Discerning Darkness From Light


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In this century we have been newly filled by the conscious knowledge of our own darkness - that we carry this darkness within us. We no longer need to project our darkness outward into demons or scapegoats - or, if we do, we know we are courting disaster. It is by encounter with our own darkness that we recognize the light. It is the light itself which shows us the darkness - and both are summoned from within us.

Lorna M Marsden, 1983

from Quaker Faith and Practice. GB.

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~ I like it. Thank you :)

Humans have always been afraid of shadows, never quite sure of what it is in the darkness that cavorts in the corners of the light...

Sure, sometimes it's a 'monster', a beast to eat you, & sometimes it's simply fear.

The tricksy thing with humans is they often don't like simple things, & so that fear can be nurtured to blossom into something much worse than a beasty in the night.

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Sometimes the light sustains us with its relaxing warmth. It exposes and thrusts us in the world of activity, reward, and danger.

Sometimes the darkness sustains us with its velvety coolness. It shuts out the world, allowing us to retreat, rest and heal.

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I like that, panpareil.

The darkness is necessary, so that there can be light. And light is necessary, for there to be darkness. One cannot be without the other.

The dilemma comes when we face the choice of how to balance these opposites within us. The only way to have any balance is to acknowledge them both, weigh them both, and choose to do what is right...

You'll note that the balance between "light" and "darkness" is a common theme in spiritual writings.

Peace.

Rev.John

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Everyone makes some excellent points (and entertaining, moving poetry), and I'd like to add my two cents:

Scapegoating can be useful. Now, this is the budding Psychologist in me, but I believe that when a person scapegoats something into an outside force, a Demon, if you will, then it is made real not only to themselves but others as well. I've seen this happen, where the power of belief allowed a man I knew (who was really playing with fire, you know, one of those "They can throw fireballs on Charmed, so I can too" types) to create one right in front of my very eyes. By exorcising him, I was able to help him cement in his mind that what he was doing was wrong.

I believe that there are Inner Demons, that darker half of the soul. Also, Demons, those thoughtform constructs we've created as a whole society in order to scapegoat bad things. And True Demons, those beings that exist that are dark spirits. Likewise, we have Inner Angels, Angels, and True Angels. And they live in harmony rather warring with each other, though we often war because we allow ourselves to do so.

There: My Two Cents, for what it's worth.

Darkness can confort, yet chill you to the bone

Light can warm you, yet burn you away

The best thing to do, to avoid being all alone

Is to accept that you need both to stay

And you will finally find peace

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Paalm 139 has some interesting thoughts about Light and Darkness from God's perspective. Namely, that they are identical. Its an interesting use of imagry. Thus, someone can be a great shining darkness.

Biblical authority is not the issue here for me. It is interesting symbolism.

I also find the symbolism in Matt. 6:22 interesting. "The eye is the lamp of the body." From the context, it seems to be talking about the "third" eye.

:)

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl
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In this century we have been newly filled by the conscious knowledge of our own darkness - that we carry this darkness within us. We no longer need to project our darkness outward into demons or scapegoats - or, if we do, we know we are courting disaster. It is by encounter with our own darkness that we recognize the light. It is the light itself which shows us the darkness - and both are summoned from within us.

Lorna M Marsden, 1983

from Quaker Faith and Practice. GB.

So, somehow, in the last century, we have knowledge of, and thus confirm the existence of, our "darkness??" All of a sudden, the "demons" we once upon a time projected onto mythical fables is now a stain upon us humans? What of all the eons prior to this last century?

Are we to assume from this quote of yours that we are all of a sudden a soiled species??? Based on what, creative, progressive, self-indulgent, self-loathing literature?

Methinks not....

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So, somehow, in the last century, we have knowledge of, and thus confirm the existence of, our "darkness??" All of a sudden, the "demons" we once upon a time projected onto mythical fables is now a stain upon us humans? What of all the eons prior to this last century?

Are we to assume from this quote of yours that we are all of a sudden a soiled species??? Based on what, creative, progressive, self-indulgent, self-loathing literature?

Methinks not....

I didn't get that interpretation.

To my understanding, we (society) have a much better understanding of projection than we used to.

If I have the secret fear that I am gay -- or have the potential to become gay -- and I am afraid of this possibility -- then I could take that fear and project it onto gay people. Since I understand this, it follows that I do not have to be afraid of gay people or of gay rights. For similar reasoning, I don't have to be afraid of people in other countries or cultures. The result of this is that I am not inclined to go to war. The language of "inner darkness" might be causing this confusion. The "inner darkness" only means what we are afraid of in our selves. I think that otherwise, it makes good sense.

:dirol:

:hideingbhindcurtian:

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl
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Are we to assume from this quote of yours that we are all of a sudden a soiled species??? ...

Methinks not....

No..I don't think so either. Not at all.

There was no "all of a sudden" to it.

The only thing "that changed" in the last century or so is that "we" (as a species) have become aware of the darkness within...

That darkness has always been there.

And for a very long time we were able to (more-or-less) "deal with" that darkness by projecting it onto someone else.

"As a species", we (many of us, anyway ) have become aware of the darkness within

But perhaps you are "not there yet".

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I didn't get that interpretation.

To my understanding, we (society) have a much better understanding of projection than we used to.

If I have the secret fear that I am gay -- or have the potential to become gay -- and I am afraid of this possibility -- then I could take that fear and project it onto gay people. Since I understand this, it follows that I do not have to be afraid of gay people or of gay rights. For similar reasoning, I don't have to be afraid of people in other countries or cultures. The result of this is that I am not inclined to go to war. The language of "inner darkness" might be causing this confusion. The "inner darkness" only means what we are afraid of in our selves. I think that otherwise, it makes good sense.

:dirol:

:hideingbhindcurtian:

JHBL,

I normally understand your posts. In this case, I do not. There is no connection, IMO, between your rationalization of not being afraid of gay people (which is odd, to me) and the realities of a complex world in which people are in clear and present conflict and competition for your slice of freedom. Are you suggesting that the realities of the world are merely a reflection of our own inner conflictions? If so, that sure is a convenient way to avoid dealing with the world. Kinda like much of what we read in the "Peace" thread....IMO...

No..I don't think so either. Not at all.

There was no "all of a sudden" to it.

The only thing "that changed" in the last century or so is that "we" (as a species) have become aware of the darkness within...

That darkness has always been there.

And for a very long time we were able to (more-or-less) "deal with" that darkness by projecting it onto someone else.

"As a species", we (many of us, anyway ) have become aware of the darkness within

But perhaps you are "not there yet".

So, all of a sudden, in the last century, "we" are suppose to acknowledge that humans are dark creatures. What a self-loathing pile of malarky.

Sorry. :hi: I don't share your astonomical level of negativity.

What kind of religious bull ** is this? What is your solution? Are we supposed to kneel at the alter of government to absolve our genetic imperfections????? Seriously, where are you going with this??

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