In the light of day the solid world appears safely discernible. As darkness approaches the discernible melds into blackness. Anxious anticipation and fear replace confidence and security, as that which awaits in the darkness draws near.
“Go to the light” is the guidance of spiritual traditions. We turn on the lights to dominate the night, to safely traverse night’s feared demons. Home security systems promise protection from real or imagined demonic projections upon the darkness.
But what is the truth of those inner demonic projections, so frequently veiling the truth of the night? Jung appropriately named that disowned portion of the psyche, that which lives in the shadow. For Freud, the personal portion of the shadow was the sequestered human animal, whose sexual and aggressive politically incorrect impulses were relegated to wish fulfillment dreams.
Jung extended the reach of the shadow into all the unknown dimensions of self. Just the venture of letting go of ego control in the journey of sleep is a leap of faith. Who can guarantee that a night’s sleep will deliver them into life in a new day?
Dream is a natural entry point into the subtle spirit realm. As the body sleeps, the spirit naively launches into journeys in infinity. Will it safely return? Will its cord to the physical body remain intact?
What encounters will the spirit face beyond Freud’s wish fulfillments or repressed sins? Beyond the personal lies the collective, replete with entities unsettled and seeking. How will spirit handle these encounters? Will it be drawn into heavens of delight, or into hells of terror? These are the challenges of the journey of the dark night of the soul.
Beyond the collective lies the transpersonal, the light of the high SOUL. But the truth is that high SOUL is the Yin/Yang of white and black. In blackness is latent spirit. In light is spirit manifest. The light of the manifest requires shadow. Without contrast there is nonexistence.
To seek the safety of the light without owning one’s contrasting shadow ill prepares one for one’s true spiritual journey. One must reckon with and explore the fullness of one’s unknown self to avoid the trap of negative projection upon blackness, and the false security of clinging to the one-sidedness of the light.
All beings are black and white. To achieve the lightness of being needed for true ascension we must reconcile with, own, and treasure this wholeness. Without the darkness of the unknown our heaven in infinity would terminate in boredom. Without the light of consciousness to navigate the darkness we’d surely lose our way.
Inextricably united, may black and white journey in oneness into that good night.
Intending integrated wholeness,