Sunday, September 9, 2007

Light, Darkness, and Consciousness

In The Hidden Gospel by Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D. (Theosophical Publishing House, 1999), Dr. Douglas-Klotz writes that the words in Aramaic (and Hebrew) for "light" and "darkness" signify not just different levels of light but also different qualities of thought. Light is orderly and linear, while darkness is chaotic and swirling. He states that, "Psychologically, they are like the start-to-finish, cause-and-effect nature of rational thinking compared to the zig-zag nature of intuitive thinking."

I have previously written that the story of Adam and Eve might be a mythic explanation, or metaphor, for the emergence of consciousness out of breakdown of the "bicameral mind." Our brains have separate hemisphere, one of which is more intuitive and the other of which is more logical, and what we call consciousness may have arisen when the two halves of our brains began to interact more closely.

Dr. Douglas-Klotz believes that the creation story in Genesis expresses a need for balance between light and darkness, which is undoubtedly true, because God did not abolish darkness, but only separated the light from the darkness, calling one "day" and the other "night." (Gen. 1:4-5) But it is also important that the darkness preceded the light, because before God said "Let there be light," a "darkness covered the face of the deep." (Gen. 1:2)

In other words, not just the story of Adam and Eve but also the creation story itself may be a metaphor for the rise of rational thought out of the "swirling" of a brain dominated by its intuitive hemisphere, and the rise of consciousness out of the balance between them.