Search A Light In The Darkness

Monday, 23 February 2009

The Dark Side

If you want to be fully alive, if you want to arrive at your deathbed without too many regrets or unanswered questions, you need to know how to visit your own basement. You need to be able to go to the dark side.

Too often, people associate "the dark side" with evil. They're wrong. Evil is vinegar; the dark side is good red wine. If you’re clever, you can easily recognize the difference.

The dark side is a gloomy old basement full of treasures and dust. Here you find everything forgotten, spurned, out-of-style. The unflattering family photographs, the failed wood shop projects, the pants you can no longer fit into. Here, too, are the gargantuan monsters of H.P. Lovecraft. The sulfury, musky scents this place gives off, like night air, inspire some and make others fall asleep and dream.

Though I wouldn't compare it to a summer's day, it’s a rich place, much richer than most places aboveground. Basically, it's compost. Jung calls this place the shadow.

Shamans believe that illness is caused by soul loss. The shamans think that when you go through trauma, sometimes pieces of your soul break off and get lost. I think they go to the dark side. And you can either travel there and get them back (which is what so many of our favorite fairy tales and adventure stories are about, really), or you can let them go.

We all know people who’ve let pieces of their soul go. Their lives are much diminished. They repeat themselves a lot in conversation. Though the faces of the people they share them with may differ, they keep having the same experiences over and over again. Usually, they don't know exactly what they've lost. Or maybe they're afraid to go down those basement steps.

Source: Practically Spiritual

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