First Things First – Let’s Get Two Things Straight
Light is not Good
Dark is not Evil
Light and darkness are the yin/yang (literally) of spirituality. And, unlike in the Christian mythos, we don’t have to fight against our darkness to be good people. And, unlike in the New Age mythos, living only in the light won’t make you a good person either.
The light is about the path of the spirit, of union, of shedding of self. It is the masculine path of enlightenment, stripping away all that you are until you become nothing and therefore become one with everything. There is nothing good or evil about this path, it just is.
The dark is the path of embodiment, of individuality, of compassion and acceptance. It is the feminine path of enlightenment, accepting and receiving without judgment all that is until you become everything and become one with everything. There is nothing good or evil about this path, it just is.
We’ve Been Trained Out Of Our Spiritual Power
But because there are so many spiritual paths out there that eschew the physical in favor of the spiritual, we have been taught that the light is better than the dark. But this cannot be true anymore than the idea that it is better to give than to receive is true (it’s a binary system, one can’t exist without the other, therefore one can’t be better than the other). And so it is here. Either side without the other to balance it, goes into its shadow.
The Shadow Side of Darkness
We’ve all been told about the evil that the shadow side of the darkness creates. It is dominance and power mongering and a lack of concern for your fellow humans. It is an overindulgence in the physical to the exclusion of the spiritual until your life becomes about what you can get/be to the exclusion of all relationships or sense of connection to others.
The Shadow Side of the Light
But what no one talks about is that there is a shadow side to the light as well. We’ve all seen it but perhaps you haven’t recognized where it was coming from. Living in the light without the balance of the dark results in:
- A willful ignorance of one’s own issues – instead choosing to live in the “positive” thoughts and hoping that will fix things. (Shocker: it doesn’t.)
- A constant desire and attempt to leave one’s body and be in spirit – resulting in an inability to navigate the world in a fully competent fashion (under-earning, ongoing challenges around basic needs getting met).
- An unwillingness to charge for/leverage spiritual talents because “everyone should have access to them” (this is spiritual co-dependence, BTW).
- A feeling of spiritual victimization – by corporations, society, entities, etc.
The Benefits of the Light
Connecting into the light gives us many things:
- A connection to spirit – guides, guardians, angels, ancestors, etc.
- The sense of our connectedness to all things – the light is union
- The literal ability to “rise above” the hubbub of the world and see a different point of view
- The sense of ourselves as spiritual beings – enabling us to make more noble decisions
- Access to spiritual, unconditional love – agape
The Benefits of the Dark
What we don’t realize is that the dark does a lot of things for us too:
- The dark is about embodiment, so it brings with it the ability to be fully present in any moment
- It gives us a sense of ourselves as separate from others so that we can have a unique identity that we get to create
- It gives us access to our body wisdom and animal self, which connects us into the earth-based unity field (the one that tells animals to leave the area when a tidal wave is coming and which governs migration)
- It connects us into the mystery, the chaos of ultimate potential creation, the primordial soup of life
- It gives us our passions – without a body there is no passion
- It connects us into our power animals and totems
- We gain access to physical love (eros) and familial love (fillios)
Both Hold Benefits and Both Hold Potential Dangers
The challenge is to see both for what they are. We have been told that the light is good and the dark is evil. This isn’t true. Both are powerful forces which when balanced can allow us to claim our lives as our own creations. But both also hold the potential for disaster if engaged solely individually. Both can cause our downfall. We must look at BOTH the darkness AND the light as wild animals – capable of being our friend, but always holding the potential to hurt us, intentionally or unintentionally. When we hold this healthy respect for them, we need not engage in either from a place of fear, and we also don’t accidentally engage from a place of naivete.
Here’s my challenge to you today:
How can you engage your darkness without fear and how will you create safeguards to keep you out of the shadow side of your light?