With any journey, there are a variety of paths to be taken, explored or otherwise examined. The choice to take these paths sometimes must be made with a minimal amount of data regarding how they might progress. Other paths present us with information and knowledge, almost as if they are selling themselves to us as viable options worth at least exploring.
The dark path does this better than any other path.
We tend to think of the term "evil" as being the definition of what the dark side offers, but such black and white judgment allows the dark side greater influence, because it rarely pushes the button marked "screaming evil" and falls instead on smaller decisions that will impact your life and existence. Turn Lionel in for looking at porn on the internet the other day. Get him fired, move up the company ladder. You need the money. You need the promotion. He is scum for looking at that crap anyway. He deserves what he has coming to him. Do it.
The dark side tends to push elements that will serve the needs and wants of the soul with either no consideration for what happens to other people or with justifications for how a decision will impact other people. Maybe Lionel is a sick pervert who looks at kiddie porn on the internet during the day and you work at a school full of children. By turning him in you have probably done a great service for the children of the school and for the community in general. If Lionel is a highly competent worker who lives alone and will, on rare occasions, drift over to look at some topless women out of boredom, will reporting him and getting him fired serve any purpose other than your own desires and goals?
We are faced with thousands of seemingly meaningless decisions every day of our lives. Go through the yellow light or stop for the yellow light. Make that call now or put it off until the afternoon. Get a beer out of the refrigerator now or wait until the commercial. We make most of these decisions instantaneously, without much thought, but they continue to be made because they are decisions that have to be made. If everything just happened according to a program called life, then we wouldn't have to make decisions, life would make them for us. It would be a very well written program, but you couldn't impact the outcome. Making decisions is better. It gives life meaning.
Just as there are thousands of decisions we make almost automatically every day, there are those big decisions that we don't make immediately. These are the crossroads of life, because they appear to have greater impact on our lives than the thousands of other decisions we've already made that day. We are able to see how these decisions impact our lives and those around us. The thousands of little decisions also have impact, but the impact is less obvious.
One of the reasons why crossroads decisions are so much more obvious and take more thought and consideration is because we can immediately see much of the additional impact the decision will make. Leaving your job. Ending a long term relationship. Having a child. Buying a yacht and naming it after your high school sweetheart. Divorce. Marriage. Smuggling dope out of Haiti. These decisions impact thousands of other life elements and people, so we think on them a while.
This is when the spirits become active and you are most conducive to new flows of energy and changes in the energy streams. As you ponder, different voices within you will tell you different options. As you mull over your decision and look for answers, elements of yourself and of your soul will offer pluses and minuses. Part of you seeks revenge against the guy who got you fired for looking at porn at work. Part of you doesn't want to lose your wife as a friend in this divorce and wants you to avoid getting nasty. Part of you thinks the yacht is a waste of money. Part of you wants to open yourself to new opportunity.
The dark voices are often loudest. They generate from the soul dragon which acts in any way it can to protect the soul core. The more fragile the soul core, the more vicious the dragon that protects it, and the stronger the dark voices. Take revenge, you deserve to. Kill that motherfucker. Take the twenty dollar bill she left on the table, she's just a crazy old biddy who probably has thousands stashed in some bank. Use that knowledge you promised you would keep a secret to benefit your career. Leave without paying, the service sucked anyway. Screw your best friend's wife, she's hot and he treats her like shit anyway. Don't tell that old man his muffler is falling off his car, let him learn the hard way. The dark voices serve the soul dragon, who acts to protect the soul core, and therefore they have no concern for others. When an individual is filled with disdain for other people, the dark voices will encourage harming them for your own amusement. When an individual feels hurt, let down or betrayed by others, the dark voice will encourage hurting others to reduce them to where they cannot threaten the fragile core of the soul.
The soul dragon's legitimacy emanates from the need to protect the soul core and from self-preservation. When fully utilized for its true purpose it is a benefit. When allowed to roam free or used for personal gain at the expense of others, the soul dragon becomes dangerous. Darkness intercedes when the definition of self-preservation becomes nebulous. Wants and needs become stirred into one giant pot and we begin to see things as being necessary and deserved, the self must be gratified. The soul dragon also works to preserve only the soul, it doesn't care about the body or the life. When the soul core is perceived as too fragile to exist at peace in a frame, the soul dragon will encourage escape. This is the source of suicidal behavior.
Much of the confusion between the battle between darkness and light within us is the concept that the battle is over life as pertains to the body and mind. The struggle within has limited interest in these things. If you accept that the soul is immortal and travels through many frames over eternity, then the picture becomes clearer. Shaping the nature of the soul over eternity is the quest and concentrating on one life is akin to placing ultimate value on one rainy Wednesday spent in a second grade classroom.
We all have different voices inside us, the result of emotion, experience, wants and needs. For most, the voices are simple arguments we have with ourselves over what to do next. Often represented in television and movies as the little devil and the little angel in bubbles over an individual's head encouraging good versus bad behavior, the voices are more complicated. The simplistic concept of good versus evil is a red herring.
If there is a path that spreads out before you, then you will have desires and goals that you focus on. Within your soul will be multiple opinions regarding how to proceed on this journey. Say you are very interested in advancing in your career. You have worked hard at establishing yourself in a field that you excel in and enjoy. You begin to move up to more prestigious positions with more power, influence and salary. Within you will be a voice that tells you to keep moving, keep climbing up the ladder, you are the best and you could run this company, you could be the king of your field, remembered forever by all that follow. There is another voice that tells you that you are happy now, you have achieved excellence in your field, are honored and well liked by your contemporaries, and now would be a good time to concentrate on other elements of your life. These voices will debate inside you until you make a decision as to where you want to go from here.
Then there are times when the voices come alive.
The fragile soul and resulting weak ego allows the voices greater license, and as the weak soul becomes empty and in need, a strange dance begins. Some feel this is the point where we allow spirits who wander eternity in search of hosts, to quarter within our souls. Others see this as a time when the voices that have always existed in quiet debate, get louder and take on their own personalities in order to encourage action and behavior.
Is it important to understand the real source of voices in the head, especially of one we consider mentally ill? Whatever their source, the voices are very real to the person who experiences them. Sometimes they cannot make the voices shut up. The voices often encourage horrible, vicious behavior. Cut yourself. Kill the neighbor lady. Take that crying baby out of its stroller and stuff it down the sewer. Why?
Dark thoughts occur to all people on some level, often at such a subconscious level that they never realize they are having them. Most people will not admit the dark thoughts that breeze through their mind. They have control over them and dismiss them at will. "What an absurd thought. Shove a pencil in that prick's eye. Eh, back to work." When the ego is deflated and defeated, something has to arise to direct the soul and its carriage. One of the voices, or several of the voices, will assert themselves. To overcome these "demons" one must find oneself again, find belief in oneself and find the strength to maintain the self. Gathering the voices before you, become the master warrior, the king or queen of the land, and take command of the empire. Allow the voices to exist, but become their master, not their slave.
Life is a journey. It is also a dance. We can't always choose the music and we can't completely control the flow of energy on the dance floor. We may choose a partner, we may find that our dance with them is more fluid, more intense and more passionate than our dance with any other partner. We may dance with ourselves, determining how we will choreograph our thoughts, opinions, dreams and hopes. To stop dancing is to embrace stagnation and eventually death. Don't stop dancing.
The dance within yourself, just as the dance with others, requires decisions. You might know the steps, but a dance with robotic, carefully measured movements, has no passion. The dance must take on your character and personality, to open yourself to who you are rather than who you have been groomed to believe you are supposed to be. Sometimes people will discourage your dance and suggest you try different music. If the music they play doesn't make you want to dance, then you will stand with yourself feeling insignificant. All these other people are dancing to this music, why can't I?
When I was younger, I aspired to be a writer, to study history and politics and become a speech writer who also wrote novels. I studied with my goal being to consume as much knowledge about the areas I was interested in. I wrote constantly, seeking publication and recognition. This was a good dance for me, it made me feel happy and painted the future with hopeful colors.
My father had different ideas. Writing was not a career that I could depend on. Very few writers ever find themselves published, and even fewer to the point where they can earn enough to live on. History and political science interested my father, but he did not see them as areas with promising career paths. So, he convinced me that I needed to either go into engineering, computer science or business. When I did, opting to attend the University of Arizona as a business major, the dance within me died and I found myself standing on the edge of the dance floor staring hopelessly into the crowd. My father had the best intentions, but when I made the decision to follow his direction, I lost my path and this was what began my spiralling depression that eventually led to suicide.
There is a voice that calls for stability, dependability, reliability and playing the good odds. It often runs in conflict with the dreams, hopes and desires we have. Souls maintain a risk management department that tends to be very active. "Whoa, Nelly, are you sure you want to jump out of this airplane? What if the parachute doesn't open?"
The dance within begins whenever we reach a crossroads. If you consider your opportunity to go sky diving as a crossroads, which it is, then you can reflect on what the dance within tells you. "Why do this, it's crazy!" asks one voice. "This will be a great experience, don't be chicken," says another. "Make sure everything is right, from the position of the plane to the parachute, make double sure, you are putting your life at risk here," says a third voice. "Do it, everyone will think you're the balls, you can tell people you've jumped out of a plane and they will be impressed," says a fourth.
Take everything you can from everyone you know.
A petty thug reads that as "grab that purse from that lady and run, she just cashed her social security check!" A more skillful person will manipulate, act and manage to be highly convincing in whatever he executes. He will convince people that when he takes from them he is right in his actions. He feeds on power and the pleasure he gets from watching others destroyed and damaged as a result of his actions while he amasses more power and strength. Taking alone is not enough. In order to take everything you can, you have to convince the person you are taking from to give you everything. The drive to destroy your critics and your adversaries, to humiliate and discredit them, in the interest of advancing your own agenda is the purest form of the dark side.
The true power of "evil" is in subtlety. It takes much manipulation and careful movement in order to extract as much as possible from the people you orbit. You have to win their trust and their love before they will really give up everything they possibly can. The trick is to convince them to give more than they really can, especially if you are loosening them up through deception.
What is given must be received, not taken. Taking everything you can floats negative energy. Receiving what is given floats positive energy. The difference may not seem like much, but the difference is actually very wide. You receive what another gives in the context of accepting it in the spirit it was given and to accept in complete honesty about what it means to you. Taking is sometimes easier. The dark paths are often easier, at least on the surface. The more we lie, the more we deceive, the more we avoid being honest with others, the more difficult it becomes to be honest with ourselves. One gets lost in their own maze of deceptions.
The seduction of the dark side.
The dark side is easier. It presents opportunities to slip a fastball past someone. I remember a friend who was married and having an affair with another woman. He told the other woman that he was in love with her and that his wife meant nothing to him, but that he needed to stay with her to properly raise their son. The truth was that he needed to get out and escape from his domesticated life from time to time, into the arms of passion and away from the daily pressures of his job, house and marriage. The other woman was his oasis of play, nothing more, but he misled her about his intentions in order to keep her around for more than a year. When his wife found out about the affair, he told everyone that the other woman meant nothing, that he was lost and misguided and that she had seduced and used him. He made the other woman look like a deceitful sexpot to as many people as possible to convince his wife that he was a victim. His wife bought it, and began trying to spice up their sex life to match what he had in his affair. He made out like a bandit by riding the dark side.
"She knew what she was getting into. She knew I was married and had a kid. She did this to herself."
Rationalization and justification.
"If I can do it and get away with it...
And nobody gets hurt...
Then why shouldn't I do it?"
Some actions do not seem to have consequences, but every action taken in life causes ripples. The ripples may be small and quiet, like a leaf produces when falling into a still pond. They may crash the shore like tidal waves. Every action produces a reaction within the energy. When you push, something moves, and that something moves something else, and so forth.
The most seductive voice of the dark side is the one that whispers, "You deserve this" in the back of your mind. The dragon likes to remind you of the hardships and setbacks you've faced and the hard work you've done. You deserve something wonderful. Take the brass ring. You are the king.
We all deserve wonderful things, but how these wonderful things are received, and how they are perceived, is important. The man who reports his co-worker for looking at porn on the internet has been looking for a way to get his co-worker out of the way for a long time. This co-worker has been standing in the way of this man's promotion and the man sees the co-worker as a bumbling incompetent who is keeping him from receiving a promotion that will give him prestige and the money to put down on his dream house in the country. The dark side gives you the cards of rationalization and justification to empower you in these times. Play your cards well. You can only play the cards you've been dealt.
Special thanks to bluebird_is_sad and Mitzi for inspiring and driving me to complete this.