It seemed right for me to delay writing about the death of Nelson Mandela until three days had passed, until the time when his soul had completed its journey of separation from the world of physicality. It is now.
They have been three days of mourning and memory for a remarkable man of great spirit: the many anecdotes from those who knew him remind us of a man graced with the integrity of self-knowledge and good intent, driven by love for humanity and with an ability to honour the humblest and the greatest, equally. He was a political master but self-deprecating, a man of humour and, certainly, a man of spirit. Some people have claimed he was a saint on earth, or that he was Jesus returned, but that is to overlook the human fallibility that made him one of us.
Mandela was a great light on Earth and lights never die. While his light dazzles elsewhere now, part of it is here still ready to illuminate the fragile path of humanity if we choose to use it. He has left a legacy, seeds of principles about how best we can be, individually and collectively, using compassion as our guide for our conduct, and he epitomised the Christ Consciousness in his work, as did Jesus. For both men, what they taught and strove for was later forgotten or misused, but they prepared the way for the new consciousness magnificently, and very importantly.
Mandela will have been saddened by indications of political corruption and inhumanity returning to his beloved South Africa after he left office, and it may be that his dying reminder of the values he stood for will cause a fresh approach by leaders to the needs of his people and more widely in the world. Even if this does not happen, it does not prevent you and me from tending the seeds he has left us, as best we can.
The light that was Mandela, the man, has gone, but the light that is his great soul is here, and always will be.