Saturday, 5 March 2016

The search into the Darkness

People see the darkness as a scary thing. It's a mask that descends on us and makes us into beings of shadow, and it is neither comfortable nor does it feel natural.

An amazing article passed my eyeballs today. I resonated with this part immediately.

"In an effort to reach divinity, enlightenment, and guru-status, we’ve banished and demonized the “negative” and the struggle of the human experience. We’ve lost touch with the glorious bittersweet medicine that our pain and suffering offers when truly acknowledged by the Self and the tribe, and subsequently integrated with compassion and love. "

 The darkness is a part of life. Nothing is every completely pure, completely perfect. Everything has a flaw. It may be obvious, and glaringly so. It may be subtle, so much so that it's 'near perfect'. It is there, however. It is about time we start recognizing that.

Embracing the shadow parts of yourself is not license to be terrible. It is not a carte blanche to be abusive or bullying or hurtful. Embracing that which makes us whole is about learning to be complete, learning how to make mistakes, learning how to make amends, and growing from those experiences. So often we get caught up in these dark thoughts that we forget the light.

I have always danced a fine line on the knife's edge of falling over the precipice into darkness. My gods, the deepest teachers that force me to spend time within the walls of my mind, are gods of death, darkness, wisdom, war. Their teachings are harsh and demanding. I also work with more gentle gods, those of healing and poetry. My views on life as a whole is to be kind, to be loving, to do good things for others and to hope for others to respond in kind. Even when people are cruel or unkind to me, underneath my anger and the fierce beastial bitch within me that seeks to devour those who dare rise against me and bathe in their blood... there is love. There is compassion. The first question I always ask is why. I try and sympathize.

It is important to not spend all my time in shadow. It is a balance, of light and dark. Too much time in either place is unhealthy. The darkness is an easy place for me, as someone with mental illness. It is an easy place to live, to make my life. It is easy to give in to those things that pull me under.

The air is silk, shadows form a grin
If I lose control I feed the beast within
--"Human" - Of Monsters and Men

While I speak of the darkness, we must always remember what lives there. Anger lives there. Jealousy lives there. Fear lives there. Hatred and sadness live there. These are all important parts of our spiritual diet, but like proverbial junk food, moderation is key. A little fear is healthy, it keeps us alive. A crippling fear of being abandoned is not. Anger is a powerful motivator in moderate doses - it becomes cruel and bitter and hateful in large doses. The same goes with the light. Too much love leads into obsession. Too much kindness can seem insincere. Too much acceptance turns you into a doormat.

Balance, balance, balance.

My lesson has been repeated over and over to me this year - "hang as I have hanged, give as I have given, sacrifice as I have sacrificed". Knowing that last year was about descending into Shadow to come out to the Star - this year has been a great trial. I have gained and lost. Spending the last few days reading through my meditation journal and life journal has painted the picture that my journey to the underworld is not quite finished yet. I often scratch my head that so many things that seem so random at first turn out to be pieces of some grand puzzle. There are so many correlations between things that have happened in the last year or so that I never saw until I read through it all. All fitting together like it was made to. It's still a marvel to me.

Even so, after spending so much time in Shadow, I look forward the the beginning of the Chariot. The Chariot for me has always begun with a journey. I am taking a short trip home in a few weeks, and I have a sense, deep in my guts, that this is the beginning of the ascent.

It has been a hard year. It continues to be hard. I suppose they are trials. They are not supposed to be easy, or pleasant.

It is supposed to be a sacrifice.