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.

Fractal soul visions

Linear time is within a certain frame of reference staying constant.
Beyond linear time is circular time.
And beyond circular time are eternal higher dimensional realities etc.
It gets more and more abstract.

Sometimes when our visions get abstract enough we can see abstract gestalts/patterns repeating again and again like time running through a mobius strip.

For me, the common themes I wrestle with are between:
– Being and Non-being
– Becoming and Unbecoming
– Ground and Groundlessness
– Knowing and Unknowing
– Striving and Surrender
– Linear time and Non-linear time
– Attainment and Non-attainment
– Order and Chaos
– Enlightenment and Non-enlightenment
– Home and travel
– Knowledge and Innocence
– Reality and Illusion

I can explain some of these things with poetic visions.
Here are some of them below:

Vision 1:

abyssedge

I have 2 choices, stay with what I know (what is in my hand) or the other choice is to jump into an unknown abyss.
I am detached from what I have and so at times I get the courage and jump into the abyss.
Now imagine you fall and fall through the unknown but there is no ground and you land up again at a similar place where you were standing before and again there is the same choice – stick to what is in hand(known) or just into the abyss(unknown).
Again this repeats, I work on letting go of the known in hand and get the courage and jump, and this repeats again and again.
This is the play between knowing and unknowing
It is the play between ground and groundlessness

Vision 2:

dream

Imagine you are in a dream and you are trying to wake up, but every time you think you have woken up you later realize you have still been dreaming. And so you try to wake up again, and once again think you have woken up, only to realize soon after that you are still dreaming and have to work again to wake up.
This is the play between reality and illusion

Vision 3:

sandsculpture

I build myself up like a sand structure from the chaos of possibility of the sand on the ground.
I feel I have attained knowledge and being, but soon it falls back to the ground.
Then again I get inspired, and I build another structure, work on it and reach a milestone, only for it to go back to the ground again.
This is like a looping struggle to BE something and not fall back to non-being.
This can be seen as the play of order vs. chaos.
This can also be seen as the play of attainment vs. non-attainment.
It is also the play between becoming and unbecoming.

Vision 4:

Home

Imagine whenever you settled in a place, buy some things, make yourself a home there and create security for yourself, you feel its time to move. You have to move and leave everything behind, go through the grief, and do a similar settlement in your next spot, only for you to again get the impulse to move and do it again.
This is the play between home and travel.

Vision 5:

watchingmovie

Imagine you are sitting in a theater seat and watching a movie, and you go through the story with the hero suffering gains and losses. Suddenly you feel it is getting too much and you want to snap out of it and you come back to your theater seat. You realize that you were always in that seat, nothing has really changed, and the whole movie was an illusion. But then shortly after coming back to the theater seat and disillusioning yourself, you see something else interesting in the screen that once again enchants you, and you start to gain knowledge from investment. And this happens again and again.
This is the play between alternating enlightenment and non-enlightenment
This is the play between alternating knowledge and innocence.