A comment on darkness


Daily meditations, prayer, combined with particular breathing patterns. Much time spent in solitude, thinking, calculating, pondering the mechanism of consciously leaving the body.

I was living and working on large rural property in north eastern Victoria, Australia. In the foothills of the mountains. A small cabin came with the job. It was a cold winter; wind, rain, ice, snow, chilblains.  I worked mostly on my own. Fencing, pruning fruit trees, irrigation lines, various farm duties. After work I would cook a meal and go to bed.

This particular night I awoke calm, observant, and floating like a balloon several hundred feet above the house. My will seemed absent; just a passive observance was present.

I looked down on the vast property; the pastures, orchards, windy country roads, dams, forests and distant mountains. Below me I saw the shearing sheds, garages and storage sheds, the half a dozen cabins in which lived other workers, and the houses of property owners and their families.

I saw the figure of a man in the front yard of one of the houses. He was one of the property managers. He was standing there with his face turned upward looking directly at me. Without my willing to do so, I began descending towards him. I settled on the ground in front of him. I seemed to know that he was out of his body too. He said, “There is no such thing as darkness, just an absence of light.” Then the experience was over. I was back in bed.

Was it a dream? an out-of-body experience? a half asleep and half awake imagining? It seemed real.

The next day I was working alone on fences. The same manager walked out to where I was working and we worked together for the day. We worked steadily, didn’t talk much, but now and then casually verbalised an observation or a thought about an observation, as countrymen tend to do. At smoko we each poured hot black tea from our flasks and sat quietly, our senses and awareness tuned to our environment, looking out across the green valley, listening to close and distant bird calls, observing the weather.

It was mid winter and by late afternoon the sun was dropping behind the hills. I commented that it would soon be dark. The manager commented, “There is no such thing as darkness, just an absence of light.”

I wondered. Is it coincidence? Does he recall saying that statement the previous night? What is going on?

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