DARK NIGHT OF THE YEAR
There is a Way of Darkness
Shadow defines the face of the One
The Earth now lies in the dark trough of the year. The far off Sun is at the edge of its turn around time. The Moon has vanished, swallowed in the Sun's dark umbra. This Ultimate Night blinds all seeing but the visceral knowing. I'm drawn to the shelter of my innermost cave, my safeguarding womb. There all my selves may gather in comforting safety and assurance. I pray I find quenching for my soul thirst in this Ocean of Darkness, as I settle into its deeps.
I hold my ardent quest aloft for light. Its flames splash my wombcave's murky walls alive with mysterious phantoms, mystifications, safe from sunlight's cruel revelations. My eyes grow owl sight. I behold dark entwining with emptiness, shadow merge with void.
This specter of lucidity discloses the workings of my heart, the gifts and wounds I conceal in it. And how they serve to reveal my callings and blunders. My betrayed childhood innocence resurges first to have its say here in the safety of my cave, the initial afflictions of my unknowing family. I spasm with grief at all that was lost when that guileless childhood recoiled shut.
My innards relive those fear-clenched years growing up with my afflicting parents. Now I recognize that they betrayed not just my childish trust, but the nakedness of my soul. They blinded those unsoiled eyes that mirrored my heart which, though encased in that infant self, was still touched by God.
But with some 70 years of battering my ideals against the turmoil of circumstance, I must regretfully admit that my mother and father too could only show to me what they'd been shown, to do to me what they'd been done to. My grief embraces them too. How are we to cease this endless bequeathing and accruing of our sorrows?
In this reclaimed innocence, I recognize that here, in this human creature self's infancy, is the source of the flame spiked shield around my heart that, by design, greets all I meet with vicious self-preservation. I will not be so wounded, nor even touched there, ever again.
(Ennsnaved by my fear-filled reactivity and barbed defensiveness, I could neither, I could neither love myself or others nor accept the love they offered that my heart sought.) Incapable of tenderness or self-care, so, in cynical defense against his own openness and fear, my revealed child-self screams out in despair: "Nothing I long for can ever come to be."
Blessedly, in the midst of my human creature self's endless self-torment, my Shadow Hierarchy now appears. They come to help me through this tortuous maze I create by believing in this self delusion. Yet my searing quest remains, unanswered: Where can I find the balm to heal, the nectar to nurture my being?
And, the first member of the Hierarchy to appear, unabashed, is me. Not the conditioned human creature self I've been torturously trapped in, the spawn of circumstance, but my authentic soul-self. Gill Schwartz, the Dark Joy, now comes clearest to my mind. His essential nature carries the calling for my transcendent quest. It both unsettles and entices me to even fantasize how this soul-self might be am aspect of its fulfillment,
Next, his image engulfing mine, Kalananda appears, The Bliss of Darkness. My last incarnation, now he is my "dobbleganger," the one that goes along with me. He is South Indian, chocolate in skin and eyes, wrapped in dark blue sanyasi robes, barefoot, a sacredly scented incense stick in his hand. He bows his greetings to me with a warm brotherly smile. His gaze tells me he has more dusky wisdom to share.
Usually, he patiently watches from his place of recluse and renunciation. His role in my life has been to help me recognize and integrate the bewildering teachings in this Land of Delusion and its Shadow Dance. In spite of his disdain for the worldly, which can be cruel in others eyes, Kalananda often comes to sing lumination through to my core.
"Thy parents served thee well with these wounds," he chants like sacred verse. "Take them as assurance that what you seek lies not outside thyself in other beings and things. Time to Let Go of all that." It comes through Kalananda's every thought. "Time to Let Go!"
I yearn for the blissful Knowing that Kalananda revels in, thus I take all he speaks as oracle. But I can't conceive of the correlation he sees between my life's pain and the release from delusion's bondage that I yearn for.
My witnessing is elevated to a subtler level of perspective. The images of my soul-self and Kalananda are joined by a magnificent third. Mahakala, The Great Dark One. He of dark mien/ who shows the Way through suffering. The Shadow Form of Buddha's Compassion. He is more present for me than ever, now activated by the benefits of certain Tibetan practices and devotional blessings. Many teachings get recalled and renewed in His Presence. His dark aura holds the painful recognition of life's essential duality, that, in striving to help, my "doing good" must always also involve pain. A Path of foreboding and wondrous possibility. My life source and well of my consciousness.
In heart touching dirge Mahakala intones, "If you can forgive and receive their wounding you as a gift, it will awaken you to Compassion's transforming power. Suffering's teaching sears away the bonds of circumstance, purges the dross that stains pure Mind. May your wounds cauterize to form a Portal that opens to that Reality you seek, that all seek: the Awakened Self." Here is how my life's pain may serve, as Kalananda taught.
Though long a seeker of this same Compassion, I harden my heart at accepting my grief as serving some intended role in my spirit's quest for growth, in my human self's disclosing the Treasure it bears.
Ushu EL, The Shadow of God, now emerges from the Source of Being. He is the center and support of my Shadow Hierarchy. It has been a long time since I've opened to Him so. I intensify and expand those deepest senses of my psyche so that I can comprehend Him better. For He embraces all shadow beings in Divinity. When I felt that devotion that is beyond all judgment or choice, that needs no more than that deepest sanctity of God's Shadow, I recognize that my death before I die, involves merging with Ushu EL too.
Absorbed in my shadow selves for some eternities, I come to perceive another aspect of my spirit, an austere and otherworldly awareness that perceives the patterns beyond all this. Dwelling in that psyche, I find an awing capacity and willingness to embrace the grandeur of the Shadow Cosmos as rightfully part of my reality as my Council of Light Helpers, as part of Me. In a wholeness I'm seldom able to experience, I sense it as a blessed basis to let everything just be-- rather than as a cause for self-torment. I am freed from all circumstance in truly knowing that, in deed, I am the Treasure that I seek.
Clearly, with all the twists, gifts and torments between my two me's, my creature self and my soul-self, we can be the vessel and means to manifest this guidance and vision.
More encompassing than even this Dark Night, Ushu EL now embraces we other three: my soul-self, Kalananda and Mahakala. He bears us into pre-Eternity where every mote of our beings returns to pure potentiality. This alone dissolves my heart's barbed shield, still there, even when partnering with my two Helpers revealing to me the depth of my rage and self-loathing at its source, maintained as my shamed innocence.
Thus swirled in the currents of primordial being, we return to preexistent Chaos. Liberated in this ultimate undoing, the devotion of the Heart within my heart freely merges me with the WORD: Beginning, Middle, Finale', the Source and ultimate Destiny. All is held within the WORD that now enfolds me. My life's torments and revelations become a call and urging to surrender, to renounce all partiality that distorts this unbound Truth.
The guidance of my Shadow Hierarchy leads me aright. In the WORD, their somber lore aligns with my Council of Light Helpers.' Thus merged within the WORD, the Dark Night turns luminous. The influx and merging of both groups of my Helpers -Light and Shadow- creates a Null Point here in the center of this field of pre-Eternity. Here is the womb of my true coming into being, the "I"that I truly am. Bringing so many revelations and visions into my awareness, I realize that Null Point is the still Heart within my heart, the Word that guides and now manifests through this unified, true Self of mine.
The scattered 'me's' that were my life and purpose for so long now have reborn significance. Through them Identity finds expression and means. I am born again. Not the product of needs and circumstance but, this is the essential Me that all my Helpers come to serve. Freed from the Realms of the ever-changing, this is the real meaning of my notion "I".
From Metetron above in the brightest Heavenlies to Ushu-EL at the very Heart of Darkness, now all are gathered around this complete Identity. Now I am some 'One'. Not just an a battleground for my variegated 'me's'. I am the Identity that embraces them all, and opens them to wider, bountifully richer Realms of engagement.