Wednesday, July 15, 2015

“Interim Time,” Dark Night or Living in Ambiguity

When near the end of day, life has drained
Out of light, and it is too soon
For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline
Makes everything look strangely in-between,
Unsure of what has been, or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.
In a while it will be night, but nothing
Here seems to believe the relief of darkness.

You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.

“The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born.”

You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror.

Everyone else has lost sight of your heart
And you can see nowhere to put your trust;
You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence.
Do not allow confusion to squander
This call which is loosening
Your roots in false ground,
That you might come free
From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here is your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.

This poem describes what some might call a dark night of the soul. It is a time of feeling resistance to progress, or the absence of fulfillment. Times like this are inherent in a constantly changing reality. For change to take place, an abundance of one thing must meet opposition, often it feels like resistance, forcing something new to emerge. This time of lost direction or struggle signals impending newness: new ways of seeing, new ways of being, new life! "New dawn."
Life in paradoxical relationship is constantly flowing from one expression to another, from forward to backward, feast to famine, into one thing/phase and out of another. In Jewish Kabbalah this is called Tzim Tzum - the contraction and expansion of God or Reality. Scientists might call it particles and waves or matter and energy, both the same, but in different states of being.

We can also think of this ebb and flow as the play between Light and Darkness, in fact it has often been described as such in the ancient literature.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.   John 1:5

"Every gift of divine awareness benefits our receptivity for a new and greater gift. Every divine gift increases our openness and longing to receive what is higher and greater. To the extent that God is boundless in His giving, our souls are equally boundless in their capacity to receive."
~Meister Eckhart (1260 – c. 1327),  German theologian, philosopher and mystic.

Eckhart refers to metanoia - a new way of seeing things. Awareness. And all it takes is willingness to make the change, to "look again." "Receptivity for a greater gift" is willingness to live again, to see things differently, and allow the "new dawn." Then listen to what Eckhart says, "To the extent that God is boundless in God's giving, our souls are equally boundless in their capacity to receive." Let me paraphrase: To the extent that you are willing to open yourself to a new way of seeing and being, Reality (capital "R") is ready to give it through you. Reality will grow you through your experience in light or darkness. The light will always come into the world through you, through your willingness to BE Light and your understanding that through you, even in darkness, all possibility exists. On the other side of "what is" is "anything is possible."

The color, black absorbs all colors….what we perceive as white reflects all colors. Black, or Darkness, is not void it is pure possibility.

Living in the Dark Night of the Soul, the transitional state of ambiguity, is always prequel to a new dawn. It is transformative. 

"...hold your confidence.
Do not allow confusion to squander
This call which is loosening
Your roots in false ground,
That you might come free
From all you have outgrown."

All will be well, and all manner of things will be well." Julian of Norwich
Live in the questions. Rest in the chaos. Keep confidence and trust the ebb and flow of Sacred Life to work through you. You are the Light of the World. Anything is Possible.

_/\_Peggy @ Ecumenicus

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