I have in the past been involved in some minor artificial intelligence installations. For instance when I come home at night, motion sensing lights illumine our entry to the front door, and once we open the door, another system tells the lamp to turn on and our thermostat to return to the “home” setting. This is a technology that is readily available as this new intelligence anticipates things for us and cancels the darkness.
Most folks recognize darkness as potential danger, and light as safety. And then of course up here in the country there are plenty of wild critters moving about in the darkness and we try to avoid them as well, so we like light!
I have found that my whole demeanor is affected by how much light I receive on a daily basis. We are all programmed that way and we are attracted to light. Living in total darkness can cause some other health conditions that even super supplements can't cure. Sunlight helps trigger the body's daily cycle of serotonin and if our level of serotonin production becomes irregular, we can suffer mood problems and irregular sleep patterns, which of course is not healthy.
We talk about darkness as we remember the blind man in our service today and I have no idea how difficult it must be for folks that have a severe loss of vision or as this man in the Gospel, have no eyeballs from birth. I have heard that other human sensory functions increase to help overcome these types of losses but again, it is hard for me to grasp. And to make things even worse, I neglect to truly appreciate the senses that I do have and in particular, my ability to see.
I simply cannot justify why I spend so much time feeding my brain with junk, which brings an internal darkness over my soul. Yes, we are born spiritually blind but it is through our struggle that we can be given new eyes, ones that seek after holy things and life beyond the grave. Or as St. Luke records it in Acts 26: ‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them about from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, in order to receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith that is in Me.’ [Acts 26:18]
To correct our spiritual vision, we must do as the Lord instructs the blind man: “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam”. He went therefore and washed, and came seeing.” [Jn. 9:7] You must read the Scripture with your corrective lenses (teachings of the Church Fathers), daily examine your inventory of actions and thoughts, fast, come to confession, and wash away the sinful gunk in the life creating Body and Blood of Christ. And then most of all, repeat, repeat, and repeat! Oh Lord, save me!!
Hear the words of St. John the Theologian: “And this is the judgment, that the light hath come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil. “For everyone who practiseth bad things hateth the light and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved; “but the one who doeth the truth cometh to the light, in order that his works might be made manifest, that they have been wrought in God.” [Jn. 3:19-21]
Metropolitan Philaret of blessed memory writes: “Not long ago we prayed to our Lord intensively: “Grant that I may see my own sins.” If we ask to see, to be able to see our sins it means we cannot see them as well as is needed. This is because our “spiritual eyes” are blind. This is why this church prayer is full of sense and meaning for each of us. The Holy Fathers also always say that people cannot see their sins as clearly as they should.” There is one ascetic “who asked God to let him see to what extent human nature was corrupted by sin. And when the Lord, in a certain mysterious vision, revealed to him the degree to which man is corrupted by sin, the ascetic felt that he could lose his mind from fear, and he was begging God to hide this vision from him forever. This is the extent to which people are corrupted by sin. St. Macarius of Egypt said a person can be good, but deep in his soul the roots can be poisonous. Our Lord Jesus Christ came to heal us of this brokenness, because no other force in the world can heal us of this frightful corruption by sin. This is what current reformers of life forget and tend not to see when proposing their ideas.
They forget, or do not know, that a person is a sinful creature. Therefore, as the Blessed Augustine said, people differ only in the extent to which each of them is evil. We should always realize how sinful and corrupt we are, and beg God to heal our soul’s eyes the way he gave physical and spiritual recovery to this former blind man about whom we heard.” (Metropolitan Philaret of New York and Eastern America, Sermon on the Sunday of the Blind Man II, translated by Felix Culpa and Olga Lissenkova)