In my life, I have tried to be Good and Pure and True. In these qualities, I have failed miserably. Why is it so hard to be good? Why is it so difficult to act in harmony with our mental ideals?
From the sea of Emptiness, everything arises.
Many people on the spiritual path eventually come face to face with their "Dark Side" - that part of themselves that is very, unenlightened, selfish and spoiled. Reactions are a great mirror. We shout at the driver who cut us off. We take advantage of our employees because they really need the job. We cheat on our diets, our spouses, and our promises. We want to be good. We want to live in harmony with our spiritual nature, but sometimes, sometimes when lust, fear, or power overwhelm us - a demon seems to take charge of our actions. He makes us do things we regret if others see, and "forget" if others don't.
The lion kills the gazelle. The ice kills the last dinosaur. Man loves Woman. Man kills Man. Man creates monuments to the Gods.
Reactions. Words are easy. It is easy to say you are good, to say you love everyone and everything, to think to yourself that you are enlightened, to imagine that you give selflessly to the unfortunate. But actions, particularly re-actions are the great indicators of our deeper nature. Your "dark" reactions - both physical and emotional - are what the spiritual seeker must boldly face if they are ever to progress past a rudimentary taste of Inner Peace.
To survive, He kills. To spread his seed, He goes to war. To teach his children, he works his life away.
There are a million self-help books out there. Countless psychologists and billions of people who will all tell you exactly what you need to do to make yourself "better." Let me posit that you don't need to be fixed. Let me further posit that the only thing any of us are guilty of is a little fantasizing.
At his base, He is an animal. At his apex, He is a god.
One of the gifts of humanity is the gift of imagination. The problem is, sometimes we don't realize that we are imagining. We believe some fantasy about who we are and all our "problems" rear up and slap us in the face when we don't live up to that fantasy. Let me say that again. Our problems arise when who we really are conflicts with who we think we are.
Self preservation. Procreation. Possession. Defending the Tribe. Attacking to Survive.
You are selfish. You do lust after your neighbor's wife. You really do want to be famous and rich and powerful. Your fantasy says these are all off limits to the spiritual seeker. That if you were a good man/woman/god you wouldn't have those feelings.
War and Peace. Good and Evil. Love and Hate. Me and Them. One cannot exist without the Other. One cannot exist without Two.
So which is more real, your fantasy persona or your true, if somewhat repressed emotions? All this might sound a little funny coming from a man who claims to see God (a female god nonetheless) in a discarded banana peel, but damn it, I know my viewpoint is an illusion. Most seekers don't realize their fantasies are really only mental images - ideals that exist only in their minds.
Below it all, the Source. Below it all, Emptiness. From the sea of Emptiness. All life arises.
Your "dark" reactions are simply little indicators of where your true self deviates from your imagined self. Deny your nature and live your fantasy. Embrace the Darkness, feel the burn - and you will quickly find the Light.
Wayne Wirs is the photographer and author of Fading Toward Enlightenment - Life between the Ego and the Ethereal. For more information about Wayne, his writings or his photography, please visit FadingTowardEnlightenment.com