Monday, August 18, 2008

Dark times

It's winter here in New Zealand & a very soggy one at that.

From my earliest days I've 'known' that Winter is a time of cold, darkness & inactivity. A time to be got through until life 'springs' forth magically after those long, cold months.

I was surprised & delighted a little while ago, to have my long-learned assumptions overturned. Because of course, life issues from darkness. Just as a foetus forms in darkness, so too does nature - the time when all seems like death, is in fact the time of renewal & rebirth.

If you plant this weird & wonderful thing in the dark autumn earth,

Then this beauty will spring forth after it has lain in the darkness of Winter's soil.

In the past I simply considered that it was Spring that was all important, now I choose to see Winter as the beginning.

We have been educated to see that life comes with light & so it does, but somewhere before that, it formed in darkness.

"Long, long ago, the earth was deep beneath the water. There was a great darkness because no sun or moon or stars shone." - an American Indian approach

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep" - a biblical approach

"Chaos was the 'vast and dark' void from which the first deity, Gaia emerged." a Greek approach

First there was the darkness, which seems to be overcome by the light. The preoccupation with the light seems to be in full swing now - I've been wondering if a lot of this comes because the dark, fertile parts of life have been claimed by more aware powers, while we were busy glorying in 'the light'.

It is perhaps, as with so many things, the use & abuse of words that allows such things to happen. For how long have we been terrorised by 'the dark' I wonder, & I also wonder who decided what the dark meant.

Shifting my focus to seeing darkness as a rich & fertile medium, I find that I must make some radical changes in my thinking. Thus far I have believed that I am battling the 'forces of darkness', but now I have to question anew. Are the forces which we call 'dark', perhaps a little more awake than we are & have they gone straight to the source of power in this world. While we relentlessly battled the events that sprang forth eternally, ready made - pre-packaged products in the supermarket of life, have they been accessing the dark fertile creativity of this world, fertilising the very womb of our reality. Certainly we do seem to be like the cavalry, arriving at events long after the creators have bolted. We are seeing more clearly, but always after the event. I doubt there's anyone who writes or combs pages like these who wouldn't give their all to experience such rich creativity, bringing forth however, a very different kind of reality, one where passionate experience is the norm.

So have we been frightened away from the very place & energy that we need. The dark has become the place of demons & devils & the outcasts of society. Hollywood has done more than it's fair share of community service to keep us aware & frightened of the 'Dark Side'.

In recent years our programmers have been shifting their emphasis towards a blurring of light & dark/good & evil - I'm wondering if those who have been initiated into the zombie religions of success, materialism & entertainment, are perhaps now ready to add their corrupted energy to the artificial insemination of the dark & fertile womb of this reality.

For most of us the abyss between light & dark/good & bad has been so firmly entrenched in our psyche that we have tended to set up our tents in one camp or the other. I rather think this was the plan. Two sides forever fighting each other, a huge cosmic game of ping pong across a net that spans a deep dark crevasse. Just gotta keep that ball being lobbed back & forth, back & forth...

But I wonder now what that crevasse holds. Perhaps into that darkness/fertility I might cast the seeds of dreams long thought impossible (because I've been so busy fighting pre-packaged events). I also wondered if this could be the realm that play springs from - play is always new, inventing, creating - assuredly bringing into light what wasn't there before, but bringing it from where - from the fertile creatvity of the Dark?