Of course you would want to grow spiritually. It’s a basic human need. Animals don’t have to grow spiritually – they already live their highest potentials, incorporate the highest feline, canine or bovine virtues, and have fully embraced their own path, their own truth, their own TAO.
Human beings are still evolving. Still on the search for humanity’s TAO. The quest for the grail is still on. This is why, sooner or later in their lives, many people feel the urge to grow spiritually. It’s what they are being told by their genes and their inner voice.
So you might feel the urge to take up some spiritual lessons, read some relevant books, or visit some retreat or seminar. Where- or whatever you are attracted to – either is fine.
But beware! When the direction you have chosen is “all love and light”, “all roses and vanilla”…all bright, white and sterilized – then it may not be the path you are looking for. “All light and bright” is certainly not the path which will lead you towards truth, and not towards your highest potential. Because we live in a world of yin and yang, of night and day, of growth and decay. When you go to the forest and watch diligently you will discover that any kind of growth literally depends on decay. When there is no smelly, slimy, black decomposition process, where there are no worms to produce humus soil, there would be no further growth.
By the Alchemists, the search for the grail has also been called the search for the Philosopher’s Stone. And mind you – the first step when you want to find this precious stone would be called Nigredo, Blackening. The plant would be crushed and be set aside in a jar, where it could undergo a fermenting process, thus being transformed into a smelly, dark, black, yucky, slushy slime – and this would be the raw material which the Alchemist then would distill.
Little wonder the tales relate that the Knights of Arthur once headed out on their quest for the grail. They went to the forests – but not on paved trails. Where the forest was thickest and blackest, where there was no path nor direction, in an area of which no map existed – exactly there they would enter the woods.
They didn’t take any servants nor credit cards with them – nobody to carry them in a comfortable sedan chair, no option to buy warm clothing nor meals. They were all alone in the blackest, darkest area – thus having plenty of opportunity to learn a lot about themselves, to face the things they wished for or feared.
In ancient Egypt, the search for wisdom and enlightenment was closely related with Thoth, the God of the Moon. The moon, of course, being the epitome of reflection and thus of consideration. And mind you, in the moonlight one can see things which are invisible in broad sunlight!
In our very christianized frame of mind, it is easy to think that spirituality should be “clean”, “bright” and “white”. But if a god or an idea is “pure white and there is no black spot in him” then he would not be complete, not whole. Because where there is a yang, there is also a yin, where there is light, there is shadow, where there is daylight, there’s also a thing called night.
When you find the courage to go on your quest – for your grail – you might think you are heading for enlightenment. And indeed you are! But look at the plants: every process of growing starts in the darkness, starts deep down there, hidden in the “dirty soil”. The wheat grain must fall into the soil and die, so it can grow and come to fruition.“
Before you can enter the sphere of the light again, before you can experience enlightenment, you first have to deal with the darker areas of the soil, the darker areas of the soul.
Anyway, there is nothing to be feared. In the Nigredo, you won’t be all alone. The Divine, the TAO is also there in the darkness, is also where thinks look black. The Divine is not “just light and blessings and pleasure” – it is light and bright, indeed. But at the same time, it is also the grey or black horror, it is the place of no-light.
So, the spiritual quest is not for toe dippers or wimps. It takes a lot of courage. And it takes a lot of trust. Trust you will not go lost in the darkness! You will emerge from the Mare Tenebrarum – the Sea of the Darknesses – unscathed. You will come back from the pitch-black forest and be richer, wiser, and – maybe for the first time in your life – whole and complete.
Written by Ysolda Dee
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