“Love ‘n light.” That’s how a certain spiritual teacher I knew used to sign off on his newsletters, back in the day when people actually had newsletters. I’m pretty sure he was – and is – not the only spiritual dude/girl ending his communications with a flourish of Light. After all, the spiritual journey is all about love and light. Right?
Of course it is. In the end.
But it isn’t always about that. And this is something that many of we spiritually-inclined folks of this world need to understand.
Spirit may well be ultimately about love and light, but the planet you live on contains many a thing that is anything but cute and lovely. In fact, the polar opposite of the Light is also in interplay with us in this dimension.
Sounds scary, doesn’t it. And that is why so many people simply choose to bury their head in the sand and pretend the darkness doesn’t exist.
So, what do I mean by “darkness”?
Here I am basically referring to two things which are separate but related. Both may be considered unpleasant. Both may be fearful to confront. Yet both ultimately lead us towards the Light.
Suffering in the world
We live in a world where suffering is common. Frustration, failure, conflict, sickness and death are inevitable. You will experience all of these things in your life – both in the sense of experiencing your own, and in witnessing them happening to others. If you take the naïve approach and refuse to acknowledge their existence, you are setting yourself up for even more suffering.
Not all people are good. And none of us is all good (or all bad). So you had better learn to get to understand people and how they function. Expect the best, prepare for the worst.
You will inevitably also encounter within yourself feelings, thoughts and behaviours which are difficult to accept or understand. What are you going to do when it is YOU who is the bad guy? Because sometimes you will be.
One of the great weaknesses in the entire idea of “safe spaces” in today’s universities is that it perpetuates the idea that harm and evil are only found outside the group that one identifies with. And they are, it is assumed, only to be found outside oneself. In the other. There is thus little or no shadow work in progressivism today. The inevitable result is a polarisation of self and society, where evil is projected onto a “demonic”, dehumanised other.
All genuine psychological and spiritual work has to begin with an examination of one’s shadow. Ideally, this is done without the baggage of the idea of “sin”, where confession before the Deity is supposed to cleanse one’s spirit of darkness.
Instead a simple and gentle recognition of one’s “darker” impulses is ideal. You can think of this as a relationship between you (the observing mind) and the wounded child. Your own darkness. For behind most darkness lies the hurt and traumas of our past.
I now move on to the most uncomfortable part of my post today. It is convenient to think of human evil as merely about bad behavior, about people and groups making mistakes because of their faulty desires, narratives or perhaps their human biology. These aspects of human badness are true enough. But the truth is that it goes to a more fundamental level that that. Right down to the consciousness of the Darkness.
Consciousness contains non-local properties. I came to see this clearly many years ago, when, at the age of 26, my third eye opened spontaneously. It was at this time that I began to perceive things that were not within my immediate spatial and temporal locale. These perceptions came through visionary and auditory perceptions, and also through an enhanced sense of feeling. It was both an exciting confusing time.
First, I had to work out if what I was seeing had any basis in reality, or whether it was merely all my imagination, or even mental illness. Then, once I saw that a great deal of it did correspond with real “events”, I then had to work out how I was going to integrate such information into my everyday life. After all, at that time I lived in 1990’s Australia, a modern western nation where the official philosophical doctrine was scientific materialism.
That was a journey of many years in itself, but even that was not the most difficult part.
By far the most challenging aspect of my Integrated Intelligence was seeing that my mind, and all human minds, are being constantly pushed and pulled by psychic forces which almost nobody has any awareness of. The non-local nature of mind means that many of our desires, fears and unconscious projections get played out in psychic space. In particular, anger and fear (which are intimately connected) produce dark fields of intention which can influence others negatively, or even hurt them greatly.
Later, I was interested to discover that NDE experiencers such as Anita Moorjani (author of Dying to Be Me) saw and experienced the reality of such dark projections while in the near-death state. I had the unpleasant and downright terrifying experience of having to deal with such perceptions on a moment-to-moment basis, in my normal waking and sleeping moments.
I do not have the space here to go into detail about how this tends to play out. And the truth is that even if I did, it would do you (the reader) little good to know about it. It is an incredibly complex and intricate web of consciousness, and even intimate knowledge of its functions does not guarantee one immunity from its effects.
But here’s what I learned in the end. In revealing this I am saving you many years of excruciatingly disciplined self-work (I wouldn’t normally give it away for free, but I need the good karma).
Dark energy moves within our consciousness field upon two waves: shame and ego.
The ego, the shame and the Darkness
Shame is the energy of self-diminution and worthlessness that becomes lodged within our pain body, as the result of prior trauma and projections from others. It typically contains messages such as “I am worthless”, I am unlovable,” and “I am dirty.” When an externally projected field of consciousness contains messages which resonate with our internal beliefs, they can become lodged there, for shorter or greater periods of time. In other words, our entire sense of self and well-being may be greatly diminished by the projections of others, until such time as that way passes (sometimes they never pass – in which instance it becomes a case of psychic possession).
The ego becomes involved when we have agendas for power and control over others and/or other situations. Projections from others which resonate with those agendas can become lodged within our psyches, thus elevating our egos and taking us further into power and control modes of behavior. If we are not careful, we can become trapped there. Notably, even though the ego may get what it wants, the “victory” cuts it off from the Light, as the initial ego agenda is always a convoluted attempt to avoid internal pain (or suffering in an imagined painful future).
Keep the child close at hand
Over the years I thus found that the best way to avoid both sources of dark consciousness projections is to keep the wounded child close. In other words, to work on my shadow and do my healing work. The desires of ego for power and control dissipate when “the wound” begins to heal; and externally projected shame bounces off us when the inner child no longer holds the corresponding beliefs about its worthlessness.
Therefore, to protect yourself against the darkness, you do not really need to be super-clairvoyant, nor to be able to see the murky world of psychic projections. Let me assure you that the latter is about as exciting as being a sewer diver. Better to work above ground, and get your shit together before it hits the fan. So to speak.
I use that crappy metaphor deliberately. The shame that permeates human psyches and which underpins the projection of dark energy fields is predominantly grounded in sexual shame, as well as in the shame associated with defecation and urination. They are associated with the sense of disgust. The physical site of these bodily processes is very close together at the lower abdominal region. It is also juxtaposed with the base chakra, which is associated with personal power. I don’t know why this is the case, but what it means practically is that the way human beings are (unconsciously) controlled psychically by each other is typically via the projection of shame projected at the base chakra.
In the end, integrating the shadow and the darkness (and embracing the Light) is mostly about being present to both, and having the courage to stay present rather than running. Yet to do that you have to allow a deeper awareness of both your own dark projections, and of the repressed pain that is almost always associated with them. And that is rarely simple or easy work.
Here I have not gone into any detail about how you might work with the inner child, nor with consciousness fields. But check out my book Discover Your Soul Template for some specific processes. You might also be interested in The Mind Reader, which is a fictionalised, dark-but-funny representation of my development as a practitioner of integrated intelligence. The book is based upon real-life experiences.
Finally, remember that whatever shadow work you do is not an end in itself. Being present in the body and finding peace and joy in the present moment should be your focus. Shadow work is only ever to get you to that point.
Marcus T Anthony