Dark forces or something much simpler?

Our stories about ourselves and the world has a big impact on us and our life.

When I shared something about the “dark night” phase I seem to have gone through, and how it has been a period of repeated losses and things going “wrong”, a psychic friend of mine said that “dark forces” want to prevent me from living my potential. It was meant well, and it was also a reminder of the power of stories.

At least on the surface, the “dark forces” story puts the responsibility “out there” in the world, into something mysterious and intangible, and it makes the person – in this case, me – into a victim. It’s a story that easily can trigger passivity and hopelessness.

I prefer stories that are closer to what’s here, that are about something I can check from my own experience and that trigger engagement.

The story that makes more sense to me, at least right now, is that I went against my clear inner knowing and guidance on a major and lasting life decision. It brought a sense of getting off track in life. It led into a “dark night” phase that gradually got stronger.

And although I wish I had been clear and healed enough to follow my guidance rather than my fears back then, I also see the tremendous and very real gifts in what happened. The “dark night” phase has brought what’s left in me to the surface. It has brought up remaining beliefs and identifications, and unhealed parts of me, and made it very visible to me. It has given me an opportunity for deep healing.

I created it. There is a valuable and real gift in it.

No “dark force” story is needed to explain what happened.

Although if I wanted to include the “dark forces” story, how would it look in this context? It may look like this: If there are “dark forces” at play, the reason they are at play is because they mirror what’s already in me. They mirror unhealed parts of me, and perhaps enhance dynamics already created by these unhealed parts of me. If anything, they are – really – part of the gift.

I should also mention that the content of the story has an impact on our life. And equally much, or perhaps even more so, does the extent we see through it. If we have examined the story, and it has lost much or all of its charge, the story is a much more useful tool for us. We hold it lightly and use it to the extent and in the situations it seems practically useful.

That often takes some work and investigation. For me, what seems most effective is a combination of inquiry (Living Inquiries, The Work) and Vortex Healing, approaching the story and how I hold it from the consciousness and energy sides.


Initial notes…..

  • dark forces?
    • last several years, things go wrong again and again, in larger and smaller ways
      • an amazing series of “going wrong” synchronicities
    • psychic friend, said “dark forces holding you back, don’t want you to succeed”
    • but a much simpler explanation
      • my own beliefs, identifications
      • reflected in my life, inviting me to bring attention to it, clear it up
      • classic process of initial awakening + honeymoon, then a dark night to clear out what’s left (a portion of it) – and, really, an amazing gift, vote of confidence
    • (of course, not mutually exclusive, but makes more sense to focus on what’s left in me to work on since that’s good for healing/awakening anyway, and if both are part of the picture, then (a) could only happen if (b) allows it, makes it possible)
    • …..


No “dark force” story is needed to explain what happened.

And if there are any “dark forces” at play, the only reason they are at play is because they mirror what’s already in me. They mirror unhealed parts of me, and perhaps enhance dynamics already created by these unhealed parts of me. If anything, they are – in reality – part of the gift.


Initial draft…

I have previously written about the phases I seem to have gone through so far. From initial awakening and honeymoon period with amazing synchronicities and “everything” falling into place. To the beginning of a dark night triggered by going against my clear inner guidance in a major area of life. To a much more intense dark night with a great deal of losses and equally amazing “reverse” synchronicities where things – in all areas of life – went “wrong” in systematic and amazing ways.

Of course, any map is just that, a map. It’s created by my own mind to try to organize and make sense of something. It can be helpful but it’s definitely not any final or absolute truth. In reality, it’s not true at all – it’s just a set of mental images.

A psychic friend of mine once said that “dark forces” are trying to prevent me from living my potential. I take that as an opportunity to look at how we can interpret these situations in different ways. As I experience it, that interpretation tends to put the responsibility “out there” in the world, into something mysterious and intangible, and the person (in this case, me) is made into a victim. It’s an interpretation that easily leads to passivity and hopelessness.

I tend to chose other interpretations. Ones that lead to more constructive action.

For instance, as an overall framework, I tend to see it as Evelyn Underhill outlines it in her book Mysticism. What’s happened in my life fits into the phases she outlines. First, a year when I was 15 where “I” was absorbed into the “observer” and the world seemed distant. Looking back, I see that this was a form of dark night of the senses although at the time it was profoundly disturbing. Then, an initial opening or illumination where all without exception was revealed as Spirit (or love, consciousness, God) without any “I” anywhere. This lasted for about ten years. And then a dark night of the soul which started gradually and then deepened over time. And this dark night of the soul was a purging of what’s left in terms of beliefs and identifications, and also wounds and trauma. Life brings what’s left to the surface so we get to see and feel it, and so it can be seen through and/or worn out.

Even without that framework, a couple of things are pretty clear.

(a) I created this dark night through my own choices and actions. I went against my own clear inner guidance on a major life decision (marriage and moving), I lost a great deal of what was most meaningful to me in life because of it (what I moved away from), and I also lost connection with my inner guidance since connecting with it was painful as it kept telling me to undo the decision I had made. I made that decision out of fear and beliefs I saw through intellectually but not at a deep emotional level (beliefs telling me I had to be a good husband, abandon my own life and passions to support my wife etc.). The dark night was initiated, and went deeper because I stayed with this initial choice that went against my clear inner guidance.

(b) This dark night has a great gift in it. If I had the chance to do it again, I would have chosen to follow my clear guidance. But as it is, the losses have many gifts in them. I get to see what’s left in me. I get to see the beliefs and identifications that led to this situation, and the ones triggered and brought to the surface by what’s happened in my life. It’s an amazing opportunity for deep healing and maturing, and I have the tools for it to be just that for me.

(c) If any “dark forces” are at play, it’s because of what’s left in me. It could only happen because of my choice of going against my clear guidance, and because of what’s left in me to be seen, felt, healed, and awakened. If any dark forces are at play, they just reflect what’s already in me. They serve to highlight it. (And I also doubt dark forces are at play. They are not necessary to explain what’s happened. And I have no direct or personal experience of any “dark forces”.)

I notice I am uncomfortable mentioning “dark forces” even in this context. It’s so far from how I typically see life. In this case, I am just referring to it to contrast different ways of interpreting and seeing a situation. And that seems useful.

I should also mention that just as this dark night of the soul started gradually, it seems to let up gradually. It’s gradually lightened over the last few years.

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