“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”
-The Old Astronomer to His Pupil (Sarah Williams)
I am a soul traveller, journeying through consciousness in search of the truth. I used to be a light chaser, heading wherever my soul’s light guided me. Enchanted by the beautiful promise of awakening, I kept my eyes only on the light and refused to acknowledge the darkness. I swung between Eastern, Western and new age spirituality, enthralled by the sublime ideals that were promised.
Alas, reality was far from a utopia. I fell victim to the cognitive dissonance I experienced and began to declare that the problems of the world were illusionary. I longed to transcend the pain and suffering in the world. After months of searching, I began to realise that my newfound spirituality was merely spiritual bypassing – a form of escapism and a defense mechanism I developed to help me cope with the darkness I could not accept.
While I believe that the ultimate nature of reality lies in non-duality, the human experience is created for the purpose of allowing us to understand and embrace duality. Without first understanding our darkness, we can never claim to be close to the light. Psychology is one of the ways of understanding the darkness of the human psyche, through modalities such as shadow work and various methods of psychotherapy. Once we reveal the darkest parts of the human psyche, we begin to see that what was once darkness to us was in fact light. All the archetypes of human behaviour – both light and dark – lie dormant within each of us. There is nothing within us that is too dark to be shown to the world.
We are both human and divine. Without embracing our humanity in both its darkness and light, we can never understand our spirituality. Spirituality offers a framework for us to understand how we are connected and helps us to see past our egos. It draws us towards principles and causes that are larger than ourselves. However, it is equally important to fully understand and develop the human psyche. Spirituality without humanity is emptiness; truth can only be understood through the contrast of darkness and light.
p.s. Leave a comment if this resonated with you. I love to hear your stories!
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What an excellent article–insightful and rich! Thank you for sharing with us! Namaste
Everything may be a path but some paths should be avoided.
Nice post. Bob
You write like a true Buddhist. Hope you find enlightment without suffering. Namaste.