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Posts Tagged ‘darkness’

dark night of the soul

“At this stage the cosmological dark side rises up like a black mountain to bar the way. Death returns, the ugliness of society returns, and the personal devil returns, all dancing like puppets on the strings of nihilism, meaninglessness, suffering, and heedless despair at the impersonal nature of the cosmos. There is no answer that we can comprehend, no purpose of life that we can understand. At this point, we’re each on our own – and its not very comforting to know that the books say we’ll live through it.”
– William Carl Eichman

“Somewhere along the journey of remembering who we really are, we may find ourselves in a very uncomfortable space, a void in which we realize that we haven’t totally let go of our old beliefs, and on the other hand we have yet to fully plug into the new truths we have discovered. This awkward “place of mind” can bring on an internal crisis of uncertainty, instability, confusion, frustration, and a most unspeakable despair as the “dark night” sets in and makes its presence felt.”
– Nicholas Schmidt


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creating “other”

The egoic sense of self needs conflict because its sense of a seprate identity gets strengthened in fighting against this or that, and in demonstrating that this is “me” and that is not “me.”

Not infrequently, tribes, nations, and religions derive a strengthened sense of collective identity from having enemies. Who would the “believer” be without the “unbeliever?”

Eckhart Tolle – Stillness Speaks

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Ananandamayi Ma to Ghandi: “I shall steal everything belonging to you!” Gandhi’s reply: “Such a theft is a rare fortune.”

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“On a more somber note, Raphaele once told me of a meeting she’d had on her first visit to Tibet, in 1986, with a man who’d had an appalling time during the Chinese invasion. “He invited me to sit down on a bench and served me some tea he kept in a large thermos. It was his first time talking to a Westerner. We laughed a lot; he was really adorable. Children kept coming by to stare at us in astonishment, and he showered me with questions. Then he told me how he’d been jailed for twelve years by the Chinese invaders and condemned to cut stone for a dam being built in the Drak Yerpa valley. The dam was completely useless, since the riverbed was almost always dry! All his friends dropped dead of hunger and exhaustion around him, one by one. Despite the horror of his story, there wasn’t the slightest trace of hatred in his words or the least bit of resentment in his eyes, which beamed with kindness. As I fell asleep that night, I wondered how a man who had suffered so much could seem so happy.”

“Anyone who enjoys inner peace is no more broken by failure than he is inflated by success. He is able to fully live his experiences in the context of a vast and profound serenity, since he understands that experiences are ephemeral and that it is useless to cling to them. There will be no “hard fall” when things turn bad and he is confronted with adversity. He does not sink into depression, since his happiness rests on a solid foundation. One year before her death at Auschwitz, the remarkable Etty Hillesum, a young Dutchwoman, affirmed: “When you have an interior life, it certainly doesn’t matter what side of the prison you’re on. . . . I’ve already died a thousand times in a thousand concentration camps. I know everything. There is no new information to trouble me. One way or another, I already know everything, and yet, I find this life beautiful and rich in meaning. At every moment.”

Matthieau Richard

From Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skills,

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to know the dark

To go into the dark with a light is to know the light

To know the dark, go dark, without sight,

And find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,

And is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

– Wendell Berry, To Know the Dark

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