There is a sense of opposition and polarity in the world today that no one can deny: the rift is only widening as we navigate the expression of our (many!) opinions, ‘fake news’ included.
Personal – Universal, a Reflection
The Dark Night of the Soul (DNS) is generally referred to as a crisis that, despite the pain and suffering it creates, ultimately serves us well.
Eckhart Tolle explains it as a time when one’s perceived meaning of life collapses. That deep sense of emptiness can bring a person very close to depression. It can be triggered by an external event; that may be an illness, the loss of a loved one or it can sneak up on us knocking on our door as life has become out of balance and dissatisfaction has become the norm. In Tolle’s case it was his DNS that led him to awaken to a deeper meaning of existence – beyond any conditioned, conceptual ideas of life and his identity. DNS leads you into an empty space of being nobody. It’s a space of void and darkness.
I wrote about my own DNS two years ago. During what felt like a never-ending battle (it lasted several years), I finally gained courage to walk the life path I felt called to take. It hasn’t stopped there! Instead, I am learning to continue to surrender to the “waves” or lately “tsunamis” brought by a global pandemic. The barrier that I and others experience – in the midst of global confusion, anxiety and fear – is one of facing the unknown versus sticking with trying to live up to whatever expectations I, others and society at large – have for us.
Dark Night of Humanity
Reflecting on the need I had then, to question everything about my life and myself, still leads me to reminisce about those days.
What I see around me is a built-up society and people going about their lives – focused on activities, achievements – that have to some extent collapsed. Triggered by external events (we are not short of them!), we can no longer expect to continue living the way we were. This was made clear by the sudden widespread discontinuation of free movement that many of us had long enjoyed.
Yes, we can roar and rail and be upset, but rather than jumping to dismiss or oppose what is happening, or complain too much about it, I prefer to look at this period of time as a Dark Night of the Soul of humanity – or Dark Night of Humanity, without dismissing the pain that many feel, and there are personal stories that brush the core of my being with sadness.
What is going on in the World?
I wish for more open debate and less discrimination and segregation. I don’t want to enter into discussions that lead to more polarisation and opposition, instead I prefer to take a broader perspective when I seek to understand the status of our world.
It is not only that we feel a tension between authority and freedom, hierarchy and collective, governments and grassroots. No, the climate is one where – on the micro level – even debates with our nearest and dearest ones can turn toxic that connections are severed. And the current state of affairs is also – on the macro level – one where there are various threats of imminent war boiling.
Even my spiritual home, the international community Auroville in the south of India, is in turmoil over the way to develop the township. One early morning bulldozers arrived to clear a pathway of trees. In a community where human unity is a guiding principle this act can be seen as harsh and non-acceptable. As with everything there is another side of this story.
My sense is we are living in a very strange movie – or many strange movies, in parallel. Yet trusting that a new world order is ever so slowly emerging as you, me and many others awaken. The chaos guides us to look within for answers.
Change in perception
In this immense space of polarity and duality, I ask myself where am I too fixed in my own ways and views? Very often, wishing to hold on, to that which doesn’t serve us, is what brings us the most suffering.
Suffering is caused by the mind which stems from an inability to accept.
In the poem by St. John of the Cross, one verse reads,
“This light guided me
More surely than the light of noonday
To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me –
A place where none appeared.”
I interpret this as speaking of God (all that is), or the Beloved, later on mentioned in,
“Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover,
Lover transformed in the Beloved!
With his gentle hand he wounded my neck
And caused all my senses to be suspended.
I remained, lost in oblivion;
My face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased, and I abandoned myself,
Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.”
This tells me to relinquish the energy I give to situations, to overcome duality on a conceptual level, for people to agree, but to understand that I can’t figure this all out with my mind.
Navigating this Night – What is going on Inside?
As always, the first thing to understand is that we can’t escape or deny the present situation. The only way to go is to keep wading through, observing ourselves as we go along. Whatever we resist persists and so it will serve us better to learn from life, day by day, moment by moment.
I don’t want to solve it; I want to see it. And be curious about it to broaden my perspective rather than narrowing into solving a problem.
If I am able to accept the current polarity and duality, the restrictions and tensions, I am in a much better position. Welcoming what most may see as great difficulties and negatives I am able to continue to learn, evolve and grow. This, in turn, will be the best way to inspire others, to be calm and peaceful that we ultimately all seek.
So, how to do that during challenging times?
If I don’t understand a friend or her/his action upsets me, can I take charge of the narrative and understand that it’s not their doing; it is me (strangely enough) choosing to be upset.
When encountering someone who behaves erratically and/or explosively, to focus on observing my own feelings, instead of jumping to (re)action.
At every opportunity try to find a way to dissolve, through compassion and openness, resistance to other people’s points of view, so as not to reinforce any feeling of separation.
As soon as I detect my resistance, I embrace it; I breathe deeply to clear my emotions. Can I let go of any need to arrive at a place of mentally understanding the ins-and-outs of the rights and wrongs and accept the conversation for what it is … a conversation?
When seeing that I am feeling and thinking differently to someone else, to reflect and accept instead of being upset. Then I may arrive at feeling gratitude for being me, just as I am.
Arriving at gratitude for others being just as they are, too, my trust in life and in the universe can increase, although it may seem on the surface that there are nothing but difficulties.
You illuminate somebody else by holding them in their Light, in your heart no matter their opinion, beliefs, or feelings towards you. By doing so you raise your energetic vibrations and those of people around you.
Pathways to inner peace
Standing firm in practising this mode of navigation and not mirroring the same erratic behaviours that I see in others will have a positive impact on people. It cuts a vicious circle open.
Darkness is coming to the surface everywhere; It is almost tangible. Imagine a million plastic bottles popping up to the surface of the ocean. Does it not mean that we have a chance to get rid of those bottles rather than when they remained hidden?
All I need to do is observe myself and my reactions. Can I be grateful for the triggers and my reactions? I can. They invite reflection, learning and response over reaction. On a deeper level acceptance and surrender are pathways to inner peace.
Breathing in and breathing out I accept all that I am and all that is and continue to help transform the shadow of humanity. Best not be attached to any particular outcome, just…
…keep calm and keep going (keep calm and carry on?)
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I am Claudia founder of Soul Luxury. I work with people who want to make changes in their lives. Since my twenties I have had an interest in personal development. At the same time my career took me to the top of my industry. While pursuing material success little did I know that I was neglecting myself.
Fast forward 3 decades: I combine my business experience as a global executive in luxury hospitality with a lifelong interest in how our thoughts, beliefs and emotions impact our lives. Life is ever changing and so am I.
✨ I am an Explorer of Life, Quantum Energy Coach, Spiritual Mentor & Author and a Retreat Facilitator ✨ I love playing the Gong and my drum.