About

Light illuminates our external world and the mind illuminates our internal world. The mind is how we think and process information that comes into us from the outside world. But what’s more is that without mind we would not be able to experience anything at all, just as without light there would be nothing to see. The light analogy that occurs across religions, then, is used to impress upon us the importance of cultivating the mind and controlling it like a lamp that we can use deliberately to follow a particular path and point in specific directions. The mind is how we make meaning and find purpose and truth in life. Because light is such a crucial part of how we experience everything around us, it plays a unifying role that can allow us to see the interconnectedness in the world: it is the same light (the sun) which shines over everything on Earth and so everything can be said to bear the same stamp of this single source of light that we are all a part of.

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Quotations

The Qur'an
Islamic scripture
Islam

“God is the Light of the heavens and earth. His Light is like this: there is a niche, and in it a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, a glass like a glittering star, fuelled from a blessed olive tree from neither east nor west, whose oil almost gives light even when no fire touches it–light upon light– God guides whoever He will to his Light; God draws such comparisons for people; God has full knowledge of everything.”

Confucius
Founder of Confucianism
Confucianism

“Tzu-kung said, ‘The gentleman's errors are like an eclipse of the sun and moon in that when he errs the whole world sees him doing so and when he reforms the whole world looks up to him.’”

C.S. Lewis
Christian theologian and writer
Christianity

“Man even at his highest sanctity and intelligence has no direct ‘knowledge about’ (savoir) the ultimate Being—only analogies. We cannot see light, though by light we can see things. Statements about God are extrapolations from the knowledge of other things which the divine illumination enables us to know.”

Chuang Tzu
Daoist sage
Daoism

“That there is a difference between what we see with our eyes and what we know through our spirit is a wisdom from long ago. But the fool relies upon his eyes and loses himself in what is merely human, and everything he does is just a façade—how sad!”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Russian novelist
Art & Literature

“His mind and heart were flooded with extraordinary light; all torment, all doubt, all anxieties were relieved at once, resolved in a kind of lofty calm, full of serene, harmonious joy and hope, full of understanding and the knowledge of the ultimate cause of things.”

Jeffrey J. Kripal
Historian of religions
Science, Psychology, & Philosophy

“Lightforms are a global constant in the history of religion. They are seen in ancient texts like The Revelation of the Magi. They are common in Roman Catholic Marian apparitions. They are omnipresent in contemporary American UFO accounts, being often framed now in a cold war mythology of invading extraterrestrials. They are routinely encountered, even by professional anthropologists, in Africa and Latin America, where they are given numerous and conflicting interpretations, from the flight of witches and the magical battles of shamans through ghost riders and treasure lights to UFOs again. If there is a shared light here, however, it is a shared light that is refracted through various historical prisms and psychological filters, which end up producing a veritable rainbow of different meanings and interpretations: sameness (the light) and difference (the historical and psychological prisms) once again.”

Baha’u’llah
Baha'i prophet
Baha'i

“Likewise, consider the sun which hath been obscured by the clouds. Observe how its splendor appeareth to have diminished, when in reality the source of that light hath remained unchanged. The soul of man should be likened unto this sun, and all things on earth should be regarded as his body. So long as no external impediment interveneth between them, the body will, in its entirety, continue to reflect the light of the soul, and to be sustained by its power. As soon as, however, a veil interposeth itself between them, the brightness of that light seemeth to lessen.”

The New Testament
Christian scripture
Christianity

“There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”

The Bhagavad Gita
Hindu scripture
Baha'i

“To those steadfast in love and devotion I give spiritual wisdom, so that they may come to me. Out of compassion I destroy the darkness of their ignorance. From within them I light the lamp of wisdom and dispel all darkness from their lives.”

The Bhagavad Gita
Hindu scripture
Hinduism

“But ignorance is destroyed by knowledge of the Self within. The light of this knowledge shines like the sun, revealing the supreme Brahman.”

Rabindranath Tagore
Bengali poet
Art & Literature

“In the night we stumble over things and become acutely conscious of their individual separateness. But the day reveals the greater unity which embraces them. The man whose inner vision is bathed in an illumination of his consciousness at once realizes the spiritual unity reigning supreme over all differences.”

In the Buddha's Words
Collection of Buddhist texts
Buddhism

“There are, O monks, these four lights. What four? The light of the moon, the light of the sun, the light of fire, and the light of wisdom. Of these four lights, the light of wisdom is supreme.”

Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism
Collection of Jewish writings
Judaism

“In the beginning God’s mind had everything in it, all that existed or would come to exist. It contained the darkness and the void, the light and the earth, as well as all yet to be called into being. It contained the colors of the rainbow, although no rainbow had yet shone. It contained the green color of the leaves and all the shades of the sunset, as well as the brightness of light that had not yet been brought into being.”

Baha’u’llah
Baha'i prophet
Baha'i

“They have said: ‘Love is a light that never dwelleth in a heart possessed by fear.’”

The Bhagavad Gita
Hindu scripture
Hinduism

“When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.”

Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism
Collection of Jewish writings
Judaism

“Everyone has a light burning for him in the world above, and everyone’s light is unique. When two friends meet, their lights above are united, and out of that union of two lights an angel is born.”

Baha’u’llah
Baha'i prophet
Baha'i

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”

The New Testament
Christian scripture
Christianity

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”

The Bhagavad Gita
Hindu scripture
Hinduism

“If a thousand suns were to rise in the heavens at the same time, the blaze of their light would resemble the splendor of that supreme spirit.”

Baha’u’llah
Baha'i prophet
Baha'i

“In truth, religion is a radiant light and an impregnable stronghold for the protection and welfare of the peoples of the world, for the fear of God impelleth man to hold fast to that which is good, and shun all evil.”

The New Testament
Christian scripture
Christianity

“Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.’ When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.”