Psalm 139: A Winter Solstice Reflection

Verse 12, “Darkness is no darkness for thee and night is luminous as day; to thee both dark and light are one.”

The psalmist declares that God sees dark and light as one. There is no difference in the two to the divine eyes. Seeming opposites exist as a unified whole.

I am reminded of the alchemical or mystical principles of polarity and rhythm. Everything exists with its opposite; and psychic energy, aka life force or spirit, fluctuates between the two states. They are two sides of the same coin, so to speak. Everything is on a continuum of manifestation that includes darkness and light and all its derivatives, including conscious and unconscious, spirit and matter, body-mind and head-mind.

I have experienced the life giving reality of darkness holding light through a divorce, training to be a Jungian analyst, moving geographically, and marrying a 2nd time. Each of those experiences had moments where I, with ego, could not see the outcome. I moved in the dark, unknown territories by taking the one step forward I knew to take. In ways that I cannot adequately describe, I felt God Within guiding me through the darkness. Light was there. It just wasn’t light or consciousness from the rational, logical, outer world, goal driven ego. 

Our culture has a bias that the Divine is only present in light, bright, joyful, active, and happy emotions, or in intellectual formulations devoid of feeling. We are all recovering from this one sided view. We are called to reclaim our heart and gut as centers of consciousness (synonymous with light) equal to the intellect. We are realizing collectively how our one-sidedness hurts us. It has led to a dismissal of the body-mind as the temple of God.

I feel passionate about the Christian message of incarnation—“the Word became flesh.” We need Logos and Eros, rational and non-rational, thinking and sensation, feeling and intuition, body-mind and head-mind. The opposites inform one another. They cannot function properly without the counterbalance. 

The Christmas story reminds us of the place of counterbalance as the divine is birthed. Joseph and Mary went against collective norms. The baby Jesus was born in meager circumstances. The three went into exile to protect the new life. The actions were opposite of the expectations, mores, and customs of the day. Mary and Joseph seemed to know that God was in the dark, unknown, and unexplainable. 

God Within is present in all we experience. Our body-mind, head-mind, spirit, and psyche are designed to live in harmony. They flow into and through one another to create the self that we are. The disharmony, discord, and conflict we experience is usually due to one-sided emotions, feelings, beliefs, and opinions. The way out is looking for the light in the other side—the disowned emotion, the dismissed feeling, the opposing beliefs, or another perspective. 

The larger Self, God Within, is able to see the whole. Our ego can stay attached to roles, societal mores, theology, theory, etc.; or our ego can look to God Within to see the whole of darkness that is light and light that is darkness. Let the psalmist’s words be a mantra to pull you towards a unified consciousness.

Inner Reflection
When have you experienced moving through darkness in your personal life with a sense of the light inherent, though unseen? Where do you feel lost in the dark now? Where do you feel light? What might the two say to one another? Ask God Within to show you the light within the dark and the dark within the light.

Track your experience in your journal, by drawing a mandala, or through body movements. Use the psalmist’s words as a mantra for meditation to seed the unconscious with the Divine mystery of Oneness.