Rhythm of light and dark: The circadian cycle

My thought for today is about light.
What does it mean to have the sunlight? You can see here, beautiful sunny day, even though we’re in October in Toronto and the days are getting shorter.
They’re now shining.
You can see beautiful sunlight dappling in the treetop through my window.
Even on my shirt you can see this rainbow cast by a little triangular prism I have standing in my window.
And it’s such a simple thing, but why is it that the sunlight affects us in this way? It seems like the light is what makes everything else possible.
It’s what makes it possible for us just to see everything.
We only see things because they are reflecting light, and in the sunlight we are seeing the fullest possible expression of that light that we can possibly imagine.
To me, being in the sunlight helps to inspire a feeling of being alive and really being awake.
And sometimes when I feel like I’m stressed out, in a bad state of mind, simply hitting myself with light puts a whole different perspective.
Because it’s like our lives are a rhythm of being awake and being asleep.
So these states are both a part of us.
And yet it seems like often the transition between these states and the sharing of these states is far from perfect.
We often may be very sleepy during the day, or maybe with dark state of mind, and really not wanting to be awake, or being half asleep.
And certainly any form of intoxication certainly helps to bring out that kind of less than fully awake state.
We often dose up on caffeine to try to trigger that awake state, but if we’re worn out or in a dark state of mind, then caffeine feels more like a flickering buzzing neon fluorescent sign light than a radiant midday daylight.
And then often during the time when we are in the sleeping phase we can be not fully in the sleeping phase.
We can be still awake, still buzzed if it’s caffeine, or buzzed on stress, buzzed on racing thoughts.
And of course, in our modern world of artificial light, it’s a remarkable transformation that we’ve really pushed out that dark, restful time.
And really, artificial light has blurred that strong rhythm of light and dark, day and night, because we have this night that is still often very brightly lit.
Only when we go out to the countryside, perhaps, can we experience really that full, dark night.
Although even just about anywhere in the world, we can get that artificial light.
Which of course is highly useful.
It’s great to have to be able to do things, you know, rather than maybe a flickering flame in the darkness.
But there’s a blurring.
There’s a blurring of that bright on-and-off rhythm of day night, day night, bright dark, bright dark.
We can often have a day inside under artificial light and then a night inside under artificial light.
And we blur and lose that basic rhythm of life.
So I love bright sunlight and just basking in it in the day.
Let the day be a brilliant, bright day.
Let us soak up sunshine and be fully in that awake phase.
And then at night, let us have darkness.
Have a complete rest from the light.
Turn off that awareness and rest it.
And then start the cycle again.
So many of us are in this kind of blurred state.
And I’ve certainly been there.
And I find it helpful to remind myself of that strong rhythm and really make it strong.
Let the day be bright and let the night be dark.

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