Friday, September 7, 2012

Light and Dark

I've taken yet another break from this blog. Writing about these deep topics can be both fruitful and tiresome and I feel long breaks are often needed to avoid redundant meandering posts. My recent film reviews have constituted some of the longest stretches of writing I have done in a while - something I don't do enough of. One topic that keeps coming up lately is the complexity of light and dark forces in the universe and in particular in the world we live in now with the constant fading in and out between them. We in modern western civilization don't really understand these forces and actively seek to keep the population ignorant of them.

Do you notice how obsessed Americans are with "positive thinking/feeling"? Its embedded into our culture to such a degree that we ostracize those who tell us things that contradict our positive thoughts, feelings and views of the world. We constantly tell ourselves that if we just keep a positive outlook on things our outlook will manifest itself in reality and reality itself will in turn reflect our inner state. Unfortunately this often puts the cart before the horse as we confuse cause and effect. Positive thinking is a reflection of the shadow of our deeper self and its complex emotions as well as the karma we create from our long term actions and planning. When we "Do Positive" we tend to "Think Positive" but even that's really only scratching the surface.

When we dig even deeper we come to the idea of light and dark forces in the Universe. Through our modern westernized propaganda (i.e. media, education, culture, etc.) we have lost our connection to the meaning of these primal forces and their balance. Think of the Yin and Yang symbol above - its part light and part dark. But you also notice something else - the light and the dark have a shadow or a reflection of the other within it.

What does this mean? One interpretation of this is that the light and the dark are intertwined and thus there is darkness within light and lightness within dark. Stated more meaningfully there is a "false light" which is actually dark and equally a "false dark" which is actually light. Think about this for a moment - "black comedy", "white lie", "dark humor". When we truly examine the darkness we sometimes find it is liberating because we find slivers of light in the most oppressive of all places where (we tell ourselves) it should not exist! Much like finding life at the bottom of the ocean - this discovery allows us to experience the true meaning of light and dark forces and why they exist - to bring contrast to each other. Likewise we must also consider what the "darkness within light" means. This can be the case where we put someone or something on a pedestal where it does not belong and bathe it in light that is only coming from us. In this process we blind ourselves sometimes to their true nature which may be partially or even completely dark.

Therefore we need to be wary in these times of the "false light" - the light that feeds disconnected and apathetic thoughts/feeling that brings us to the worst of our desires and intentions and tells us its all ok because we just get what we deserve anyways. The light that tells you someone is "perfect" when really you should know better. The light that tells you a thought/opinion/belief is infallible and therefore need not be tested. All these are forms of delusions. I believe we are coming to the end of an era where such delusions will soon (if not already) be revealed for what they are and come boiling to the surface showing us all our ugly warts for ourselves and others to see in plain view. Then, after we freak out because we had not prepared for that moment, after the guilt/shame/suffering subsides in all its many forms, we will learn to appreciate them again - but this time as flaws, not as perfection.

Lastly let me finish by saying that death itself is something our culture has been avoiding talking about for some time. I believe many in this culture think death is something akin to turning a computer off - after all they see themselves as nothing more than a machine anyways so why not just get what you can and "just be happy" while you are alive no? Little contemplation has been given to whether they will still feel this way even up until their moment of death or that the experience of death itself may not in fact be unconscious at all! Think about that for a moment! Your entire life you believe there will be nothing and then when it happens you realize there is indeed something after death after all - but now you have no idea where you are going. You are lost. Its best to start thinking about these things now while you still have time. I believe it is better to prepare for one's death emotionally and physically through meditation/prayer/contemplation/forgiveness as it will come quicker than you think and all those unexamined dark forces will come flooding back, this time unwilling to cede to your conscious mind's feeble attempts to block them out. What will you do then?

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