Navigating the Darkness
So often in searching for enlightenment, one can get caught in unknowingly thinking their way into some form of bliss. If it is true that each of our Essence stems from One Source, then there is no thinking about it, but rather a process of letting go of any beliefs that block the flow of Source to the surface to manifest to others in the world.
Few of us are so blessed to have a healthy downloading process from our parents in how to navigate the world, and much more so, our emotions. Most of us are given instructions on how to react to a myriad of worldly situations, most of these based in fear, starting with "don't trust strangers." With a focus outside ourselves, indeed, the world as a whole is a seemingly hostile and unloving place. With a fear-based view of the world and ourselves, many of us seek solutions to get out of pain.
We are given so many tips on how to deal with the world from "get over it", think positively about it" and "let it go". We are often taught to go around our emotions, rather than charging deep into the darkness to get to the other side. Many people seek forms of yoga, meditation, and a host of other spiritual disciplines with an expectation of feeling better. We are not aware that things will get very different, possibly dark, before getting to a more peaceful place.
Carl Jung stated that "emotion is the chief source of all becoming conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion." So as we sit in silent meditation, the first thing we expect is for the mental chatter to cease. When it does not, we become frustrated and often stop. It is when we continue to sit that we will face our deepest fears. It is here that we find most spiritual practices are not about bliss as much as they are about honesty with our emotions.
We sit in awareness and watch the monkey mind do its thing. We just observe how it is our thoughts, and attached emotions to those thoughts, trying to take us for a ride. Depending on your background, your ride will go accordingly. Maybe you have some not so painful belief systems, or maybe you have severe trauma from your past. Whatever the case, we sit still and learn to observe what surfaces, and slather it in love from the Source of All. If we watch the thoughts peel to the side like waves, we soon begin to see them for what they are. They are not us, but aspects of our ego we have either "consciously" adopted, or came by honestly from our upbringing.
As we delve deeper and see these thought systems of faulty thoughts for what they are, there appears to be a dark, unknown place that can be frightening, again depending on what emotional pain we deal with inside. We feel there is nothing solid and real to stand on without our propped up defenses against the world. It is here and now that we replace our worldly systems with a trusting relationship with the Great All. Slowly, we begin to trust the only thing that is real- the invisible realm of Source. We can now see the wisdom in the beginning phrase of ACIM, "Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists. Herein, lies the Peace of God."