Several years ago yours truly was engaged in a short email exchange with a friendly acquaintance. For several years I had been an on again/off again counselor and confidant to this particular young lady and the exchange in question was precipitated by an earlier face-to-face encounter where I mentioned to her that she appeared to be down. Below you will find our resulting electronic conversation:
From: Doe, Jane
I am in a dark mood today and it is spilling out. I am sorry. I will be better.
From: Mystic, The
I enjoy my dark places. In them I find elements of my Self that move me, that inform me, that steel me. I freely admit that my greatness is forged in Darkness but is invigorated and given life when I shine forth my Light. Do you embrace the Darkness?
From: Doe, Jane
From: Mystic, The
Then you should know, my dear, that this rejection is the source of your misery. In this you deny your Self.
Like most, my acquaintance rejected the darkness in her Being as inherently unpleasant and base, viewing it as something to be (at the very least) ignored or (if at all possible) conquered.
That evil is ascribed to darkness is an almost universal phenomenon, one that cuts across cultural lines and religious traditions. We are indoctrinated from childhood to believe that in the darkness we will find only pain and suffering and all manner of sinister things. We are given night lights to ward off the monsters that dwell under our beds and in our closets. We are taught to fear darkness, explicitly and by example, not only in the physical realm, but the darkness that resides within our own Beings.
Should the truth be told, it is not darkness per se that people resist; it is the force of evil which is believed (rightly or wrongly) to inhabit the gloom that hobbles so many. It has been my experience that, when observed and considered objectively, darkness and evil are not necessarily mutually inclusive. More often than not, it is the unquestioned acceptance of darkness as the province of the wicked that perpetuates and promulgates the myth and continues to give it odious life in this so-called age of enlightened thought. The benefits to be gained in the acceptance and integration of those valuable elements which abide in darkness far surpass (in this Mystic’s opinion, at least) the unreasonable cautions borne of an uninformed historical prejudice.
In my tradition the western energetic on an Earth Gate (Medicine Wheel) is viewed as the location of darkness and is identified by the color black. Represented by the element of Earth, it is the looks-within place of introspection and intuition, is the realm of the human body, is considered negative/receptive, and is the matrix of feminine energy. It should, therefore, not be surprising that most of the traits which were just mentioned are in whole or in part looked down upon or viewed in a disparaging light by a wide assortment of religions and philosophies and the people who subscribe to them. To the partisans of superstition and ignorance nothing of value is to be culled in the shadows and the loss, quite deservedly, is their own. At great peril they reject a valuable aspect of Reality in deference to their preferred brand of intolerance and bias. Perhaps there truly IS a legitimate reason for these individuals to shun the darkness, as there is no night light which can ever shine brightly enough to protect such misguided souls from the inner demons wrought of their own creation.
For the traveler committed to a fuller understanding and experience of Life, it is vital that the darkness be explored and mapped in studied detail. There is much to be learned there and even more to be gained if we can set aside our fears and acknowledge That-Which-Is. It is when we deny and suppress the darkness that we engender strife, for in our denial we tend to feed and antagonize the beast most wish to remain quiet and hidden safely away in its cage.
Now, I no more suggest a wholesale cleaving to darkness at the exclusion of light than I espouse the rejection of darkness for the fanciful delusion of light as some manifestation of romantic mythical perfection. Extremes are tinder for the fires of that most palpable of evils, fanaticism.
Seek balance and, through it all, don’t be afraid of the dark.
©Billy Red Horse