The unruliness of the Light and ants
- "For generations, believers and non-believers, heretics and preachers have tried to define the Light in terms of rules. How does one rule love for life?"
- Sir Jean-Pierre d'Armagac,
- Priest-in-Waiting of the Church of the Light
Food and working ants
Ants, whenever their society reaches a great number, will construct a hill: a small world of their own where all live together. Some will walk aimlessly inside the hill, bumping into eachother, one appologizing, one swearing. And yet this very hill, or society, is doomed in its existence if it does not learn to work as one. If it will fail to gather the resources it needs, it will starve. Ants may fall back on canibalism, slowly destroying their own society and kind. So the hill crumbles, for no ant is safe of another.
The Light is not the ant's great society. The Light is not the food it may find. Society, food, hills... these are worldly things we, or the ants, can not control. The Light is, instead, the ant's guide. It is, in this story, the understanding that the ant must set out to find food. Without food, the ant hill will not survive.
But is there knowledge helping the ants judge what path to take? Is it tutoring, in some class room inside the hill, that teaches ants where to find the food? Is there prescience of a prophet ant? Is there a scientific or engineering ant calculating where the food is to be found? Or would such knowledge and scientific means make a difference to the ant's main understanding? That one must, ultimately, set out?
There is no such aid and yet the ant sets out, without knowledge or prescience about the world around it. Blind like a moll, and yet it sets out based on one simple thing: faith. Faith that this is the only path that may lead to food and a peaceful existance of its society.
When an ant finds food, it will return home, marking its trail so other ants may follow the path to the food. As they, in turn, come home with food they mark the trail... making the trail stronger and more attractive to other working ants. So the trail gains in popularity until the food is consumed and the trail collapses.
Such collapse does not discourage the ant. It continues what it has always done: to set out.
The cuckoo's nest
Sadly, there are ants who wish to study the material matters and rules of the trails they followed to success or failure. So rise the voices of knowledgeable ants who will share their material findings. They will invent rules and ways, designed to help, but which ultimately destroy the ant's understanding of its existence.
They might make rules such as... never to walk over something green, because it is treacherous. Or to climb as many rocks as one may find, because it is more difficult and thus the reward shall be greater. Or never to try the red food, for the red food shall bring poison.
Sometimes, they are right. But it is not their rules that made them right. Instead they confused the ant who is surrounded by green, brought doubt to the ant that lives on the plains or the ant who finds no food on top of the bare rock, or convince ants to starvation when only red food presents itself. Or should the teachings of such rules gain so much importance, that no ant is permitted to set out lest it knows all the rules?
Do these rules capture the meaning of the Light? Do they truly teach the ant to retain its explorative spirit? No.
Such rules may reap their rewards in times where the food and the world is so forgiving that rules do not hamper the society to continue... But when times are dire, such rules are a burden to Light's true spirit.
Teaching without rules
From childhood on, we are taught through rules: "do not play with fire", "don't drink too much", "work hard on the fields". They are easy, because they link cause to its direct effect: materialistic rules created by the world around us.
But the Light is not a materialistic ruler. It is a spiritual guide. It will not bend to our materialistic laws of cause and effect, but to the spirit that lives in our hearts. So how can one teach to attune to this spirit?
The answer is quite simple: one can not teach it. Instead one becomes a guide. Like marking a trail, one can move out guiding their fellow citizens along obstacles and terrain hoping that they will understand the only lesson this path may teach: set out.