Within the creation myths of the world there may be at all times a time of darkness earlier than the start of the human race and, inside this darkness, an undifferentiated oneness the place all is God and all the things is one. There are not any human beings, solely God-beings, or reasonably, facets of God ready to be born – if a unified consciousness can have facets in any respect.
After which one thing occurs. God turns into lonely and longs for a associate, a beloved, or turns into inquisitive about his powers and potential as a God. So as to know himself and what he may be able to, God should do two issues: he should separate himself into at the very least one different kind so he can look again at himself and know what it’s to be God. And, so he can see what he has develop into, the God of darkness should create gentle.
God stated, ‘Let there be gentle’, and there was gentle…Genesis I
Then he realised, I certainly, I’m this creation, for I’ve poured it forth from myself…Upanishads
And so it’s that with God’s ‘illumination’ comes separation and the arrival of opposites, elements in battle with each other. The common consciousness all of us as soon as knew turns into cut up into many – a chaos of fragments, a world unknown, a oneness divided.
This notion of separation and the destiny of man inside it’s there in yoga mythology course online the world over, whose tales communicate of the space and ambiguity of God (this unique first consciousness) from man (what God has now develop into).
The Greeks, for instance, regarded human beings because the playthings of the Gods, who have been a number of and sometimes at warfare with themselves, with mankind a tiny and insignificant concern. In Christian mythology we even have a God who’s unavailable to us, and so we’re given angels, archangels, and even fallen angels to maintain us firm as a substitute.
“We come to God in bits, dismembered. We do not know if the bits might be made to slot in the way in which they used to”, writes Michael Begg, an Irish thinker. His prayer is an easy one: “We ask God to re-member us”. However to take action, we should first keep in mind ourselves by going again to that primal darkness and experiencing a world with out varieties.
Man has been looking for reconnection with the infinite and for a that means to life ever since his realization of separation. Most frequently, whether it is critical, this search will happen in darkness – of a bodily variety reasonably than the metaphysical “darkish evening of the soul”, as Carl Jung outlined it.
Recognizing the primal union that was current in that first darkness, sages and mystics have at all times used the darkish as a car for returning to a state of bliss and understanding. This return to peace and stillness permits them to interrupt by the considerations and anxieties of their earthly lives, with all of its socially-prescribed actuality and the conditioning of the world exterior, in order that they could, indirectly, attain reconnection with an undifferentiated consciousness the place all is One as soon as once more.
Throughout the Shinto custom of Japan, for instance, there’s a self-discipline often called komori – seclusion – undertaken within the darkness of a cave, a temple, a shrine, or perhaps a room in a single’s home, which is specifically ready and purified so it might carry the present of energy and illumination. Japanese texts make frequent point out of sojourns in locations reminiscent of these and in windowless huts, often called the komorido, which might be discovered on numerous holy mountains the place ascetics undertake their darkish retreats.
The apply of spending prolonged intervals inside caves can be discovered within the distant peninsula of Land’s Finish in Cornwall, the place Iron Age communities felt compelled to assemble subterranean passages, often called fogou, a phrase which interprets from the Cornish as ‘underground chamber’ and should derive from ogo, that means cave. These sometimes include an extended passage with partitions constructed up in horizontal programs of tough granite stones, some 40-50 ft lengthy, six ft in top and 5 to 6 ft in width, constructed in a deliberate curve, and entered by a low restrictive doorway, so the provoke should bow to the darkness on coming into.
On the opposite facet of the world, among the many Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso, the darkness can also be sacred. Certainly, in widespread with different historic tribes, it’s forbidden even to light up the darkness, for gentle is thought to scare the sprits away.
When Malidoma Some – who was born a Dagara tribesman however kidnapped and raised at a Jesuit Mission – returned 15 years later to his tribe he found that no-one within the village needed any type of gentle, and that the villagers have been anticipated to operate at midnight. “I used to be given gentle as a result of I had misplaced the power to take care of darkness”, he writes, however “every time individuals noticed the timid gentle of the shea-oil lamp in my room, they’d stroll away from it as if it signaled the presence of somebody taking part in with the weather of the cosmos. No younger man ever got here to sit down by me at evening”
Someplace for us all, darkness holds the solutions to our being and our destinies – and but all we want do is shut our eyes to reconnect with our supply.
EXPERIENCING THE SACRED DARKNESS
To get a way of what the darkness could maintain for you, chances are you’ll care to strive the next workouts. These are taken from my e-book Darkness Seen: Awakening Non secular Mild By way of Darkness Meditation, which explores the usage of darkness worldwide as a method of non secular enrichment.
Shut your eyes…
Step one in darkness work is simply to expertise the darkish, however actively as a substitute of passively. We’re all shoppers of darkness each time we blink or lay right down to sleep, in spite of everything, however most of us consider this stuff as interruptions to our regular lifetime of doing issues on the planet – if we consider them in any respect.
To develop into a voyager into darkness, spend a while along with your eyes closed, as if in meditation, and simply pay attention to what ideas, photos, and different data begin to floor, all of which you would possibly by no means have seen earlier than as a result of your consideration was so firmly on the world ‘on the market’.
Beginning small is really useful – not more than quarter-hour at a time – however you’ll be able to construct as much as longer intervals of an hour or extra. Then, when you’re comfy with the darkness, strive transferring, dancing, or consuming at midnight. How do these taken-for-granted actions really feel now you’re utilizing different senses to information you?
The non secular texts of the world inform us that there was a time earlier than separation, after we all knew the thoughts of God as a result of we have been a part of that thoughts. Along with your eyes closed, enable a picture or sensation to type of what this primal God-like state would have been like, if you have been part of this aware and undifferentiated vitality. Really feel how it’s to be at One with this soul-community. Drift with it for some time.
Sooner or later, you determined to separate from this vitality so you would be born and expertise life as your self, one kind divided from the entire. What was your function for doing so? What did you come right here to discover? When you think about your life now, have you ever fulfilled this function or, if not, what’s there nonetheless to do?