14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
|Light getting covered by a bushel. Image here.|
My big question has been: why is it the case that so many people who are deeply, truly good people, don't seem to glow very brightly? If you're reading your scriptures every day, working hard to be a good person, going to the temple, everything else--why wouldn't your inner light be super bright?
Then she explained the bushel concept.
She said, it's all the bushel. When good people allow themselves to be swathed in fears--fears of disappointing others, fears of failure, fears of man--that is the bushel. All those fears descend on us and hide our inner lights. It's not that our lights are not bright; it's that they are draped in the darkness of fear and other negativity. It can be anger or hatred or sorrow that darkens us, too: anything that keeps us from acting in faith and love as God's people acts as a bushel over our inner light. But in the end I suspect fear is the biggest offender here: anger and hatred and sorrow at their root, I believe, are fear: fear that someone won't get the justice they deserve. When we trust in God completely, and know beyond a doubt that God is a just God, we don't need to experience those feelings anymore.
2 Nephi 28:31
31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Uncovering the bushel
How do we uncover our light? How do we remove the bushel?
We have to figure out how to release our fears of man and trust in God instead. Energy work and kundalini yoga and meditation can certainly be effective for this--but they are not, in the end, necessary. The important thing is the decision to change. Make the promise to put God first always, to follow the Spirit even when it makes you afraid or uncomfortable, and you will feel the bushel come off.
Consequences: Light and Darkness
There is a price you pay for ripping off the bushel!
Light and darkness are fundamentally opposed. The thing about bushels is that it makes it so that even people who should be glowing brightly with internal light thanks to daily personal righteousness, are surrounded by kind of a dark energy. To me it looks like a basket over them. I never understood what it was until my conversation last night. It's not that someone with a bushel over them is a bad person, but the consequences of being covered with a bushel include being more comfortable with things that are not as "bright" energetically.
Basically: when you uncover your personal light and toss away that bushel, a sorting process begins.
We all naturally attract things that are like us, and naturally repel things that are not like us.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:40
40 For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.
At the same time, the old things in your life will begin to be repelled. And the repelling process can be difficult. You might find that friends that used to be close to you, are now ducking out of your life. Or trying to convince you to change back to how you were. Or you might find conflict escalating between yourself and people that you were formerly close to. This is a side effect of the attraction/repelling process. While you are adjusting to the new normal, the adjustment period is filled with the tension, the pushing and pulling of the old and the new.
Consequences: Sparking Others
But even as you may find yourself repelling old associates, you may find yourself also attracting new parts of other people, causing dormant attributes in them to awaken.
I've been trying to find my sources for this, but since different writers use different terminologies, it's hard to find them! I did the research long ago. But the deal is, once one person is "enlightened," just being near them can spontaneously spark the rise of kundalini in another person--I know I'm bringing in seemingly unrelated terms here, but they are all actually related. Basically, one person whose vibrations are raised can spontaneously cause a rise--or at least a change--in the vibrations of those around them. I haven't blogged yet about the symptoms of spontaneous vibrational rise yet, but they're not all fun and games. Sometimes triggering another person's vibrational or kundalini rise does not make them feel better, let's just say!
Let your light so shine! Cast off the fears you might have about living by the promptings you feel. Commit to serving God first and foremost, and let the bushel melt away. Be a light for others.