It's easier to tread the lighter path, hence, such is recommended for the majority practitioners. In the East, those who tread the darker path, aimed for the light, the drop of light in the yin. Hence, when treading the darker route, it's necessary that one holds some bhakti, some love and devotion, so they may not stray into the dark. When I say dark, I don't mean dark entities, the demons of our traditions. What I care is about the darkness in my own psyche. Such darkness again is not in reference to horror movies, but things that trigger us. Be it road rage, social status issues, sense of self worth, addictions, things that hold us down I believe to be the dark.
Most esoteric and occult practitioners know that the goal is to attain Self, a version higher than ego. That should be made clear to all initiates. The attempt is to raise consciousness, someone's level of awareness. Nonetheless, when I dived into the occult, such was not explained. Luckily, I grew up in a household that held the teachings of the higher Self, the Bhagavad Gita. Though it took texts like the Ashtavakra Gita, or the Tripura Rahasaya to truly understand the Bhagavad Gita, searching for the Higher Self is in essence the great search for one's Spirit, our unified Spirit.
When I dive into my own shadow, it is for the sake of transcendence, to be able to face any attachment/addiction and relinquish its hold. In other words, I will have full control over my senses and decide how to use as such, as opposed to following the highly intoxicated monkey brain with incessant neuronal firing of ego thoughts. Nonetheless, I find that my ego has certain creative elements and aspects that I enjoy, including material in the shadow, with the summation of such I would deem my soul expression, the personality I would like to carry in the world.
In my path, though I may choose harsher forms of music at times, though I may choose to read script exploring the darkest depths of consciousness, I am forever in favor of a blessed humanity. I choose to serve mankind, though I feel finding Self is the greatest service possible. To walk among humanity the way Jesus and Siddhartha touched the lives of the fallen and meak. Though I seek strength and intellect in the dark, sometimes that is an aspect that will help me stick up for myself, I seek humility and love at the feet of my great masters.
It was Krishna, Jesus, and Siddharta who taught me service to humanity. It was Yogananda who taught me that each human being was capable of something much more Spiritual in this life, not just the after-party. It was Black Elk who taught me to honor Mother Earth as she is a Sentient Being. It was Ramakrishna who taught me to be as a child when approaching the divine. It was Anandamayi Ma who taught me that bliss can be found on someone's face. It was St. Francis Assisi who taught me the greatness of animals. It was Prahbupada who taught me the importance of the heart over the intellect. It was Gurdjieff who taught me the importance of seeking. It was the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) who taught me compassion.
So while I may choose the esoteric and dark to invigorate the intellect, I have done so with such great masters residing in my heart space, who are my role models. I've recognized the shadow inside me and have sought to gain wisdom, strength, and to further create love through understanding.
There are many who attempt certain practices without proper initiation and the internet has been avenue for finding some of the most hidden texts rather easily. Remember, even Aleister Crowley taught that one must seek the Holy Guardian Angel to proceed, though, that is typically not shown in many occult texts. I've seen way too many individual talk about jumping straight into certain invocations. Hence, you have a plethora of individuals who readily dive into certain esoteric practices, not understanding the importance of clarity of intention, and I wonder about their psyche. Though everyone's Higher Self is protecting and guiding them, choosing the dark, for the dark, to remain solely in the dark, man, I don't even want to fathom that type of psychology.
I feel this warning has not been quite expressed, especially after seeing young esoteric explorers on social media who are attempting a western esoteric path without formal training. In addition, placing intention on certain entities can create distortions in the pysche, ones that may affect thought processes. The goal is to find one's true-self, by containing/controlling/transmuting such distortions. Certain paths exists as a fast path to the light, not to remain in the dark. You gather wisdom from such efforts, which leads to proper understanding of the nature of the universe.
When I explore the inner depths of my own darkness, I'm glad I have the support of my beloved masters who have made sure to strengthen my heart first.
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Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions