both quality and quantity are found in this thinking.
“Nothing is knowable.” Again, this is avoidance of something that can be thought-out. It is a last-ditch effort to relinquish responsibility to reason where we do not wish to. To some degree, many things are knowable. And, by extension, there is every reason to use and trust the only method we have (our mind) instead of abandoning it. Can one be deceived? Yes. But how often is a surplus of information unhelpful? Hardly ever. It is better to risk using what one does have than to assume that it will be to no avail. Reality would be unknown or unknowable were an individual delusional, but that is the definition–a delusional person is the exception; not the rule. Do recall that definitions are logically derived and not merely conventional.
“Peace is achieved when goodness submits.” Again, it is within light’s nature and duty to spread and correct what needs correcting. The words, “peace”, “achieved”, and “goodness” are all self-correllated, while the word “submits” does not belong when applied to that sentence. Peace is achieved when goodness reigns supreme. To settle for a lesser-quality is to be truly imbalanced. The opposite extreme of balance (in fullness) is balance in complete absence. But this would eradicate the person who is able to experience this situation as well, as something of the original entity (the mind) still remains and thus absolute darkness is not achieved. The factor of self-awareness can only be implicated into something that accounts for all, rather than none, of the qualities of light and goodness.