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Friday, June 1, 2001
Embrace beauty to lighten the darkness of life
By TOSHIMI HORIUCHI
On a silent night, I chanced to gaze upward at a star softening the darkness. As I gazed, I became increasingly aware of the importance of its light to both the place-space and the time-space of the heavens, whose peace and beauty intrigued me.
How could I brighten the spaces of my own life, especially the dark places?
I decided that the answer is based in what I choose to make my life good and beautiful. Whatever I do, I need to somehow reflect light as the stars do.
Interestingly, each star in the heavens, I noted, keeps its own being, never disturbing or injuring the others. Such a world of peaceful stars suggested to me a perfect philosophy for a good and beautiful life. "I must foster my light like the stars breathing in the night sky," I decided.
However, in human life, I realized, it is impossible to avoid pain and grief. But what one can do is find ways to alleviate the suffering. How, then, might I lighten the burden of my being?
My inward eye focused on some captivating memories engraved in the depths of my soul. I saw a tiny flower along the wayside opening itself to the full springtime sun. The flower stood still and silent, looking up at the sun blossoming with golden rays. The scene brought a smile to my face. Suddenly, the flower seemed to smile at me, causing my heart to leap in the sunshine.
While embracing this delicate image, I understood that the flower became more beautiful when it was gazed upon. "At such a time, the gazer's heart, too, becomes more lovely," I thought.
Immediately, I witnessed another demonstration of aesthetic interaction between a heavenly enchanter and an earthly one: I saw a rainbow against a blue sky. My eyes shone with the light of its iridescent bow. As my heart became brighter, my soul cried out:
touching a shining rainbow the eye grows brighter
I concluded that when two beautiful things touch each other so intimately, the soul, singing alone like a cricket among frosty leaves, is healed. The healing qualities of such interaction can be perceived more strongly when one stands alone in pain or grief or anxiety.
The following sketch of a patient in a hospital bed illustrates the point:
after surgery the full moon in the window lightens the darkness
In this case, the patient is his own clever healer since neither medicine nor doctors have all the answers. The world possesses countless physical and mental diseases against which doctors are powerless. It behooves one, then, to nurture and nourish one's own "healer," which may have the power to cure or make it easier to cope with illness.
In this instance, a good and beautiful life depends upon the capacity of one's own healer. The healer, what or whoever it may be, adds a "thinking power" to the mind, a "feeling power" to the heart, a "seeing power" to the eyes and a "hearing power" to the ears.
These precious powers are identified with a "light" that brightens one's being. Metaphorically speaking, this "light" may coincide with starlight, moonlight, sunlight -- any "light" to mellow the space of darkness and desolation.
There is a healer living within every person that is able to play a significant role in everyday life. This healer can enhance a simple joy to heal deep and grievous wounds and pacify one's inner world by bringing beauty to life's spaces.
After much meandering, my thinking eventually reached a definite conclusion: "Human life is an inward journey that one must 'color' by oneself." For it seems true that "Heaven helps those who heal themselves."