A Little Darkness To Get You Going

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Painting by Isaak Ilyich Levitan

“The intelligences that act as the souls of the planets, such as the soul of your world, seek to create conditions and connections that allow life and consciousness to emerge, grow, and gain in potential and capacities. They incubate participants in the ongoing co-creative emergence of the universe. When you, through your acts of will and love, enhance the creative ability of another, by which I mean enhancing the well-being and wholeness of their lives so that they may grow and prosper, you are acting and thinking like a planet.”

- David Spangler, “Apprenticed to Spirit”



Let us pray that we ourselves cease to be
the cause of suffering to each other.

With humility, with awareness of the existence of life,
and of the suffering that are going on around us,
let us practice the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth.

- Thich Nhat Hanh


We come into this world over and over again believing that we are here for the first time and we do not know where we came from, why we are here, or where we are going.
I saw that deep down we know the answers to these questions, but we have to find that place within us that remembers. That place is deeper than the ordinary mind can penetrate. When we do remember, we are able to rediscover our connections to the world around as well as our place in the great scheme of things.
. . .
The promises of all religions pale against the real experience of ecstatic union, which is sublime beyond imagining. Ecstatic union is the true and forgotten path of the whole of humankind.

— Peter Calhoun

The material universe seems to be created by ecstasy. When the lenses of perception are cleansed, we see that everything is dancing right down into subatomic levels where matter is flashing in and out of solid matter. Ecstatic play and joy seem to be at our foundations. It’s just that we can’t see or know about it in our present state of mind.

There are protective barriers against contact with that prodigious energy to keep us from losing our bearings in the world, but the result is we live on the surface, ignorant of why we exist. Anyone who has experienced kundalini or the surge of energy available in “realization” has a hard time integrating the insights that come because the energy is too great. Psychosis is a possibility unless you are very well grounded and stable.

The unconscious mind thinks in non rational ways. Powerful imagery and metaphorical narratives can overwhelm the mind, making it impossible to function in the world. A lot of that raw energy can surge into the ego and inflate it. It’s not something to play with, through drugs or otherwise.

Still, people who can safely venture into those regions of the mind report insights about why we exist that can help us. There are people who are made for this kind of work, shamans, for example. Anyone who can help us reconnect with ourselves is a healer.

Of course, we have to be careful because there are so many charlatans. Our minds are both powerful and delicate. Our inner world must be handled with care. Modern psychiatry, with its mechanical model that favors pharmaceuticals, is aimed at normalizing us to fit existing society. The problem with that is we are forcing people to function in a sick society.

Older cultures that have developed a solid relation to the invisible world keep a better balance between humans and nature. They can support a healthy human. They know how to initiate and grow deeper human beings.

We have unanswered questions about who we are and how we should live that are impossible to answer in the paradigm we inhabit. Our mental and emotional levels are too cut off from the river of life. Our objectives are practical, organized around ego, survival and comfort, but somewhere in us we hunger for greater meaning and insight.

We untutored Westerners should approach these questions as non gullibly as possible, but we need to be aware of their importance for a life that has substance and meaning.

How many times do we want to start over from kindergarten and quit school before we learn to live a real life?

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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