The Light You Emit

Not long ago a Canadian wrote me about a mysterious encounter he’d had with a homeless man, Helmut, who always carried in his shopping bags spiritual books, herbs, treats and notebooks, and you could imagine that many people thought this ragged man was probably a little crazy. But curiously, he seemed to turn up whenever this man was facing a difficult situation, and then he would say something helpful    One night they stood for nearly 40 minutes in the cold outside a Starbucks talking of spiritual matters.    “And in a flash I saw the image of a bright Being behind and around him. He was filled with light, and I could see his light.”

At the same time, “I was filled with peace and joy. Was he an angel?” he asked, and then to my surprise: “Or was he simply a human evidencing the light we all emit—the light of love?”

That’s the question, isn’t it?

Listen, we all live and move inside a bubble of spiritual light. In my book, The Art of Intuition, you’ll find a whole chapter about how to see the light in others or in yourself, for we are spiritual beings, as the cliche goes, living a physical experience. And it is incumbent on us to realize that when we see another creature shining—shining, as Helmut the homeless man did, what you are seeing is . . . the Divine.

We say that God is Love, that Christ became incarnate to teach us that God is not some Celestial Psychopath, but unfathomable Love. Love heals the sick and calms the frightened. And it is visible. The whole earth is shining: trees, dogs, grasses, horses, cats, and probably the lions and bears—every living thing is shining with an inner light.

Do you see it?  It flares off your hands and fingers, and it is easy to see. Here’s how:    Squinch your eyes tight, and when you open them, using soft focus only and in soft light (it’s easiest to see at dusk, or under a quiet light) look at the space above or around your friend’s head or else at the angle between shoulder and head. Don’t look at her face or body, but at the emptiness five or six inches (or even 9 feet high!) around her.

Ask her to think of something she loves deeply. It will be stronger then, for when you are loving, you shine with light.  (Think of the bride, shining!) If you are angry or afraid, your aura shrinks to mere inches around you, like a sea anenome that’s been touched. You can see this light around a tree as well, the whole world gleaming, shining with energy and light.

I don’t see the high colors that some mystics do but always I can discern a colorless, wavering light, like heat waves rising from a hot street in summer.  Then I am humbled. It is that person’s true self that I am seeing.  What if we could all practice viewing it? What if we understood that we are all suffering, that we are all doing the best we can, that we are all spiritual beings pouring out our light? I think we’d have fewer wars or even arguments.  Here is a poem I wrote about it once.


i cannot see your face

for the light around you


or hear the words that fall

like watered stones, like black crows


from the convent

of your mouth.


My soul is the silence

of a bell



You know nothing of the light,

the bell, the black crows,

the ignorant stones

smoothed in the stream

of accidents and incidents,

desires and repulsions

that you think and

name as life.

Once while working at my desk i glanced

outside the window

to the spring-leafed Sycamore–

and disappeared—no i–

into the namelessness that later

shifted back into the bark of tree

and me

and worried itself again into

an i and it.

Why, of all that i have seen

along these many years–why is this

what i remember














3 thoughts on “The Light You Emit

  1. I wonder if the Bible were written by women, would we see the softer side Jesus. Not just his actions but his most intimate thoughts about the things he came here to teach.

    • I have often wondered — actually REALLY WANT TO KNOW– what it was he taught to his inner circle of disciples, including to Mary Magdalene and the women he loved, Martha, Mary, his sisters…. Now THAT would be good to know.

  2. I am rewriting a book which was a mess when it was released. Here are some highlights

    “Try to remember, no one lives in a perfect world, has a perfect understanding or a perfect life. The struggle we all face is in separating the wheat from the chaff, character from characterization, fact from fiction, reality from illusions and faith from belief. This quest is a never-ending one.”

    “• “…Therefore impress these My words upon your very heart…” -The Torah, Deuteronomy 11: 18
    • “…For by him we have life and move and exist” Acts chapter 17: 27, 28, -The Bible
    • “…These are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith and strengthened them with a spirit from Him.” –Qur’ān 58: 22
    • “…never break anyone’s heart because that is where God lives” -Baba Bulleh Shah, Sufi Poet and Poetry
    • “…And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dewelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell.” -Alma 34: 36 the Book of Mormon
    • “…Whenever the wavering and unsteadfast heart wanders away, then so often let him subdue it and bring it back to the control of the soul…” -Bhagavad Gita 6: 26
    • “…The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart” –Buddha; Dhammapada
    • “…How do I know about the world…? By what is within me”-Lao Tzu; Tao Teh Ching

    Despite the fact that these eight partial quotations are from divergent and often opposing views clearly demonstrates to us that there is a heartfelt inner connection that is universally recognized.”

    As a seeker I am not, strictly speaking, what are thought to be Christians. I was brought up in a stricter fanatical group claiming to be Christian. The badge is not the person but only a facsimile. I have grown old in this pursuit and will continue to puzzle it out until I move on. I thought these quotations might be useful. The first one was mine.
    Good Luck!
    Padric O’Rouark

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