As I sat in my study (that doubles as a recording studio) the other night during a WBTB period, the only light that I could see was the red light on my rack mounted power stabilizer. But then, as I shifted my position on the couch, I caught that same red light across the small room, reflecting off one of the large chrome tuning pegs of the bass guitar that I had left out.
It occurred to me that the light was radiating from the source and reflecting off the tuning peg but there was no visible light streaming across the room. I am continually pondering the concepts of luminosity and clear light as they pertain to dreaming and spiritual development. It has taken me a few days to organize my thoughts around this and I offer those thoughts now as an essay draft for peer review here at our most excellent Night School in the hope that someone more well versed in these concepts can help me to better understand them.
OF LUMINOSITY AND CLEAR LIGHT
Light can be seen as either radiant, clear or reflected.
The world around us is filled with energy that manifests as radiant light. Light radiates from the sun and from our electric lights. That light is then reflected off that upon which it falls. In between those two light flows clear. Our days are lit by radiant light that is reflecting off air molecules. In the black vacuum of deep space light still flows from the sun and the stars but with no air molecules for it to fall upon it flows as clear light.
THE LUMINOUS MIND
In the waking state radiant light is reflected off the myriad of constructs around us creating images. Consciousness reveals those images and we perceive them with our mind. Consider the mind as a pool of clear water. When the pool is both perfectly clear and perfectly calm, images are truly perceived as they reflect off the surface. But when the surface of that metaphorical pool is roiled from the winds of uncontrolled thought and the depths are murky with the silt of unfocused habit, awareness is distracted and perception is unclear.
When the mind is calm and clear, pristine sensory awareness leads to pure perception. Even as the images reflect away they illuminate the clear waters of the metaphorical pool that is the mind…and it becomes luminous.
But where does the radiant light come from that illuminates the images in our dreams?
THE LIGHT WITHIN
The body is also filled with energy that can, in theory, manifest as radiant light within. These energy flows come from the countless physiological processes that are always ongoing. There are also strong energy flows all around us from the physiological processes that are occurring in nature. If we open ourselves to the possibility, we can tap into these natural energy flows through protocols like Shinrin Yoku, T’ai Chi and focused meditation. In this way we can fortify our internal energy flows and, by extension, our ability to radiate light within.
In the dream state stored vestigial images from experiences (karmic traces) become the seeds for dream images. As these dream images form, from where are they illuminated? Perhaps they are illuminated by that light within and again reflected off the luminous mind.
CLEAR LIGHT SLEEP
In clear light dreamless sleep there are no vestigial images…no karmic traces for the light within to fall on. Instead, that light flows as clear light from the luminous mind.