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Darkness is THE required background...

Darkness is the required background upon which our enlightened hearts shall bridge this dualistic world in the foreground of our respective consciousness, like a palette of bright, shining stars illuminating the sickly, ignorant night sky that we see all around us presently.

There is a very thin line between darkness and light, and so travelling shamanically along the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that I've gnostically discovered within myself, has helped me see that ignorance trumps wisdom on this planet by a long shot, as when the teacher says in the bible, Forgive them, for they know not how to be at peace.

It is indeed all Kali Yuga ugly. Those of us sensitive to ugliness, and who prefer beauty, are finding it more and more difficult to find our footing here and there, let alone establish it in something a bit more stable and integral than hustling, manipulating, diminishing, lying, using and taking, etc. The vices of the unpurified soul are being played out full-scale at the moment, it seems, and sold to us as what goes for normalcy... sheer horse sense. Everything is inverted, I've discovered, in what Nisargadatta Maharaj calls the Net of Contradictions...

Without Self-knowledge, all is trouble. If you want to live sanely, creatively, and happily, and have infinite riches to share, search for what you are. Without it you will be consumed by desires and fears, repeating themselves meaninglessly in endless suffering. Most of the people do not know that there can be an end to pain. But once they have heard the good news, obviously going beyond all strife and struggle is the most urgent task that can be. You know that you can be free and now it is up to you.

Look at the net and its many contradictions. You do and undo at every step. You want peace, love, happiness and work hard to create pain, hatred and war. You want longevity and overeat, you want friendship and exploit. See your net as made of such contradictions and remove them – your very seeing will make them go.

OR as when Lumalee says in the latest Super Mario Brothers film (that my son and I have been thoroughly enjoying recently), In an insane world, it is the sane who are called crazy.

In an insane world where the soul is still sleepily eternal, Arjuna still slays his neighbour, Buddhists and Muslims continue to slay each other in Myanmar, and there is still nothing new under the sun. Awakening one's heart to reality is infinitely more vital than attaching ANY importance to this troubled world as we know it... this veil of tears in need of a lifetime supply of tissues... a sort of space that could perhaps become more inclusive for this process to emerge, from our collective and muddy shadows, than only reading about it in an unconquerable line like... Jesus wept!

We as children of light must know who we are before setting out against the children of the world. For as it is also said in the bible, Without vision, the people perish. We must all know to what extent this is SAMSARA and become reconciled and equanimous with it (despite honouring a kind of holy outrage within ourselves), and take refuge in the inner doors that lead us out of it, like some that I've discovered in heretical and esoteric essences like Gnosticism, or Vajrayana Buddhism, and other vehicles too late to mention here.

I definitely agree that knowledge is the principal way out. Without the ways out of suffering that we must strive to remember and rediscover, ignorance prevails, the poisons known to the Buddha, as seen in his visions of the Bhavachakra, float about us waiting to sting us... and the ego flourishes... that is, the lower self... which waits to be fully and wholly transmuted... and so essentially, we remain in separation, rather than in true unity, connectiveness, a harmony which could reverse samsara after some time.

Paying lip service to anything like an experience within the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is nothing compared to how it feels, what we do with it, and how we evolve from the encounter with the inner evil that inhabits all of us. This is healing, alchemy... hopefully suffused with an ironclad faith in the face of our deepest pains, our darkest alleys that too-often seem like story-ending dead-ends. 

These three pictures were taken in Kenora, Ontario, in 2020, after buying a new Iphone, and feeling adventurous (and courageous, as I was soon to discover) when taking pictures. I wanted to capture how suffering was front and centre in this town, like it is here in Winnipeg, while we go about our business and take suffering as part of this theatricalized thing we call Life... this set, program and play called Progress...

...which is, now that I think of it, not too unlike an erstwhile propaganda campaign like Manifest Destiny that would catapult tons of people into changing countries like one changes their clothes, charting its course across distant waters and with the boiling of desire in the blood... all of it justified by words, by creeds, by insanity masquerading as sanity... to the extent that we are now the remnants of it, seeking to heal ourselves from all form of trauma, of ancestral patterns, of shame and guilt, of all form of conditioning that has scaffolded and upheld this kind of hidden charade for thousands of years.

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