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Night and Darkness: How Darkness Aids Healing

The following is an excerpt from Oddball: A Memoir on Resilience by Diana Navarro, M.S. exploring the gifts of darkness for healing.

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Cover image for Oddball a Memoir on Resilience

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”Nikola Tesla

Frequency, Light, Darkness, Good and Evil, Where is the Balance?

Considering duality, polarity, and the spectrum in between, I think of how my own dark beginnings led me to make the conscious decision to face, explore, and attempt to understand darkness, instead of assuming it was all bad, evil, and destructive. It’s a perilous journey I’m still on. All is made of the frequency of energy, from the heaviest planet to the invisible realm. How fast, strong, or long it vibrates determines its type. Scientists, metaphysicians, musicians, philosophers, mystics, literary scholars, spiritual seekers, and artists are just a few of the humans that openly explore the world of frequency.

Some of these seekers of knowledge can focus on different facets of energy and vibration. A social scientist may try to understand the mind of a person capable of evil acts, while a metaphysician may explore evil in a wider, subtler, and spiritual sense. It’s all part of the one system of our Universe from the micro to the macro. The more we learn of each discipline, the more we can see connections, synchronicities, and interactions among this energy.

According to physics and metaphysics, all is frequency and vibration. In the context of dualism, we have fast-high vibration and low-slow vibration. Some associate the higher faster vibration with states of light, beauty, ascension, truth, love heaven while the lower, slower with dark, ugly, evil, hatred, and hell. I would remove darkness from the low vibration related only to evil like we’ve been conditioned and misinformed to believe.

I always wondered whether humans are born with a clean slate. The nature versus nurture question of whether we are born with certain dispositions to be good often described as high/fast mental and emotional vibration, or evil, low/slow vibration. Is it the environment that molds and manipulates this vibration? A mixture of both? And to what degree?

Darkness has many shades and some of them are absolutely necessary for our existence. To completely deny darkness, or what some call our shadow side, a term coined by Carl Jung, is impossible. We can’t live in balance with so-called light alone. And not all light is of goodness and truth. Whether we like or admit it, we live in a world of life and death cycles. And no matter how kind, loving, and gentle we are, most of us kill some type of life and what does that make us?

Many say killing anything other than a human is okay and lump every other life-form into one category, from insects to whales, calling all this life non-sentient. As an empath, I can tell you that is completely wrong and ignorant. However, because of these life cycles we experience on earth, life has to end for all of us eventually. Some naturally and justly, some not. Where harm and evil killing comes in is for passionate debate beyond the scope of this book.

We have been fooled. All of us. Some of us have caught on, but most are still under the incredible misconception that all darkness is evil. When we speak of dark forces we are speaking of evil, negative forces that are out to do harm. The opposite of the statement for the highest good. But darkness per se is simply the energy force that is in and of itself truly a mystery to us. What we do know is that we can’t exist without it. We hear this all the time: ying and yang, dark and light, day and night, masculine and feminine, chaos and order, offense and defense. In this darkness is where one can truly awaken.

“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.” —Henry Miller

Darkness provides the realm for creativity. It is instrumental to functioning with light where chaos ultimately turns into universal order. We simply cannot have light if we didn’t have a place for to it illuminate. It is nature and as humans, we are tricked into thinking to only follow. In no way do I condone violence and evil. I prefer to align with love. I chose that path. But love is a complex force. We may feel love but what is this we are talking about? Attraction, possession, need to protect, attachment, non-attachment, freedom, truth?

My personal experience with darkness is part of my life path: To explore the dance between light and dark. I have had rudimentary conversations about this topic and by far people are attached to their own belief that dark is evil, period. Then they may or may not bring in some religious points not realizing that I am more than aware of what they are saying, and it is the far beyond that is preached carelessly by traditional religious dogma.

I grew up with the ridiculous confines of religion. I always felt choked, upset, depressed and not part of the conversation. I was taught to be obedient, silent, and good. Anything else was considered sinful. And this sin will lead to eternal damnation. I always thought I was doing something wrong, all the time. Because I was an empath and felt others’ emotions, I did my best to be kind and helpful. This is as early as I can remember.

Being exposed to the darkness in religion as a child, you don’t have a choice. You are always asking yourself, am I a sinner? Am I bad? And since many organized religions claim you are born in sin, the answer is, yes I am a sinner, bad, and maybe even evil. The higher self knows better and whispers, this is incorrect. Though we are imperfect, we are not necessarily all bad. But I did have a mind of my own. I had my desires, emotions, wishes, and it seemed as if acting on them was a sin if it wasn’t aligned with

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.” —Carl Jung

Dark Night

Because of my Dark Night of the Soul, I was concerned about delving into the darkness. Would I be judged? Would I lose my soul? When I had my Dark Night of the Soul, I was touched by something so beautiful, loving, and pure. But that was just the beginning of a very long journey. This includes seeking to understand what holds this existence together or breaks it apart.

In darkness, there is stillness and quiet, as described in the Dark Night of the Soul, there is complexity and dynamic energy. There is information, knowledge, and realization. Without the distracting or blinding light and noise of the ego, lies, ignorance—we can find some of that clarity of darkness as we do with the light of love versus the light of deceit. Sometimes evil and avarice uses light, a reflection of the true source of light or from stealing the energy of a pure source. This can and does fool many souls. The more we know about energy, the more we can discern what is of true good intention or of harm.

We need a certain amount of strength, conviction, defiance, and determination to survive and thrive in this reality. To sit meekly and just let life happen will certainly ensure your life force is reduced. It puts you at the mercy of the powers that be[1] and those powers will very likely not care for you specifically but will want use of your energy for their own feeding and satisfaction. Your will to survive can be seen as one of the shades between light and darkness.

I emphasize that when I say “will” I am not speaking of evil, which is the intention to create harm around and within for sheer pleasure of it. This will becomes destructive when it exists in pure selfishness, feeding, taking, and using, returning nothing but waste. Some claim there is no real evil in the world. Just bad people here and there. I don’t know how that statement can be made with what we do know about our history on this planet and what humans are capable of doing to each other, animals and the planet for no reason other than the desire for pleasure, power and control. This is evil.

Working with our own dark side is utterly frightening. At least it is for me. I am afraid of what could happen to me and my soul. Would I enjoy the darker side of darkness? Can I return to the pure light? Can someone turn evil by delving into and exploring their shadow side? Can we become pure and perfect, or are we intertwined with our darkness? Can we find a way to live peacefully with our dark side and to what extent? What exactly is our dark side? Is it the deadly sins we know of, gluttony, pride, lust, envy wrath, greed, and sloth? Or are there extreme levels in their spectrum?

I am not sure if it is because I am an empath but I can’t stand anyone, person, animal, or plant be hurt or damaged. It hurts me in every way. But as an empath, I most certainly have specifically felt the pain of others. I have also felt what it is that people feel when they hurt others. That feeling of evil is one that is incompatible with my system. Anything remotely related to it always makes me ill in every way.

There are differences between in an inherently evil person/entity and a singular act of anger or violence committed by a seemingly regular person because of a specific circumstance or trigger. In other words, to err is human. We are not infallible and there can be a time or two we do something that causes harm to others and actually have that dark enjoyment. However, we can have remorse.

The pleasure, thrill, enjoyment that an evil person/entity feels is nothing like what one feels when one sees a flower bloom, the sunrise, a newborn baby, the ocean crash on the shore, the touch of a puppy, smell of a fragrance, and the warmth of compassion. Evil is something else, like a deep insatiable hunger demanding satisfaction, knowing it’s insatiable. A rabid itch that can’t be relieved.

The seeking of anyone, or anything (preferably living) that can provide the energy source for a ravenous desire regardless of what it does to the supplier of that energy. The pain caused to the supplier of the energy is the pleasure supply. It is extremely, completely diametrically opposed and the inverse of empathy, love, and compassion.

What causes someone or something to be evil? We don’t yet know. Can it be reversed, changed, or healed? It appears not. The good news is most of us won’t have to deal with this level of evil much in our lives. The bad news is it does exist and is always seeking a source of energy anywhere, anytime. The better news is that we can protect ourselves and if we are touched by evil, we can heal. It takes time and the correct modality for each of our individual needs. But it is possible.

I learned through continued introspection of my dark/shadow side and general research, that most people don’t suddenly become evil. There are bad and harmful things we are all capable of doing. However, there are many factors and circumstances that have to be in a precise context for that to happen. The most important factor is that we have the power to determine whether or not we act upon those. This is in contrast to an evil person who is predisposed and freely chooses to be evil and do evil as a way of life.

“To live truthfully and authentically requires the reconstruction of each person to be willing to look at and accept personal responsibility for the darkness that exists within themselves. How would life on earth change, if every person was willing to take responsibility for the darkest fears they have and they were willing to address their darkest fears about existence? Are you willing?” —Enlightened Consciousness

Sweet Versus Compassion

Something odd evolved in my personality. I became known as a sweet person. To this day, I both chuckle and cringe when someone calls me sweet. It happens more often than “where are you from”? And that’s a whole lot! I laugh because I am not sweet. I cringe because it is a mischaracterization. I am caring, compassionate, and sensitive. But I am not sweet. However, when I do something “nice” for someone it is identified as being sweet.

I don’t try to rescue an abandoned cat/dog/animal because I’m sweet. I do it because I care. I feel their pain and I want to alleviate it. I don’t open the door for a struggling person or a stranger because I’m sweet or expect a thank you. I do it because I strive for harmony. Sweet minimizes my expression of compassion. I understand that I am called sweet because they are simply trying to express their perception of me and give me appreciation and feedback for my act of kindness.

I will never forget how I felt when I first recognized “sweet” was how people perceived me. Sure I heard and hear people tell me all the time but it wasn’t until I was looking through my yearbook and greeting cards that it struck me. As someone who notices patterns, I could not help but notice how many times the word “sweet” appeared. How did I feel when I first saw this? I was struck and even a bit disappointed. What powerful, strong, and successful person is sweet? Sweet is perceived as weak. And I preferred and still do, to be strong and powerful because is what is respected in this society. I learned by caring for myself via discernment and using proper boundaries both strength and compassion are possible.

I feel love very strongly, passionately, fiercely, and truly. There is an alter-side and I have also felt those emotions–the dark emotions the human heart can feel. What does that make me? Human. What makes me the best, strongest human I can possibly be in this lifetime? To be all light and love? I don’t believe so. And with this, I have struggled.

I am not attracted to “evil” but I understand it is very real. The problem is we give way too much attention to the evil acts, and evil thrives off of this attention. See? Yes, be aware of it, choose not to feed it, on an ongoing basis, lessen its importance, this is how it loses its power! Darkness, however, is a whole different story. I ignorantly thought I could share light and love and be sunshine all the time. That this was the “right” thing to do. What a big mistake! I’m sure it had to do with the religious upbringing where everything was either black or white, not black and white.

Though it teaches we are born in sin, our job here on earth is to constantly purify oneself. The list of sins seemed infinite, particularly for women (which is no surprise but always so disappointing). I strongly believe that my years of work as a counselor and empath without proper emotional and spiritual protection led to extreme depletion. This combined with my physical trauma was the perfect storm for a breakdown.

I started thinking about boundaries and self-care very carefully. I studied all I could about it. Especially during my relationship with a narcissist/sociopath where I was extremely vulnerable physically, emotionally, and sexually. When we are intimate with someone we open ourselves up to an exchange of energy. Whether we plan to be with this person long-term or just once, an energy exchange occurs. If your partner is toxic or vampiric, then sooner or later you will experience all kinds of ailments.

When I separated from this person, which you’ll see in Domestic Violence, the Second Time, I had to do extensive cleansing in every possible way. In my ongoing work, I talk about how to heal which include various strategies I experimented with and found actually worked. Much of it required the power of ritual and consistency. It also requires trust in these unconventional methods and continued practice. That is not easy but it is necessary.

When I started using some of these methods like cord cutting, using certain chants, and contract renegotiation, I began to notice I needed strength and conviction. When creating boundaries I needed those qualities too and working with light only was not the way to do it. I needed to acquaint myself with my dark side. The yang, (traditionally known as masculine but not in the sexual/gender sense). This is the part that says, “No, you can no longer feed off of me.” This is when you refuse to accept abusive behavior for any reason whatsoever. Including, “but I love him/her”.

An unexpected gift I received was understanding my responsibility to love myself authentically. If I don’t, how can I possibly live a life of quality for myself or anyone else? I cannot. Neither can most people, especially if you are sensitive. Darkness does not include cruelty. That would be evil. Darkness is fierce, aggressive if necessary for self-protection, powerful and masterful.

We’ve been discouraged from using this side of us. Imagine a world full of strong, convicted people. Then how would the masses be controlled? Those in power have found myriad ways to make sure most people believe that darkness in this sense is illegal and/or sinful. In darkness, we find peace, quiet, strength, and knowledge. Some say evil dwells in darkness, I say it is also right here in the well-lit streets and in plain view. Maybe it’s because I’m naturally nocturnal and find such solace during the night but darkness has wrongfully gotten the short end of the stick for sure.

For us to know, protect and care for ourselves, it behooves us all to think about the effect manipulating energy and frequency has on us. If we know nothing about how energy and frequency function, we are at its mercy and at the mercy of those who do manage to manipulate it. I am speaking of energy from the dense and physical to the subtle like that of mood and emotions. Just think of a time you met someone and thought, “Wow that person has bad vibes”.

“Understanding does not cure evil, but it is a definite help, inasmuch as one can cope with a comprehensible darkness.” —Carl Jung

The Question for Me was How Am I Facing and Dealing with My Own Dark Side?

For most of us, our dark and shadow side is hidden. It lies in our subconscious. Societal rules have encouraged us to control, repress, and remove any expression of our dark side. This could be from something as simple as sadness to something heavier like fury. But such black and white rules are not going to work with our complexity. As I said before, not all darkness is “bad” if expressed in a way that creates and heals, rather than harms.

If one makes the choice to completely fight, ignore, and defy darkness, expect a few things to happen. And they probably already have. You will find all kinds of physical, mental and emotional ailments. You are attempting to restrain the unrestrainable. That energy had to go somewhere and do something. It cannot and will not stay still. If you try to never get angry, the anger that is a natural human emotion has to go somewhere, and will demonstrate itself eventually and likely in a destructive way.

If one accepts that anger exists and finds a way to express it in a healthy way, say creatively, that energy can be released and reconstituted usefully, for the good of all. Any dark emotion that isn’t addressed or expressed can show up in all kinds of ways. These can include addictions, attraction to perversions, destructive acts, rage and violence, illnesses, attempt to control and bully others, phobias, just to name a few.

Darkness, part of an infinite spectrum, is where the rumblings of creative potential occur. When the decision is made to acknowledge the existence of darkness, the genesis of discernment can begin. It’s a perilous journey and takes courage. We have to be ready for the unexpected. If someone were to ask me, where do I start? I would say, begin with earnest intention, then by doing research. The gifts of darkness, if used for the highest good, include strength, resilience. Having been exposed to even the evil side of it gave me the gift of discernment and an appreciation for consciously using compassion.

We are fortunate that we have information much more easily available now than we did, say, even ten years ago. I have and do research on anything that continues to put the pieces together. Metaphysical subjects like Shamanism, remote viewing, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, topics in the occult that scares so many though it simply means “not revealed,”[2] and sciences like quantum or theoretical physics go a long way to fill in the pieces of the puzzle. There is so much information out there but much has been kept from us by traditional institutions.

One of the gifts of the internet is more global access to some of this information. Of course, not all of it is accurate. Using common sense, research skills, discernment, and gut instinct can go a long way in helping get useful information. I would remind you not to rush. So much information can be overwhelming and confusing since you will find many points pushing and pulling your belief system.

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people.”Carl Jung

I would advise anyone to keep a journal dedicated to spiritual topics or extraordinary experiences related to them. It provides the benefit of getting outside of yourself and also showing you patterns you can’t see if they stay inside your mind. Give yourself the time, as in the rest of your life, time. It’s a lifelong journey since we will always be tested as long as we are here in this existence. Create the space, physical and mental, to sit with darkness. Call on your higher self for guidance. Everyone is different, but for me, I learned that saying no to anything trying to harm me, including my own ego is my sovereign right. To this day, this has kept me safe and strong enough to keep going on this journey.

“Dreams are the guiding words of the soul. Why should I henceforth not love my dreams and not make their riddling images into objects of my daily consideration?” —Carl Jung

Enter Dreamscapes

One of my sources of guidance has been my dreams. After my spiritual awakening, I began to have dreams of a very different and specific sort. My dream life is a part of my life I take seriously. I have always been able to remember my dreams and had long and complex ones. But something changed where my dreams became longer more specific than my regular lucid dreams. I now have dreams that last for up to12 hours with incredible detail.

They are so vivid I have to pay attention. Many people don’t pay attention to their sleep and dream life. Whether we remember dreams or not, we do enter a state in our sleep cycle that makes it possible for us to enter a different phase of consciousness. What exactly is the phase? Is it just brain neurons firing off doing random connections? Is it our way of psychologically working things out? Are we experiencing something more than just biological or emotional, entering realms of spirit, the invisible world?

To answer some of these I took the personal challenge of working on a book based on dreams and sleep. Specifically vivid, lucid and serial dreams. Stay tuned.


[1] The powers that be can be someone close to you like a romantic partner, a governing system, or something more nebulous to us.

[2] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occult

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