It was when I was 22 years old that everything in my life changed. It was in that year that a series of painful and ecstatic spiritual openings, which had been occurring over the past six years in increasingly quick succession and intensity, came to their inevitable head and initiated my descent into Hell.
Deep shadows from my unconscious started to erupt into full view of my conscious mind, often showing up through vivid archetypal images, painful memories, or strange sounds, smells and colors. On a mental level, my internal thought processes no longer seemed to function in any coherent or rational way. My thoughts became chaotic and undirected meanderings that I experienced as banal and painful. [...]
Real beauty can only be known and experienced through a deep recognition and embodiment of its opposite. Only when there is no fear of the ugly and the dark can we truly touch into the deepest indestructible radiance that lies at the core of all things, and is each of our birthright.
– Vanessa Fisher in My Decent into Hell and What it Taught Me About Beauty
It’s good to see that these stories are offered in relatively mainstream publications.
And I also see some beliefs stirring in reading this:
She didn’t do it properly. She is a novice. She didn’t go far enough. (Since it lasted only six months.) She is dishonest. (Talking about “no fear of the ugly and the dark”.)
I didn’t do it properly. I am slow. (Since it lasted much longer.) I didn’t go far enough. (Since I cannot honestly say there is “no fear of the ugly and the dark”.)