Ultimately, in any given moment, we have only two choices: the Path of Love, Light and Unity, or the Path of Fear, Darkness and Separation. In the extremity of these times, these choices have never been more evident. The future of humanity and Mother Earth depends on which path we take. It is up to us.
Life is tragic. There is no doubt. At increasingly alarming levels we are experiencing drastic and confronting lifestyle changes, while witnessing across the globe immense human suffering and violent eruptions on Mother Earth’s land and sea. Despite the rising apocalyptic energy, I remind myself that there is no tragedy without some form of redemptive beauty. Though that beauty may not come in the immediacy of the adversity, it eventually manifests in ways that bless our broken hearts, uplift our spirit, open us to our power and to our interconnected place in the larger order of life.
Suffering has always brought unexpected goodness out of people. If you see a family member, friend or colleague struggle with a debilitating illness, your heart breaks to a new level, inviting a compassionate response and real conversation, perhaps not experienced before. This is true for many tragedies, such as the loss of a child or the loss of one’s home. When there has been natural disasters, the world has rallied to provide relief. In my community of friends there have been times when one is taken by illness, and the rest of us come together to provide daily meals to lighten that person’s load and help them focus on rest and recovery.
Tragedy activates untapped depths of our generous and compassionate heart; and it brings normally disparate people more closely together into the spirit of family, no matter the distance and anonymity. It calls forth rarely expressed or dormant aspects of the soul, just like how we hear of stories of people trapped under heavy weight who discover miraculous feats of strength and push themselves free. Great adversity does this — it brings forth depth, power and heart, which can create unity and command unexpected miracles.
Dark night of the soul
“The dark night of the soul is when you have lost the flavor of life but have not yet gained the fullness of divinity. So it is that we must weather that dark time, the period of transformation when what is familiar has been taken away and the new richness is not yet ours.” ~ Ram Dass
Our dark nights of the soul teach us strength and determination, humility and compassion, wisdom and surrender, faith and love. They soften what is steeled, refine what is enervated, invoke what is unused, hidden in the shadows, afraid to come out and be seen. Through tests and trials and various levels of privation, by traveling across what mystics call the Abyss, Christians call the Wilderness, and I call the Empty Sea, in passing the soul initiations held in darkness, we are drawn into our hearts and thus closer to God. They, as age-old archetypal cycles of existence, are thus necessary for our individual and collective evolution and transformation.
It can be difficult at times to see the redemptive value of tragic experiences. I remember reading a story about a newlywed couple on their honeymoon and how the husband, while in the shallow ocean, viciously lost his life to a bull shark. His wife stood in horror on the shore, helpless, as she witnessed this brutal ending of her beloved and dream.
Where is the redemption in this? you might ask. This is where we must have faith in the dark night, in a Higher Plan, in something we cannot understand, make sense of. I am not saying this is easy to do; for as vulnerable humans it’s only natural to, in the devastation of heartbreak and loss, scream, Why? How could this happen?!
I’ve learned there are no untimely deaths. None. This may be hard to digest, and I understand why. I remember once being given a spiritual vision of a mother and young daughter, upon their simultaneous deaths, leaving their bodies, their angelic souls rising together, side-by-side, set free from encasement in the body to return to the mysterious planes of light from which we all come. In the moment of my vision, I knew, at a cellular level, that it was their time of departure. Not a moment sooner, not a moment later. It had to be that way. And that upon integrating their return to the light, they would remember this.
We say, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I ask you: How do you know it is bad? Can you know for certain? Is the homeless man imprisoned or free? What about the celebrity or successful corporate executive? Is the woman stricken with cancer an unfortunate victim or one step closer to wisdom, self-love and empowerment?
Do you know why a soul comes to this difficult Earthschool, what that soul is here to experience, what lessons they need to learn? A soul may choose a difficult life not to be rescued from it, but to burn through karma at an accelerated rate. And it may choose a path of suffering not just for its own evolution, but to bravely serve another’s. Souls are that magnanimous, that courageous, that willing!
And have you noticed that you grow and mature more when things are difficult than when things are going nicely as expected? That you discover a depth of authentic meaning from within only when the life you once clung to has lost all meaning? That you learn to have faith in the unfolding of life when you are forced, through your dark night, to let go and let God? That you learn to trust your heart more when so much has been taken away?
What if only by surrendering to the vulnerable emptiness — the naked, uncluttered Abyss — do we finally feel the Divine Spark and its new world wanting to be born through us?
What is up, what is down? Our greatest misfortunes are often gateways to virtues and pearls of wisdom unattained through any other path. They are difficult initiations into transformation, into alchemizing what no longer serves us so we are born anew.
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest Souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~ Khalil Gibran
Fear and darkness are portals to love. For the 16th-century Spanish poet St. John of the Cross, the dark night of the soul was a “secret step” in which “A lover and loved one moved in unison”. One surrenders to divine union, which is the supreme achievement avatars have always elucidated. For myself, as one who was once arrogantly detached from my own raw humanity, those secret steps brought me into increasing desperation, to my knees, where I finally said, with genuine, tear-soaked heartbreak, “I’m afraid”. When I allowed that sobering truth into my vulnerable heart and spoke those humbling, trembling words out loud, I was ready, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, to ascend from dark night’s fierce crucible and open to love. I began to love myself, and to more fully give and receive love.
By no longer denying fear, compassion awoke in my heart in ways it could not of otherwise, making viscerally clear the amount of fear and suffering in the world. The love and awareness emerging through me told me the pain of the child in the Middle East and the oppressed adult in China was not separate from my own. Nor was their inner light. The beauty flowering through my opening heart knew we are all in this together, as one.
What I have learned in my 20+ years along the spiritual journey is that as we evolve into higher states of consciousness, we must be willing to embrace unsettling truths, ones that conflict with and dismantle our steady, secure, comfortable bubble of understanding. We hold a picture of life as being a certain way, as told by our media, the education system, our entertainment industry, etc. We are sold sanitized, idealized, superficial versions of life that are bereft of depth and soul; images and ideas that lack the wisdom of both light and dark, the natural rhythms and cycles of life and death. Our attachment to a fictional understanding is naively immature, just as how a child holds an infallible image of her parents when, in truth, they are not only fallible, but enacting great failures in love.
We must have the courage, therefore, to cross the Empty Sea, leaving the known for the unknown, so that we can finally, through the humbling crucible of our dark night, open with “eyes to see” — to see things for how they are, not how we want them to be.
That is spiritual maturity. And that is what the tragedies of these dark times summon us towards.
Beauty in tragedy
“Beauty is a light in the heart.” ~ Kahil Gibran
Amongst other extremities, what we see across the planet is increasing intense division. I do not need to list all the ways this is true. An obvious fault line is between the pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine factions. There is suffering on both sides, and we can forget that amongst the animosity and finger-pointing. There is fear — fear of dying and losing loved ones, fear of injury and disease, fear of loss of work and income, fear of loss of connections with family and community, fear of loss of civil rights and freedom. There is valid concern on both sides in this, our ever intensifying global tragedy.
So, where is the beauty? you might ask. That is where we are heading as a collective.
We are not here to continue living in the longstanding illusion of separateness — which is at the core of all our disease and dysfunction — not just between people, but between humans and Mother Earth, and between ourselves and the Cosmos. We are not here to continue living enslaved to disembodied intellect, viral programming, progressive materialism, while void of spiritual depth. Rather, what these extreme times are initiating us into is a remembrance of who we are as a family of interconnected sovereign souls who love ourselves, one another, Mother Earth and all of life; who can return to some of the values and virtues of previous high societies, such as those of Ancient Egypt and the Mayans, that lived awakened to and in harmony with Gaia and the galaxies above.
This global tragedy is indeed an initiation, which is an opportunity to remember who we are beyond our physical form and why we are here. I invite you to see it that way. For as you do, you will find purpose in the pain, wisdom in the wounds, reason in the t-reason — beauty in the tragedy!
We are not victims of the chaos and confusion, hard as that may be to believe. We chose to be here as souls. We signed up to incarnate so we could experience, learn through and contribute to these pivotal and potent times. Not simply fade into the darkness of suffering, and certainly not return to a far from enlightened “normal”; but rather realize what these unprecedented times hold, what they serve to call forth from us that has long been kept at bay.
Above all, through many heroic lifetimes, we come to learn a single lesson: Love. That is the primary agenda, the crowning curriculum of all incarnations. Lifetime after lifetime we are given manifold opportunities through full spectrum experiences to know love by exploring its opposite, its many shadow aspects. We come to remember that we are forever love by losing ourselves in all that it is not. This is our great encounter with darkness, with forgetfulness, with the perils of false and manipulative stories, such as those from the church, and with the illusions of sin and separation that tell us that we are just poor, worthless accidents awaiting the fate of permanent death or damnation.
Buddha said life is suffering. It has indeed been for a very long time. But I reiterate, there is beauty in the suffering, if we look closely. And for me the most obvious place to look is at how, despite how hard life can be, most people maintain a connection to the goodness in their heart. It is hard for me to remember many (if any) people I’ve encountered in my 47 years who I struggled to feel goodness in, who I only saw and felt a cold dark spell in their eyes and soul. Despite tragic beginnings of birth traumas, sexual or physical abuse, parental neglect, bullying at school, and all sorts of disease and disability, despite these and other adverse foundational experiences, somehow most people manage to keep the light of their soul shining through their wounded heart. Through the sheer resilience of the human spirit, they manage to be kind and thoughtful even though there is great pain underneath. What a triumph of the human spirit that is, of the invincibility of our loving nature!
Above all, this is what we are here to remember and act upon — how powerful we are as loving beings, as a family of sovereign souls; our longing to serve and unite our fellow humans and serve Gaia from our life-giving, creative essence; the truth that love conquers all! This is the beauty awaiting us in this escalating global tragedy, this collective dark night of the soul. This is the real medicine for these fearful, divisive times.
Love is the preeminent, primordial, creative force of life that is our inheritance as Cosmic, multidimensional beings. No matter our difficulties, this love cannot be tarnished, reduced or taken away. It is who we are. We can lose sight of it, travel down long dark roads of forgetfulness; but no matter how far we go, it is inevitable that each soul, like the Prodigal Son, will return home.
We, as a collective family, are on a great return now. The dark is getting darker; but it serves a purpose, just like all dark nights of the soul do. These pivotal times are not about losing ourselves further and further in darkness. Instead, the pressures and pains, the uncertainties and fears of these dire times serve to unite us through the heartbreak of witnessing the suffering of our billions of family members, and through our own struggles. Just like all dark nights of the soul do, this arduous passage through the Wilderness serves to humble us and open us to a level of depth and awareness hitherto not experienced before, where we know ourselves more intimately as a soul amongst a vast sea of souls that are our family of light.
If you could get rid of yourself just once,
the secret of secrets would open to you.
The face of the unknown,
hidden beyond the universe
would appear on the mirror
of your perception.
~ Jalal Ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
Darkness will continue to push its agenda (see here & here), to shroud us in confusion and despair, division and powerlessness. Yet, through our growing agony, I believe something in us will awaken and rise up to the challenge. Our caring, compassionate hearts will inevitably break open as we find it harder and harder to accept the suffering of the world as being separate from our own.
A stranded three-year-old not allowed to cross state lines to reunite with his family because of travel restrictions (while professional athletes and their families can) will call forth not only common sense, but the fierce, dignified soul unable to tolerate such cruelty and insanity. Increasing amounts of illness — reactions to the virus and vaccine — and widespread restrictions, contradictions, disinformation and civil rights abuses will ignite critical thinking, a need to question, a decision to no longer accept what doesn’t add up.
These and other hypocrisies and perturbations will demand courageously relinquishing attachments to how we want things to be such that we open to how things actually are. They will initiate us into inconvenient and painful self-honesty and realizations; into leaving the safe confines of the known that we’ve long made our home for the unknown our soul takes a stand for; an unknown that we couldn’t attune to, blinded we were by fear, by what we read and were told, by what fed prison paradigms we didn’t even know we were enslaved to.
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Do you understand now why these tragic times are a soul initiation? Because like all initiations, which have an element of a dark night of the soul, we must confront our fears, not simply believe and blindly do what we’re told from fear; not act as passive participants, unfortunate victims, obedient citizens. We must do what few actively do — look carefully within, examine what these intense times call forth from us, hold for us; notice how quickly we say a blind Yes versus having the courage to question and say No; be honest with our levels of integrity and self-respect; examine our relationship with uncertainty and control; peer into the dark corners of our psyche, our secret chambers of pain we keep hidden from ourselves, and the world.
This initiation is a summoning to use this time wisely, not simply react based on what we see, hear and feel. At its extreme, people are reacting through alarming levels of physical violence in homes, on the streets, and even in airplanes. At a strictly mental/emotional level, particularly on social media, there is an unprecedented amount of lashing out — vitriolic pointing, policing and polarization. This is unprocessed victim energy projected outward, the acting out, or re-enactment, of what has long been suppressed. The pandemic is triggering the pained unconscious and thus these outbursts, not causing the reactions.
Member of the Sufi Order, Himayat Inayati, reminds us that, “The Dark Night … allows us to see what we otherwise could not see, as it will bring the deepest often most rejected aspects of our being into consciousness: our fear, our rage, areas where we lack acceptance, of illness, of suffering, of God, our ego identification.” Without having tended to their shadows through prior healing, many, if not most struggle to consciously be with them now. They run from their Garden of Gethsemane instead of choosing to sit in it, with all their uncomfortable feelings; to make compassionate use of this dark night of the soul, this slowed down quarantined, cocoon time, while gathering its elixir of wisdom.
For those that do, however, that bravely work through this soul initiation, confronting their fears, their shadows, they prepare themselves to open to the light at the end of the tunnel, their primordial self “as a sea of possibility, (our) greater and deeper being”, notes former monk Thomas Moore. For above all, this global initiation serves to arouse the inner warrior from its sleep, a warrior who can no longer reject the shadows and thus that which lives beyond them — love. In passing the initiation, the warrior boldly chooses love, and in doing so, chooses his inner, everlasting truth.
“In the process of discovering our true nature, the journey goes down, not up, as if the mountain pointed toward the earth instead of the sky. We move down and down and down, and with us move millions of others, our companions in awakening … Right there we discover a love that will not die.” ~ Pema Chodron
Love trumps fear. The fear of protecting our side of the fence, our argument, our science, our morality, our polarizing paradigms, our ideas of who we are. We are here to choose a love that transcends all logic and bounds, an infinitely powerful love that destroys all conditioned illusions, all viral programming that has kept humanity playing small, localized to a limited, fearful, separate, warring self.
Love, which is infinitely more powerful and real than fear, which transcends moral judgments and stands not for either or, but both and, is the medicine. It is the alchemical agent required to transform this suffering and dying world into higher planes of consciousness. Not science, not lockdowns, most of which is driven by fear. Fear cannot be the solution to complex problems rooted in and perpetrated by fear. There is no logic in that. Only love can be.
Love beating in our breaking hearts will make itself known as the ultimate science, the source of creative solutions, the commander of needed miracles; as the Truth that outweighs all data spewed forth from the media, that outweighs anything that isn’t love. Love normally reserved for a special few will and must, in its holistic vision, no longer stand by and watch a family member one has never met before continue to suffer. It must stand for our human family and our collective awakening.
Love is that fierce, that loyal, that powerful, that compassionate, that courageous, and that dignified. That is the beauty in this tragedy that awaits us all — the triumph of love over fear, light over dark, the awakening of humanity to its noble power and unity with all things.
Dawn of a Golden Age
“Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.” ~ Unknown
The escalating destruction and death are the necessary purging and transmutation of all that has kept humanity in darkness, ending personal and collective karmic cycles. They are grim aspects of this great revealing, a word related to “apocalypse”, which comes from the Greek “αποκαλυπτω”, meaning to uncover or disclose. These transformative times are destined to disclose darkness inside and out, as is happening now; but to also, at long last, reveal beauty through what has been a long period of tragedy, a darkness now ripe for alchemy.
These darkening nights will indeed call forth the light. But we must travel across the Abyss, where life, as we’ve known it, makes less and less sense; it crumbles before our very eyes, while a new world our souls can touch has yet to manifest. Both a crisis of outer and inner reality, of the world we once knew and the one identified with that world, must be endured to varying degrees, not simply to suffer great loss, but to, in passing this initiation, lift ourselves High in Dignity, in the Glory of our Sovereign Divinity; to shine it through our weary, broken hearts to birth an exalted world, a new humanity, all of which was prophecised by many ancient cultures: the Mayans with their Cosmic-aligned calendar; the return of Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam, in the Islamic tradition; Christianity’s mythology of a Return or Second Coming of Christ; Thoth’s / Hermes’ words in the Hermetic Texts distilled from ancient Egyptian wisdom (see just below); and within Indian Cosmology the ending of Kali Yuga and beginning of the next Satya Yuga — a beautiful Golden Age.
“(God) will call back to the right path those who have gone astray; he will cleanse the world from evil, now washing it away with water-floods, now burning it out with fiercest fire, or again expelling it by war and pestilence. And thus he will bring back his world to its former aspect, so that the Kosmos will once more be deemed worthy of worship and wondering reverence, and God, the maker and restorer of the mighty fabric, will be adored by the men of that day with unceasing hymns of praise and blessing.” ~ The Lament of Hermes
Given how enspelled humanity has been by fear, given our painful history and the grip this dark matrix has had on the masses, we need something this extreme, this cataclysmic, this revolutionary to end our painful Age of Darkness and wake us up to who we are individually and collectively; to why we are here; to a Golden Age of Miracles.
Without having regularly explored their inner world (and few have), without partaking in initiations of purification through their healing journey, standing naked in terror and disillusionment, the vast majority, as alluded to, are unprepared for this global initiation. Lack of discernment, of subtle perception, that comes from soul embodiment and awakening makes it difficult to recognize these auspicious and transformative times for what they are. This current majority will continue to unconsciously react from fear and submission, to be at the mercy of the chaotic storm, versus consciously respond from wisdom, courage and discernment. Without having faith in depth and feeling, they will continue to have full faith in (false) facts and reasoning; they will trust the fear-mongering “news” in the media far more than the news calling for attention in their hearts. “Return to normal”, “reset” and “build back better” will deceive them from the truth of what is happening: That these are the End Times, an ascension period requiring destruction and death, inner transformation and outer transition — an initiation to birth an entirely new world.
Due to the majority’s resistance and ignorance, and because these are the End Times, humanity must and will fall to its collective knees, into a genuine experience of heartbreak and disillusionment, so that in anger, in grief, in trembling exasperation and humility, in “I’m afraid”, we surrender our resistance, our stubbornness, our addiction to suffering — our attachments to what we believe is so, our naive realism. Opposite to a Fall from Grace or Eden, to the collapsing of enlightened cultures such as Atlantis and Lemuria, this is our Fall from all that is False that has kept us enacting and enslaved to thousands of years of violence and oppression.
And in this humble inner and outer falling away, in the depths of great uncertainty, the dawn breaks, and we can begin to see things for how they actually are, and are thus ready to choose love. And in that choosing, we discover that love also chooses us, as us, a love longing to feed a hungry world.
And that is our awakening!
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)
With the falling of what is untrue, what is true — the love of our holy spirit, the pure light of our soul — can descend into the cleansed temple of our body/mind. Heaven on Earth, birthed through each of us! Revealed is an entirely new world of possibilities, one we could not see before, clouded we were by fear and programming, by the limited ego invested in division and duality, in “my” life versus the non-dual, infinite nature of life.
Inspired by what is in service to the whole — the greater welfare of our human family — doors begin to open in our mind, heart and the outer world. We suddenly know what to say and do. There is spontaneous clarity. Creative solutions to complex local and global challenges suddenly come to us instead of us searching for answers. We remember that all problems are already solved in our timeless, infinitely creative multiverse that our soul is a holographic representative of; that we need only download them from our soul into our human awareness and trust that life will orchestrate the people, things and events needed for us to fulfill our creative acts of service.
With progressive embodied awareness, our mind surrenders as an instrument to be used by the soul instead of being the primary problem solver. It acts in service to our true higher identity, as its designed to, instead of being identified with. This keeps us present, in the power of now, and out of the past/future mind-mechanics of problem seeking and solving, driven so often by fear that believes its separate from life and therefore must control.
More at one with our loving soul, we bravely act more at one with all souls. Not as brooding factions, which is what those in power want, and have always orchestrated; not as ones waiting for our (corrupt) bureaucrats to fix our global affairs and “build back better”. No, we act from our wild, beating, light warrior hearts integrated with our critical thinking, rational minds, choosing unity, freedom and love above all. Only then, with enough critical mass, does Love Conquers All naturally overrule the fear agendas and consciousness of Divide and Conquer.
Indeed, WE are the answers to the growing divides. WE are the medicine of these times. Tragedy is the vehicle for this beautiful and dramatic reclamation, this holy remembrance and rebirth, this grand initiation into love, soul power and unity consciousness. Tragedy’s compulsory intensification is the catalyst for this prophesied Glorious Ending and Glorious Beginning, the destined Dawn of a Golden Age.
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Free ebook: Related to this article, you may enjoy my short ebook called A Global Crucifixion: Truth, Heartbreak & Humanity’s Heroic Ascension into a Golden Age
Here are two ways you can find support on your journey of healing and awakening:
Healing & Activation: My invitation to you is to participate in my online healing and activation ceremonies. Drawing upon the power and mystery of Starlight and its many emanations, transformation takes place at the quantum or cellular level, creating radical changes in health and empowerment.
The Sophia Code: The most important book I have ever read, this sacred text supports you to heal and anchor your higher self into your DNA. More so, it initiates you into mentoring with Ascended Masters such as Quan Yin, Mother Mary and Isis. Given the magnitude of these pivotal times we need their ongoing guidance, and this living transmission makes that possible. Click here.
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Check out Vince’s book: Wild Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart