Enlightenment is not a matter of imagining figures of light, but of making the darkness conscious. – C. G. Jung
How do we know when we have fallen asleep and forgotten the most important aspect of becoming more present? It is when we are not attending to how we are reacting to the world around us.
When we are caught unawares with reactivity then, the darkness that is within our consciousness interferes with our quality of our life experience. Darkness results in suffering. To catch our darkness is to pay attention to our reactivity. This is simple.
When we are reacting, we are caught in the darkness of our subconscious mind. In the process of “awareness” (the first stage of Integrative Consciousness), we can see we are reacting, we may even understand why we are reacting, and we may continue to react. For example, your partner may forget to call you when he said he would call. You react by feeling not attended to or slighted. You feel angry and may snap at your partner, while at the same time observing that you are reacting from your abandoned aspect and that this is not a correct perception of the situation.
When you begin to drop your awareness into the heart center at the moment of reactivity or later during a meditation, you will experience an opening of the heart. Be present with the experience of abandonment.
Soon, compassion appears and moves you into the second stage of Integrative Consciousness of acceptance. You are on your way of transforming your self and your relationships.
This is not about avoiding the darkness and “being in light and love” but this is about embracing the darkness into light. This is practice.
Melissa Lowe, Ph.D. is a Psychological Depth therapist and teacher of mindfulness and meditative practices. Her office is located in Newton, MA.