Darkness, too

We associate Dark with bad, evil, forbidden, destructive. And there are numerous examples to confirm such an association. Yet, not all that is dark is evil.

L’Engle says, “the current theories about our universe is that what is visible matter, to our eyes and to our telescopes, is only about half of the matter there is. Much of the matter in the universe is what is called dark matter, matter which we cannot see. That may well be true of us, too. The part of us which we can see, touch, feel, understand, is only the smallest part of us, and all our light matter is side by side with dark matter, and until the dark matter is acknowledged it can be destructive. We tend to want to sweep our dark matter under the bed, to pretend that it doesn’t exist. But it is part of us, and must be acknowledged. Unlike the dark matter that is out in space, we can bring our own dark matter up into the light; it, too, was made by God. It, too, has a purpose, a loving purpose. Nothing needs to be hidden…all can be accepted, forgiven, redeemed. And it may be that there are parts of us that grow best in the dark,…”

The more I let this truth sink in, the more it not only makes sense, but I become profoundly aware of how severely we handicap ourselves by denying it. And that too, is not only our own doing, but surely a result of our culture. This, even more so among the religious. I know I was taught to believe that anything that is dark is shameful and depraved, otherwise why else would it be “in the dark?” But then half the universe is “dark,” and was it not made by God? Is he ashamed of what he has made? Not only that but nearly all the significant events of Jesus’ life occurred in the darknes…

Take it into the mainstream pop culture, and we still think that which is dark is shameful or wrong. Just look at the last six months of the Democratic Primaries to see this reality, not to mention what the next five will show between McCain and Obama. Reporters will scrape over these mens’ past looking for anything that might be “dark” and claim to shed “light” on the true nature of the candidate in order to discredit them. It’s as if we think the qualifications for president require no darkness, that all must be light, “clean.” Which, if we really go there, then we might as well say we want some demi-god of our own making to run the country. Or maybe it is just that we really want half a man, or woman… not the other half. And why not? We are a nation of fragmented humans if ever there was one.

The denial and shaming of darkness is most prevalent in the day-to-day of relationships. So much hatred or anger with others, between lovers and friends, can be linked to the shame carried deep over the darkness carried deeper in each of our souls. ‘Cause if we are at least honest, the person we most hate, with whom we are most angry is ourselves. And much of that over our dark places. What would happen if we let ourselves acknowledge this side of us, bring up it into that “uncreated” light which sees in the darkness, and nothing is hidden?

Maybe being re-humanized includes acknowledging the darkness in our souls; and not just the destructive, but that which is creative, which grows only in the dark…for did not God create out of the darkness to begin with?

As Jump Little Children sing in “The Dim and the Dark:”

You couldn't be more beautiful to me
There's nowhere in this world I'd rather be
And now I know that everything's allright
If we stay between the glow and the light.