As the world turns, and as our lives unfold, there is both light and dark. There is both day and night. This is how life is, and it is reflective of cosmic law. The tantra accepts and appreciates the dark as well as the light. A distinction is made between the dark and the light, but there is no absolute moral judgement that the light is better, or that the light is the good and the dark is the bad. Our natural impulse is to bring the dark into the light, and one could think of this as a spiritual purpose, but this does not mean that the dark is bad or wrong or to be dispised. The dark is that which is hidden and mysterious. It is that which is unseen and unconscious, and the dark is also potential which has yet to be actualised.
There is nothing wrong with this. The dark is innevitable in this existence. Yet still, one seeks the light. One seeks to see into the dark, bringing light to the dark, becoming conscious of what is unconscious and bringing potential into actualisation. The light is consciousness and actualisation, and the nature of this light is to expand into the dark, not destroying what is in the dark but lighting up what is there. In a sense, the light is more powerful than the dark and is destructive to it. If light and dark meet, it is not the dark which overpowers the light. Light always wins, so to speak, that is, if it can expand into the dark. Yet the dark is always much more vast than the light. It is as though the dark is infinite, while the light is finite though expanding. There is always the dark, for there will always be mystery. There will always be that which is yet to become. Thus, the dark is the great mystery, not to be feared or shut off or suppressed. We often fear what is in the dark even though we have no real sight of what is there.
What we actually fear is that something dangeruous will suddenly emerge out from the dark and into the light. But we have no reason to believe, necessarilly, that what comes out of the dark will be harmful or even frightening, once it is seen in the light. It may be unexpected and even transforming, but not necessarilly negative or painful. What comes out of the dark may well be a beautiful woman or a lovely man. A very wonderful experience may come out of the dark, and most often this is the case because the divine mystery comes out of the dark. Then again, something may emerge from the dark which appears to be negative and with which we may struggle. It may be a challenge. But this so called negativity, this challenge, only appears as such from the perspective of our limited light of intention. In other words, the dark may present something which is unexpectedy new, and this newness may seem disruptive to our limited intentions and beliefs. Yet this newness should not be avoided or suppressed, because it comes from the greater mystery of divine being. It comes from the greater universe of which we are, since the dark is that greater part of the universe of which we are merely unconscious. It has to come into the light, and ultimately we have to accept it and integrate it into the light. Otherwise we limit our own expansion. We limit the expansion of light into the dark.
In our existence there is always the Dark and always the Light. There is the Night and Day. The dark is that of which we are unconscious, or it is the greater field of the collective unconscious. The light is that which of we are conscious, and essentially it is consciousness. The tantra speaks of the Day of Knowing and the Night of Mystery. We can each know from experience these two realities. In between is the Twilight of Intuitive Imagination, where glimpses of the mystery suddenly appear and suddenly disappear, and where we may have a vague though undefined sense of the greater reality hidden in the Dark. The dark night is the great mystery of tantra, the greater web of spiritual existence, which is presently unconscious or unrealised. It is the greater truth of divine existence. For in the tantra all existence is ultimately spiritual and thus good, and so called negativity is merely an effect of fearfully relating with the dark and struggling to suppress its appearance. Negaivity is a result of fear and suppression, and once the dark is allowed into the light, or the light expands forth to assimilate the dark, the resulting appearance is a revealed quality of divinity and not the image of what is feared. It is the fear which creates the image of negativity and which motivates actions resulting in pain or frustration. Thus, negativity, like nightmares, are images of fear and the effect of fear struggling against that unknown which is emerging unexpectedly from the dark. But once this emerging unknown is allowed fully into the light, or once we allow this unknown to stand in full light in front of us, its true beauty is then revealed and it is seen to add to the positvity of our life. One cannot understand this unless one trusts the emergence, without fear or suppression. Fundamentally, one must trust the power of love and goodness in the universe and within oneself. For without this trust there will be the continuing fear and the results of fear.
All great spiritual teachings have proclaimed the essential goodness of existence, both within and out. For many people it may be hard to trust, often because of manifested negativity and pain in their lives, which may be the result of their own false relationship with life, their own karma, or it may be the result of other's false relationship, or karma from others. The world is certainly not perfectly beautiful or pleasurable, because of ignorance and fear, though it is potentially divine and the divinity is gradually overcoming ignorance and fear. So trust may be difficult in this world, but the only way to come into trust is to gradually learn that our innermost essence or seed is goodness and the essence of all life is goodness. This we can only learn, and in order to learn we must at least be open to learning more about ourselves and the life around us. As we open ourselves to learning, to discovery, we will find more of this goodness, and then we will be more willing to trust and open up further. This is the way. It is gradual, but at times we may leap across great barriors. At times we may find ourselves leaping and flying across great spaces of the Universal Presence.
Light emerges from the dark, as the dark is allowed into the light. Such statements may perplex us. We may think this is symbolic, but in truth it is very literal, and it spaeks of a spiritual practice. If you allow the dark into the light you will find that light emerges from the dark. Go into the dark and find the light. This is practice of meditation. It is also to do with transformation and is actually a way of living. You cannot understand what I'm talking about unless you do it, or unless you live it.
Otherwise, you'll think this is merely symbolic or pointing to something else. It is symbolic and it is mythical, but it is also literal. I'm talking about the light and dark of experience. So without experiencing it you won't get it. So don't just listen intellectually to what I'm saying.
Meditate on it. Practice it.
From within the dark, light emerges. So go into the dark and find the light. Or allow the light to emerge from within the dark. This is the revelation of divine mystery.
This is the truth revealing itself. The unrevealed truth is hidden in the dark. Truth is revealed in the light, but it originally comes out of the dark, because it originally is unrevealed. The Great Divine is originally the Great Mystery. It is thus, in essence, in the dark. It is darkness itself. And yet, It has the potential of revealing Itself, emerging as light from the dark. The mystery of the Divine is that emptiness and darkness is the container and source of manifestation and light. This is the great mystery which is being revealed. Can you comprehend this? You may partially comprehend this mystery, but there is much more remaining in the dark for you, of which you must remain open to its revelation. The light of this mystery will gradually be revealed, and it will emerge from the great, dark Unknown. So, we must be open to the Mystery, which is to be open to the Dark. We allow the dark to enter the light, or we allow the light to emerge from the dark.
The dark has two modes and the light has two modes. The dark has the mode of being passive or patiently waiting for interest into its mysteries. In this mode, the Dark is Veiled Priestess or the Mysterious Virgin or the Potential Mother of Being, awaiting to be unveiled in the light and penetrated by light. She is the Great Mystery, which is yet to be revealed or uncovered. She is the hidden Soul of Being. She waits in perfect peace and in emptiness of all expectation. She just Is.
But in Its other mode, the Dark is active and revealing. This is actually the light within the Dark, as one finds in the symbol of the Tao. This active and revealing mode of the Dark is the Unveiling Goddess or the Actual Mother of Being. She uncovers Herself, to reveal Her divine beauty and bring love into life. She is the hidden Light revealing Herself. She is the Goddess unveiling Herself, to be recognised and loved, and to heal all who gaze upon Her. She opens Herself out, uncovers Herself, and She comes out from the dark into the light. She does this with courage and in trust. She is the Beautiful One and the Loving One, and yet many fear Her. Many fear Her mystery and Her unknown powers. They fear Her unveiling and attempt to morally suppress Her. They fear that which is inside and veiled within themselves. They fear this unknown mystery, living within the dark unconscious, unveiling itself and revealing its powers in the light of day.
So, in its passive mode all divine potential is in the Dark, awaiting its realisation. In the active mode that potential unviels and reveals itself, and the potential emerges as Light from the Dark. But how does the divine potential move out of the passive state and into its active unveiling? The answer is that a vast portion of the divine potential will always remain veiled and waiting in the Dark, but a portion of the divine beauty will reveal itself if certain conditions are met. These conditions are desire and receptivity on the part of the conscious ego or conscious will. The conscious will is part of the active mode of the Light, and this must first desire and become receptive to revelation from the Dark. That which is presently conscious and intentional will need to desire the revelation and unveiling of that which is hidden within. You have to want that which is in the Dark, that which is hidden within, to come forth and be unveiled. This desire attracts that which is within and invokes its unveiling. The goddess will come forth and unveil Herself only if this desire and receptivity is present. She only unveils Herself to the lover, so the ego must want Her presence. Such is the nature of the unfolding psyche. Now, this involves the ego, which is an active mode of the Light, to become receptive and allowing.
The Light has two modes, active and passive, or expanding and receptive. The active mode is the Intentional Light, the Creative Light or the God-Will. This Light is expansive, outgoing and penetrative. It moves with intention and purpose. It is the Light of the Divine Will, which seeks to evolve life toward a greater synthesis and harmony. It is also both creative and destructive, for it has the transforming power to creatively manifest anew and also destroy that which stands in its way. It is reintegrative.
This Light has been called the Creator God, the Ruler, and the Destroyer, and often refered to as the Will of God. This active creativeness, as a male apsect of divinity, is intentional and goal-oriented, while the female aspect of divine creativity, as emerging from the Dark Womb or the Unconscious depths of Divine Mother, is spontaneous, unexpected, not predirected and not goal-oriented. This is the difference we must bear in mind in understanding the spontaneous creative emergence in relation to the intentional creatve will. The intentional will must be active in seeking the emergence of the Love Soul within, in desiring and making space for the Unveiling Soul. It must remain in the desire and remain excitedly awake. In other words, the Light must be strong in its aimful gaze and strong in its bright awakefulness. It has its intentional work to do, but this is just to make possible the spontaneous emergence, for that emergence cannot in itself be predirected. It is as though the male aspect of creative will and intention must set the stage or prepare the space for the female aspect of spontaneous creativity to come forth out of the Dark and unveil Herself. Then, love is possible, through this right relationship. The soul emerges when the conditions are appropriate. There must be desire for Her and receptive awakefulness. This the ego can understand and so must intentionally direct and insure. But the right conditions only partly involve an intentionally active mode, since the receptive mode is also required. This receptive mode is non-directive, and it is a kind of passive waiting, openly ready to receive and absorb whatever emerges into being. This is the Receiving Light, which is polarised to the Active Light as previosly described. We could call it the Observing Consciousness, which only passively observes and does attempt to make anything of the observation. This passive mode of the Light is the Light of Knowing or the Observing Eye or the Seeing One. Its highest form is the Omniscient God. It is the Light of Experience or the Experiencing One. So, in order for the Beauty within to be unveiled and realised, the Light of Intention must desire that unveiling, which is the first half of the invocation, and the Light of Knowing must be receptive to that unveiling, which is the other half of the invocation.
Thus, the Light of consciousness works in two polarised ways. On the one hand, it is directive and focussing. On the other hand, it is absorbing and passively open. Both ways need development and both need to be functioning, in order that new light may emerge from the Dark. Basically, awareness needs to be intentionally directed towards the Dark, or towards the Unknown, or towards the Mystery, and one must look deep into that Darkness with the desire and intention that one's light may see into the Dark. But simultaneously, the awareness must remain open and absorbing of that which spontaneously emerges, which is a passivity to impression, whereby the light absorbs new impressions into its Knowing. Thus, the active and passive lights function simultaneously, though one may be in greater prominance and development over the other. When a more harmonious balance of these lights is achieved, the Dark will reveal more and more of its hidden qualities and beauty.
In the world of nature and in relation to earth we often think of making the earth a better place to live, of making the earth more beautiful and sacred. As well, we often think of making ourselves more beautiful and spiritual. This kind of thinking comes out of the light of intention and is reflective of the Will of God. We see that a work of transformation is at hand, and we know that we must to something to make this happen. And of course we can help make the planet, ourselves and each other more beautiful, harmonious and spiritual. We can bring Light into the dark. Yet this is only half of the truth. It is one side of the whole picture. For we can also realize that the earth and all of us living here is already beautiful and spiritual. The spiritual Light already exists in life, though we do not see it in all its glory. Spiritual beauty is all around us and through us, but we see it not. So the other side of the transformative, healing work to be done is to uncover the beautiful Light which awaits recognition.
That Light needs to be unveiled and recognised, and this involves an unveiling of our own perception. The Light is already there, it is already here, and it will be revealed when we remove our blinders and open our eyes receptively.
This is a letting go of our prejudices. Prejudice is a pre-judgement, a pre-determining of what is. It is an attachment to the limited way we usually view things or to the way we habitually think things to be. We tend to have set concepts or fixed thoughts about ourselves, others and life around us, and thus, we go about life thinking that we already know what is there, thinking that we already know ourselves and others intimate to us. We become trapped in our limited thinking and pre-judging, and we end up acting out of this closed off mind. We walk about nature thinking that we know what is there, and we relate with others thinking that we know them. But our knowledge is so partial and limited. And if we remain living in this way we will never know the greater light and divinity present in front of us. Therefore, we must open our minds and our hearts to the greater light which is awaiting in front of us. We must open our perception to that which is hidden, and it is only hidden because of our closed and fixed thinking. Nature, and ourselves included, is already full of spiritual light and the beautiful qualities of divinity, if we could but just open to it and receptively see it. We must open ourselves to the recognition, to the re-cognition, and re-perceive life in its freshness. Then, the greater light appears to spontaneously emerge. Then, we are renewed by life, due to our renewed perception. This is, fundamentally, an act of respect, which means re-spectating or re-seeing. It is a renewed spectating, a renewed in-spection of what is. It is a renewed reverance for life emerging around us and within us. It is a renewed revering, from which comes new revelation. As we open ourselves receptively to the greater light and divinity around us, as it comes from within and around us, more of this light and beauty is then revealed.
It comes into actualisation. It comes into actual, objective experience. Then, and only then, is it real for us. Then, and only then, is it actually manifesting, in terms of its transformative power. For if unrecognised, its transformative power remains quiscient and passive in relation to us. It remains in the Dark as an unrealised potential and its power remains unmanifest. If we could understand this strange truth of existence, in terms of nature surrounding us and in terms of our own nature, then we would know one of the great esoteric, secret laws of life, and we we would know the secret of healing and transformation. If you could learn this receptivity to the Light and learn to recognize the Light which spontaneously emerges and presents itself in the present moment, then the power of the Light and the power of Divinity will forever unfold. Then, sacredness will continuously and creatively emerge, and life will continually renew itself and be continually full of surprises. Thus, life becomes exciting, we become exciting, and our intimates become exciting. A continually renewed vitality and beauty emerges into each present moment. This is the beauty of the Emerging and Unfolding Light, which appears to come from out of the Dark.
If you open to it, receptively and in trust, then it will emerge on its own. You don't need to create it, invent it, visualise it, or make it happen. It is spontaneously revealed, on its own accord and in its own light. You only need to be open, receptive and trusting, as well as desiring of it and awake to it. But the desire is not a desire for what you want it to be or what you think it should be. On the contrary, it is a desire for the emergence to be spontaneous and free in what it is, that the revelation should be free to emerge in whatever way it will, and that one may be unexpectedly surprised by this revelation. One should not condition or predetermine this revelation, for that would merely be repeating the pattern of limited thinking and suppress the new unfoldment. The Other, be it the unveiling soul within or the unveiling lover or the unveiling nature, must be allowed to reveal itself freely and spontaneously, if there is to be any renewal and transformative healing. This is the way of unfoldment. It is not to deny the usefulness or spiritualness of intentional creativity, visualisation, planning, predetermination and aimful activity. The Intentional Active Light, in contrast to the Receptive Knowing Light and the Emerging Light, is also a spiritual power and should not be suppressed. An integration or synthesis of these powers or lights must evolve.
The Intentional Light could also be called the power of the Ego, the bright and expanding will of the Ego. The individual ego is that particular sense of oneself as having a certain accumulation of knowledge and desires and having a certain sense of power to achieve these desires. In western psychology, the function called ego has two fundamental meanings or applications in practice. In some sytems one is used and in some both are used. One meaning of the ego is that sense or function of self-identity, where there are some features of personal thought and behavior which are believed to be necessarilly significant to the sense of being oneself. These features, by the way, could be quite peculiar, but there is nonetheless a desperate attachment to them. In the tantra the function and sense of self-identity is unavoidable and necessary in life, but the attachment is not, such that the self-identity ought to be flexible and open to transformation. The other meaning of the ego is that sense or function of self-power, whereby one has some self-control and feels able to manipulate the envirnment to some degree. This is a needed sense and function of being able to do and achieve various aims in life. In the tantra such personal power is accepted as necessary and useful in lif, for without individual power there is no vehicle for the manifestation of spiritual love and beauty, and yet one can gradually realize this power as coming from the greater Will of Universal Being.
Each of us, as individuals, have some limited degree of self-knowing and self-power. One's power is to remain alert or intensify alertness, to intentionally and clearly think about things or to visualise things, and to have some degree of control over one's emotional reactions and physical expressions. We have other senses of power, but these are at least the basic ones. Now, there is certainly nothing intrinsically wrong with these powers. They are powers possessed by and used by each individual, in varying degrees, and the possesser and user of these powers is called the ego, the one in control or the intentional one.
This is personal power and intentional directiveness. It could be used in negative ways that harm oneself and others, or it could be used in positive ways that bring joy and health to oneself and others. But the power itself is not wrong or unspiritual. It is just a degree of power developed in an individual. The ego is an individual and limited expression of the Universal Divine Light and Power. It is more or less divine, in the sense that it can be very reflective of divine love and creativity or it can be quite obstructive to the unfoldment of greater divinity.
So, in terms of this tantric meaning, the ego is not contrary to spirituality, though in the tantra it does stand in polar relation to the emerging soul, as a male aspect of light in relation to the female soul light or the emerging Light of Universal Being. The ego can learn to be complimentary and cooperative in this relation, or it could be obstructive and suppressive in the relation. Some teachings mistakenly suggest that the ego be suppressed or destroyed, for they see the ego as an opposing evil to spirituality. These teachings seek non-duality by attemting to eliminate duality, but they never succeed in transcending this duality because they are continually at odds with it.
The tantra realises unity through the embracing of duality, for when duality becomes complimentary, and not opposing, there emerges an organic unity. When the ego is suppressed, it is merely a different ego that is suppressing, for any kind of suppression is the work of an intentional thinking.
Intentional struggling is a male sort of thing. The soul light just spontaneously emerges. It doesn't struggle or fight. It just unfolds spontaneously without really trying, and it is weak or passive to fighting. If not received or suppressed, it doesn't put up a fight, but merely waits for some opening, or it starts to comes out whenever the ego forgets its fixed intention or relaxes its suppressive hold on the door of self-unfoldment. Only the ego fights. It fights the emerging soul or it fights itself. It fights its shadow. It fights its fear. But the soul is easy. It comes out when it can and in its own time, and if there is energy suppressing it, or if there is not enough receptivity and respect, then the soul just waits. It is the ego which closes the door and holds it closed, or which possesses so much of the mental and emotional energy, with its constant thinking and worrying, that there is no room or space for the soul or the light of life to emerge. The ego traps itself in its own prison and fearfully holds the door shut, because the ego feels safe and familiarly secure in the walls of its own creation. This is the negative possibility of the ego. There need not be any fight against this. It is just pitiful. There should only be compassion with such a pitiful, fearful thing. There needs to be a healing. But if we create a new ego, out to destroy this first ego, then there can only be more fear and more struggle to enclose and secure safety. Then a great battle begins between the fearful ego and the spiritually righteous ego. If you merely ask who you are in all this, then you might see the terrible confusion and scitsophrenia in all this. But such is the subjective reality of many so called normal people. There is only one way, and that is through self-understanding, self-acceptance, and a relaxing of fear and intentional suppression. The ego must let go and allow the soul to heal it, just as man must let go and allow woman to heal him, just as we all must let go and allow nature, and our own nature, to heal us. The ego nature will remain. It will innevitably remain. Our own sense of individuality, integrity and power should, and will, remain. It will not always remain as it is, in this particular limitation and pattern of expression, and we must not remain attached to any particular form of the ego, if there is to be an ongoing self-discovery and self-unfoldment. Thus, the ego nature will remain, but it can be in a continual state of transformation, and it can continually evolve into a greater reflection and expression of the Divine Light, in its many aspects and qualities. One of those aspects, which is central to the ego, is creative intention and directive will, and this can manifest harmoniously and cooperatively with the emerging divine qualities of nature as revealed from within oneself and from others and life around us.
Thus, we can intentionally work in two complimenting ways. We can intentionally and consciously build, create and organize a more beautiful, harmonious and exciting world around us and through us. We can also intentionally and consciously open up receptively to the beauty, harmony and excitement already around us and within us, which is awaiting recognition and respect. This is the dual secret of divine unfoldment, through the active and receptive Light of Being. You know what I mean.