We have explored humor as a way of connecting generations and “creating communication” as Henri Nouwen has defined it and now I am led to explore this common experience of the symbolism of “light”. Henri states that, “light might dissolve much deeper separations and bring all humanity into a liberating unity.” He highlights the experience of Father Han Fortmann who wrote on his deathbed, “I proceed from the simple irrefutable fact that in the crucial moments of life…(such as death), event though people come from diverging cultures and religions, they find that same essential word: Light! For isn’t it true? There must be a basic similarity between the enlightenment spoken of by the Hindus and Buddhists and the Eternal Light of the Christians. Both die in the Light. One practical difference could well be that the Buddhist, more than the contemporary Christian, has learned to live with the light (nirvana) as a reality long before he dies…The need to pose skeptical questions about the hereafter seems to disappear as the Divine Light again becomes a reality in everyday life, as it is meant to, of course, in all religions”. Henri concludes, “these words written by a dying man, reveal the nearly overwhelming vision that aging can be growing into the light, the light which takes away all the dark and gray lines that divide religious cultures and people and unites all the colors of the human search into one all-embracing rainbow.” Do you agree?
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