The dark side

I think so too, but to be revealed, the hidden contents must be illuminated, and the mechanism that keeps it in the dark can’t do anything to bring about illumination because it’s program is to maintain the human condition as we know it.

Psychological thought is not a faultless mechanism, so there are brief moments of illumination (glimpses of what is beyond belief) that make this apparent, if not obvious. But since we are this mechanism, anything we, the brain, chooses to do can only serve the purpose of keeping the brain in the dark.

So we have moments of truth, partial insights, that illuminate our predicament, and spur us to find out what we can about what we’re doing right now, in the eternal present. And this isn’t something that has to be done with others. It may be that if one doesn’t find things out for oneself, by oneself, it isn’t finding out at all, but I don’t know.

I think I finally understand what you’ve been talking about. (Takes me a while sometimes!) You’re saying that if a person really wants to explore their dark side, they would do it on their own, rather than with others in an online forum. When I start a thread that invites people to explore their dark sides together, a red flag goes up, you see a brain trick going on. ???

Every time I post something a red flag goes up because anything one says can be misunderstood or mistaken for something other than what the writer intends.

You’re saying that if a person really wants to explore their dark side, they would do it on their own, rather than with others in an online forum.

Exploring seems to go on unconsciously, and discovery brings it to conscious awareness, so the only time one proposes to explore something is when there’s a need to expose something publicly and not just in one brain exploring itself.

The point is to explore together, i.e. not just ‘one brain exploring itself.’ When exploring together, unless we intentionally hide the ‘dark core’ of what we’re exploring (which defeats the purpose), things are going to be exposed publicly.

I thought I knew what you were getting at, now I think maybe not? Would help if you concretely told me how what you’re saying pertains directly to the thread.


How aware are you of your dark side? (Negative, harmful, or morally objectionable attributes and behaviors.) Do you ‘keep an eye on it’? Consciously, unconsciously? Proprioceptively? Do you take responsibility for it? Does it make you feel ashamed? Energized? Powerful? Self-hating? Afraid? Titillated? What is your relationship with your dark side? (I realize that I am framing the questions dualistically. If you want to reframe them non-dualistically, go for it!)

I don’t want to be a bore, but I feel it may be worth backtracking a little to touch on what may be a core characteristic of the dark side.

Couldn’t we say that the dark side might be characterised essentially by the absence of love? By ‘love’ of course I don’t mean jealousy, hate, anger, self-pity, attachment, sorrow. Maybe this is a sticking point for some people. But if one construes love as compassion, agape, then isn’t the dark side the absence of this quality (or the degree to which this quality is absent)?

This is reflected in what you mentioned earlier up the thread Rick, when you said:

So I think the absence of love as compassion, agape, is a crucial factor.

With love as compassion, agape, one is open to the world, one is vulnerable to the joys and sufferings of others - people, trees, animals, nature. While self-interest, deep selfishness, cuts us off from others, from people, from nature - limiting our consciousness to a small fragment of what may be possible for our minds.

So selfishness creates darkness, while love brings light. What think-feel you?

You will have to work harder for that.

Think-feel I that there’s plenty of truth there, particularly the second part: agape brings light.* Unsurprisingly I am not convinced that selfishness necessarily brings darkness. Enlightened egotism always seemed a pretty groovey way to go and if you’re human you’re already an expert in the latter half!

Love/agape for me is crystallized in kindness.

* Years ago I metta guy inna supermarket, young bright man named Agape Apocalypse Jones. His parents must have been interesting. Last I heard he was in jail. True story!

How about we allow our dark sides to be present in this thread? Be the whole of us, rather than a sanitized version edited for tv? Doing that would take courage. I don’t know if I’m up to it?

I don’t see any need to expose things publicly that are for the exploring brain to expose to itself. If I wait for or want someone to propose group exploration, I’m more serious about group exploration than exploration for its own sake.

I feel there is more to compassion than this - but I agree with you that ordinary human kindness is the closest most of us get to love/agape in daily life. ‘My religion is kindness’, as the Dalai Lama says.

Where I lose you is in your oft repeated indulgence of selfishness. So when you say that selfishness doesn’t “necessarily” create darkness, I wonder if we are using the English language in the same way?

Selfishness contracts light (psychologically speaking). Kindness expands light (psychologically speaking).

I doubt, for instance, that the Dalai Lama is a very self-centred person. From what I have seen and heard of him, or from friends who have met him, he seems to be quite an affectionate fellow, open to meeting with all kinds of different people.

While on the other hand, someone like Donald Trump for instance, is clearly a deeply self-centred person. He is all ego, all ‘me’ ‘me’ ‘me’. There is almost no room in his psyche for people who do not directly concern his immediate interests.

Maybe what you are talking about is the ordinary self-interest that everyone needs to just get by in the world. To feed oneself when hungry, to provide for oneself shelter and a means of livelihood. The ordinary preferences one may have for listening to music, watching TV dramas, sharing affection with close friends and family, taking care of one’s cat or dog or pet. All this is natural, part of what it means to be human. - Is this what you are subsuming under the heading of selfishness?

If so, then we are using the word selfishness in slightly different ways, which may be confusing things.

P.S. Agape Apocalypse Jones sounds like a person one could only meet in America! :sweat_smile:

Selfish is the wrong word, it’s got too much of a negative vibe, it’s hard not to equate selfishness with darkness. Self-oriented is perhaps better, less negatively loaded. By self-oriented I mean something like: concerned primarily with myself and secondarily with everyone and everything else. That doesn’t mean I am not concerned, even deeply concerned with others. It just means I’m almost always concerned more with myself (and felt extensions of myself).

To be self-oriented is not necessarily to create darkness.

But the self is clearly the main cause of darkness.

These two statements are not contradictory!

For something to be dark, for it is to be objectionable, there has to be a basis/principle to be compared with. For me, I’m poor at such Comparison, as I don’t know rightly which standards to be compared truly with.

I act only to open up things - not that “I know” but what I learned and open to trash the learned and eager to learn new, but people think that I try to hurt/win over them when opening up things, because I mostly go straight and deep of that Ego part. And so, people ignore me that I’m addicted to some beliefs/etc. or I’m hurting them by poking my nose into their freedom to believe what they want even if that belief makes them circle around. That can be considered as a dark side, if the basis/principle for comparison is “never let people go down and always be in Good way”.

Other than that, I’m open to ask others what my dark side they consider to be, if the basis/principle needed here is “Smooth and Compassionate and Loving Relationship”.

I’m sure this is what that chap’s parents thought when they named him Agape Apocalypse Jones! :wink:

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Seeing your habit of going straight to the ‘deep end of the pool’ and knowing that doing that can upset people, what do you do?

Seeing the bridge between agape and apocalypse, that’s a challenge! :face_with_monocle:

I go Silent. Give some space. But, when there is a new learning, would come up again to share regardless of what would happen going deep again.
Previously I was feeling sorry for causing it. Now all these months, I don’t feel I am responsible for their upset.

That Empty Space inbetween? (Agape_Apocalypse) :wink:

So, what’s your understanding with the conversations had with me and about the reply I gave here below?

A Dark side? Of what kind?

Apparently the original meaning (greek) of Apocalypse was : Revelation.

As for the dark side, I’ll go with the idea that the dark side is full of stuff like sadness, conflict, loneliness, gloom etc

Plunging into ones dark side would, in a practical, everyday sense, be to indulge in activities that eventually lead to some pit of despair (or at least some wallowing in discontent, being totally bummed out - like a bad hangover)

In my, possibly overly sensitive, old age. I don’t need to go on an all weekend binge of drugs and alcohol to end up with a headache with absolutely no tolerance for loved ones. Sometimes just allowing myself to binge for a few days on chocolate can make me feel bleaargh.

Indulgence leads necessarily to harm, pain, disgust and ultimately desire (?)