We will soon be two thirds of the way along the International Year of the Light. For those of us involved in it, it’s a good moment to reflect whether we are on the right track.
For those not yet aware of it, it’s a really good time to say: “say, what?”.
IYL 2015 is a global initiative by the United Nations promoting the unique role of light in our science and technology, arts and culture. Made up of events and activities taking place the world over, IYL 2015 shows how light-based technologies guide our balanced development. It shines a light on progress.
If you are not melting bitumen deep under the ground with lasers to safely extract crude oil, or learning advanced radiation techniques in oncology treatments, all the excitement around the “latest in light” might fly over your head. What can we all do to best mark the Year of Light?
Catch a firefly
Drive out in the nature to look at real stars. Turn off your smart phone on purpose once weekly. Get (and read) a real book on occasion. Don’t squint and peek through tired eyelids at late-night shows on your TV.
Enjoy light as it once was and restore the balance to your embattled health.
We are awash in man-made light from countless sources. Pilot lights, night lights, screen sheen and street lights flood our night vision. Lit offices and store windows, subway staircases, brightened landmarks – all this intrudes on our most needed rest time.
As if this constant brightness was insufficient, neon signs pulsate, car lights swing by and night trains and buses pierce any darkness we might have had in the distance.
Progress has brought us comfort and safety that would be unimaginable to our predecessors. But how all this incessant brightness affects our health and wellbeing is an afterthought for too many of us.
Schools taught us the secret of vision. All we retained is that (conveniently) eyes adapt to the amount of light. We forget this was discovered by wigged scientists using a candle, who had no light source stronger than a torch. Yes, our irises were made to stretch as needed. But in daylight – and not necessarily all night long.
All cells in our bodies use light for their inner functions. They also communicate between them using light signals. There are numerous points distributed along an invisible grid around us (well documented in acupuncture) which allow light to enter our bodies uninhibited.
These flows are literally the most vital thing in our lives – this is what being alive means. Like reading from a smart phone’s screen on a bright day – all this surplus light around us could make that inner communication difficult. And when these flows are interrupted, our health suffers, often seemingly without a cause.
Light is Nature’s big business
Light is action, motion and life. It isn’t entirely inconceivable that stars and planets communicate through it, just like our cells use it to “talk” to each other. Constant “noise” without any reprieve – and one we impose on ourselves – cannot be good for the harmony we desire. As always, less is more.
So step away from the screen and open your eyes.
© 2015 Julianne Bien