When we don't understand our negative states, when we have yet to realize how they trick us into doing their bidding, they have the power to make us jump through hoops like circus animals. It's not a pretty picture in which to see ourselves, but we must not turn our eyes away from these truths that are self-evident. When we are dominated by any negativity, be it some consuming fear or heated anger, we may think we are in command of ourselves as we rush to judgment or lash out at the world, but a simple question reveals another reality. Who, in his or her right mind, purposely sets themselves on fire? The answer is obvious. No one deliberately defeats one's own best self-interests. This much we all realize as being true. But what we don't understand, yet, is how we are getting tricked into serving these dark states. I trust the following is obvious.
Anytime we are taken over by a negative state, we suffer. In a flash, natural intelligence is replaced by ignorance; healthy flexibility turns into destructive rigidity. The fiery essence of these disabling forces imposes their will upon our own, and in a heartbeat our own actions can be unrecognizable, even to us. In short, to be in spiritual darkness is to hurt. It's that simple... almost.
When some inner turmoil captures us, the problem is that we will do almost anything to escape it. While this reaction makes sense on the surface of things -- to run like crazy from anything that has the power to make us hurt -- the truth of the matter is a different story entirely. We can never escape any dark state that we run from because it's impossible to outrun the shadow of our own misunderstanding. Think this truth through for yourself and contrast its finding with the following facts.
As any negativity starts to overcome us, our usual first response is to find a way to escape our rapidly growing discontent. In no time at all we come upon some mental course to set our compass by and then go into action. In each instance our habitual behavior can only mean one thing: Something within us, some unseen part of us, is insisting that we do understand our pain. But the truth is, we don't. We must not fear or dismiss this new and true understanding as our suffering can only come to an end when we end our unconscious identification with the negative states responsible for it. The only way to bring an end to our relationship with these unwanted inner states is to become wiser than they are! How is this done? We enter into a whole new conscious relationship with them -- one that is based upon what we know is true about them instead of making our choices based upon what these states have told us is true about us. Now, rather than run from, or fight with, the punishing presence of some challenging, negative state, our new choice is to consciously challenge its right to our life. Instead of closing our eyes and going into daydreams of a better world to come, we deliberately come wide awake and allow that worried world pressing in against us to show us its stuff.
Perhaps you're thinking, "Who, in his or her right mind, would choose to engage such a formidable enemy?" -- particularly one that has proven itself, time and again, not only superior to our wish for simple self-command but that sometimes outweighs our own best instincts? It is our largely unconscious consideration of this pivotal question -- along with what amounts to our foregone conclusion -- that brings our study full circle. Do you see what is revealed here?
Dark inner states win the day from us before we even know there has been a contest for control of our lives! How can we hope for self-victory when we have been tricked into surrendering ourselves before an actual engagement has occurred? And in case you're thinking this isn't true, please consider how we invariably submit to these negative states in one of two ways: First, we either fear their power and try to escape their wrath by hiding from them, or sometimes we just simply deny that they exist. Or, second, and no less counter-productive in the long run, we embrace the "guidance" these destructive thoughts and feelings offer us as to how we can escape their punishment by following out their rescue plans -- an act not too dissimilar from asking the proverbial fox to guard the chicken coop!
In either case, what should be clear is that dark inner states win their victory over us because we believe in them. More to the point, we believe in the illusions they create within us without seeing that these same mistaken beliefs then shape the structure of our reality.
"But wait a moment. My pain isn't an illusion!"
"My fears are real!"
"If you suffered anxiety attacks like mine, you'd sing a different tune!"
No one is saying that our various dark inner states aren't real, and those who claim otherwise deceive themselves and whomever they try to guide. Such darkness is a reality, including the shadowy creatures dwelling within it. But the key to understand here is that this reality called darkness is itself but an effect of a far and away Greater Reality: the Light.
Here is the missing understanding for which we have been searching all along. Darkness, in whatever form we experience it -- from a simple black, starless night, to a depressed thought or feeling -- only exists in the absence of light. And the more clearly we can see the truth of this principle, regardless of the world in which it's expressed, the greater our potential to realize its power.
For instance, in moments where any dark state appears within us, be it in the shape of a fear, a worry, or a hatred of where life has led us, we must see that the reason its power grows over us -- as it does -- is because in this same time and space within our soul, there is no light present.
Stated slightly differently, and perhaps a bit more accurately, there is no awareness of the presence of light in us in these dark moments because, if there were, the punishing presence of that dark inner state would not be the sole basis of our reality.
The true solution for bringing an end to unconscious suffering now rests in our hands. The power needed to release ourselves from our unhappy moments is in the light of our new understanding as to how dark states keep us in the dark. In other words, to know the truth of them is our triumph over them. Now we must take these truths into action.
In summary, you'll find below a short list of seven special lights. Learning to call upon the new understanding they contain and reveal is all the help you need to dismiss any dark inner states:
No negative state has the right to reside within you, and can only dwell therein if it tricks you into lending it a dark room in which to stay.
The Light is all the might you need to successfully turn away any dark inner visitor.
Your true wish to understand a negative state initiates the entrance of that specialized Light you need to make this same wish come true.
We suffer what we do, as we do, only through our unconscious consent, so the first step in freeing ourselves from unseen sorrow is to deliberately bring ourselves into conscious awareness of its dark presence within us.
Never accept the presence of any suffering state for the reasons it provides.
It is possible to understand any negative state out of existence!
Your created nature is a blend of shadows and the light that creates them, but your True Nature, your original essence, is a Light that has no shadow.