The conquistador really wants the tree of life and what it offers, and then realizes in terror that it requires everything of him and doesn’t look at all like what he expected. First, he chased the tree, then the process took over and he didn’t have a choice anymore – as if he ever had a choice.
Variations on the theme of allowing experience…..
I can watch or observe experience.
I can be with it, allow it.
I can meet, welcome or embrace experience.
I can notice it’s already in awareness, it’s already allowed.
And I can be it, notice I am already it.
There is an inherent discomfort in oneness.
All is recognized as the divine (God, awareness), yet there is still a sense of an “I” it’s happening to – even as that sense of an “I” is also recognized as the play of the awareness.
This is inherently uncomfortable simply because of the appearance of a relationship, and this relationship comes with everything relationships come with – drama, ups and downs, holding onto states and so on.
Eventually, the appearance of a relationship wears out and reveals something much simpler. When identification drains out of the “I”, it leaves reality awake to itself. There is no longer any relationship apart from the appearance of relationships recognized as appearance, as the play of awareness.
I felt completely stuck yesterday – caught up in dissatisfaction, internal complaining, unease and general discomfort. Nothing seemed to work, apart from lying down and intentionally open my heart to it, allowing it to be, and giving it all over to the divine. Later, as I went to bed for the night, I continued this, and there was an impulse to shift into being it. And that’s where it seemed to fall into place. Being it was the only resolution that felt complete and honest in the moment.
I also remembered what Evelyn Underhill writes in Mysticism. The dark night is a preparation for, and shifts into, being whatever is.
It’s not new to me, but when it happens in this way, it feels new. Surprising. A fresh discovery.
Misery. Resistance. More misery. Allowing. Opening my heart to it. Then, a shift into being the field of experience.
I also see that being it can have two or three flavors.
I am in a gathering of yogis, and a voice introduces a couple of people to the group, and then me as yogi rajma. The yogis are all mature and seasoned, and very familiar with the vast terrain of the divine human.
As I woke up from this dream, the name was opaque to me and didn’t ring any bells. I only thought it sounded vaguely like a (Sanskrit) yogi name.
What struck me the most from the dream was the depth of maturity of everyone there, and also that I – somehow – was not out of place at all. Nobody questioned by presence there, including myself, as it was obvious to all that we were all intimate and familiar with the same terrain. This is quite a contrast to my conscious view of myself which is (a) not at all a yogi (don’t practice any conventional forms of yoga), and (b) as not very seasoned or mature in it either. The dream may be telling me that this is yet another identity I use to box myself in with, and it is time to allow it to soften, to open for some other possibilities – at least in the future.
Although all of the yogis are deeply familiar with the same terrain, and are deeply intimate in that way, there is also a wide diversity in appearances, flavors and approaches. I am a wild Milarepa type yogi, or that was at least my background. I didn’t know what my flavor would be now or in the future.
I went to our monthly diksha group meeting (we are doing other things right now) and asked a Kundalini Yoga instructor there for help with the name, Rajma. She didn’t know either at first. I mentioned that I thought it may be a composite, Raj-ma. She then noted that raj means royal. And ma of course means mother. The Royal Mother. Or the divine feminine.
And this, of course, makes perfect sense. The divine feminine. The fertile darkness. The luminous blackness. Spirit filtered through the belly center. Yin. Feminine. Nurturing. Deep silence. The coolness to balance out the fire of the yang awakening, Spirit filtered through the head center. The nurturing and immanence to balance out the impersonal and transcendent.
Since this shift, there has been a sense of deepening or maturing in a different way – a beginning, with some glimpses of the depth it may lead to.
Right now – I am one led and guided by the divine feminine, the fertile darkness – allowing hangups and knots of this human self to be composted, and the luminous blackness shining from within everything.
Dreams often correct, balance out, or expand the embrace of our conscious view. And this dream certainly does so. It is very difficult to think of myself as a yogi, and even thinking of myself as one guided by the divine feminine is quite a stretch. (In spite of the ways I have explored it on this blog.) So the dream invites me to soften those old identities, and make my conscious embrace a little wider.
It is funny that I was a wild Milarepa type yogi in the dream. That part at least fits how I see it, as an unintentionally slightly wild guy not following any particular traditional path strictly. Again, that is not what I consciously would have chosen for myself. I would be very happy and comfortable with a more traditional path, if I only had found one inclusive enough, where I am located, and where the cultural gulf was not too wide… (I was happy at the Zen center until a sequence of events was set in motion so I ended up – against my deeper wish – moving to another state.) It is at least open for something else now, and in the future.
I have looked through some books on the dark goddesses and fertile darkness, including the Jungian Dancing in the Flames: The dark goddess in the transformation of consciousness and the Buddhist/shamanic The Fruitful Darkness: Reconnecting with the body of the Earth.
I read lots of books of that nature in my early twenties – Jungian views of the goddess, ecopsychology, ecospirituality, deep ecology, and so on, and found a deep resonance even then. It made sense on all the usual levels, and it was an experiential reality as well in different ways.
Yet, what strikes me now after the early endarkenment awakening is the difference between metaphor and direct experience of this fertile darkness.
Fertile darkness as metaphor
At the one hand, the dark goddess and the fertile darkness is a metaphor that works well at many levels. It is the yin, the earth connection, the body connection, lived and experienced. It is yin complementing the yang: the fertile darkness complementing the luminosity, the earth complementing the heaven, the relatedness complementing the detachment, love complementing wisdom.
And there are so many ways of working with this, including shadow work, body work and rituals, each one allowing us to deepen into it, allowing it to be more alive in us.
Direct experience of fertile darkness through endarkenment and belly awakening
The endarkenment awakening is certainly related to all of this, and what I have done in these areas have probably helped set the stage for this belly awakening, for this new shift.
At the same time, the endarkenment awakening is also very different, at least in my experience. It is an awakening clearly centered in the belly, and in the consciousness realm rather than the energy realm. It is an awakening where there is a direct and immediate experience of this fertile darkness, of the velvety blackness, empty and full at the same time, a ground of form.
The darkness is no longer just a useful metaphor, but a lived experience.
And this darkness can envelop anything arising, including anything arising in this personality. It makes it all OK, and seems to over time allowing it to heal and knots to unravel.
Enlightenment and mind, endarkenment and emotions
In a way, the endarkenment seems to do for emotions what enlightenment does for the mind.
Enlightenment clarifies the mind, allowing it to reorganize to the new awakening of everything as Spirit.
Endarkenment soothes the emotions, allowing them to reorganize to the new awakening to the fertile dark ground of form, to everything as the goddess and Spirit as well.
All as empty luminosity, and dark fullness
Also, in the initial awakening in my teens, everything was experienced as empty luminocity, including this physical body. Every cell in this body, and all form, was empty luminosity, golden, as a hologram with form and no substance.
Through the endarkenment awakening, there is a sense of the dark fullness of everything, a fertile loamy fullness of all form. There is a sinking into and as form in a very different way.
And this is, of course, just another form of transcendence and immanence, ascension and embodiment.