Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Dark and Light


November 11, 2005



Dear Eric,


This is a super, super-important time for me, like all of us, and I really could use a clear understanding of what the 'dark forces' of the universe are. I am asking you because I see you as a surfer riding the feared wave, like the hot veteran surfers who broke through the taboo (and their own growing apprehension) of getting in the path of the tidal wave on a river in South America and found it was the ride of a lifetime... and also inspired courage in the local kids, who immediately started practicing surfing for themselves near their homes on the river banks. I ask for your characteristic compassionate and passionate perspective, because the old dogmatic images mostly inspire fear in me, and I want to go beyond that. I have work to do, and I need more understanding so that I can develop my focus and intentions.


Is there necessarily a balance between dark and light? Or do we really have enemies? Meaning, is a universe of pure light what we want, as in all creation is moving toward full awareness and love? Or is there some evil other seeking to destroy or enslave us? Would that mean our love-universe is not the only universe? Or is the battle actually an internal one between the ego and the true self that we act out personally and make as big as the story of the universe? Then the answer would be simplified, brought down to the questions of self-understanding, selflove, faith, maturity. What is the real battle, Eric?


Thanks and a bushel of light to you,


Jennifer Spring



Dear Jennifer,


In my view, the questions you're presenting need to be asked as internal ones first, that is, as questions about oneself. Then we can look at the larger forces in the world. I feel that all spiritually oriented questions need to be taken this way. This is a boundary issue, between "me" and "the world." It is true that there are forces of darkness both within and without. But in our stage of history and evolution, the ones within are far more important, and most often empower the ones outside ourselves.


It is not possible to state precisely what or where the me/world boundary is -- because there is a lot of overlap -- but we can ask the question and see what we notice.


Hence, faced with any situation that perplexes us, we can ask: "What about this involves me, and what involves the world?" And then we need to listen for the answer. The ability to do this, and orient on a reasonable idea in response, is an important basis of psychic and emotional health. It is much of what we learn in therapy. It is the essence of spiritual growth. It is lots of what we do when our relationships are sane and healthy. It is the reason why we need to "love your neighbor as yourself," because in the absence of understanding the difference between oneself and one's neighbor, love is the sane route. But until we know ourselves, love can feel pretty dangerous.


As students of astrology and metaphysics on any level, we have a profound responsibility to know ourselves, and to put our lives on a healing journey, so that we can feel better, learn to let our creative energy flow, and be of service to the healing processes of others around us.


Humans in Western Civ have a tendency to project (in the psychological sense of that word) -- that is, to see and experience the cast-off parts of our personalities as things outside ourselves, and thus to cast blame or idolatry where it does not belong. We often see things as more dastardly or more admirable than ourselves, and in some people this is a dramatic and dominant condition of their experience of life. It is indeed possible to project so much of one's identity outward that one does not seem to exist at all; it is possible to have such a weak sense of existence that everything is a projection and we are entirely validated, or not, from the outside.


It happens often in special love relationships and special hate relationships, which tend to have many similar properties.


We hear less about something called introjection -- taking on the blame and responsibility for things that have nothing to do with us. This process is closely related to guilt, and it begins very early, indeed, in or before infancy, when we take on the emotions of others and blame ourselves for what goes on around us, but which is totally outside our control.


An example (an obvious one, there are subtler ones) might be having heard our parents fighting when we were little, and taking on the blame; or holding ourselves responsible for the misery of our caregivers; or for events that occur within the family. Many kids blame themselves for these kinds of events, and indeed this coincides with the fact that many are actively blamed (others projecting onto us), and then we take on the responsibility as a burden, when in fact, we are not really responsible; it is not our fault, and we are not "able to respond."


This sense of responsibility often comes in the form of guilt; the guilt becomes a habit, which is the habit of self-judgment and self-attack; and a war breaks out within the psyche. There is a split. The two halves of the psyche often take the role of light and dark; of illumination and shadow; of what we are aware of, and what we cannot acknowledge.


In the mist of this war, it can become impossible to discern what feelings come from outside stimulus and which are the result of legacies left behind from how we were treated. And these legacies are powerful! The emotions, such as guilt, can be overwhelming and at times take over one's entire identity.


Then something weird happens. Because the guilt is so powerful and overwhelming, we learn to project it outward, and blame someone or something other than ourselves for how we feel. This is a kind of last-ditch escape valve that opens, to let off the insane pressure of self-blame. And in the midst of this whole equation, we are basically heading for lives of constant petty conflict (or worse), which is really the product of a fierce inner battle that began at the latest in early childhood. It has nothing to do with actual right and wrong -- despite the feeling of guilt saying WRONG in very strong terms.


Before we have any discussion of evil, such as whether there exists a dark force, or any discussion of whether "light and dark must balance," we need to acknowledge and be aware of the struggle I'm describing, so that we don't get confused, and we don't cease to take responsibility for consciously negotiating any part of the process. In other words, I am proposing that in any exploration of outer reality (including another person), we need to maintain self-awareness.


For those of us who practice astrology, any form of natural religion, any of the psychic arts, or any healing art, we're working right at the boundary between what is individual and what is collective. So we need to learn to be self-aware as best we can. It's our protection, and it protects others around us.


However, for most, being truly aware of inner conflict is too much to think about, so we stuff it down to the basement of consciousness, also called the subconscious. This gets it out of the way for a while, but actually, it has a way of raising hell. If that happens, we are either destined to some degree of ongoing conflict -- or worse, we are made ripe for plucking by somebody's dark plan. Holding this conflict unresolved is how a lot of people get lured into the military, dark political movements, religious cults, and other collective forces that typically do more harm than good, and involve surrendering one's power.


On our plane of reality, when evil manifests, it does so most often through the compromises of compromised people. It most often happens because we either seem to agree, or just go along with it. And this is a state most often attained through withdrawing awareness and denying our power; in other words, the agreement is often tacit. It also comes as a result of the inner guilt battle I've described, which renders people essentially paralyzed, helpless, or impotent -- whatever you want to call it -- to face actual situations in our lives, in our families and in our relationships.


I'm going to call this the gray area. In this gray area, right and wrong become ambiguous, pleasure and pain get mixed up into one experience, most everything is a compromise in which we lose, and most of all, the ability to make choices seems to disappear. This gray area is the most useful thing that evil works with. There are very few people who are actually evil, who actually want to hurt others. But there are many people who withdraw awareness and essentially give up, and that's where we're ripe for the picking.


The reason most people stay there is that AWARENESS IS TOO PAINFUL!


Now, when you look around at the world, what do you see? Choose something that disturbs you, and then see if you can make a series of associations of worldly causes that made it so. Not metaphysical ones -- plain and simple, on the ground, with a paper trail.


With the possible exception of what we call "natural disasters" (which lately are not so natural) it's possible to trace just about anything that hurts people back to a plan whereby someone else profits. Let's use smoking as an example. Let's see. We have constant advertising for a highly addictive, deadly product; we have companies and industries that buy off legislators to get their way; in the process, they make billions in profits, and people get a product they "like" that makes them sick. Of course, in the end, it's all "their fault" because after all, they smoke!


Now, as an individual you cannot stop the cigarette companies, but anyone can stop smoking, and thus to a great extent divest of that particular evil for themselves personally. Then, if you really want to get away from the cigarette smoke, you can quit your job as a bartender and get work that puts you in a safer environment, and so on.


But why can't we stop the greater enemy, the greater evil -- the cigarette companies? After all, we could shut them down in about a week -- everybody suddenly stops buying cigarettes.


Easy -- most people don't feel they could stop smoking, or they don't want to, they don't care, or they don't try. Or, they like it and want to do it, even knowing it hurts them. As a result, the cigarette companies can get away with just about anything they want; because smokers pay for it, taxpayers pay for tobacco subsidies, cigarette company budgets pay for advertising and fighting restrictions, which lures in more smokers, and on and on it goes.


But whose fault is it? But of course, it's "YOUR FAULT" because you smoke! Most people DO blame themselves for smoking, without, in the same thought, acknowledging the medical fact that nicotine is more addictive than heroin or cocaine. It's a lot easier to start than it is to stop. Advertising and peer pressure push us. Inner conflict helps the process of addiction; the self-blame and guilt make it all the worse, and provide the psychological "need" for the substance; and so on.


But in the end, in truth, despite all these factors, smoking is an individual choice.


I think in the story of cigarettes, we have an excellent parable for the issue of evil. Just about every worldly or metaphysical example you can give follows a similar shape, and similar lines of responsibility.


So -- as you ask -- who is the enemy? Is it within, or without? Or is there a collaboration? I've noticed that it works this way on every level of reality you go to, be it physical or metaphysical. It works in relationships, it works in cases of what some call "possession," which is a relationship, and it works in how we relate to anything that seems to have power over us.


This relates to the "balance of light and dark" question. I know that this is an equation that's tossed around a lot -- dark and light must balance; the Yin-Yang symbol is a symbol of balance; and so on. But it's important to define your terms. When we say that light and dark must balance within a human psyche, it would be a misunderstanding to say that people must be as evil as they are good in order to be in balance.


Rather, there is the issue of awareness of the shadow side of the psyche. To me, the sense of balance is about being aware of the light side of the psyche as well as the shadow side: that which is hidden, that which we deny, that which resides in the deep past, tendencies which hurt us. If we don't acknowledge the shadow side, we end up in the gray area, often unable to discern what helps and what hurts; who we love and who we do not; and so on.


On the physical plane, on Planet Earth, we get to make choices. These choices involve how we direct the energy we notice is available to us. I make no pretense of knowing "why we are here," but I can see clearly that people do have the power to make decisions -- and this is a power we frequently give away to others. And often there is nothing anyone else can do about it.


The best we can do is make sure we know our own agenda, which means admitting to having one, and taking control over what goes on it; and constantly looking for clues that reveal the agendas of others -- and then keep making decisions.


I leave you with a quote from A Course in Miracles that you can ponder for a bit if you like. I don't know of it's true, but it is compelling. "The symbols of love against the symbols of hate play out a conflict that does not exist, for symbols stand for something else, and the symbol of love is without meaning if love is everything."