In our modern times it is all too common for knowledge to be garnered from the internet, or other more obvious places, books, television, word of mouth, etc. I believe, however, that there was once a time knowledge, so-called, was found in much darker places. I can imagine a time, perhaps not so long ago, when knowledge, or maybe even wisdom, would have been a hard won treasure, something someone had to work for, it was never just given, some would say it was found, discovered even.
There is a place within us that reacts to the world around us, and through that interaction, within the subjective mind-space, one developes a special kind of knowledge, a unique kind of knowing that can only come from ones own especial interaction with the objective world. It is often in these dark inbetween spaces, these liminal zones between the subjective and objective, between the inner and outer, that an uncanny and otherworldly kind of wisdom can rise to the surface of an attuned mind.
It could be said that here, this place where two worlds bleed one into the other, that it becomes possible for the retrieval of what is commonly know as 'forbidden knowledge', a wisdom that comes from the night, from ones dreams, from sadness, from the places outside of the limits of society, from more, some would say sinister, but I would say balanced, spiritual paths.
When one looks out into the star-studded heavens, into the void, the abyss of space, that somehow holds all of this life, this beauty, and yet itself remains untouched, cold, detached, and like unto death, we are so often reminded of a distant and yet somehow familiar feeling of belonging, of yearning, of a desire to return to the void; a dissolution of the self into all of the dark spaces inbetween all of the points of light, the stars, the suns, within the abyss.
There was a time when being out at night, amid the wild places of the world, underneath the starry sky, one could, in more one ways then one, discern in some small way our true position amongst this great mystery of life, death, and becoming. Sometimes an even greater mystery, although harder and much rarer to discover, would be revealed, that of un-becoming; of some kind of distant memory of a great darkness, peaceful and homelike, and yet to our small and limited, human-bound awarenesses, quite terrifying - the Great Unknown, the Void, the Abyss, the ultimate Mystery of Mysteries.
It is also in the night, under the spell of the sandman, when we dream. Within these dreams we often learn of a far more superior, yet often times disembodied, more powerful and yet at times puzzling and enigmatic self. A self, although less confined by the laws and regulations of the ego, is still very much wrapped up in the ways of the flesh and much indeed at the pull and whim of desire. Yet here, at night, in our beds, asleep and within our own heads, we can often times find ourselves much more alive than in our waking lives. Some even prefer their dream worlds to waking reality, some at times totally forsaking the one for the other; which in my opinion is never a good thing and can often lead to a life of delusion and fantasy. There is definitely a great need for balance when it comes to the utilisation of dreamt of knowledge within the reality of the everyday.
Once people even looked to their darker emotions as a place of great learning, many times making great discoveries from overcoming their blackest moments. Many a people, and I am one of these people, so I speak from experience, when hitting rock bottom, the darkest places of sadness, and sorrow, and despair, come forth from this place, as a light shining brighter than ever before. Having once been down, as low as one can be, they can only ever look upwards and onwards. There are always those though who never do make it back from these darker places within themselves, being so overtaken by them that even the smallest remaining light is extinguished, and they become naught but hollow shells walking in a dead world.
There also was a time when great affectation was given to times of trial and tribulation, often seen as an adversary, an opponent to be overcome. Many of the hardships that once befell people were actually the very things that lead to much of the technology that is, often times wrongly, used in our world today. Had the people of the past not had it so bad there is a very real chance that much of what we take for granted today would simply just not exist.
Living off the land, preparing for the more bitter and life-endangering seasons, guarding and protecting loved ones from the great wilderness that often assailed them from all sides, can well be seen as the very reason for the developements in the modern world, wherein we are safe, usually, protected from the elements and the wild, feed, kept warm, etc., contented and numbed to the very real world that awaits each and every single one of us, right outside our front doors, in the darker places of wisdom....
by Patrick Larabee