Like a lot of people, I’ve struggling on and off with depression since the election, but this week I reconnected with my dark side and I feel better. That’s the side of my personality that giggles in the middle of horror movies. Loves to read Darwin Awards, and researches (in books) what human tastes like. Nine out of Ten cannibals agree — it’s pork not chicken so the bakers for the Sweeny Todd pre-show dinner are using the wrong meat. This dark half, maybe more than half, makes jokes about my cat who has terminal cancer being followed by a little grim-reaper that keeps checking his watch, because the cat simply refuses to die. I keep thinking that when I’m one hundred I’ll by followed by an undead skeleton cat because “he’s not quite dead yet.” When I was a kid, I often felt more at home with the Addams Family than with my own. Of course, I’ve since realized that every family has in it a little bit of the Addams.
I have discovered my mother is a ghoul who is never happier than when she’s talking about the sick and the dying. The first words out of her mouth when we talk— “is everyone okay,” really means, “please tell me someone is almost in the grave.” The whole family grins and giggles when we whisper about my black-widow cousin who collected a string of dead husbands. Many died under ironic circumstances like the heart surgeon that died of a heart attack—(smirk)—according to the death certificate. This is a true story. She was a nurse, so she had access to the means. We’re pretty sure she was directly responsible for most of the deaths, but she died herself in a motorcycle accident before the authorities caught on, so she effectively got away with it (snicker). As Gomez sings, “right and wrong who’s to say which we should refuse, all we know, love survives either way we choose.”
Light and Dark are overloaded metaphors, and most westerners have an infantile view of good and evil. They tend to get the symbology of evil confused with the actuality. With the current political climate, we’ve been inundated by petty, stupid evils—with a little ‘e’. Most of these people don’t
have the brains of a gibbon, and they’d hardly make a snack for Hannibal. Honestly, how can you run a respectable conspiracy if you can’t even figure out how to turn the lights on? I generally think of the Dark as relating to the Jungian subconscious, which is that bottomless pit just outside of the Ego
consciousness. It’s where all the good stuff comes from, and where many people like to hide the parts of themselves they don’t like.
However, being overloaded, it also covers the Archetype that often gets tossed into the subconscious because we don’t like to think of ourselves as predators. Infantile minds get the Predator confused with Evil. Technically, Evil is a willful lack of balance, or trying to obtain good in the wrong way. The Egyptians thought of it as refusing to listen to Ma’at. The Predator gets confused with Evil because being out of balance doesn’t always strike us as scary as it should, so the Predator, which is always scary, steps into Evil’s shoes. Being out of balance can kill you as quickly as, if not quicker than, a real predator. It’s an instinctual substitution, but a confusing one to the ego.
I mentioned in a forum post earlier that light things cast dark shadows, and dark things cast light shadows. I prefer to walk the terminator — the grey line that separates light from dark where no shadow is cast. I’m not always perfect at keeping that balance, but for the most part my shadow tends to be as grey as I am. However, an occasional plunge into darkness is refreshing. It burns off the barnacle layer of propriety. In the dark, the Predator and I are old friends, and often share a cup of tea together. After which, I borrow her fangs and claws, and go hunting—don’t look behind you (Ahroooo).