Within an enormous vacuum, an enormous space, enormous outer space, you begin to experience the dawn of enlightenment just the dawn. You get the message that the sun is going to shine, purely because there is a little glow in the east. The dawn of enlightenment in the Buddhist tradition cannot take place unless first there is a sense of desolation, meaninglessness, and being a fool, to begin with. Then the dawn of enlightenment can actually take place properly. You begin to experience what we might call, from a traditional Western reference point, the Star of Bethlehem. The birth of something is taking place. There’s a star in the midnight sky. The sky is black, deep blue, but there is a star shining in that sky. There is hope in the positive sense. There is something taking place. Such a thing cannot happen unless there’s nightfall and darkness … We have already understood that there’s no me, no self, no ground. That nonexistence begins to make sense. That non-existence of self, of ego, becomes the Star of Bethlehem, and the dawn of enlightenment begins to take place.
Chogyam Trungpa (1939-1987), From “The Dawn of Enlightenment,” Talk Five of MEDITATION: THE WAY OF THE BUDDHA, July 8, 1974, Naropa Institute. Edited from the transcript.