You may have probably heard of the title before and you may or may not be able to place it. It is a quote from the bible! It is profoundly creationist proclaiming the world created in days; from the 1st for the light and the 6th for the people and animals. A seemingly busy week for an almighty being who needed a day of rest afterwards. The contribution of organised religion to everyday life, the realisation that people need rest and recuperation from the labours of work. This however is not the reason I chose this dive into scriptures. I am not a theologian so I will not examine the religious content.
Instead there are two different reasons I have chosen to start with this quote; the first is the positive affirming message it conveys, the second is its immediacy. What we have here is light and brightness that is instant gratification. This message feels like a piece of chocolate melting in your mouth, releasing sweet sensations, as a flooding of smooth cocoa disintegrates, releasing its sensual solids. Therefore, the command on creating light resonates; we rejoice because unlike reality we find pleasure in immediate gratification.
Would we care that light was not created but emerged after the Big Bang and took billions of years to form in the way we now recognise it as our sun? Does it matter that progress is long and arduous and not immediate as the command suggests? Our sense of time dwarfs in the time required for events to happen. It is astonishing that we still try to comprehend the vastness of time through human lifetime. The command is also palatable because it happens without virtually any real effort. It does not represent the labours, pains of creation and development. In short, evolution is painful, long but here is presented as something immediate and effortless. In that a series of commands completing complex processes seems preferable to the reality of evolution. Maybe it is pertinent to point out that the command reveals the “majestic totalitarianism” of the divine against the great equalizer of nature and progression.
In life however, big creations cannot happen by command. “Let it be Baby!” I wonder how many mothers would favour this one, or in our line of work “let it be knowledge” how many will choose this option. This is when we realise that this pleasant message is shielding us from the reality of the process and the nature of reality itself. We may want things to happen immediately, but this is not necessarily the best option. In parenting, if you could more forward into having a baby, why not move further past the terrible twos or even further into the dreadful adolescent years of having your authority challenged. Essentially have a child created fully functioning and obedient to parental will. Maybe because this is not parenting. The stories that remain are those of growing pains; without growth there is no parenting. Let’s explore it in knowledge; can we find shortcuts in the way we learn a trade, an education, a professional identity? Maybe skipping the first parts on getting to know how to write in the appropriate conventions; perhaps we can skip on the tedious referencing process that only anally retentive individuals apparently enjoy. What if instead of books and hours of reading different texts we got laminated sheets with terms and conditions and whenever we embark on writing we are told step by step what we write. Because this will not be knowledge. The slow and arduous process has an exceptional trait within it; insight! After reading my books, making notes on my articles, going over my notes and trying to make sense of what it the point I am trying to make; in a moment after hours and hours of studying, suddenly and unexpectedly, the “penny drops”! This moment of insight is like a lightbulb moment…and that is light! A light, not by magic or immediate gratification, but the sustained understanding that comes from knowledge. It has been a difficult year for all of us but please remember that light comes from inside and to quote a great teacher Goethe, “more light”.