Shadows that grow
Shadows that decay
Now stuck with us
Are shadows that stay
Night is a time for darkness and for fire on the ground; day is a time for light coming from the fire in the sky. At night fire dances the shadows, and during day the fire that moves across the sky evolves the shadows by the moment. For Earth’s four and a half billion years, shadows would come and shadows would go, until now. Shadows were ephemeral until humans devised artificial light and “fixed” them. Artificial light brings with it artificial shadows, impregnating our reality with stagnant darkness, all the moreso because of our stagnant material objects.
Breaking Edison’s Idea: A Light Bulb Needs To Go Off
These artificial shadows brought on by artificial light scar the night and the day. Artificial light and its artificial shadows disrupt the flow of the balancing night, pulling us and other animals away from the magic of dark and sleep. The natural dark of night is attacked and made to contrast harshly with the bright polluting lights of modern civilization, straining our eyes with a constant unwavering sting, when our widened pupils have a want of darkness and sleep. During the day artificial light pulls us away from the Earthly atmosphere, and in to insulated and stagnant strucures we call “home” and “work”. The sun and sky are marginalized, and human-made lights steadily and stagnantly have us gravitating around them in stagnant and mis-circulated air.
Moving-light Therapy: Lux in Flux. A modest improvement on the besieged psychological life of a modern human stuck indoors is for the lights themselves to be moved around the room and dimmed and brightened subtly throughout the day. This mimicking of the sun across the sky will not provide the full spectrum of light given by the sun, but at the least lux in flux will evolve the shadows in a more psychologically healthful way.
A Dimmer Look At The Progress Of Civilization
With the peaking of artificial light in this 21st century has come the peaking of many other artifices—peak pollution, peak disease, peak war, and peak genocide—all together in a great and terrible wind that is The War Against The World. Life on Earth is at a nadir in this multi-millenial war against the world, culminating in the Sixth Mass Extinction Event, the first of the Mass Extinctions heralded by a single species—humans. All these life-destroying entities are correlated and all seem to be aided by the human method of sedentary and resource exhaustive deployment on the surfaces of the Earth. Artificial light has sped along our technological invasion of ecosystems and geological strata as we now have more time than ever before to devise more severe penetrations of the Earth.
To all this I say: Fiat Tenebrae (Let There Be Dark)
The upcoming solar eclipse—which forced my hand to write this—is seminal in the daytime light and shadow play that is the most variable of any event on Earth for such a wide area. The moon turns the sun in to a flickering fire that casts a novel shadow and a ring of fire.
Beyond the occassional eclipse, the Moon is the false sun, for we only see the one side of the moon because of it’s tidal locking. It only reveals one undisturbed side of itself. It is both a permanent shadow and a permanent light, depending on the phase of the lunar cycle. It will be full shadow on the eclipse, perhaps only the Sun thus is able to reveal to us the Moon’s true nature. The Moon does not evolve with light or dark. It is not a becoming, it is quite fixed (and quite weak, chained to the Earth).
Editional (September 22)
We focus on the light, and energy more generally, as central, but really the history of the universe tells us that the great diffusion of these things is what is necessary for evolving a higher complexity.
We must be the night, not to defy the sun, but to preserve darkness from the gathering shadows.
When you are looking around for the shadow from the LED lights, and then to your horror you realize you are the shadow.
The difference between darkness and shadows is so profound that light stands in between them.
Run right at Sauron, and watch fire blink.
The light of science creates permanent objects of knowledge, but is blind to the unnatural permanent shadows on the far side of the light.