Light in My Darkness

Light in My Darkness is a book, originally published in 1927 as My Religion, written by Helen Keller when she was 47 years old. The book was written as a tribute to Emanuel Swedenborg whom Helen regarded as "one of the noblest champions true Christianity has ever known". This book is regarded as Keller's spiritual autobiography in which she openly told that "the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg have been my light, and a staff in my hand and by his vision splendid I am attended on my way".

The original publication was loosely put together and hastily printed by Doubleday, Page & Company. Nevertheless, it sold well in 1927 and has remained in print ever since. In 1994, Ray Silverman, a Swedenborgian minister and literary scholar, thoroughly revised and edited My Religion, organizing the eight unwieldy sections of the first edition into twelve distinct chapters with subheadings to clarify their contents. Furthermore, important materials not present in the first edition were added to elucidate and expand the original text. Other revisions included modernization of several words and phrases, substitution of inclusive language where appropriate, correction of spelling and typographical errors, alteration of punctuation to conform to modern standards, and emendation of a few historical inaccuracies. Extra paragraph breaks were added and a very few passages that distracted from the main messages were delicately pruned. It should be emphasized, however, that these revisions were negligible next to all that was retained.

In 2000 a second edition of Light in My Darkness was published which included an article that was originally published in Guideposts magazine in 1956, when Keller was 76 years old. The article, which was reprinted by Guideposts in 1995, is significant in that it establishes the fact that Keller was indeed a lifelong Swedenborgian. It is in this article that she writes,

Since my seventeenth year, I have tried to live according to the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. By "church" he did not mean an ecclesiastical organization, but a spiritual fellowship of thoughtful men and women who spend their lives for a service to mankind that outlasts them. He called it a civilization that was to be born of a healthy, universal religion—goodwill, mutual understanding, service from each to all, regardless of dogma or ritual.

Also included in the 2000 edition is a quote from Keller's last published book, Teacher (1955). In it she speaks of her undimmed enthusiasm for Swedenborg's teachings. She does this by first quoting the American poet, Walt Whitman who wrote: "O Spirit, as a runner strips/ Upon a windy afternoon/ Be unencumbered of what troubles you--/ Arise with grace / And greatly go, with the wind upon your face."

Keller then adds, "In that state of exhilaration I had accepted the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg, had drunk in his interpretation of the Bible, fearless, reverent, yet as unconfined as the sun, the clouds, the sea."

The change in title from My Religion to Light in My Darkness is significant. The new title is taken from one of Keller's poetic statements in which she declares, "I know that life is given us so that we may grow in love. And I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of the flower, the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence."

Light in My Darkness
Helenkellerlightinmydarkness
Cover of the edition published by Chrysalis Books in 2000
AuthorHelen Keller
GenreSpiritual autobiography
PublisherDoubleday, Page & Company
Publication date
1927

Reception

Readers were divided by those impressed by her faith and those disappointed that the famous deafblind activist advocated Swedenborgianism rather than a more "mainstream" religion.

1960 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1960.

– Mervyn Griffith-Jones prosecuting in the Lady Chatterley's Lover case

Black-and-white dualism

The contrast of white and black (light and darkness, day and night) has a long tradition of metaphorical usage, traceable to the Ancient Near East, and explicitly in the Pythagorean Table of Opposites.

In Western culture as well as in Confucianism, the contrast symbolizes the moral dichotomy of good and evil.

El retablo de maese Pedro

El retablo de maese Pedro (Master Peter's Puppet Show) is a puppet-opera in one act with a prologue and epilogue, composed by Manuel de Falla to a Spanish libretto based on an episode from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. The libretto is an abbreviation of chapter 26 of the second part of Don Quixote, with some lines added from other parts of the work. Falla composed this opera "in devoted homage to the glory of Miguel de Cervantes" and dedicated it to the Princess de Polignac, who commissioned the work. Because of its brief length by operatic standards (about 27 minutes), its very challenging part for a boy opera performer (who has by far the most lines), and its use of puppets, it is not part of the standard operatic repertoire.

Otto Mayer-Serra has described this opera as a work where Falla reached beyond "Andalusianism" for his immediate musical influence and colour and began the transition into the "Hispanic neo-classicism" of his later works.

Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, was made famous by Keller's autobiography, The Story of My Life, and its adaptations for film and stage, The Miracle Worker. Her birthplace in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, is now a museum and sponsors an annual "Helen Keller Day". Her June 27 birthday is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in Pennsylvania and, in the centenary year of her birth, was recognized by a presidential proclamation from Jimmy Carter.

A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism, antimilitarism, and other similar causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1971 and was one of twelve inaugural inductees to the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame on June 8, 2015.

List of women writers

This is a list of notable women writers.

See also individual lists of women writers by nationality

My Religion

My Religion may refer to:

My Religion (album), an album by TNT

"My Religion" (song), a song by Ryan Starr

Light in My Darkness, a book by Helen Keller originally published as My Religion

What I Believe, a book by Leo Tolstoy also known as My Religion

The Miracle Continues

Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues is a 1984 American made-for-television biographical film and a semi-sequel to the 1979 television version of The Miracle Worker. It is a drama based on the life of Helen Keller and premiered in syndication on April 23, 1984 as part of Operation Prime Time syndicated programming.

The Miracle Worker (1979 film)

The Miracle Worker is a 1979 American made-for-television biopic based on the 1959 play of the same title by William Gibson, which originated as a 1957 broadcast of the television anthology series Playhouse 90. Gibson's original source material was The Story of My Life, the 1902 autobiography of Helen Keller. The play was adapted for the screen before, in 1962.

The film is based on the life of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan's struggles to teaching her. It starred Patty Duke (who played Helen Keller in the original 1962 film, for which she won the Oscar) as Annie Sullivan and Melissa Gilbert as Helen Keller. It produced a TV sequels, Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues in 1984.

The New Church (Swedenborgian)

The New Church (or Swedenborgianism) is the name for several historically related Christian denominations that developed as a new religious group, influenced by the writings of scientist and Swedish Lutheran theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). According to Swedenborg, he received a new revelation from Christ in visions he experienced over a period of at least twenty-five years. He predicted in his writings that God would replace the traditional Christian Church, establishing a New Church that would worship God as Jesus Christ. According to New Church doctrine, each person must cooperate in repentance, reformation, and regeneration.The movement was founded on the belief that God explained the spiritual meaning of the Bible to Swedenborg to reveal the truth of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Swedenborg cited divine revelation for his writings, and his followers believe that he witnessed the Last Judgment in the spiritual world with the inauguration of the New Church.

The church is seen by its members as what Jesus is establishing with those who believe that he is the one God of heaven and Earth, with obedience to Jesus' commandments necessary for salvation. It is thought that any Christian holding these beliefs is part of the New Church. New Church organizations acknowledge what they believe to be the universal nature of Jesus' church: all who do good in accordance with the truth of their religion will be accepted by Jesus into heaven (since God is goodness itself), and doing good joins one with God. Adherents believe that New Church doctrine is derived from the Bible and provides enlightenment of the truth; this leads to diminished doubt, a recognition of personal faults and a more-focused, happier life.Other names for the movement include Swedenborgian, New Christians, Neo-Christians, Church of the New Jerusalem, and The Lord's New Church. Although those outside the church may refer to the movement as Swedenborgianism, some adherents distance themselves from this title (which implies following Swedenborg, rather than Jesus). Swedenborg published some of his theological works anonymously; his writings promoted one church based on love and charity, rather than multiple churches named after their founders and based on belief or doctrine.

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