As we are approaching Halloween, the Day of the Dead and the colder season, we have an opportunity to slow down from the summer and early Fall frenzy and sit with the murky unease that seems to surface from underneath for many of us and our nation. We are used to keep ourselves busy to numb the undercurrents of our individual and collective subconscious in the fear that these monsters will end up eating us. The more terrified we get, the closer these monsters look us in the face. The more we avoid them, the more effort it takes to dismantle them and the more likely they run our lives. We do not even know the difference between the shadow and the darkness anymore. In our longstanding ignorance and collective paranoia we throw both the shadow and the darkness in the same pot thus cutting ourselves off from the source that transforms what we fear the most.
We panic about Ebola and its face of death while we naively celebrate Columbus – who represented death for tens of millions of indigenous people in the Americas – confusing courageous sailing skills with evolution for the human species and glorifying a twisted interpretation of “sailing into the unknown.” We nationally celebrate a tyrant more consequential than Hitler, while we fight the butchering of ISIS. We look away when millions of Syrians and thousands of Mexicans neighbors have been brutally murdered for the past several years and at the beheading of literally less than five people with the right passports we unleash the national military machine. We get hooked into foreign brutalities while the cancer of organized crime – sex trafficking, slavery, racism, violent gangs, extremism, blind patriotism and more in alignment with the hidden heritage of Columbus – is growing in our collective body of the United States.
These are all examples of the collective shadow: those places within our collective psyche that are calling out for awareness in the spirit of growth. There is nothing wrong with the shadow. No matter how difficult, it is an inherent part of human nature as much as our goodness, which is equally growing. The opportunity at this juncture of our collective story is how we relate to this shadow. And this is where darkness comes into play.
Darkness is the space of stillness, the womb of Life in its unformed stage filled with potential. It is the mysterious place of the unknown where Life as an expression of Love is seeded and sparked into form. It is the place where we hear the beating of the collective heart and the whispers of wisdom. It is the pulsating source that “res-publica” (the public thing) — and its mechanistic and mind-based premise of reality — has severed from the collective body leaving us eternally pursuing “life, liberty, and happiness.”
Our opportunity and responsibility, both individually and collectively, is to welcome the darkness into our lives. We can breathe through our veils of forgetfulness and ignorance, relinquish control and dismantle our long-held assumption that the unknown and the uncontrollable mean danger and suffering. For over two thousand years we have been hypnotized by the sun and blinded and burned — by the stiffness of our assumptions about “res-publica” — while the roots in the darkness of our soil have been all along wanting to feed us. It is the darkness that leads the way and shines light on our monsters and healthy choices for our planet and ourselves. It is the darkness that holds the magnetic power to manifest those choices.
Our opportunity and responsibility in the unknown clarity of the darkness is to wrap our arms around our collective shadow and bring awareness to what makes us uncomfortable, or overly comfortable. Growth always happens at the edge of our comfort zone when our feet are dangling in the womb of darkness. For a long time, each and all of us, no matter how evolved we consider ourselves, we have been fighting this darkness and the very source that provides what are souls have been yearning for: life, freedom, happiness and justice on the planet. This leap into darkness takes courage but it is rewarding: we will have more sustainable and congruent means to melt our individual and collective shadows and mostly we will stop running from inevitable death and finally LIVE while honoring Life. It is time to step down in the darkness, in our bodies, in our roots and live in “cor publicum”- the public heart where the acceptance for our human shadows and the keys to transform them into new fertile soil reside. And the monsters will stop running our lives…
For today, let’s look down and inwards, dismantle our assumption about the darkness and our need for control and predictability in each area of our lives. For today, let the darkness inform how we respond to Ebola, ISIS, Columbus, the stock market and the latest sports scores. And tomorrow is a brand new day and opportunity.