Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cloak of Darkness

I am weaving my darkness, refining it, purifying it in fire, twining it with ethereal hands. I am dipping it in a milky ocean, beating it against obsidian rocks, washing it. Weaving a cloak of darkness to drape around me, protective, grounded as the earth, sparkling with the stars of heaven. This is my coat of arms, and I wear it proudly. It is not done being created.

The darkness within is not fundamentally our enemy. No more than yin or yang is evil. The Darkness becomes demonic when it looses it's anchor. I think that as long as you are alive, you will contain desire, and the whole range of emotions. When they are brought into balance, all is right in the world, heaven reigns on earth. But when parts of us are rejected, ignored, feared and hated, then parts of us become hate, fear, ignorance, separation. Maya is the world. It's beautiful and playful. Without at least some of it, there is no creation, no world, no life, nothing to love. no one to play with.

Sometimes spiritual communities, like the one I'm in, form a habit of rejecting their shadows. Hoping that eventually they will go away. And it's sad to see what happens, because they end up living half the life they could. never really complete, whole. They are cut off from their dark mother, from there own heart, because they can't accept parts of themselves. I did that for a while. What I'm doing now, is deeply satisfying. When the darkness is dealt with in a healthy way, it grounds you. It's a freedom from fear that is unshakable, like the second innocence some people gain after a hard life, which cannot be moved because it has seen all that would take away our innocence or peace, and it has swallowed it all, dissolved it in love. Dwelling on negative thoughts is mostly pointless, leading to rumination and then depression. But there is a work that you can embark on, where the darkness is transmuted into greater light. This seems to me to be the process of bringing heaven down to earth. The first step on the path is sometimes ascending to heaven, seeing the view from the mountain top, becoming aware of one's immortality. And then the second step is going back down the mountain, going into the dark and scary parts of the world, of our heart, that have yet to receive this light, and bringing them, one by one, up to the mountain top. This cannot be done if you ignore your shadow, if you deny it's existence or seek to escape from the places in you where it still lives.

The brighter the light, the more intense the shadow can become. I'm just doing what I always do, trying to describe my own path and pitfalls and any wisdom I've gained from doing the wrong thing and getting hurt or stuck. What I am doing now is very mundane. It's sacred as well, but it's grounded, it's simple. Part of me may be divine, but there are so many areas that are still afraid, hurt, angry. I think my first teacher was quite brilliant when he said that after the initial realization of the Self as separate from activity, the rest of the journey is that of action from the level of the heart. He called it devotion: action and surrender. The action is necessary. it almost doesn't matter what action. Sometimes it's just getting up and going for a walk, right now it looks like trying to get a job, trying to get a life. The feeling level tells me whether it's right action or not. The right action is usually the one that feels a little dangerous at first. uncomfortable, scary. But in the end, it feels good and right.

I felt like writing was right action. perhaps it is. though this particular writing does not feel right. How to find it.... It's the thing that needs doing. and when I've been ignoring it, like I have today, it gets progressively more uncomfortable. It rips at my chest, grabs my heart and squeezes it like an angry woman grabbing a man by the nut sack. "you know what you need to do. Now do it."

Its a testament to fear that I still often don't do it. Or put it off till she gives a few yanks. This place of action from rightness in my heart...
first off, it's blind. I don't have a goddamn clue what's right. I just have some ideas. And I go down the list.

I used to kill myself worrying about what I hadn't done. it was like the cruel but righteous woman was twisting my...heart... right out of it's socket, the pain of regret was so intense. So I worked on that, and now I can at least usually put aside my past failures, even the immediate past, and remember that doing what needs doing only ever happens right the fuck now. And the more I practice doing that as soon as I realize I've gotten off track, the more I get in the habit of going off track less and less.

it's ultimately an awareness thing. If I am aware of my predicament, I do what needs doing. If I'm not, it's a coin toss that usually ends up tails.

by predicament, by the way, is this: I am a mortal, fragile body, or at least I'm inhabiting one, and I could die at any moment. And I am deeply dissatisfied with my life and actions and feelings about my life. But if I can just do my best, I can be at peace. God, it's so cliched. How do I say this in my own words?

My mortality reminds me of what is important. My shame, when I see it clearly, is just my own heart kicking me in the balls until I do what I deeply want to do. I need that discomfort of seeing my life heading for the jagged rocks to get me past the inertia and fear and insanity that keeps me from starting these projects. And by starting, I mean sitting down, right now, and beginning to write, or play, or clean. Whatever needs doing. Every day, it's a start. Sometimes I don't start until late in the day. This is why it's easier in some ways to have a job where someone else is the boss. You're accountable to others. You need to get up, or you'll get fired. And so you get started, and it's good. I'm going to get a job soon, and I'm going to learn about jobs. I need to know how to live my life, and to do that, I need to do stuff, and find out what feels good and what feels wrong.

p.s. sometimes what feels good also feels really uncomfortable. It's scary to write a book and try and get it published. send it to editors and publishers and get subjected to scrutiny and rejection.

[notes from the future: this was perhaps necessary, working with my darkness, but suprissingly it seems to have come to an end.  Not that it's all done but it's done enough that it's time to move on to something else.  Which is still figuring out work and living in the world.  but the part where I talk about my guilt and shame motivating me to do stuff was ineffective and I don't recommend it for successful and continued creating.  I've found a system that is much more effective.  I might say infinitely more effective, since the system of guilt got approximately nothing more done than without it, and this system gets something more done that if I didn't have it.  I should write a post about it.  To sum it up though, it's much more effective to focus on what you do want to create rather than what you want to avoid (shame, for example), as long as you are also keenly aware of where you are now. Anyways, I'm maybe explain it in a new post.]

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