Twilight II

With twilight our activities should recede. If we listen to music, read, or converse quietly, it should be with a sense of distension, resolution, tranquility. Just as the stars do not appear abruptly like artificial lights, so our thoughts should appear softly, tranquilly. Our thoughts as evening progresses need not be brilliant. Like the stars, they should be merely sufficient to nestle our dissolution into night.


Twilight is the hour of dissolution. Sunlight does not simply disappear. Sunlight dissolves, and with it the clear shapes of trees, the contours of the land, the harsh outlines of buildings. In cities, artificial lights sally forth as if to battle twilight and coming darkness, as if to stave off an imagined offense. In traditional Jaina practice, no lights appear at twilight, for darkness is not unwelcome. “Do not hurt the darkness,” goes the saying. “The night is beautiful.”