Google “darkness” and all sorts of sinister pictures show up.
Of course, there’s always a point of light in the darkness—a candle, an open doorway filled with light, because without contrast there’d be no picture at all.
The same thing is true of physical life on Earth. They work together, belong together. We can’t have one without the other. To get to the light we have to move through the darkness. To get to the lighted cabin we’ve got to walk through the mysterious woods; we’ve got to pass through the dark tunnel to get to the torch burning at the other end. Light and dark are not opposing forces, they are complementary.
Without the polarity of light and dark —the electromagnetic forces of positive and negative—we’d have nothing.
Yes yes … we all know that.
But do we really? If so, why do we always make such a big deal out of the LIGHT? We’re taught to strive for the light, go to the light, pray to the light, find the light and avoid the dark at all costs. We’re frightened of the dark. What does it contain? Surely nothing good!
It’s human nature to fear the unknown—to sit around the campfire in the bone-chilling dark telling ghostly stories to frighten children into staying close and being good. But if we ever want to grow up and approach the real light of a higher more coherent consciousness—we’ve got to stop seeing darkness as something bad and scary. We have to know that darkness is a natural part of us and learn its landscape. And here’s one of the first lessons in easy recognition: The feminine nature is darkness.
OMG! Did I just say the feminine is dark!? ACK! But it’s true! And if your mind instantly spun into negativity and rejection over the statement it only proves what I just said about our knee jerk reactions about darkness meaning bad stuff.
Since ancient times light, the sun, and consciousness have been associated with the masculine. Darkness, the reflective, ever-changing moon and the Earth have been associated with the feminine. And if we take off the judgment hat about “darkness” for a moment, it’s easy to see how appropriate the associations are.
By nature women are mysterious. Our thought processes can be non-linear, multi-layered and un-obvious. We navigate the dark waters of emotion easily. We’re grounded in the Earth and are close to Nature. Our procreative organs are hidden. The vagina is a dark tunnel; our womb the liquid void from which life blossoms.
In contrast men are obvious creatures of the light. Their thinking tends towards the self-evident and linear; emotion tends to be marginalized. They’re abstract in nature. Male genitalia is proudly displayed (given an appropriate chance!) and easily seen.
For 3000 years all that is masculine has been elevated and the feminine has been marginalized and demonized. Compassion, empathy, intuition, nurturing and love have been thrown out while huMANity invented logic and philosophy and the scientific method, focusing on the prize of understanding and controlling the world we live in.
We’ve made tremendous technical advances as a species as a result. But we’re still a haunted people. Great misery and suffering have accompanied our achievements because consciousness has been channeled into striving, doing and having things… stockpiling supplies and building high walls to keep the dark scary unknown other outside of us at bay.
We’ve kept busy and externally focused to keep the darkness inside us at bay as well. And yet our desires, thoughts and decisions are driven by subconscious emotions, invisible programs and motivations as much as 98 percent of the time! We’re in the dark already… we just don’t know it!
What to do? How to find balance? How to become whole?
The root of the word psychology is the Greek word psyche—or soul. In myth, Psyche was a woman who, after great suffering and tribulations, married the God of love, Eros, and was raised into the Greek pantheon as the Goddess of the soul, the spirit of life itself.
Delving into the psyche—the deeply feminine, soulful, emotional, wild and obscure territories within us—is the next part of the human journey of evolution. Embracing the dark face of the light, embracing our “other half,” embracing feminine values … turning and facing the dark internal places, we fill in the picture. We give the light a place to shine—a world to play in.
If LIGHT is consciousness (the Sun), its reflection DARK (the moon) is the face of God … the fleshly realm of Creation that wouldn’t exist without the light … the realm where the light is hidden and harder to find. But when we open up and embrace physical life with all its components the darkness itself becomes a torch—if only we have the eyes to see.
About Cate Montana:
Author of The E Word: Ego, Enlightenment & Other Essentials (January 2017), Unearthing Venus: My Search for the Woman Within, and co-author of The Heart of the Matter with Dr. Darren Weissman, Cate is a journalist and explorer of inner and outer world. She has a master’s degree in psychology, writes about consciousness and evolution, has worked with plant medicines with shamans in the Amazon jungles of Peru, the Andes in Ecuador and the deserts of New Mexico, studied yoga in India, explored ancient South African ruins on horseback, hiked solo through England’s sacred sites and … well, lots more. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.
To learn more about Cate Montana, visit www.catemontana.com