Fall represents a season of harvest. It is a time for bringing in the fruits of our labors in gratitude and Thanksgiving. It is a time of preparation, for the farmers understood the need to store and protect the good they had produced. The fields were harvested of their grains and produce. This often required separation like the chaff from the wheat, or cooking and preserving fruits and vegetables by canning or freezing. Such further preparations assured the blessings of the harvest would last through the dark and cold winter months to come.
It was an opportunity for friends and families to join together to share in the abundance. It was appropriate that no one was left out and that everyone’s needs were met. It was also marked by the unexpected, commonly known as Halloween. Here the homeowner had to prepare for the arrival of unexpected guests in the form of ghosts and goblins witches and warlocks, or the onslaught of a bevy of children with open hearts and hands crying, “Trick or Treat”. The homeowner was obliged to sacrifice some of his harvest to placate the cravings of these intruders or suffer the consequences. Usually a Snickers bar is sufficient because “you’re not yourself when you’re hungry”.
Halloween was always marked by shadows and the unexpected of the night. The darkness limited man’s ability to see and often his imagination and fear was greater than the actual reality of what was there. To enhance the mystery, and their chances for getting treats, children wore disguises to emphasize their powers and abilities, to make themselves look bigger and more menacing or foreboding. Sure sounds a lot like mortal mind trying to aggrandize itself.
This leads me to appreciate the shadow hand puppet. In this example, the fingers and hands are arranged in such a manner to portray a rabbit. It takes a while to develop this talent of creating lifelike shadow puppets, but the technique always involves the manipulation of the hands and fingers. If you wanted to change the representation or figure on the wall you didn’t try to alter the shadow, you understood the need to rearrange the positions of the fingers. Thus the shadow was the result of something else and to change the shadow you had to change something else. The key is controlling your false concept of the “something else”.
It’s also interesting to note all the elements must be present in order to create the illusion of the rabbit. First of all you needed a good source of light, next you needed a talented mortal to manipulate the light and finally you needed a blank white wall to receive the projected image which is always larger than the original. So in a sense you have gone from the light of Truth, through a mental barrier, to project a false larger-than-life image or outline of the absence of light on a blank wall (mortal receptivity). A great definition of error. It is important to realize that you only see the shadow if you look away from the light, because when you look towards the light shadow cannot be seen and disappears behind you.
Let’s explore more about the shadow which somehow seems so real to mankind that we spent all our life trying to change the shadow, materiality.
Is the shadow a real, sinister figure, intent on evil, lurking in the background when your back is turned and your attention is drawn away from the truth, always seeking an opportunity to pounce upon you and steal your goods? One of the definitions of shadow as a verb is to follow someone about in hiding. This is the Trick to rob you of your goods, your peace of mind, your being in the presence of God.
Do you know anyone with a shadowy character or past? Someone who lives in the shadows that is argumentative, accusatory, a bully, your opposite alter-ego? Do previous actions or reputation overshadow their true self to such an extent that you can no longer see the real but only absence of light? We are told that shadows disappear in the light of Truth and this happens when we remove the material impediment that blocks the light. We no longer live in the shadow of the Valley of Death and its influence, but become free to live under the jurisdiction of the Almighty and under the shadow of his mighty wings. That’s the Treat!