Recently, on an email list that I am on, there was a discussion about “peace”, and whether “dark ritual” was an acceptably peaceful activity. Some people liked what I wrote, so I am posting my thoughts here :

I do not think of peace as a whispy pastel-colored gently-undulating open space, emptied of all potential violent force. I think of it instead as a harmonious balanced relationship between all the potentially dangerous powers within ourselves or without. It is a balance that we at best find and lose, and then find, and then lose, and then find again.

It is my guess that this world will never do without primitive violent forces, the thick bloody elements of matter that are far from evolved spirit : volcanoes erupting and earthquakes smashing, animal predators ripping the flesh off the bone of their prey, microbes attempting to eat us, human violence, and the various darknesses within our minds and souls. The best that we can aim for is bringing awareness and allowingness to the heavy thick darkness of life and of ourselves, and thereby transform it into light, and finding some sort of balance for the time being. It’s like a relationship between two people : peace comes from constantly coming back to the now, realigning and communicating about the new truth of the moment, renegotiating the balance between the push and pull of two potentially dangerous powers – it is NOT trying to get rid of that dark power, which is ultimately impossible. And sometimes the path and practice towards finding that balance and that “peace” involves ceremony, ritual, literature, and art that embodies and embraces the darkness – as a tool of our evolution, as a tool of alchemically transforming the violence within us into spirit.


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