Darkening of the Light: Witnessing the End of an Eraby Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
A compelling insight into the impact that external, ecological damage has on the inner self, this spiritual exploration argues that although spiritual teachings reveal that events in the outer world are a reflection of changes taking place in the inner world, there is little awareness and discussion of how this outer darkening is reflected within. The book tells
A compelling insight into the impact that external, ecological damage has on the inner self, this spiritual exploration argues that although spiritual teachings reveal that events in the outer world are a reflection of changes taking place in the inner world, there is little awareness and discussion of how this outer darkening is reflected within. The book tells the story of changes that have been taking place in the inner worlds that belong to a collective spiritual destiny and the fate of the planet, changes that are as significant as the ecological devastation even as they are unreported and unacknowledged. It asserts that destruction of the surrounding world, as it continues, is reflected in the inner worlds of all people through a loss of sacred light, and the threat of a soulless wasteland looms large. The book seeks to address readers’ futures as individuals and as a whole, and to inspire people to take responsibility for the earth and reclaim humanity’s sacred role as its guardians.
- The Golden Sufi Center
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Darkening of the Light
Witnessing the End of an Era
By Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
The Golden Sufi CenterCopyright © 2013 The Golden Sufi Center
All rights reserved.
A NEW LIGHT
May we be those who shall renew this existence.
At the core of creation something is changing, coming alive in a new way. A light at the center of the world that has for millennia been dormant has been rekindled. This is the light of life itself waking up, remembering its own real nature and divine purpose. And with this awakening, the living being that is our world is undergoing a transformation in its very essence. The awakening of the light at the center of the world carries the potential for a whole new revelation, the possibility of a new way of living and being and relating to one another and to life. At this moment, we stand on the edge of a new stage in the evolution of life and consciousness, a new paradigm for the world.
Life is one, has always been one. It is a single, living, organic wholeness and everything in creation is a part of it, as vitally and inseparably related to the whole of life as an individual cell or organ is related to the larger organism of which it is a part. Life is alive, with its own intelligence and divine purpose. And our role, as an intelligent part of this living oneness, is to support and help life to celebrate and fulfill this purpose. We are the guardians of life's sacred meaning.
But we have forgotten this. Our present world bears witness not to the Divine but to our own hubris, our greed, our delusions of power. In our obsessive desire for material comforts, for more and more things, we have plundered the Earth as if it were a mere commodity to be exploited, and we have desecrated our world. We live as if life were something apart from ourselves that we can master and control, rather than part of our very being. We have lost all sight of life's real nature and purpose, and our relationship to this purpose. And life has allowed this to happen. Until now life has for the most part remained receptive — waiting, watching us follow our desires, and saying very little, even as it has felt the sorrow of a people who deny its divine nature. But now something deep within life is changing; an era is ending, and with it life's passivity in the face of the abuse we have visited upon it. Life is waking up. And the light of this awakening is extremely dynamic. It is metamorphosing very quickly, bringing into its orbit other energies, other forces within creation, some awake, some still dormant, and is setting energies in motion that are going to change our world.
Few have recognized the signs of this change. Most are too busy, too caught up in their own affairs to notice something so new. And those who are fixed on the image of an Earth without a soul will not recognize this new light, will not allow it into their lives. It would be too threatening. Yet the awakening light is beginning to affect human consciousness. It is sending messages of hope into our collective soullessness. And it is attracting those who want to work with it.
This light needs human consciousness to work with it so that it can become fully alive and realize its potential. It needs us to be awake at this moment of awakening, to be alive at this moment of rebirth. And it calls to each of us in our own way, reminding us of an ancient pledge to witness and then participate in what is being born. It is our remembrance and our awakening. It is the light within us. And yet it is also something other, something new that is being given to this world.
Stepping into the arena of this light we become a part of what is being born: we contribute our individual consciousness to this work, our light to this awakening. And we also hold back the forces of darkness, the demands of greed, fear, and power that would otherwise try to abort this new birth, to try to ensure that nothing can be born. In our prayers and our presence we protect this new birth, this awakening of the light of the world. This is a simple commitment from our soul to the soul of the world, an acknowledgment of its need for us and our need for what will be born.
At present we do not easily recognize this light — it is too new to be stored in our memories. It has no image in our minds. And yet it speaks to us, continually trying to draw our attention. For now it still speaks to us in its own language, in the ways of light that are almost invisible to our human consciousness. It has not yet learned the language of duality and separation — it is like a newborn child whose consciousness has not learned the words or divisions of our world. It does not know of our conflicts, even though it can see the scars in our souls. It can sense the obscuration of our own light and the aura of our forgetfulness of the sacred. But it is still too new to know how to communicate in either words or images. At this initial stage it needs us to be present in its inner world of light — a light where there is no real knowing of our darkness.
It needs us to step out of our world of duality and meet it with the light of our own spiritual light. To meet the light in its realm of light means that we must step outside of so much of what we consider important — and not only our own dramas, but also the conflicts and suffering of our world. It means we must be attentive to what can be born rather than obsessed with a self and a civilization that are dying. And yet we must not replace the illusions of this world with a spiritual illusion, a fantasy of escaping the difficulties we face in life. To do that is also to deny the light. For this light that is calling to us from its inner realm of light belongs to life itself. It is a light born from the depths of being, from the core of what is. It is the yes of creation.
To step into its realm we need to leave behind the dramas and conflicts that belong to our ego's version of our self and the world. We need to meet it with our own light, that pure awareness within us that belongs to a higher dimension of our being. In this meeting we will recognize that it is the same light. We are not separate from life, and the light of the world lives within us. We are the light of the world; we carry the consciousness of life's highest purpose within the center of our true being. It is present in our every breath. It is our remembrance of the Divine, our essential nature breathing the primal joy of this world. The awakening of the light of the world is our own awakening, as we wake up to our own essential nature and purpose, our belonging to life and to our Creator, which we have for so long forgotten.
CO-CREATING A NEW WORLD
But it is also something completely new, a new energy and consciousness that are being given to this world at this moment in its evolution. And when we bring the light of our consciousness to the light of what is coming into being, we become a partner in its creation. This is real co-creation: the interaction of light with light, our individual light and the world's light, the dynamic interplay of the one light of divine love.
Our true light comes from the divine spark we carry within us. This is the divine spark with which we are born, a spark that carries the deepest purpose of our life. Every child carries this light; it is visible in a child's eyes, in its laughter and joy. But as we grow older, it "fades into the common light of day." Then we must reclaim and reignite its spark through the sometimes painful path of spiritual reawakening. This is our real human consciousness which belongs to the consciousness of our divine nature. And it is far more powerful than we realize. We might have glimpsed some of the ways our consciousness shapes our own reality, perhaps observed the way a simple change in attitude can alter our circumstances. But we have not yet understood that it is at once a catalytic and a determining force in all of creation.
Now we are being asked to wake up to our spiritual self and to assume our real co-creative role in the evolution of the world. With the awakening of the world's light, the inner structure of life itself is changing, releasing primal energies of creation that have not been active for millennia. As they come into play again, they give rise to a whole new range of possibilities, new patterns through which life can flow and the Divine can reveal Itself in the world. These are the patterns that will determine the fundamental structures of the next era, the shape of our future. These primal energies are still in flux; they have not yet constellated into the new patterns. By bringing our consciousness — that awareness in us that is attuned to life's and our own highest purpose — to these primal energies of creation, we can influence the patterns they will ultimately form; we can help determine the structures that will be born from them, the archetypal images that will shape life in the coming era. We are needed to help create the paradigm within which the awakening world will come alive.
THE POWER OF RECOGNITION
How do we do this work? The first step is a simple recognition of the real nature of life. We need to let go of our old images of life as something defined and apart from ourselves and recognize that life itself is alive, is a dynamic organic being with its own consciousness and intelligence, and that we are a part of it. Simple as it is, this recognition is extremely powerful. It is only when we recognize that life is alive that we can access the light at the core of creation, because that light is the light of life waking up to its own aliveness. And it is only through the dialogue of our light with its light that we can gain access to the primal energies of creation. If we persist in our old images of life, we will never have access to the sacred dimension where the real co-creative work can take place.
From within the world there is a cry for us to help it in this work. The world needs us to recognize it as a living being; it needs the light of our consciousness to interact with the light awakening in its core. Through our light we can help free the world of the negative patterns that are draining its life energy, and help this energy to flow into the new patterns that belong to the future. This is a simple act of love and service through which we acknowledge the real wonder of the world into which we have been born, the mystery of incarnation in which we each bring a spark of divine light into the world where it can help the world to evolve.
Once we acknowledge and then recognize the world as a living being with its own light, then we can be present where life comes into being, and it is here that we can participate, where our spiritual awareness can be present. Without this conscious awareness of creation as a living being, we stand on the periphery, an unconscious spectator of our own destiny and the destiny of the world. Taking responsibility for our planet does not mean just an ecological awareness, but a recognition that the light awakening in the world needs our presence and participation.
Every moment the light of the world is changing, evolving. It is the dynamic core of life that carries within it the secret of creation, of the word of the Divine made manifest. Just as our light carries the real meaning of our life, the purpose of our soul, and the knowing of how to live this purpose, so does the light within the world know the world's real meaning, its soul's purpose, and what is needed to live it. This light is ancient and yet new, a continual response to the divine moment. It carries the real history of the world and the real knowing of the purpose of this wonder in which we live. At this time in the world's evolution this wonder is becoming more conscious, and it needs our light to bring its hidden meaning into the consciousness of the world and of humanity.
IMAGES OF LIFE
Through the simple recognition of life's real nature as we go about our ordinary lives, we open ourselves and the world around us to dimensions within life that have been veiled from us by all the layers of projections, our patterns of denial. We have all but forgotten that life is a rich and mysterious coming together of many worlds. We have lost sight of what the ancient priestesses and shamans knew, that the forms of our visible world have their roots in unseen dimensions, and that it is in these unseen dimensions that the primal energies of life lie. In our forgetting, we have lost the wholeness of life, and we have cut ourselves off from the real forces that shape our world. But when we are present in life, free from demands or agendas, when we allow life to unfold according to its own inner principles, we open up a doorway again between the worlds. Within our consciousness the inner and outer, the visible and the unseen worlds, can come together and speak to each other, and our split-apart world can become whole again.
The reconnecting of the worlds is central to the reawakening of life. For it is in the unmanifest symbolic realm that the primal energies of life constellate into the patterns that shape our lives. When we recognize the meeting of the worlds within us, we regain access to this realm and the powers at work there. We ourselves become the place where the worlds meet, where the primal powers of life, the hidden archetypes, emerge into form. This is the place where the patterns and images that shape the collective life of an era come into being. Standing at that meeting point in ourselves, we can use our awareness to influence their shape and direction.
At this time of momentous change, our consciousness is needed to help midwife these images. This is a time of enormous potential, but also of frightening uncertainty, as the old patterns of life dissolve and the new ones have yet to form, and potent new energies are released. The light at the core of creation is life coming alive. It has the violence and power that belong to life. Despite all our illusions of control, we cannot control or contain it — nor would we want to: its primal potency is needed to revitalize the world. We are not here to control life; we are here to witness and revere the Divine as It manifests in a new way through the natural force of life. We need to bring the light of our consciousness to work together with the awakening light within life, so that these primal energies can be creatively channeled, and they do not unleash too much destruction and chaos. Through our consciousness, we can help direct these energies so that they flow into images of life that support the whole of life, both the visible and the unseen worlds, physical life and the life of the soul — so that they reflect life's oneness, its real nature and divine purpose.
Part of this work is simply to be awake, alert to the images emerging both inside us and in the world around us. Some have already appeared, but unless we recognize them for what they are and welcome them consciously into our world, they will not be able to achieve their full potential. These emerging images are much more than pictures of our world to help us understand and navigate it. They come from the symbolic depths of life, and they carry life's numinous and primal energy. They have the power to create forms and shape events and to reconfigure our collective consciousness. They act as intermediaries between the visible, physical world and the inner realm of light, and when we recognize them as such, they align our consciousness with life's inner unfolding and allow us to participate consciously in the changes taking place at the heart of life. When we bring the divine spark of our higher consciousness to these new images of life's awakening, our spark speaks to the light at the core of creation and it helps the images come alive in this world with the full potential of life's highest consciousness and purpose.
But we will have to be awake to the real nature of what is awakening in order to recognize them. The images of the coming era will reflect life's oneness, its aliveness; they could emerge anywhere and will take unexpected forms. The Internet is a striking example. The Internet is a powerful image of the changes happening at the core of creation, yet its deeper meaning and power have been veiled, partly by its very ubiquity. Carrying the energy of life's aliveness, it has quickly become so much a part of the fabric of our lives that we do not see its deeper symbolic dimension and the ways in which it is working to restructure our world. The Internet is everywhere, and for many of us it has become an indispensable tool of our daily lives. Yet it is still waiting to be recognized as one of the archetypal images of our future — a dynamic image of life's awakening to itself as a single living organism, rooted in the symbolic realm and carrying the real energy of life itself. The Internet not only reflects but enacts life's living oneness, its capacity to evolve and adapt, to quickly and continually reconfigure itself in an endlessly shifting web of connections.
Excerpted from Darkening of the Light by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. Copyright © 2013 The Golden Sufi Center. Excerpted by permission of The Golden Sufi Center.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi teacher who has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He is the founder of the Golden Sufi Center; is the author of more than 15 books, including Alchemy of Light, Return of the Feminine and the World Soul, Spiritual Ecology, and Spiritual Power; and was recently interviewed by Oprah Winfrey for Super Soul Sunday. He lives in Inverness, California.
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