Description of the realm of ‘dread, trance, and emptiness’

The dark night of the soul is the journey from:
Illusion -> Illumination -> Union.
During the ‘Illumination -> Union’ phase,
There are different bardo realms of experience to be passed through.

Here I’ll describe the bardo I am presently going through,
Which is of ‘Dread-Trance-Emptiness’.
The ‘dread-trance-emptiness’ bardo,
Has a lot of chaos, confusion, and disorganization
There is deep exhaustion,
In my ability to ‘be/become’ anything.

Like the king is unable to act anymore.
He is just a passive witness to his collapsing kingdom,
Which is falling into evermore chaos-confusion-randomness.
He has even lost interest/desire in it to keep it going,
And is simply now a passive spectator,
Of the spectacle of his kingdom falling into chaos,
And getting reabsorbed by all its surrounding forces.

‘Neglect’ and ‘Withdrawal’ of anything causes death of that thing.
So the process is very much like the process of conscious ego death.

This paradoxically feels like a descent and ascent at the same time.
The plunge into the depths is also the ascent to the heights.
To see everything from above is to see everything from below, and vice versa.

There is a process of passive purgation,
Of a journey into the purgatory playing/unfolding itself out.
I abide in this space passively,
In a ‘continuous falling’ into it.
It is like being in a kayak on a river current.
You cannot stop moving,
But you can influence the kayak with your paddles.

There is again a paradox here, that:
It seems deeply personal and yet so deeply impersonal at the same time.
Passions emerge, actions happen,
But the emptiness of all of it pervades my being.
Almost no experience is riveting enough,
To make me lose sight of the emptiness in the background.

I feel if I pass through all this madness,
I might bottom out and emerge on the other side.
This feels more like a time-energy thing,
Rather than a defined spatial thing,
Where there is a definite distance to cover.

The loss of identity,
Causes a fall into the shadows underneath.
Like sinking into the ground of chaos-filth,
From which the trees of identity spawn and return to.

This is a place where will/action are heavily suspended,
(Hanged man tarot archetype),
And one must mostly only abide/allow.
The only freedoms I have are to resist or allow.
And resistance hurts anyways,
So there is no actual freedom at all.

This archetypal chaotic dream madness (which is also the creative ground),
From which identities/egos in the world spawn,
Resembles the ’12th house’ described in astrology.
It is like the state of ‘dreaming and imagination’.
Waking > Dream > Sleep is what we ordinarily think.
But I think in the spiritual ascension path,
It is the reverse.
Being awake in ‘Sleep’ = Prajna (direct insight),
Being awake in ‘Dream’ = Vigyana (special meta knowledge),
Being awake in ‘Waking’ = Gyana (knowledge)
I feel like my awareness of emptiness is me being awake in the dream world/space/bardos.

This underground/underworld,
Feels like falling into a bottomless pit,
Where there is an infinite fall,
And where I am always in the center in spite of the continuously falling.
Only the scenery continuously keeps changing.
Sometimes I fall through clouds of scintillating mist,
Other times I fall through clouds made of acid.

The only way to communicate or share this experience with others,
Is through imaginative symbolic expressions.
A person going through a similar experience would probably instantly relate.
For others it may be a bit of a stretch to imagine/see.

What is identity?

“Identity” is the “Instrument” designed to execute the “Unconscious/conscious Investment” in the world.
What is your investment in?
What have you projected onto the world?
What is your deal with the world?
That would be the basis of the “identity instrument” you are working to become.

The knowledge of death completely rewires you

Death is thought of as an event that happens in the far future.
Nobody even thinks about it, unless there is a real reason to.
Seeing death as an event, is from ignorance (maybe purposeful).
Death is not an event that suddenly happens in the far future.
Death as an experience is continually happening.
“Death is not an event, but death IS, just as life IS”
(borrowed from Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev).

One never steps in the same river twice.
Life experience is constantly transforming.
Knowledge of death or mortality is really knowledge of impermanence.
It is the truth of the statement: “This too shall pass”.
The nature of life is aliveness and change.
Life = spirit = novelty = miracle = change = aliveness = unknown = mystery.

Death is the knowledge of unbecoming that follows becoming.
Like the outbreath follows the inbreath.
So imagine breathing in more and more without letting out anything.
Eventually at one point, the tension will become so great,
You will just drop and let go of everything.
The nature of life is like the Breath.
We enter this planet, take on a body, project all of our emotions here.
We get deeply involved, and then later leave everything behind, and exit.
The cycle of [incarnation – death] like [inbreath – outbreath].

The knowledge of death is what breaks the spell of ordinary egoic life.
It is the great disillusionment.
It casts its shadow on all desires/dreams/plans.
The thought that comes is:
“What is the use of doing anything? OR becoming anything?
If it is all going to end in dust?
Why should I bother to fight for my survival and thrive?
If I am just going to be cheated and mocked in the end by death?”

This may create an existential crisis/dark night of soul/depression.
When the knowledge of death enters your vision.
If one allows this process to fully pass through,
They emerge on the other side transformed.
It is like how you digest food and get energy later,
The knowledge of death digests “you” and liberates you,
And you emerge as a phoenix from the ashes.

For the phoenix, life is lived in the “now/present”
The past is seen as present only, i.e. the past incarnating in the present.
The future is seen as imagination done in the present.
The phoenix lives with identification grounded in “formless life/aliveness” itself.
All else is seen as the play of life, “as form” and “with form”

Relationship between knowledge and experience

When, Knowledge > Experience:
The person may tend towards: arrogance, domination, control, imposition of will, conquest, achievement, ambition, demonstration of power.
The negative extreme of this case is “TYRANNY”.
The positive extreme of this case is a “MASTER”.
It is a case where conditioning + acquired knowledge > perception.
This is a stage of judgment, action, and works.
So then the result would be positive or negative depending on the conditioning.
Like most people in society will help a man who has slipped and fallen to stand up.
This is not necessarily because of true perception, but it is the general enculturation internalized knowledge that makes people act that way.

When, Experience > Knowledge:
The person becomes a seeker of knowledge and truth.
The negative extreme of this case is “PSYCHOSIS”.
The positive extreme of this case is a “SAINT/MYSTIC”.
It is the state of the child who learns by context, immersion, intensity, involvement, perfusion.
It is the state of a devotee and contemplation.
Contemplation on questions to ponder and wonder on.
Such a person is open, curious, innocent, and impressionable.
The seeking continues until the necessary awakening happens i.e. until the flowering of higher knowledge/wisdom/intelligence happens.
This is the stage of growth, development, and becoming.

This distinction is not about what is ‘better or worse’ or ‘good or bad’.
Rather, this comparison was only to illuminate the 2 aspects of the flux of existence.
Everyone passes through both these stages of evolution.
We know and do, then we see we don’t know and learn, then again we know and do, and so on.

Transformation and Healing are simultaneous

change

Old structure —-<—{Transformation}—- Chaos —{Healing}–>– New structure

Life is an endless movement from the old to the new.
—->— old ————>———– new —->—
When in-between the passage, if you look at your old structure you see transformation.
On the other hand, if you look at the prospective new structure from this mid point, you see healing/becoming (heading towards the new state of coherence).
So they both are simultaneous, the view just changes between transformation and healing depending on whether you look backwards or forwards.

This is similar to how creation and destruction are simultaneous in the movement of life. Again depends on which direction you look.