Some additional things about the fertile darkness…
I have been looking some for (written) sources on this fertile darkness, but haven’t found much yet.
The 5th century mystic that goes by the name of Dionysius the Areopagite writes about Divine Darkness, for instance in the first chapter of his Mystical Theology, and explains that this divine darkness is an Unknowing. But from what I have read from him so far, it is difficult to say whether he talks about the yang or the yin ground…
Yang and yin grounds?
In the yang form of emptiness, emptiness and luminosity, there is an unknowing. And it is possible to metaphorically call this a “darkness” since the “light of cognition” does not touch it. It is the absence of knowing in any conventional form – as ideas, thoughts and so on, that we find when we notice pure awareness (pure witness consciousness) or the emptiness that all form and content unfolds within and as. It is the Unknowing in pure seeing, or as the Ground of seeing and seen – that which ideas and any other forms arise within and as.
At the same time, in the yin form of emptiness, the fertile darkness, there is also an unknowing. This too is a ground distinct from any conventional knowing. There is the fertile darkness, empty of form (apart from its blackness), pure potentiality, allowing anything to emerge in form. It is quite distinct from the yang emptiness, yet also empty in a very similar way. And it is directly experienced as full blackness, no clever metaphors there.
Where the yang ground seems to be empty fullness, full of the world of form as emptiness, this yin ground seems to be full emptiness, with an emphasis on its richness and fertility. In the yang version, emptiness is in the foreground, in the yin version, fullness is in the foreground. In the yang version, there is a definite sense of empty luminosity, in the yin version, a definite sense of full blackness.
They are both present, including right now, and seem to be mirror images of each other.
All this is of course from my very limited experience and is completely up for revision. I haven’t found much about this anywhere, and the little I have found, such as in the writings of Dionysius, leaves it open whether he is talking about the yang or the yin ground, whether the term darkness is used more as an intellectual metaphor (yang ground) or comes from an immediate experience of blackness (yin ground).
Adyashanti and the three centers
When I went to an afternoon workshop with Adyashanti a couple of weeks ago, he mentioned briefly the three centers of awakening, in his own experience: belly, heart and head. He didn’t say much about it, but I was intrigued as I have a taste of the head and heart awakenings, but did not know from personal experience (at least not that I know of) what the belly awakening is about. But now it seems that I do, from this taste of endarkenment, clearly centered in the belly, and appearing as fertile blackness, as a full emptiness, enveloping (and ground of?) all form.
Enveloping whatever arises and a jump start
As the other days (and nights) since this shift, I saw again today how something arises, and is then enveloped by and melts into the fertile darkness. A judgment arises, the fertile darkness envelops it, and it softens, melts and unravels. A contraction arises, this too melting into and enveloped by the fertile darkness. A little invitation is all that is needed for this fertile darkness to envelop whatever arises.
Towards the end of the day, I spent some time at Powell’s bookstore in Portland and read in some books on Christian mysticism. I noticed how I got into the yang mode, and the still new yin mode fell into the background and appeared lost for a while. As I have noticed earlier, this fertile darkness cannot be directed, and I was not able to nudge it back either. I asked Jen for help, and as she is in contact with this fertile darkness in herself, she allowed it to expand and envelop me, which actually did bring it back for me (to my surprise.)
Again, there is the fertile darkness, clearly centered in the belly region, clearly more in the form of consciousness than energy, and enveloping anything arising, allowing it to soften and melt, and knots to unravel.