Integrating the Dark Side of Life

by Andrea Mathews
OM Times

Oneness, and the Duality Paradox

Our earliest and most archetypal thinking regarding the nature of humanity combined suffering with evil so profoundly that we still believe on a deep unconscious level that they belong together. From a dualistic perspective, what this means is that we often still hold this archetypal belief. We feel that we suffer because: a) we are not one with an external divine entity, and, therefore, cannot depend on this divine source to help us when we most need it; and b) we suffer because we are evil.

While modern-day thinking, particularly among the more progressive philosophies, would not agree, modern-day feeling often still does agree. We ask ourselves why we are so worried about the potential outcome of a given strategy. When we really answer honestly, we often find floating around in the back rooms of the psyche is this fear that we deserve for bad things to happen. Not only that, but feel we deserve them to occur because somehow we have not pleased an external and distant divine.

Duality is Actually Oneness

From this dualistic mindset, we have divided all of life into externals and internals, good and evil, light and dark, divine and human. We do not seem to recognize the concept that each of these dualities is actually one with its opposite polarity. So, when we experience the dark side of life, we scramble to turn on the lights.

When we get sick, we attempt to heal by sending away or conquering the illness, rather than healing by getting really close to the illness to ask it for its gift. When we fear or experience financial loss we get busy trying to fix it, or get busy worrying over it, rather than sitting very closely with our internal machinations about this seemingly external possibility or reality, and listening for its divine message.

Oneness means that there is nothing that is only external. Unfortunately, many have interpreted that statement to mean that when so-called “negative” things happen outside of us in our lives, it’s because something inside of us attracted it. But actually, oneness means that there is no such thing as “outside of us,” for outside is inside and inside is outside. There is not any possibility that we can attract something, because we are already one with everything.

And what is everything but divine energy? Oneness means that all, everything, every aspect of darkness, every aspect of light is divine. What this means is that there is no such thing as “negative” and no such thing as “positive.” Everything is simply divine. Even the dualistic mindset is a part of oneness.

Healing in the Dark Nights

So, when we stumble into a dark night of the soul and find that all that we once relied upon has now become questionable, what we may know is that this too is divine. What many report upon coming out on the other side of a dark night, is that their image of the divine and of themselves has changed dramatically. Now they see self and divine as one.

In the dark night, in the times of suffering, because the lights are out we must learn to see through the Braille of the spirit. We go down under the emotional realm to find out what it is that we’ve been telling ourselves. We seek the platforms we have been living from, and what performances we have been playing out. Things just get a whole lot more real in the dark. And the process of unfolding that occurs in the dark just does not occur in the light, simply because our focus is different.

Seeing in the Dark without Hiding

When the lights are on, because we believe that external and internal are different spaces. We tend to create images rather than authenticities. We imagine to ourselves that no one, not even ourselves, can see what hides in the dark, while we light up an image for others to see. But not only do others see our shadows, but we secretly know the truth as well, and it makes us feel ashamed. It makes us feel ashamed because we believe that our hiding is necessary, that this hiding is the only way we can be good people. This is much of our suffering in and of itself, this hiding.

Oneness, on the other hand, knows no need for hiding. It knows that the lights are on even in the dark, and the dark is on even in the light. Oneness knows that whatever label we give our suffering, it is but another form of divine energy come to gift us in some way. Therefore, we have a choice. When we arrive on the dark side we can continue to scramble to turn on the lights. Or, we can sit in the silence of the darkness, and allow it to give us its beautiful gifts.

About the Author:

Andrea Mathews is a psychotherapist and author of three other books. She is host of the popular Authentic Living Show on Andrea also offers inspirational speaking to large and small groups on a variety of topics. Learn more about Andrea and her work at

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