The Dark Night of Soul
The Gift of the Darkness: Birthing the Holy One!
SYMPHONY OF LIFE CHURCH: OJAI, CA
December 12, 2004
If you and I can stand in presence of our worst fears and insecurities and open to a faith that does not deny this pain with fix-it efforts on the one hand, and yet not indulge them with self-pity on the other, but rather open to the unknowing with a true vulnerable presence, then what is birthed in that moment is true authenticity of being, true unshakable beingness. And it will resonate with and heighten the vibration of everyone in contact with this kind of unconditional presence.
Leading up to Book
About 4 years ago I was in one of those deeply contemplative states where I was searching, yearning for some greater understanding of life. This led me to ask what I call the “Awakening Questions”:
“What is the purpose of life? Why am I here? What is my calling?”
And when I asked these questions from the very depth of my being, what I heard bounce back was this: “I want to know Truth. I see no reason to live other than in service to the spiritual journey.”
As the saying goes “Be careful what you ask for”. Two months later “all hell broke lose!” (Read portions of my book on home page)
What was happening during this time of seeming chaos, loss, and dis-ease was actually a profound dissolution of over-self-identification with the ego-Ronda and a slowly seeping in ability to hear and attune to the musical language of Love that is forever our inheritance, authority and wholeness.
I’ve been an avid reader of sacred texts, new thought metaphysics, psychology and physics for years. But none of that prepared me for my own undoing and the great mythic journey that is required when we heed the call of reclaiming Soul as the seat of our life’s authority and highest purpose. What I hope and see that this book can do for others is to shine night light on the invitation that is being presented through our challenging life circumstances and struggles – and the inevitable times of darkness and decent into the realms of death that purges old patterns and foreshadows our eventual realization and stepping more firmly into an a priori and inextinguishable light – the light of our True Authentic Being.
THE SACRED JOURNEY:
All of the saints and sages and shamans of all sacred traditions the world over and for eons of time have spoken the same truth of Oneness …and of a journey (a willing descent into darkness) to reclaim lost parts of self/soul and thereby enter into the realization of our True Abundant Nature.
We all have wounds. We all have blind spots and unclaimed parts of ourselves. Unity-Consciousness – or God expressed in/as us requires the reclaiming and reintegrating of all our wounded and blinded fragments of self.
The enlightenment – the being “Christed” – the living within the realization of God in/as you and me is not a one time enlightenment and then voila! I’m now a blissful omming bundle of pure love.
Was that what Christ or Mohammed or the Buddha showed us? What they showed us was something quite more subtle. In fact if you look at the lives of the great sages and saints of the world traditions, they show us that the path of enlightenment or Self/Soul Realization or God-Consciousness embodied in our thought word and deed, in fact requires a radical shift in our perceptual understanding of life and its meaning.
What these great sages and shamans all show us is that “the way, the Truth and the life” are embedded not in overcoming and transcending fear or disease or suffering…but in HOW we meet these manifest events? Do we meet them and constrict around them with greater fear or denial or attempts to get rid of them? …Or, do we meet them as “holy messengers” offering us the alchemical gift of being purified and refined through the refiners fire of meeting life challenges with grace, openness and with a more heartful presence?
It is a matter of the quality of our attention and presence that we give to ‘what arises’ in our lives that is the light, the truth and the way. It is how reverently we hold what arises.(Not how we hold on to it .. but what quality of attention we give to it).
When we truly meet what is arising in our lives with the faith that it has an evolutionary purpose driving us toward ever greater wholeness as Divine consciousness made manifest through us, then we stop trying to control, drive out, or manipulate the uncomfortable or seeming “negative and painful” times. This to me is the true meaning of affirmation and faith.
It is what I write about in my book: There is a journey that takes place in each of us as we move closer and closer to reclaiming and embodying God Consciousness. It requires the learning of our original language through a shedding of the veil of illusions of the egoic self-identity. And that “ain’t usually easy”.
Our world religions and sacred texts are all filled with the classic mythic stories of undoing, descending into the underworld, experiencing a “dark night of soul” as a necessary part of the progression that takes our worldly concerns and limited physical perspectives and imbues them with the life force of the Eternal Presence of Being. This is what we’re hear for… and so it is not conquering and controlling our destiny that is being asked of us, but rather the coming to hold and express what arises in our lives within the Light of Love. Even a love that unconditionally welcomes Darkness for its deep seeding of new life.
That unconditional “letting” IS God Consciousness – that is what unconditional love is.. It casts out no-thing and embraces all in the love of perfection.
ENTERING THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING
(Meeting the Dark Face of God)
What do we most often do when met by “negative emotions” or things in our lives that we don’t like (and definitely don’t want!)?
We most often try and fix them, get rid of them, try and put up a good attitude around them, deny them. Many of us pray either to be released from them, or to affirm that all is whole and perfect (which it is!). But when we pray an affirmation with the side motive of using it to lift our spirits so that the intolerable feelings of pain can be stopped and we can feel peaceful… then it is not true affirmation nor living in the light of truth.
This will be controversial for many of you, I know… But please bear with me for a bit. I’m not denying the benefit nor the power of affirmations. But they need to be invoked with great discernment. They need to be invoked out of a true “seeing” that realizes all is perfect and whole even within the reality of dis-ease or pain or struggle. True affirmation is not motivated by the fear-based urgency to deny the darkness. True affirmation realizes that the very darkness IS at this moment the gift of transformation in process!
One has to watch the motive deeply inside oneself. If it is fear-based (aka wanting to “get rid of” an uncomfortable situation) then is not opening to the Soul’s authenticity, it is not faith, and it is not trusting the process and wisdom of Divine Intelligence.
Now, I’m clearly not talking about becoming self indulgent over our pains and struggles. Not at all! The opposite in fact! And I’m not talking about using other people to dump our emotionally-charged baggage, issues and problems on! That is not the level of authenticity I’m speaking of. What I am trying to point toward is much much deeper and much more in service to life than either of these common mis-uses of our times of darkness.
What I’m talking about requires the utmost discernment, responsibility and willingness to open and reflect Truth.
Seeing the Gift of the Darkness
Look inside yourself right now, and find something that is disturbing in your life right now… Something that is causing hurt or confusion or pain. Have you got one?
Now watch the impulse to get rid of it, arise above it, stop the feeling. Got that too? How does that feeling of “wanting it to go away” FEEL inside your body right now? Feel it… See what happens inside your being.
OK, now try this for a moment. Get very very still. Instead of banishing the feeling, open the space to this feeling. Open more ..no matter how big and overwhelming it seems, give it even more room in your being. Be completely present to it. Open to it. Give it even more space than it needs.
Do you feel something? What has happened to the pain when you don’t deny it, try and get rid of it, say it doesn’t exist but rather open and give it even more room? Do you feel a presence that is “more than” the pain? What sees the pain and is able to give it even more room?
That is Love. Affirmation is not a way to manipulate or get rid of some uncomfortable feeling by declaring a “higher principle”. True affirmation is a feeling in the body and a refining of the heart and a strengthening of the divine mind of one who accepts the darkness, opens to it and is opened by it, and thus knows this larger space of presence that casts out no-thing!
The situation or struggles you face as well as mine, if we are committed to living soulful lives, goes way beyond the story of our situation. It is the gift of darkness trying to tear down the barriers to our greater presence of being in sacred relationship with all of life.
When we come to allow ourselves to be fully LIVED BY LIFE in this way…in this way of meeting it from a place of open, vulnerable spaciousness of Being, then we ourselves become literally transfused and bathed in the light of alchemy and transformation. And we literally transmit an energy that resonates and vibrates a depth of presence that calls each with whom we meet toward this same unification.
If I can look at you and be with you from the full presence of my soul – right here right now, looking through eyes that have cried more in the last 3 weeks then I ever have in my entire life – what will I be sharing? If you and I can stand in presence of our worst fears and insecurities and open to a faith that does not deny this pain with fix-it efforts on the one hand, and yet not indulge them with self-pity on the other, but rather open to the unknowing with a true vulnerable presence, then what is birthed in that moment is true authenticity of being, true unshakable beingness. And it will resonate with and heighten the vibration of everyone in contact with this kind of unconditional presence.
It takes incredible courage and strength of faith to meet the darkness –and to do it with an openness that reveals the light and spaciousness and gift of new life seeking to be born through the dark destruction, emptying and gestation process.
OUR SACRED CONTRACT
The Embodiment of Conscious Presence
We are the endlessly evolving birthing of God presence, ever being made manifest in/as us. And so the journey for each of us is ever more opening to expressing that which is our deepest truth and understanding, right now in each moment; I believe that IS the ultimate calling and Divine Soul work for each of us. Not just the good, the up, the inspiration… but also the dark and the despairing times when we are called to descend into the underworld of pain, anxiety, dis-ease, challenging life situations, and there sustain a state of loss that awaits the new life that is being seeded through a dormant darkness where no visible sign of “good” is yet seen… and continued faith is pretty hard to feel.
When all states of being are met authentically, with true surrender, with the willingness of allowing life experienced to make their deepest imprint on our lives by vulnerably reflecting and sharing with those with whom we come into contact, that is how consciousness evolves. Not by just bolstering up, denying what Life has put before you, affirming what we “don’t like” away, but by being deeply open to what is moving through one’s life and daring to let the very depth of its spirit show and shine through you to others. That is transformation. That is enlightenment.
When you meet others from that kind of deep authenticity, your life and theirs will be quickened by the recognition of unconditional love made truly manifest.
“As you come home to me, I come home to the Earth. Through you, I come to make a conscious home inside the universe of my Creation. Through you, I am born in a manger of matter, in a Bethlehem of space, beneath a canopy of stars. For I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the Creator of all that is and of all that is to be. My potential is infinite, my Being, eternal. I journey down the living corridors of time. ..My consciousness is the gift. I beat with every throb of your heart, feel with every touch of your hand, cry your every tear, breathe your every breath.”
VISION: A Personal Call to Create a New World by Ken Carey (chapter 12)
Allow the Holy Dark when it comes. Don’t be too fast to brush it aside. For it is here that the old is given up, and in the dark waiting, the seed of a new birth is germinating.
The Dark Night is a way of bringing the Soul to stillness. The Dark Night of Soul becomes the very doorway through which we are re-born into the life of the living, breathing creative spirit of God, which is none other than our own true nature. And then we see that the darkness is God Itself… and the suffering the very nearness of an alchemical dawning of great Lightness of Being!
Oh Holy Night the stars, the stars are shining for in this night is born the Christed-One in/as You!…
(copyright and transcript for Symphony of Life Church, Ojai CA, December 12, 2004)
copyright ronda larue, 2004
The Dark Night of the Soul – Gift of Darkness