Spiritual darkness is essentially created by fear. It is the realm of being where Love is absent, peace is absent and spiritual light is absent. It is the cold darkness of fear, which when taken to its extreme is terror. This can also lead to hatred, which is the consequence of darkness permeating out heart to such a degree that true peace, forgiveness and compassion are driven out totally. If we want to understand what hell is, it is essentially the state of dwelling in extreme fear and hatred. If Love is like a warm flame, emitting light and peace, then hatred is like a black flame, emitting fear and misery.
So the more we move into fear (generated by our polluted thinking mind) and allow it to take root in our heart, the more spiritual darkness we experience. This is when the world looks bleak, the future is devoid of hope, we feel weak and we become totally preoccupied with our own safety and security. We stop thinking about how to help others, and we begin consuming more, worrying more and isolating ourselves in our own personal mental reality of fear. We become totally disconnected from the innate strength, courage and light which come through our heart, because we are not giving any attention to our heart. We are obsessed with the fearful thoughts in our mind, and the visions of future suffering they offer us. Fundamentally, our attention is simply in the wrong place.
So the root cause of all our darkness and suffering is fear, generated by our thinking mind. Without fear and any negative thinking whatsoever, there can be no spiritual darkness because our mind will be unclouded and clear. It will be free to perceive the light of Truth, which is divine. It is God’s Truth, it is goodness, it is Love. When we relax and simply allow ourslves to be at rest in God’s reality, we discover that it is all-encompassing and all-pervading. It IS reality. All we have to do is ensure that our attention doesnt wandering away, into contemplating darkness of any shape or form. And it need not do this, because we are free to remain in the presence of God’s light. But a discplined mind is required.
All of our very convincing fearful and negative thoughts simply create black holes in this divine realm of light and peace, and we enter into them just by giving them our attention. Thus we get sucked into fear, negativity, hostility, division and angst. But we simply need not do this. To prevent this from occuring, we need to be very vigilant regarding the thought processes we get involved in. In fact, it is wise not to dwell too much in your head, becasue you have a body and a heart too, which are meant to inhabit. When we do, we realise that we don’t need to be tangled up in thoughts. We can swim in a sense of gratitude for what God has given us. We enjoy using and strengthening our body, and sensing the many beautiful things there are to sense in this world. Personally, I enjoy sound more than anything. It takes me out of my head, and into my heart, without fail.
When we find ourselves getting tangled up in fearful thoughts, we need to come out of our head and relax our body. Did you know that fear cannot be present in you when your body is relaxed? It’s true, because fear exists in our body as tension, resistance, contraction. When you engage with a fearful thought, tension instantly appears in your body, and also in your heart. Fear is the ultimate heart-disease. In fact, think of the word ‘disease’. It means ‘not at ease’ (i.e. not relaxed). When you relax, tension simply cannot be present at the same time. Which means that fear cannot be present, because fear IS tension. So the antidote to fear is actually relaxation. When you notice your body has tensed up with fear, just make a point of breathing gently and relaxing your muscles. While you breathe and relax, fear is leaving your body, and your mind will realign with a more positive perspective on reality.
It’s good to practice ignoring all negative and fearful thoughts, knowing that they are just mental tricks, designed to take you into a fearful (and illusory) perspective of reality. I used to do something simple which removed the power of my mind to manipulate me. I would sit and relax, and tell my thinking mind to give me the worst its got. I would say “come on, try and convince me to be afraid. Give me your most fear-inspiring thought” while I would just enjoy relaxing and watching my mind realise how powerless it is, when I decide to choose peace, and not believe ANY negative thoughts.
Trust also plays a key role in us being free from fear. When we trust that we are protected from threat, we can relax easily. We know we are safe. We know we are provided for. This is why it is vital to know God, because we cannot be afraid when we feel God’s presence, and we know we are surrounded by his protective light. Even if we don’t perceive God’s direct presence, it is vital to trust that he is protecting you. That trust alone is the key to experincing his peace and security. Trust your father to protect you from all threat, fear and spiritual darkness.
And remember that we really need to assist ourselves in this. We must be disciplined and stop giving our attention to darkness and negativity in the form of TV programmes, movies, mainstream news, politics, pessimistic and negative music, and so on. All of these things will affect our mind and heart in a detrimental way, and we really need to be protecting them instead. Our choices really matter.
It’s important to be aware that there is in fact a great deal of information in the media and ‘entertainment’ industry which is specifically designed to create fear and darkness in our mind our heart, feeding fearful (and compulsive) patterns of thinking. We have to be very careful what we listen to, watch and read, because our clarity of mind is precious and the peace of our heart is even more so. Like childrn, they need protecting, nurturing and feeding with inspiration, beauty, with spiritual truth, with healthy living, with gratitude, happiness, prayer and faith in the power and protection of the God. This is our personal responsibility, and it is very important we fulfil it.
God’s peace is always available to us, and we can become aware of it in our mind and in our heart, if we just stop giving our attention to negativity, fear, division, darkness, hostility, self-indulgence, endless consumerism and distraction. If you truly want God to illuminate your heart, then empty your mind of desires for anything else other than what God has to give you. Turn your thoughts to the goodness of God, and allow your heart to be glad, to be thankful, to be joyful and full of cheer.
Spiritual darkness is but a shadow upon our heart of fearful mental illusions, which we make come alive with our attention, with our engagement with them. We do not need to do this, so practice keeping your attention where it belongs: in the light of God’s beautiful reality. Dont beleive a single negative thought, amd just allow your heart to be relaxed and cheerful. You are safe and protected by God, when you put yourself in his hands. So if you notice fear and tension have crept back in, just take a deep breath, relax your body and remember that God is with you. Turn your mind to him as often as possible, day or night, and you will slowly repair and restore the deeply loving bond that your heart so desperately longs for. This is the beautiful divine reunion which you can experience, if it is truly what you desire more than anything else.