The darkest place we can come to in our journey is the realm where we seek our own annihilation, an ultimate expression of the light denied. It is not something anyone would ever choose to discover consciously. Instead, it results from layers and layers of seemingly inconsequential denials that secretly gather in the rejected parts of the psyche, waiting like a fault line for their time to collapse. Something as simple as a seemly innocuous comment from a loved one can suddenly set us spiraling down into this darkness.
What triggers such a collapse into the shadow can be internal and external and usually unpredictable in its timing. What is predictable is that once it triggers, it takes on a nearly impossible momentum to restrain. It possesses the body-mind and brings otherwise rational beings into the thrall of a narrative of personal disaster.
“Self-harm – the world will come at you with knives anyway. You do not need to beat them to it.”
Self Punishment As A form Of Misguided Protection
Looking closely at such shadowy passions, we can see that they have strange motivations in their underpinnings. Their inceptions come from the coalescence of a sense of being denied, betrayed even, that has gathered its evidence over time from an endless supply of worldly encounters which weave their way throughout our person. Taking such feelings personally, they turn into a sense of being blamed for our failings, and when triggered, feel like we have been revealed to be the loathsome beast we always suspected we truly are.
Such overwhelming self-criticism is undigestible, and we flail about to try and stem its overwhelm. To this end, in an attempt to avoid the convictions of others that we suspect are imminent, we try and pre-empt their accusations with a deluge of self-blaming self ruining behavior. We secretly think if we can punish ourselves first, we will avoid the punishments brought by others.
Weathering The Storm
Such tempests of darkness are generally impossible to reign in. The only way out is through, and that way lies a fall from grace. If one is very skillful, they will know it is time to withdraw and sit with the arising torrents. They will know it is a time for inaction, for becoming the witness, the eye of the storm. But this is an ideal that few will find at first.
The next best approach is to mitigate the harm that is attempting to arise by channeling it to become harmless. The most literal and figurative ally here is the punching bag. If we can find an outlet for the violence that brings no harm to ourselves or others, we have found a way to dance with the storm rather than be possessed by it.
Touching The Nadir
This place of wrath is nothing other than 10,000 nights alone in the desert where the phantoms gather and pretend to be not only your mind but your body as well. The energies stirred by such outbreaks are visceral and immanent. The experience is not an illusion. The narrative of self-denial that they imply is.
Such a place is found to be the home of some of our most formative adolescent and pre-adolescent traumas. As such, it is easy to blame ourselves for falling into a place of such self-blaming. This is, of course, the way in which this shadow perpetuates itself, for even shadows have immune systems. Yet, to see through this layering of denial is to come into the presence of the sacred wound. It is here from which we can truly begin to live.
Darkest before the dawn
Such self-denial, using it to cultivate an interest to be with, the skill to redirect our crisis, and the maturity to be the silence throughout it, we turn it into self-revelation. It not only enlightens our deepest hurts and how they rule us but also sheds light on our behaviors that have been driven by these avoided aspects of experience.
Such opening brings a kind of honesty into our lives that we can find no other way. It is a ruthless honesty that must always be guarded against falling back into the self-destructive forms from which it was won. But it is also the kind of driven honesty from which we can mend our relations, making amends to not only others but ultimately to ourselves. It is a place from which a deep root is set from which we may grow ever more into thriving.
Suggested Divination Meanings
Am I in some way beating myself down rather than supporting myself?
Am I self-punishing in order to keep others from blaming me?
In what way am I adding to my own challenges that I can learn to stop doing?
In what ways has my humility become self-depricating negativity?
What behavior do I justify with cynicism even though it is obviously destructive?
In what way am I beating on myself that I feel is “normal” to do?
What beliefs about myself do I hold that are representative of my inner child denied?
In what way can I become the calm eye at the center of my own inner storm?
What actions can I take to discharge my agression in ways that release it without harming anyone?
What negative voices in me have momentum in my life at present?