Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Divine Darkness

--by Jaggi Vasudev (Mar 08, 2005)

The word Shiva literally means that which is not. That which is, is existence; that which is, is creation. That which is not is Shiva. If you open your eyes and look around, if your vision is for small things, you will see lots of creation. But if your vision is really looking for big things, you will see that the biggest presence in existence is a vast emptiness.

Just a few spots -- which we call galaxies -- are noticed, not the vast emptiness that holds. This vastness or unbounded emptiness, is Shiva. Science today says that everything comes from nothing and eventually goes back to nothing. Every religion, every culture on this planet has been talking about the omnipresent, all-pervading nature of the divine. The only thing that can truly be all-pervading is darkness -- nothingness or emptiness.

Generally, when seeking well being, we talk of the divine as the light. When we no longer seek well being, we are looking beyond our life in terms of dissolving. If the object of our worship and sadhna is dissolution, then, we refer to the divine as darkness.

The greatest source of light we know is the Sun. But you can stop the Sun's light with your hand. Not so with darkness -- it is everywhere. By merely putting your hand out you will not be able to obliterate darkness for darkness has no source; it is present everywhere.

Immature minds allude to darkness as devil. But, when you describe the divine as all-pervading, you're obviously referring to the divine as darkness, because only darkness is all-pervading. It is everywhere; it doesn't need support from anything. Light always comes from a source that is burning itself out. It has a beginning and an end. It is always from a limited source. Darkness has no source; it is a source unto itself. It is all-pervading, everywhere, omni-present.

Don't pass tonight without knowing at least a moment of the vastness of emptiness that we call as Shiva. Let this night not just be a night of wakefulness; let it be a night of awakening for every one of us.

--Jaggi Vasudev

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2 Previous Reflections:

On Mar 21, 2015 purushothaman wrote:

 this darkness also includes in the total existence  or  with out  the emptiness ,existence is not it not so....

On Jun 12, 2006 Yaniv wrote:
  • How does the idea of impermanence appear in your life?
  • How do these ideas of spirituality and service influence your actions in resolving conflict?
  • 'the effect of impermanence in my life is to take out the fear factor, for I know that even bad things will pass.'
  • By worshipping a deity, such as Shiva, we are worshiping by focusing on the qualities they exhibit, compassion, mercy, strength, justice, sacrifice, wisdom and in turn we are cultivating those things witin ourself.
  • 'When in conflict with another, to harbor any resentment or negativity only eats away at my peace, not theirs'
  • Darkness signifies the existence of duality.
  • "The essence of music is the silence between the notes"
  • 'We have to deal with fear, with darkness, but I'm not sure we should embrace it.'
  • Emmanuel Kant's idea is that Space and Time are modes through which thought arises.