I was describing to a friend a visual experience I had in late 1975 in which I found myself in outer space and saw the earth, shining and beautiful; then darkness began to roll across its face. The darkness increased until only a thin sliver of light was left. Next, I was projected onto the earth and given to understand that the darkness was made of greed (for power and money, mainly) and that I (or anyone) could choose to walk fully in the light anywhere on the earth regardless of how dark things got.
My friend, apprehensive, asked about the darkness.
Here is where I failed to take the essential pause. The pause allows us to center and listen to our deep inner knowing. Since I didn't pause, I just responded about the darkness.
Over the past few years, I had seen my friend go from living in joy and expanding spiritually to becoming more and more contracted, her energy field turning gray and her physical presence more dense. Had I taken the pause, I would have responded about the light, not the dark, to help her feel lighter. To support her in releasing fear.
Yet I also sensed she needed to face the dark. Had I been mindful in that moment, I would have first spoken of the light and then, maybe of the darkness. And in speaking of the darkness, I would not have gone into specifics.
This is a time when many come to conclusions without doing any research at all; they don't even bother; and even those on a spiritual path turn to their group rather than to their inner knowing. They simply believe whatever their significant others tell them is true. They don't want to be an outcast, they want to fit in, and they have become addicted to fear. Fear of questioning and fear of all sorts of things that are being whipped up by others in all camps. They have convinced themselves to accept actions that otherwise they would never have accepted before.
So now, what would I have said had I taken the Essential Pause? I would have said that it's easy to meet the darkness if we stand in the light. What does it mean to stand in the light? To stand for kindness, unity, cooperation, and truth. If a leader exhibits these qualities, in spite of imperfections---we can always find some---the the leader is a force for the good. Predominantly a service-to-others person. If a leader, or person at any level, promotes division, discord, greed, hatred, and fear, that person has a service-to-self orientation and is a part of the darkness.
This makes it easy for those with eyes who want to see able to discern the light from the darkness. It's very simple. Is the person basically kind, respectful, and concerned about the well-being of others? Or is the person mainly focused on his or her greatness and on generating division, criticism, disparagement and blame of others, and whipping up fear?
When we are clear in ourselves we have no problem distinguishing what is light from what is dark. We can easily see what helps and what hurts, what is selfish and what is life supporting.