Into the Darkness
I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses - Friedrich Nietzche
There is a darkness inside all of us - that part of us that has felt (I am not going to say damaged) the trials and tribulations of life. We are who we are because of that darkness, or perhaps for some, in spite of it. Some of us use the darkness as a shield to hide behind, never gathering the courage to look behind its veils. There are others that use their darkness as an excuse to hurt others. But this darkness is a beautiful part of us. It is neither good or bad - simply a part of us. For us to be whole, we cannot be afraid of our dark sides, for without them, we cannot cast a shadow.
The goddess Kali, is often associated with destruction, darkness and death, in fact to look at her with tongue reaching out, her necklace of skulls (symbolising infinite knowledge) and a skirt of dismembered arms (liberation from the cycle of karma), it is no wonder many fear her. But nowhere is she seen killing anything other than demons. Her black complexion symbolizes her all-embracing and transcendental nature; as all colours disappear into black, all names and form disappear in her, while her nudity is primeval, fundamental and transparent like nature - Kali is free from illusory covering.
The image of Kali teaches us that pain, sorrow, decay, death and destruction are not to be overcome by denying them or attempting to explain them away. These parts of us weave through our lives so deeply, that to deny them would be futile. For us to realise the fullness of our being, we must accept and feel this dimension of existence. Experiencing the darkness and fear, moving towards it rather than retreating, gives us freedom. It gives us the freedom to immerse and enjoy the moment.
Too often the focus is for us to move into the light. We are supposed to 'ascend' 'move towards to the light', 'be the light'. As if light triumphs darkness.
What happens though when we move towards the darkness. When we meet it with love and openness. Not trying to bring light into the darkness, simply sitting with it and feeling it. What gifts does it hold? What wisdom will it share? Getting to know and love each part of you. Accepting each part of you as the whole. It is essential to who we are in these bodies.
When we confront or accept pain and death, we begin to let go, allow ourselves to dance, to sing, to shout. We begin to play in the gardens of the gods. Exploring our darkness is not something to be protected from but to revel in as we see our mortality and only then we can act freely, removing the heavy robe of 'adult' pretence.
Neither dark or light is right nor wrong. To become 'whole' and live life to the fullest, we need to invest time and energy into exploring and reclaiming these darks parts of ourselves. A beautiful lotus blossoms from the mud. Valuable ore is found in deep inside the darkest of caves and in the depth of our darkness, there lays exquisite gems for us to relish. Take a new journey and become acquainted with the night. Replacing fear and shame with courage and curiosity, and become the skippers of our souls.