History of Luminotherapy
We are at the end of the 1800s. Frederick Cook, doctor and adventurer, embarked for Antarctica, an area of the world that was still unexplored at the time. However, the ship was hit by a terrible storm and was forced to make its way through dangerous icebergs. The morning after the storm, the ship found itself locked in by an ice pack. Cook’s team was stuck and supplies were running out. The sun disappeared in May 1898, only to reappear two months later, and snowstorms began with winds so lashing, violent and continuous that it was impossible to spend more than just a few hours off the ship. With the passage of time, moodiness and apathy began to appear, as well as illnesses. The first to fall ill was Lieutenant Danco due to a pre-existing heart disease. A few days later it was the ship’s cat who died.
One morning, a French sailor named Ernest Poulson stepped onto the deck and in a fit of madness, with a dagger in his hand, managed to injure several companions. He got off the ship chased by Amundsen while Cook attended to the wounded. When the Norwegian explorer Poulson caught up with him, he was already dead. He had fallen and stabbed himself in the abdomen with the blade of his knife. He was buried as the first deceased. Two weeks later, another sailor climbed the mast screaming that there was free water ahead of the ship, but he lost his balance and fell to the deck and died instantly. What he had claimed to see had been nothing more than a hallucination. There was another burial.
In addition to psychological stress, Cook noted that the crew suffered from porous gums, swollen eyes and ankles, insomnia, hallucinations, loss of appetite, and cardiac arrhythmias. He also diagnosed a form of anaemia that was widespread in the Polar Regions. Frederick was convinced that this was due to the absence of the sun’s rays, so he forced the men to stand naked in front of a fire that had been lit on the ice for an hour, thus absorbing heat and light. He also recommended a fresh meat diet.
The first to undergo such treatment was Captain Lecointe, who was extremely sick and weak. After a few weeks, the captain managed to recover completely. When the meat supplies ran out, they hunted seals and penguins using sticks and harpoons. The conditions of the whole crew progressively improved and also the morale; moreover, on 22 July 1898, the sun reappeared after seventy days of polar night.
In memory of Frederick Cook, doctor and explorer
Light has always occupied a central and primary position in the collective imagination. In the Bible, God created the world by ‘turning on’ the light. According to Eastern mysticism, first light and then sound organise the Cosmos. A similar concept can be found in the Gospel of John where ‘In the beginning was the Logos (Word-Sound)’ and Christ ‘the Light of the world’.
Around the sun, the greatest representative of the Light, organised religions came to life that made the star a real object of worship, if not even a God.
The passage into the afterlife is also called the ‘luminous passage’ because of the lights that accompany the soul in the journey after life ends. Some ascetic practices use sunlight as a catalyst for enlightenment (for example, Sun Gazing) just as medicine uses it for healing.
In fact, light therapy uses light sources for the treatment and prevention of seasonal affective disorders or those manifested by depression, lack of motivation, alteration of the sleep wake cycle, and eating disorders.
I have called the teachings on light that I practice LIGHT.
LIGHT because it is based on the fixation of light sources, ‘initiatory’ because it is not a cure, but specific training consisting of:
- Guided visualisations
- Stretching of the meridians
- Breathing exercises to improve memory, concentration, to promote meditation, awareness of the energetic body and the state of Presence.
Initiatory, in fact, means direct and experimental knowledge of our subtle nature, which will be the one that survives after death. In this sense, I also use light as ars moriendi. According to the spiritual traditions throughout the ages, and the testimonies collected by science on near-death experiences, the light of Consciousness guides us into the passage of the end of life and into the Beyond.
What better opportunity to train it right away so nothing goes wrong?