There is no true visual, no picture I could find for this for in the dark we cannot see outside. There are times of darkness and times of light, this is a truth eternal. According to Hindu Scriptures we are in the Kali Yuga, living in the ‘Dark age’ . As more is revealed, we shrink from seeing what is there. And yet, we are called upon to look into the very darkness we fear and to see that as the world appears to be crumbling, and all that we believed in challenged by ever greater super powers disempowering the individual the Kali Yuga is definitely a time to practice Yoga.
“The world is eternally subject to change. We perceive these changes as being favorable or unfavorable, depending on the state of our mind. Thus we experience happiness and unhappiness. The cause of unhappiness is our bondage to the senses and to external objects. This happens through our mind, because of certain samskaras (latent impressions) or avidya present in it. These can be removed through the practice of yoga.” ~ Sri T. Krishnamacharya (“Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings” by A. G. Mohan)
We think of spirit lighting the dark places but what if we are asked to go into the darkness without a light, into the place we cannot see. It is true that we each carry the light within but sometimes, it is necessary to enter where that light cannot or does not shine. Think of the frission of fear entering complete darkness. Can we let that energy heighten our awareness beyond the sense of sight upon which we are so dependent. When we understand, we say “I see.” Seeing is believing and yet we are called upon to believe in that which we cannot see, hear , taste, touch or smell. That which is beyond our sense of knowing.
In this sense the darkness may be a velvet embrace of resting in the unknown, the unknowable and trusting that even when we cannot see the presence reveals itself and we are born in the womb of the Eternal Mother until we are ready to return to the world of illusion revealed before our eyes. Can knowing go beyond mere believing, can perception bring us to a place of awareness where we are certain that there is a something, not just a something lurking in the dark which is what we fear as children and continue in some way to fear even as we outgrow the stage of monsters under the bed. Until we have rested in the darkness, including rather than excluding whatever is there even the void as part of the spectrum not something to be blocked out or overcome we fear that which we cannot see. A death of the self I identify as me because in this place I have no identity separate and apart from I am. The ‘me’ I know must die daily and above all I fear death yet know that it will come to us all, and what will remain when I am gone? Will I dissolve into the light or be absorbed in the darkness, or both?
At the moment I can’t think of one single expression of consciousness which does not refer to light, enlightenment, illumination, yet I ask if there may not be value in not only bringing light into the darkest parts so that there are no more monsters hiding under the bed but also to embrace the very darkness itself saying and this too is part of me. And this too I need not fear for ‘thou art with me…in the valley of the shadow of death…” So maybe it is death that darkness, that passing from sight . We like to think of it as going towards the light , but we know that light can blind us, if we look directly at the sun . I haven’t found the answer yet but I am certain that darkness is both the absence of light and the void,and yet not the void. When I was younger I wrote a story about how there was a blanket round the world at night and that the stars twinkling in the skies were where moths had eaten holes in the blanket in order to get to the light. That the blanket was also like a cocoon and at night, as we slept there were forces of nature transforming each and every one of us so that someday we could unwrap from the cocoon and become butterflies.
Now, let’s take a deep breath and descend into the darkness, then rather than holding our breath and holding on to what we know, to rest in the unknown, unknowable where perhaps we too shall be transformed. Perhaps dissolving in the depth of that ocean and dying to what we believe in to know that even there, I am .
I don’t know if I’ve described it very well but I feel a frission of excitement in letting the screen grow black, turning the projector off and resting , not sleeping but wide awake. Yoga Nidra resting on the cloud of spirit in the deep velvet cushion and if ouch, things do go bump in the night getting to know them without sight to separate and define. Yoga is union, inclusive rather than exclusive if we practice pratyhara as the ocean. As we dissolve our sense of separation there is nothing out there, or in fact in there to fear.
There’s the old adage, where ever you go, there you are. Let’s take it to where ever I go, there “I am”…. Kali om shakti om namas te.