Are you seeking paradise?

The truth may astound you because salvation has nothing to do with guardian angels, good shepherds or holy ghosts. While we have been turned into little lambs by organised religion, the path to the light actually means stepping into the darkness.

We live in an adolescent culturewe love rising yet fear falling. Christian mythology teaches that heaven should be the goal of a spiritual life. Even the green Earth is seen as a doubtful place where desperate acts are committed. The truth however, is that the dark places of dismay, descent and disaster are no less vital. You must die before being reborn. Rainer Maria Rilke writes:

No matter how deeply I go into myself
My God is dark, and like a webbing made
Of a hundred roots that drink in silence.

The infernal antagonist is the Devil. Otherwise known as Lucifer, Satan or Set, he must be battled and then absorbed within the human body. The idea of balance is misleadinga better word is “integration”. 

This means that the fires of hell must be named, tamed and absorbed within the psyche. While this may seem terrifying (and it is) the result is regenesis. Meaning, there is enormous WISDOM in the darkness which is known as our insight. Death then, just wants to be part of life. In reality, they are attracted to each other like magnets.

Ruin then, remains an active principle. It is savage, vindictive and ruthless. It desecrates, destroys and pollutes. It manipulates, hides and disguises. We suppress it because it is naturally repellant. It may be many terrifying things, but it is not oblivion. Death is very much alive!

Above: life and death feed upon each other like wolves

Shadows appear when we do not love, rejecting the parts of ourselves that we have not yet embraced. When we accept all our dark elements, our shadow is cherished and simply allowed to BE. Humans are one of the few species where integration is possible but this state is rarely achieved. 

Why? Because who wants to be ripped apart by the hounds of hell? Who likes being shown their worst character traits? Who enjoys the isolation, the threats and the terror? Who wants to face the real danger of being psychologically rent and lost forever? Here we are reminded of Robert Oppenheimer’s words from the Bhagavad Gita:

I am become death, the shatterer of worlds.

Despite this, you want integration because you cannot become WHOLE without the darkness—the suppression of it simply leads to more suffering. So you must be brave, weather the storm and try not to capsize. Sadly, you cannot read this trial into being. You have to do it. Luckily, there are plenty of teachers willing to guide you over the rough seas to redemption.

Above: the love of Isis seduces the power of Set

Once the Devil is ACCEPTED within you, he bestows his gifts. They include truth, power and light. You are free and have no more fear of death because it is a part of you. You are a vessel with real ballast, something capable of weathering any storm. You have more energy because you are no longer trying to deny the worst parts of yourself. You laugh more, sing more and dance more. You meet life on her own terms.

The final step then, is to acknowledge that you ARE beastly—with dark desires, dangerous obsessions and heinous instincts. But you are simultaneously beautiful—demonstrating love, kindness and joy. So truth comes from the third eye while love comes from the heart. 

Salvation then, is the alchemical marriage of the opposites—the raging passion of creation and destruction, cosmos and chaos, life and death. These deeply misunderstood lovers are really a part of each other. When these eternal opposites are finally resolved, the dove returns with her gifts: