“Darkness covered the face of the deep.”
- Genesis 1:2
Before there was light, the EIN SOF withdrew itself (Zimzum) from one place and created a void. This void made a space for the EIN SOF OR, Eternal Light, to enter. This void was the darkness that covered the face of the deep.
Before there could be light, there needed to be darkness through which it could shine and penetrate. This is the foundation for the dualistic nature of the world of creation, out of which all other dualities unfold...light and dark, earth and sky, masculine and feminine, yin and yang, and love and fear.
This darkness is not just the absence of light, it is the boundary between form and formlessness, and it is also the spiritual darkness that descends upon us as we struggle to touch the light of the Divine.
I have experienced this spiritual darkness many times. I am immersed in a spiritual darkness at this very moment. This darkness has lasted a long time and began after writing my last entry about the Eternal Light. The writing of the entry and several other processes in my life and spiritual practice converged and I experienced an extended experience of "light" which was then followed by a descent into darkness.
Through my experiences of light and darkness I have come to realize that after a period of closeness or nearness to the Divine light, I often experience a period of disconnection or desolation in which I seem to loose touch with the Divine, and the light and love of the Divine appears to be replaced by an experience darkness (or a Dark Night of the Soul). This darkness is like a cloud of unknowing that surrounds me and fills my being.
For years I perceived these dark times as a withdrawal of the Divine presence, but I have learned that from the Kabbalistic perspective, one can actually perceive this darkness as a sign of a greater nearness to the Divine. From this perspective, as we approach the Divine through intent and practice, we move through many layers of body, mind and spirit until we reach the light, then we enter that dark void between the light and the EIN SOF, which is actually the closest we can be to the Divine without giving up our physical form.
Now that I hold these times of darkness as times of nearness to the Divine, my entire experience of the dark times is very different. I surrender into the unknowingness and feel a sense of grace and blessing. I become aware that there are forces beyond my perception moving deep within, unearthing and dissolving the barriers I have between myself and the Divine. In this way darkness covers the face of the deep within me and reveals the hidden Divine face.
"I will come to you in a cloud of thick darkness,
that you may come near to me
and hear when I speak with you..."
- Exodus 19:9
"Clouds and darkness surround the Divine Presence"
- Psalm 97:2
"The Divine Presence makes darkness Its hiding place"
*Image: Divine Cloud over Mt. Sinai