The Light is not a religion: Followers do not go to church or worship any gods. Instead, it’s a philosophy, training its followers to seek perfection within themselves. It is very much an active practice of virtue rather than a passive worship. Those who follow it closely gain spiritual awareness and guidance, allowing them to lead others.
The Light teaches that there is a connection between the self and the universe. This connection manifests as what people feel through both senses and emotions. When a person is moved, either through seeing something breathtaking or feeling love for a comrade, child, or lover, that emotion connects him to the universe. Experiencing the feeling assures the person he exists, as something within him felt the emotions or processed the sensual awareness. Because he exists so must the univse that gave him the feeling. From there, he can act upon the universe, causing more changes to create feelings in others. Thus, the followers of the Light seek to make the world a better place for others by being true to their own emotions.
The next step in recognizing this connection between the self and the universe is developing the goodness within and without. If one wishes for hapiness, one must work to better the universe to make others happy. Experiencing the glory and beauty of the world will in turn tap into the inner beauty and glory within one’s soul. However, giving in to greed, despair and unhappiness will only darken the universe. The Light is the glory of the universe reflected upon the soul and mirrored back onto itself.
The Three Virtures
The philosophy of the Light boils down to three teachings, called the Three Virtures. These virtures – respect, tenacity and compassion – are each defined into a principle and a lesson.
The first virtue taught is repect. While the Light teaching that awareness of the self and the universe is a goal, one must also see the connection between others and the universe. Destroying others’ happiness and severing others’ connections with the universe is not serving the world’s well being, and therefore not your own. The practitioners of the Light are not naive, however, and understand that trial, conflict, war and suffering do happen; but they strive to make the univers a better place in spite of these hinderances.
The second virtue is tenacity. The adherance to this virtue is, incidentally, the part of the training under the Light that weeds out the unfaithful, as true dedication takes years. Fresh-faced acolytes often lose hope and the true meaning of the Light when they realize that it takes a lifetime to sever the philosophy. The world is much bigger than one lone soul; and while the world can change a soul in a day, it takes much more time to change the world. Only through tenacity can a servant of the Light hope to affect the universe. If some young students feel like this is an impossible task, others take heart in the realization that if you truly believe there is a connection between the self and the universe, one cannot help but affect the other, no matter the size. Affecting the world can include anything from teaching and instilling hope in others to joing with other like-minded individuals to work tohether to create a bigger change.
After the first two concepts are mastered, the student can take on the final virture: compassion. The connection between the self and the universe is strong, but it still is only one connection. If a follower of the Light serves another to increase her happiness, her bond with the universe grows stronger. The happiness she recives by helping someone also strengthens her and the universe, and she is able to affect the universe even more.
Compassion is perhaps the most powerful – and most dangerous – virtue. If someone is too compassionate, she can give help where none is needed – or wanted. This oversight can hinder others’ growth and hapiness. Some helpers can be awkward and do more harm then good with thier actions, increasing the suffering and unhappiness in the world. This is why compassion is taught last; only the wise can identify who is truely in need and who can grow on their own.
Hedonism and Altruism
The antithesis of the Light is denail of the self or denial of the universe. Although the Light may seem at first glace to allow the follower to purse a life of gross pleasure, the hedonistic path denies the universe and doesn’t allow one to act upon the universe to change it. In the same light, the altrusitic lifestyle, while certainly making the world a better place, denies the self, which also severs the connection between the self and the universe and has no place in the Light.
The Light is the happy medium between the hedonism of taking all and the altruism of giving all.
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