Contacting the Darkside
Secretly, or not so secretly, the villain Darth Vader is many people’s favorite character in Star Wars. Although few would admit it, perhaps he is more easily or more deeply identified with than the good hero Luke Skywalker. If we went to the nearest movie theater or opened today’s newspaper or simply typed “news” in any internet search engine, the images and themes we would see are far more representative of villainy (frustration, aggression and hatred) than contentment, love and unity.
What are the roots of the frustration, aggression and hatred in the human psyche? How large of a role do they play in our lives if we include not only our conscious minds but also the unconscious undercurrents of our minds which influence us moment to moment? These questions are critical for all kinds of human relationships and perhaps romantic relationships most of all because they tend to be the most significant relationships that people form. Romantic relationships also tend to be the relationships where aggression plays out the most intensely.
In this series we will explore this dark side of humanity, but not from the moral perspective usually applied to these emotions with the goal of eliminating them, but simply with curiosity and a commitment to truth. The usual approach of trying to do away with frustration, aggression and hatred with the usual approach of ignoring, repressing or even attacking them is like trying to put out a fire with a blowtorch. It only adds fuel to the fire. The roots of the issue are not dealt with.
We will find in this series that the roots of frustration, aggression and hatred go very deep, not only to the earliest parts of infancy but even beyond that to the period when the young human is merged with their mother. Freud even speculated that human beings had a death instinct. When this death instinct was directed internally it was considered masochistic or self destructive and when it was directed outward Freud called it “the destructive instinct, the instinct for mastery, or the will to power” (Daniel Fuchs).
We will examine these darker affects (basically an emotion and a state of mind) of frustration, aggression and hatred not only from a psychological and cultural perspective, but also most importantly from a spiritual perspective. Here we will tie them not only to power in the usual sense of the word but to what A.H. Almaas calls Essential Power, or power that is Spiritual in nature vs. destructive. The basic premise being that these difficult emotions are a response to a lack of real conscious power in a frustrating situation.
When we are frustrated, for example, we lack power in a situation, but what is the power we lack? Is it the usual hard forceful power or a Power more fundamental than that? Do we even have any choice when frustrated as children to move toward aggression and hatred? Are there benefits to this move to the darker side of things when we are very young? How can we regain power as adults and what kind of power is that?
In addition to these perspectives, we will many others in order to contact, unpack & unfold, and even liberate the energies that get bound by destructive tendencies towards our experience, others and ourselves. The topic of these dark side emotions is so rich and so at the heart of human difficulties in all areas of life, especially relationship, that we will spend significant time shedding light into the dark corners of our minds and relationships. In this inquiry we owe a great debt the teachings of A.H. Almaas, to depth psychology and to a variety of spiritual traditions.
Having a background in how to investigate and inquire into experience is a pre-requisite to successfully access what is possible in this series so if necessary I recommend reviewing that material through the Romance Coaching recording. A basic understanding of how a inner parent and inner child relate, our relationship blueprint, will also be necessary, so that material will be made available in the form of our Super Ego Series from a while back.
What is most important at this point is to contact and acknowledge the existence of frustration, aggression and hatred in our experience. Yes, they are in the newspaper and movies, but can we feel them in ourselves… even moment to moment… in our attempts to change ourselves, in the way we might write someone off who once was important to us, in how we feel when our coffee is served and it isn’t quite as hot as we’d like it and so on… never mind when someone cuts us off on the freeway! I’m suggesting that if we feel into our experience we may find that we are rejecting our experience and the circumstances of our lives much more pervasively than we may have been aware of, that this has become the norm and it doesn’t even occur to us as odd.
What underlies the frantic or desperate state we often find ourselves in as we pursue success or money? What underlies the depressed or collapsed condition that is also quite common? What are we rejecting and why are we taking an approach of rejection? Simply contacting these experiences is a big deal and a sign of significant psychological and spiritual development in a human being.
I’m certainly not suggesting that we be negative about it or dwell on it in some type of negative manner, but rather that we be objective and open as to the negativity that we might find if we put our moment to moment experience under the microscope. This requires meditative concentration and a willingness to investigate.
I’m suggesting that frustration, aggression and hatred are fundamental to the functioning of our minds in an unenlightened state, that they are the how our “relationship blueprint’s” function. Yes, we are civilized, but what if we look a little deeper? Remember we are not approaching this from a moral perspective, which is a perspective often based in rejection, but rather with a commitment to truth, getting to the bottom of the matter and, perhaps, even liberating ourselves through deep contact and understanding of the functioning of our minds.
Is there light at the end of this tunnel? Well… no… but perhaps we will find that there is only Light.
First let’s enter the ‘dark night of the soul’ because that is probably where we are.