The Dark Night of Man’s Soul

avatarFeatured Columnist – Meditations
Martin LeFerve

After some strong insights and strange events with a friend, I go to the parkland for a sitting and walk. The place is stupendous after another late-season storm this morning—redolent, lush, quiet, and mysterious.

Others were also taking advantage of the break in the weather. Through the single opening in the brush above the steep, ivy-covered bank across from where I sit, I see the occasional cyclist, runner, or walker.

The creek undulates by and lightly laps the edge just beyond my feet. Passive observation brings some insights, and more importantly the state of insight. It’s incredible how the state is completely new each time meditation occurs.

Creation is in every moment. Though entropy is a fact on the physical level, the creative drive of the universe is every bit as intense as was nearly 14 billion years ago with the Big Bang.

With the ending of thought (which includes associations, memories, knowledge, beliefs, and opinions) creation can flow through us as human beings. Indeed, our first job is to awaken it. But how?

The portal to the infinite is through the present. When a human being completely quiets the movement of thought in inclusive, unwilled attention, the creative energy of the cosmos flows through us to the extent of our capacity.

So intense are the sights, sounds, and smells of the park, it feels almost surreal striding the damp paths. Above and below, the land is overgrown with foliage on branches and bushes (including poison oak!).

Walking through my favorite section, where large, bending branches of old oak trees form a series of arches far more majestic than the greatest cathedral, red-headed woodpeckers dart in front of me less than a meter away.

There is the feeling they are aware of one, and unafraid. Checking my feeling, I stop when one lands on a branch just above my head. It’s so close I can see it twitch to take off, though it doesn’t.

After returning home, I go outside to see what I think is the last of the light. A rainbow is beginning to form to the east, and in the last direct rays of the sun, it deepens and extends until a sharply defined spectrum of color stretches a full 180 degrees across the sky.

Another, less intense rainbow forms above the main one, and it too extends completely across the earth. The skies to the west take on a blazing apricot hue–streaks of light pulsing with color. It begins to rain fairly hard, but the whole scene is too riveting to go inside.

The beauty of the day elicits fundamental questions. If there is no goal in nature, or in the awakening human being, then what brings about a breakthrough in individual and collective consciousness?

Wherever ‘higher thought’ evolves in the universe, the sentient creature passes through the same crisis that’s come to a head in us, humankind, on Earth. Going from one kind of consciousness to a completely different kind is an exceedingly difficult process, one that takes time but does not employ time.

There is a dimensional difference but not a duality between content-consciousness and insight-consciousness. Negate the former in effortless attention, and the latter emerges.

But it requires a lot of drive to make the transition. Spiritually speaking, there aren’t any goals to be attained, but there are events that one works and prepares for, without knowing when they’ll happen.

The emergence of consciousness in the universe is full of peril, and certainly not a smooth progression. And consciousness as we know it is the biggest impediment to true consciousness.

“Irreversible damage to the planet is going to done unless we act urgently,” warned a UN report recently.

Acting urgently means radically changing ourselves. No outward change will suffice. Indeed, the more that outward solutions are applied, the worse the multi-faceted crisis grows.

It’s the inner realities of the human mind and heart that make the world what it is, not the outer effects of politics and economics. Only by enough people understanding and thereby changing those inner realities will humankind begin the arduous climb toward true civilization.

Modifying Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes saying that “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth;” we can say that when you have eliminated the possible, then the impossible, however improbable, must be achieved.