Impacting Change : Darkness The Power Of Illumination

An awesome letter of encouragement from a fan of the book Darkness: The Power Of Illumination

Dear Shaahin,

You have me contemplating the subjects of your book and fine documentary.  May I be so bold as to offer my thoughts?  Only because your message strikes a chord within me.

Darkness…how we’re taught to fear and avoid the dark.  In Western thought, to the degree we don’t even acknowledge that side of our being.  Christianity and the messengers of that faith have clearly focused us on the light and all else is evil, dangerous and a sure way to hell.

What we’ve done here is completely handicap the average person.  They will never be able to process life to a full and complete understanding.  Why…because they don’t identify with “opposites.”  They don’t see their dark side.  Most are so blinded by their drive for success and material things in life that they may not see the light either.  Regardless, if we are to look inside ourselves for the ultimate truths in life, we must embrace this duality.  Yin/Yang concept.  Life IS Change.  Change is Constant.  We are constantly in this cycle…from light to dark and back again.  This is the basic concept for any Taoist.  With that as a fundamental understanding, we can manage through life.

In your book, I am loving how you define the darkness and how we must we absorb this side or ourselves.  I, for one, struggle with accepting what I have found there.  But I also know that until I embrace the dark side of myself, I will never be whole.  Until I can find my own forgiveness to the wrongs in my life, I can’t move on.  As a spiritual being, I aspire to be at one.  But first, I feel I must atone.  I must answer to the Karmic cycle of life and give back in the right way.  I owe a karmic debt.  Of late, my only vehicle to this darker side is to bring it out and find the small bit of humor in it.  Mostly, I find it funny how the ego plays tricks on us.  Ah…the arrogance of youth!  How did I not realize that all of life is an illusion?

Serpent and The Sun…first of all, your film is beautifully shot.  You managed to find some amazing backdrops and your eye for artistic side is very keen.  Beautiful use of colors in the landscape to accent your subjects.  My favorite is the shot of them dancing.

What I found most amazing was how similar the philosophy is to Native American beliefs and practices.  I’m a student of these beliefs and find that our ancestors had a far more coherent view of life on earth.  Most importantly, living with respect to the land, its food sources, its people and the powerful energy that flows through us all.  I love how you captured the importance of ritual ceremonies and ritualistic approach to everything.  You don’t just eat…understand what has been given up to nourish the body.  This approach to the rituals of life is clearly absent in America, except on Sunday mornings.  But some of us understand the importance and reverence to all that is our world.  We must have deep respect and compassion…for we are all ONE.

One of the interesting elements in this native culture is the importance of the number 4.  In every tribal folklore I’ve come across, 4 is the common denominator.  4 days in the cave to find your spirit animal, for example.  4 obviously corresponds to so much more.  Interesting how Christianity is more concerned with the Trinity…not a lot of 4’s in their teaching.  Just an observation.

Of course, I’d love to learn more about the actual ritual with the mushroom culture in Mexico.  I have to believe that the experience shows you the dark side of yourself in a manner that allows you to accept and embrace your opposite side.  In similar rituals, I’ve tapped in to some truths that have helped me greatly through life.  I suspect this topic could be a documentary all of its own.  I would like to learn much more, though.

Lastly, my friend…You are a very, very good writer.  It’s much like being in a conversation with you and I admire anyone that can write in this manner.  I attempt it in songwriting, but that is a much different means of expression.  Writing a book…I’m years away from it!  The documentary was brilliant and I can clearly see why it earned such nice recognition.  It is well-developed and enlightening.  I’m impressed how you took to “action” rather than pure meditation.  Don’t just think about it…act on it.  Want to understand the world?  Go outside!  What to understand yourself?  Go inside!  Close your eyes and allow the truths to become self-evident without the illusions that light tricks play on us.

As a fellow artist, I often don’t know how the art affects those who listen.  I wanted to write you to let you know you had a sincere impact on me.  You have me thinking….and that’s a great thing!  When you inspire thought in others, then you’ve done your part to help others understand themselves.  I appreciate your work greatly and thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking such an amazing trip to capture the story.  I hope to follow in your footsteps and make my own journey through the Americas … and in turn, educate and inspire along the way.

Take care,

Mark

 

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