[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Fear, anger, apathy, and sorrow. In the veil that is this world, the darkness we perceive is not outside us. It manifests in us as those very things we seek to avoid. Avoiding darkness, we avoid ourselves. Harnessing darkness, we harness ourselves. Our striving for dominion over all things makes of us creators of the dark. When we thin our identifications, when we scrub clean the mind and ego, the divine light radiates and reflects cleanly and we seem creators of the light. Creation is our birthright and our heritage.
The darkness of clinging and resistance, and the suffering we feel it as, is not an obstacle to be overcome. It is the path itself. You will come again and again to the dark night of the soul. There will be grief and other inner violence as your ego is torn and tattered. The quest for dominion is doomed, but it is doomed for your own good. If you were to succeed in it, your ego would blind you forever to the light. You can thankfully never do more than look away.
Feeling the suffering fully – that is the inevitable road. We must, sooner or later, go through the hell. The old bodies are torn asunder as the wings emerge from our backs. Faced with faith and equanimity, the darkness is the transformative cocoon. This is the primary and most overt way of harnessing darkness.
But deeper, deeper! The dark dreams that come to me at night, sometimes, are inspiration. The intellectual children of Stephen King and Dean Koontz, the weird energies of H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker, they appear to me. I shall write a book, someday, and perhaps it shall be of light and spirituality and meditation. Or perhaps it will come from a darkness within, given forms by these literary grandfathers. Your darkness is a pathway to wholeness and integrative spirituality, dear hearts – but also it is fuel for the burning fires of the Muse. Harnessing darkness, you can create art.
And these daily stresses, the frantic pace of work all this week for me as business floods in its cyclic tide, these too are fuel. The darkness of financial anxiety is the cracked heart of faith. The societal urge to please and oblige, or to refute and stand defiantly, are the ego’s identifications pounding like an over-caffeinated heart. This creaking office chair is a leaking boat and those thousand emails are a tempest sea. There is no victory or defeat in them, only the insistent choice of dominion or the Beloved’s hand. You’ll not choose once, but a thousand times before noon – harnessing darkness, you might be a lamp over foggy waters.
To be a light-worker, one who dwells in the heart of hearts, is not to wander endlessly through the blessed land. Though Eden is right there, it is ours to only visit it in our mindful walks in the garden and meditative trances. Whether that is ever the case or only just now, it is ours to find a way to manifest the miracle. Holding injury and illness, can you give wholeness? Holding depression and sorrow, can you still give love? With the stress, approaching breakdown, can you stop and give your attention wholly to a child talking about utter silliness?
Yes, dear heart, you can. We are made for harnessing darkness as a vehicle, as inspiration, as spiritual exercise for building faith, and as the ground of miracles. You are a sunrise because you are a moonrise. You are the blazing heat of noon because you are the whispering mystery of twilight. Most of all, you are a Child of God because you play with toy boats and soldiers in the luminescent sea.