Liewellyn Vaughan-Lee is a Sufi mystic and lineage successor in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Sufi Order. He is an extensive lecturer and author of several books about Sufism, mysticism, dream-work and spirituality.
Yet we long to hold life static and so save ourselves form the darkness and chaos that are around us. We have built so many walls and concepts to protect ourselves from life’s unending metamorphosis. We even try to remain young, to keep our bodies in some idealized image of youth or beauty. Our goals and ideals offer a crystallized view of the future, frozen into an image for which we work and aspire. And so we deny the very reality of life, which becomes a monster from which we try to escape. Are we so frightened of what life has to offer us that we need to deny its essential nature of change?
If life does not change, it dies, and yet paradoxically we are so frightened of death that we try to hold back the flow of Life. Without knowing it, we are caught in a masculine idealized image, a longing for perfection that denies the feminine with its understanding of darkness, decay and destruction. Without darkness there can be no birth: nothing creative can take place. Without destruction there can be no cycle of life, only a sterile environment in which nothing grows. If we do not accept the darkness, life will lose whatever meaning it has left. If we do not allow ourself to live in the darkness, the doors of revelation will remain closed.
Initiates have always known that rebirth only happens in the darkness. In the moist darkness of the feminine, new life is conceived and carried. Should our culture be different, reborn only in the light, in the brightness of consciousness?
When we envisage a future of technological or scientific progress, we avoid the darkness, just as we have turned away form the primal power of the feminine that is the real giver of life. And so the sterility of our disbelief surrounds us, because we do not dare to welcome the darkness, the unknowing, the wisdom of the feminine.
Life demands darkness: just as the river surface sparkles in the sunlight, so does it have its depths. In the depths there is silence, there is slow-moving balance to the myriad reflections of the surface. The depths carry a quality of life that is essential, even if it is unknowable. We cannot afford to live much longer only on the surface of life. The real promise of our future demands that we accept the darkness of our own destruction and greed, and discover within this darkness the seeds of our own unhappiness: how we have denied ourself something essential to life.
Yet our fat-moving culture seems to have little time for introspection or descent. We are continually bombarded by demands, by the problems or achievements that require our immediate attention. The darkness is an outsider, unwanted, rejected. We see only the destructive powers of darkness, the way it can disturb our ambitions, deny us what we want. The darkness holds a gun or knife to rob us of our possessions. Its potential for rebirth, for resurrection, for revelation, has been long purged from our collective thought –forms. When the priests came with their soldiers and swords to destroy the temples of priestesses and cut down their sacred groves, the potency of darkness was trampled underfoot. For a while this wisdom was carried by the Gnostics and alchemists, but the religious hierarchies of masculine power were thereatened by something they could not control, and persecution followed. Yet the flow of life needs darkeness, needs the depths; and the feminine carries the instinctual wisdom ofo what is. She knows the simplicity of life, how it comes into being and is always a mystery and wonder. She holds this knowledge in her body, in her very nature.
The Feminine Carries The Connections Of Life
In the bright light of masculine consciousness, each object stands our clear and distinct. In the diffuse consciousness of the feminine, the patterns of relationship are more visible.
The feminine carries the connections of all of life within her, and for many centuries this has been her secret. Even when the masculine degraded and punished her, abused and rejected her instinctual understanding, she still carried this wisdom; even as it became hidden from their own conscious knowing. Now this wisdom is needed. It can no longer be hidden, but needs to become conscious.
The connections of life are all around us. But while men may know this is abstract, women carry this understanding in the cells of their body. They feel the pulse of life in a way that is inaccessible to men. Cells of woman’s body carry a light that is not present in a man’s body. This is because she is a part of the sacred mystery of creation. She is always a part of the whole of life. Her knowing is not abstract but lived.
The connections of life carry the seeds of the future, of what is being given to humanity. It is through these connections that the energy of life flows. Our understanding of the energy flow of life depends upon our knowledge of the interconnectedness of all of life and how these connections are made. We also need to know how connections can become damaged, torn, destroyed, and how to repair, to mend what has been broken. We need to regain the knowledge of how the threads of life are woven, how the tapestry of creation is formed. We need to bring this feminine wisdom into consciousness so that we can learn to relate to the whole of life.
We can only work with the flow of life when we understand the connections through which life flows. We need to regain an understanding of the dynamics of the relationships that bind together all of creation. The feminine holds this natural knowing within her body the sacred essence of creation. But to protect his sacred knowing from the ravages of the patriarchy and its misuse of power, she hid her wisdom. It was never written down in books, but transmitted from mother to daughter, from priestess to initiate. Then, when the wise women were persecuted and burned, when it became no longer safe to have any access to his knowing, it was pushed into the unconscious.
Many times in the course of humanity, esoteric wisdom has been hidden and so protected from misuse. Sometimes this wisdom can never be regained: for example, many of the secrets of sacred geometry have been lost forever. But if there is a real need, then the wisdom can be recovered. Certain sacrifices have to be made, however. The women who hold this knowledge are still fearful of the power of the patriarchy and its potential for misuse. They carry in their ancient memories the scars of persecution, and often a deep anger towards the masculine. But they have to put aside their own misgivings, and bring their inner knowing into the light of consciousness. Certain connections need to be made within the foreseeable future. If these connections are not made then humanity will move into the dark ages that so often follow the end of a civilization.
If the connections of life are made known, then light can travel through these connections, awakening centers of consciousness within humanity. The light of masculine consciousness cannot find these centers without the full participation of the feminine. The connections cannot be made that will awaken then. Without the activation of these centers of consciousness, humanity cannot take the next step in its spiritual evolution. It will not have access to the wisdom power, and love that it needs. His manity will then remain fragmented, rather than learning to function as a dynamic, interrelated whole patterns of energy-flow around the planet will remain dormant, or function on a lower level. Once again humanity will have missed an opportunity.