The Wholeness of Light and Dark

By Andrea Avari Stevens, Ph.D. 

After reading an inspiring article about Peter Kater in Science of Mind magazine by Claudia Abbott, I wanted to share some of his thoughts on creativity. Peter has been nominated for 5 Grammy Awards, written musical scores for a number of documentaries, and his Healing Series of music used in the healing and therapeutic arts.  

No stranger to life’s ups and downs, Peter Kater was raised by a single mother who died when he was just eighteen creating an early life of poverty and hunger.  Being aware of the interplay of the light and dark in our creative lives, Kater states “….so often we are light chasers, so concerned with creating our lives and moving into light, that we often overlook the importance of the dark.  What we don’t know and cannot see becomes disturbing.  But it is so obvious to biologists and physicists that the darkness is essential.  Light and dark can’t exist without each other.  We have to have both to create.  We have to learn how to integrate darkness and be curious about what is hidden inside.  When we imagine a world that works for everyone, we need to explore the pain and integrate it.  You cannot sustain a light, bright experience 24/7.   Darkness becomes dysfunctional only when it is denied.  Looking at our pain, understanding the shadow, integrates the darkness into wholeness.  We have to see the value of all life’s experiences.  We have emotions for a reason.”  

When I was teaching creative thinking at an art college, a few students would be concerned that if their depressive perspective on life were taken away, they would be unable to create.  These students were very protective of their anxiety and depression as an integral part of their art.  For some, the more positive aspects of life did not generate the depth of emotion that they wanted to touch in their process.  Remembering the wholeness of the experiences of our lives means we appreciate both the light and the dark.  I think Kater’s words might help bring a balance to the fear of those students who so embraced the dark. 


Andrea is a spiritual coach focusing on the process of awakening.  She will be offering Mindfulness Teleclasses through her website at  She is the author of A Hit of Heaven: a soul’s journey through illusion.  

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