Discipline and energy

A while ago, when talking about the light and dark sides I think we all have, I was saying that while the light has direction, the dark has energy. So it’s not too strange that if left alone, the dark will do what it decides to do – while if left alone the light will not! In fact, it takes energy to stop the dark and motivate the light; they react oppositely to the influence of determined force. Which raises the question of where the light gets its energy to oppose the dark? This would seem to come from four very plentiful sources, means by which the dark willingly grants its energy to the purposes of the light: internally, from self-admiration and self-loathing; externally, from love and hate.

For example, the light’s is a world of discipline and control. The more a person feels in control of themselves, they more capable they feel of acting out the plans of the light; the less control, the more they feel susceptible to stirrings of the dark. But where does the energy come from to maintain all that discipline? I find from watching people that it is either from deep self-loathing: they hate who they are and wish to govern it – or admiration: they love who they are and want to further the good parts. Since these forces originate in the dark, they of course both have the taint of “self” (from the light’s point of view) and secretly make the light feel ashamed to use them. Isn’t there a source of energy, it wonders, that might be utterly disconnected from the dark? Pursuing that end, it might seek energy from other people, or purely external motivations like social dictum. But in the end these too must be enforced within the individual, and so the dark has to play its role. There is no escaping the dark side, even though at times it seems like all the light wishes to do.

I’ve even found that you can hear in a person’s voice, and see in their eyes, which part of themselves their sentiments are coming from. The “pure light” sounds strangely tinny and high-pitched, like something with little depth. When a person speaks in that voice alone, I’m almost certain that whatever they’re saying will not come to pass. The “pure dark”, on the other hand, is deep and dusky. If they speak in that voice, I’m almost sure it will come to pass, even if it’s something the speaker fears to happen.

When the two reach common cause, however, their voice has a real timbre. If the dark is a lump of black iron, and the light a concept of steel, the two together can become a keenly-tempered blade. It’s like we have these two ingredients and the real challenge is to learn the correct admixture. It’s a difficult balance to achieve, but the results make it worthwhile.

So when people recite to me a new litany of discipline they’ve introduced into their lives, I think, “There’s the light side again, seeking to regain its dominance.” I can hear how the effort will tire them out, how they will spend furtive evenings indulging themselves as a way to release the inner pressure. I also listen for whether their motive is from loathing or admiration, since these two have very different dynamics.

On the other hand, if they talk about new plans for gratifying some wish, I think, “There is the dark side, racing to escape its prison.” I hear how freeing and exulting the release will be, but also the nights of worry, and self-recrimination for straying from the path.

It seems that none of us can live on one or the other side for too long, without mental or emotional repercussions. And thus what I really listen for is the person who seeks to marry the two sides: to serve a higher purpose in a way that brings them continual joy. I am always listing to hear such tones from my own voice.