Light and Dark Nature of Conscious Living



Like any reality of life, the experience of conscious living has its components of light nature and dark nature. To judge a dark nature as negative is simply a matter of perspective, the truth is that a dark nature is simply the balancing polarity of light nature. I’ve mentioned in past posts that I don’t consider conscious living as a something “superior” in the pecking order than unconscious living, it’s just that conscious living is a natural evolution/growth in a soul – just like becoming an adult is a natural evolution of an infant. Infancy has its own light and dark nature, adulthood has its own light and dark nature, so one is not superior to another, it’s just that adulthood is a higher awareness state than infancy. Conscious living is the result of an evolution in the awareness levels of a being, with this higher awareness comes a shift in perception, a shift in thinking, a shift in expression, a shift in attitude and a shift in your reality (what you attract/create). This shift creates a different mode of living, a different experience, and this mode of living has its own components of light and dark nature.

Conscious living has three distinct phases

– the phase when one starts gaining a deeper awareness of life, and of oneself

– the phase when one lets go of the patterns/realities aligned with the past mode of unconscious living, reaching a state of inner wholeness and external balance

– the phase where one is expressing from this state of inner wholeness

Each phase has its own components of light and dark nature. For example, the first phase, where you are gaining a deeper awareness of life, has a light nature in terms of the joy you feel in the self-realization, and the resonance with the truth, and it has a dark nature in terms of the disconnect it brings with your old way of living. The phase of letting go of the past accumulation has the light nature of feeling “free” in your being (progressively), as you let go of the burden of emotional/mental/physical momentum of imbalance, however it has the dark nature of going the unpleasantness of the phase of release (like going through a detox). Finally, the phase of living from the place of inner wholeness, has a light nature in terms of being free of all forms of psychological suffering, and it has a dark nature in terms of no longer feeling a sense of awe/extra-ordinariness about life, you see the ordinariness so completely when you see that everything in life has a light and dark nature. I’ve just mentioned one light nature, and one dark nature aspect, of every phase, however there are many aspects to it – I just mentioned one aspect to give an example of what I mean when I say that conscious living has its own light and dark nature.

A lot of people, who don’t understand the reality of life, carry some deluded imaginations about what it’s like to live from inner wholeness and their imaginations are always along the lines of some purely “light-natured” state. If you ever see yourself, or some others, experiencing a highly light-natured state of being, like some state of extraordinary bliss (sometimes called the honeymoon of spirituality), you can be certain that it’s just a temporary phase, don’t be shocked when it ends. As life energy you inherently have a balancing mechanism which ensures that the light and dark nature components are always balanced out. Even the most evolved soul, the source, cannot be free of the interplay between its light and dark nature – consider this, if the “source” was totally satisfied/joyful being non-physical, immortal and whole, it would not go into the whole deal of creating a physical realm to experience mortality and imbalance.

Light natured aspects of conscious living

Instead of discussing all the three phase of conscious living, I will limit this discussion to the final phase of living from inner wholeness. As a human being, you reach inner wholeness when you are no longer dominated by ego-force, brain momentum and emotional momentum (you can read the previous post where I discuss all these three forces of resistance). Inner wholeness feels like being a “space” which is not touched by the influence of these forces, and your movement is purely based on choices coming from a place of inner freedom and wisdom – this sense of inner freedom is the biggest “light nature” aspect of conscious living.

Here are some other light natured aspects of conscious living (from a place of inner wholeness)

– You are free of the hold of psychological suffering of all forms (mentally or emotionally)

– You are no longer run by “blind” conditioning, rather your movements come from a place of wholeness based wisdom, inner alignment (with your human personality) and your essential nature as life-energy.

– You don’t hold on to any lack-based thinking, and thus you are no longer oriented towards a struggle-based life

– You are no longer seeking your identity from the outside, and hence outside approval has no real value for you

– Your expression has a balance between personal gain/enjoyment/well-being and supplying towards the well-ness of totality (not as a forced responsibility, more as an inescapable sense of inner movement)

– Your sense of wholeness is not dependent on the presence of someone/something in your life, and hence your relationships are no longer coming from a place of lack-based attraction. You no longer “need” anyone/anything for your sense of completion, rather you enjoy a relationship (with the physical world) as a part of entertainment/celebration of living.

– You manifest physical realities smoothly, within the minimal time required for that manifestation, because you don’t create any resistance to the manifestation process out of your inner conflicts, or imbalances. You are totally in sync with the light and dark nature of a desire, and hence your choices are very conscious and not based on delusions.

– Your energy has as “free-ness” to it, there is no sense of strong opposition, or attraction, to anything. Your choices, thus, come from a place of wisdom rather than impulse.

– You are emotionally and mentally stable under all situations, nothing overwhelms your being in any sense.

– You are no longer a “fanatic” about anything. You are not trying to shove your thinking down anyone’s throat, rather you have an openness to realize that everything has a place and value in the scheme of existence.

– You are not afraid to stand alone if/when it’s required, you don’t base your life upon fitting in with the “popular culture”. Your choices are totally aligned with yourself, and your natural expression.

– You are not afraid of the “negative” (in a relative sense, be it death, loss, failure, uncertainty, challenge), because you don’t perceive life in a black and white manner, you understand that all situations have a purpose, a value, and a reason, in existence.

I’ve just jotted down the light nature aspects that came to my mind at present, but it basically gives you an idea of “benefits” of conscious living from a place of inner wholeness. Usually, these light-natured aspects are what become the USP (unique selling point) for spirituality, and you can see that it makes for a very good sales pitch to get people to sign in – the quality of a good salesman is to pitch the light natured aspects of a product to such an extent that the customer fails to see the dark natured aspects (like the expensiveness of the product). The problem is that when one is given a light-natured projection of the whole process, one is not prepared/ready to integrate the dark-natured components of this process when they come along – one is rather confused, and sometimes shocked, to sense the dark natured aspects of the shift towards conscious living. Since, I am no salesman, I have the freedom to let you know, authentically, the dark natured aspects (which I think are more important to realize, because anyone can be okay with the light nature) of conscious living, having mentioned the light nature aspects of it.

Dark natured aspects of conscious living

The state of inner wholeness only seems extra-ordinary to a person who is struggling with imbalance. Once the state of wholeness is reached, it becomes very “ordinary”. I can’t ever bring myself to pitch inner wholeness as the “ultimate” accomplishment of a soul, because I don’t see it that way – I just see it as an inevitable growth that happens in a soul, along its journey of living. Extraordinary terms like Nirvana, Moksha, can create a false sense of “bigness” about the state of finding conscious inner wholeness (to say that freedom from the “need” to incarnate physically is a “superior” state is like saying that the creation of physicality was a mistake and an unnecessary evil, nothing can be further from truth – from an absolute perspective physical living has as much value as non-physical existence), when in truth it’s an ordinary place to be, and it has its own challenges, and expressions of growth, to deal with. In the post – A false sense of extra-ordinariness – I mentioned the analogy of a pac-man video game, where you are always at “square one” because every time you move up a level you also move up a level of challenge.

If you’ve seen the movie “Spiderman” (the old one with Tobey Maguire), you would remember one of the famous dialogues in the movie – “with great power comes great responsibility, this is my gift and this my curse”. This dialogue clearly sums up the reality of life, there is a dark nature to every reality, every condition, every aspect of life – no-one is exempt from it, not even a super-hero with inhuman powers. For example, when life gives you a talent, it also gives you a “responsibility” – the talent becomes your gift and it also becomes your curse in the sense that you cannot do away with the responsibility that it brings with it. It’s very easy to see the light-natured aspects of a reality, and usually people who are ignorant of the reality of life tend/want to only see the light-natured aspects (which becomes the cause for delusion and ultimately leads to imbalance, resulting in psychological suffering), however a deeper awareness will always make you aware of a dark nature in the same reality and thus give you a balanced perspective. In my present awareness, I cannot look at any reality without seeing the presence of its dark nature along with its light nature, and hence nothing holds a sense of “extra-ordinariness” for me; however there was a time when I had an awe about so many things in life, and there was an innocent joy in that, which I can no longer have – this is one example of the dark nature of conscious living.

Here are some other dark natured aspects of conscious living (from inner wholeness)

– An inescapable sense of responsibility towards the whole, there is no longer the mindset (nor the choice) of being totally oriented towards “personal joy” alone – it may seem like a light-nature, but this “inescapable” sense does feel like a curse of its own when you experience it. Having lived an extremely self-centered life, this shift in mindset was one of the biggest challenges for my own ego, and it was a tough battle to lose in the end for the ego.

– In most cases, when you align with your “uniqueness”, and natural expression, you will fall out of “fitting in” with the reality that you were living unconsciously. It’s sensed as a “choiceless” movement where you give up the old realities, the old ties, the relationships that defined you, which are no longer aligned with your new awareness. Anyone who goes through this transition from unconscious to conscious living, knows what I am talking about, knows the challenge of this aspect. There can be a sense of loss, not only because you lose your “old self”, you also see yourself having no choice in losing/letting-go of your old realities that no longer resonate with your present awareness (old passions, activities, stand-points, relationships, identities and lifestyle).

– You lose any sense of superiority you have about yourself – you don’t feel great about yourself, though you don’t feel bad about yourself either. You feel very ordinary, even when you inherently know your truth as the wholeness of life. You no longer get the high of being a “stand out”, and you no longer get the exhilaration that you used to get from “winning”, from achievement, from reaching goals – these highs are possible only when one has a strong ego force. I remember having these highs, and I know they really felt good, and I know I can’t ever have them again (and, I don’t want them either). So in this state there are no “pumping your fist in the air” moments.

– You are no longer privy to the “magical” feelings of infatuation and “puppy love”, you can no longer subscribe to the “fantasy” aspects of attraction, rather your attractions are very reality based. The romantic in you becomes very balanced, you can see the dark nature aspects of any relationship very clearly, just as much as you can see the light nature aspects it provides, and in many ways your relationships are more “wisdom” based than purely attraction based – basically, you no longer feel that “magical sense” of attraction where you could only see the light-nature of it.

– You are no longer rosy eyed about your future. Your motivations towards growth/change comes from your natural expression rather than from some sense that you will be more happy in the future. In fact, happiness loses its old meaning, mostly because you no longer have a “need” to chase joy, neither is there any deluded sense about accomplishment. In this sense you are no longer in resistance to the “present” by clinging to a certain expectation of extra-ordinary joy in the future. The “rosy eyed” mindset of anticipating an extra-ordinary future, of chasing joy and feeling accomplished, has its own beauty, which is lost forever in this state of being.

– There is deep sense of “aloneness” even if you are not externally alone. This inner sense of aloneness is the reality of life-energy, because the truth is that life is alone, life is all there is, it’s only playing with itself. You are the same life-energy, and this aloneness is part of your truth, which you sense clearly when you are stop being afraid of facing it, when you are no longer trying to escape it.

If I have to summarize the dark nature of conscious living, it would be the sense of deep ordinariness that one feels towards life – it’s simply inescapable when you see the reality of life clearly enough. If you have any sense of extra-ordinariness about life it just means you are yet to be deeply conscious of life, in its truth. There is a lot of beauty, and innocence, in having this deluded sense of awe when you are only focusing on the light natured aspects of a certain reality (though this delusion gets busted sooner or later) and that’s one of the advantages of unconscious living – it’s like the innocent exhilaration of a kid who is yet to become aware of reality. This innocence, though it’s beautiful, is also very vulnerable, and it’s standing on shaky grounds, because sooner or later the reality of life does strike home, it’s so inevitable. Conscious living does not have the deluded innocence/awe of unconscious living, but it does have its own innocence/lightness balanced with wisdom.

The crux of this post is to give you a balanced perspective on what the state of “inner wholeness” entails – too often, in certain light-natured spiritual teachings, one is not given this reality-check and this lack of “balanced understanding” becomes a source of resistance/imbalance and delays one’s growth, and evolution, towards true wholeness. In the absence of this balanced perspective, the teachings tend to become yet another “entertainment”, yet another means to just find some temporary good feelings, to be starry eyed about some future extra-ordinariness, to be deluded in some way. Your ego may only want to hear the light-natured aspects of “inner freedom”, but this is not about pleasing your ego, this is about connecting with the reality of life, with wholeness.







32 Comments

  1. Shiv

    A bold move on your part, posting this. It’s a much needed reality check. Some will know exactly what you are talking about and will resonate. But for some this may shatter their illusions. I’m interested to see how people react to this post….

  2. stormy

    I think this post is helpful for me to understand if I’m reaching wholeness or not. Last time I posted told you how I feel so alone since the whole “releasing” process, and hopefully this is why. This is such an agonizing process, because the dark nature part is something you don’t have to deal with when you’re unconscious, since your mind can be there to delude you into thinking things will be better in the future, etc. I’ve lived half of my life with an eating disorder and completely lost in the mind. Since 5 months ago when I started this whole process it’s been really hard but I’ve gone through the process you talk about towards wholeness. Your advice to me a few days ago was to get back into physicality and don’t get lost in the 2nd step of the process. I’ve started doing more “things” now like playing sports and eating good food, so I’m starting to get back into physicality, but I still don’t feel like “myself” like something is still missing. It’s hard to imagine that my true desires can come true. Is all of this gradual or am I still missing something? Thanks Sen.

    1. Jim

      stormy, what helped me a great deal was to view this process from a top down perspective. What I mean is, start from the position that you are already whole (which is actually true), and what you need to do is clear the resistance accumulated in your mind that is blocking/obscuring your connection to your wholeness.

      This process can be very challenging because the mind is very powerful and will vigorously resist change, however, by coming from a position that you are already whole, you become aware of the space of your being. Being in this space makes it easier to allow the resistance. And in this space, you will begin to notice you no longer feel alone.

  3. Kevin W.

    I appreciate the fact that you don’t sugarcoat anything. This post definitely changed my view of what wholeness really is. I also liked the Spiderman reference haha

  4. Bergin Tam

    Sen, you mentioned that there was a time when you experienced awe about many things in life but are no longer can have that. This brings up concern in me regarding following a path to wholeness. As I have experienced less mind and emotional momentum through practice and time, I can experience life/nature/simple acts much more directly and to me this seems rather extraordinary in itself. Do you mean to say that this may be a temporary phase and the connectedness I feel to life and the awe that comes from it is only a transient phenomenon? Thanks by the way! I follow your posts and the content is very good and touches the heart of issues.

    1. Nate

      I had kind of struggled with the same thought myself, and after a while I came to this understanding:

      When you say that you are in awe of something, who is the “you” that is in awe? When you really peel back the “layers” of awareness, the deeper you go the more you realize that the separate “you” doesn’t exist.

      The truth is that in order to experience the feeling of awe, one’s ego must consider itself as separate from the phenomenon being observed. That’s why we are in awe watching virtuosic musical performances or world-class athletes, it’s because we feel as though we ourselves cannot do what they do and don’t know how they do it. But if you were to ask one of their fellow competitors what they think of their peers, more often than not there isn’t so much a feeling of awe but rather one of reverence. For example, I doubt Mozart would have been in “awe” watching Beethoven play (because he knows that the craft of Beethoven and himself are one and the same, that they answer to the same “muse” if you will). Rather I just imagine him listening silently, being captivated yet observing with a deep sense of respect.

      So the feeling of “awe” in that sense is an immature feeling.. one only feels awe when he or she does not see the full picture. The ego is required to experience the specific feeling of “awe” because it implies a feeling of separation. Once I realized this (thanks to Sen’s posts as well) I was able to let go of wanting to feel awe and make way for a deeper sense of awareness. The deeper truth is that you are the universe that is doing all of this. When you look outside and see the sun rising or waves crashing in the ocean, YOU are the one doing all of that. It’s just that because of the ego’s limited awareness you don’t currently know how you’re doing it, in the same way we don’t know how say, Messi, plays soccer so well (even though to him it probably seems perfectly ordinary and he doesn’t see what the big deal is). So that’s the tradeoff with awareness. You lose the sense of awe, because you can’t really be in awe about what you are (because how can there be another “you” standing separate from yourself to experience that feeling of awe/mystery?) But at the same time you gain a greater sense of inner harmony, inner freedom, and reverence for life.

    2. Courtney

      Wow, Nate, well put. I definitely feel that way. At times, I couldn’t really understand why others would be in awe and I wouldn’t be. I started to question my personality. Am I boring? Is there something wrong with not being over joyous about meeting someone “famous” or something along those lines. Although a nice sunrise can inspire an awe moment ;) basically anything not related to humans will forever inspire awe I believe. Because nature and animals don’t have an ego? I’m not sure!

    3. Jim

      Nate, who is the “I” in your sentence, “I was able to let go of wanting to feel awe and make way for a deeper sense of awareness.” Your Ego? Little confused – thanks.

    4. Sen Post author

      Jim, the very sense of “I” is the ego in a being, and ego is not the problem, it’s the nature of conscious life-energy to have a sense of “I”. Every being/soul, even the most evolved soul/source, has a sense of “I”, and all perspectives are ego perspectives in the end – the only point is how balanced your ego is which translates to how aware you are or how unconscious you are towards yourself and towards life, and if you have a space of inner freedom to explore the truth in any situation without clinging to a narrow perspective. Non-physical beings have as much personality as physical beings, and personality is part of having an ego, but like I said, ego is not the problem, the problem is with having an “imbalance” stemming from a disconnection with life’s reality or from deluded thinking. So this whole “spiritual talk” of being “egoless” can become a treatise of confusion, unless it’s understood that what is usually meant when the word “egoless” is used is the lack of a strong ego-force (a strong ego-force can cause an imbalance due to its rigidity and resistance towards wholeness), it does not mean that you don’t have a sense of ego/I.

      Nate mentioned that he’s able to see through the “need” to cling to a sense of extra-ordinariness/awe, and this allowed him to get a deeper perspective on life and thus grow in awareness. I see that as a very normal course of growing in awareness, you are bound to see the deep ordinariness of life the more you see the reality of life – ordinariness not as a sense of depressed negativity, but as a sense of reality as it is.

  5. Laura

    Sen, when you have reached the state of conscious living, how do you relate to other people who have not reached that state yet? When your soul has grown, I guess you want to be surrounded by people who are at the same stage…

    1. Sen Post author

      Laura, actually its the other way round, you become more open to interacting with people of different minds, different maturities and different awareness-level, because you don’t have a rigid stance within you, so it’s easy for you to make friends and there is no thought that you need people who are as aware as you, neither do have any identity with your own awareness. However, there is a sense of what kind of person you would want to have a “personal relationship” with, and it’s difficult to pin point what exactly is the criteria, it’s just that you look for that “connection” – at mind level, heart level and of course at the level of awareness/maturity, along with a sense of wisdom.

  6. A.

    Dear Sen,

    I understand theoretically what releasing unconscious negative patterns means. However, I sense that I might have a self-sabotage tendency that consistently throws me off the path I aspire to walk on in life, particularly career-wise. It prevents me from realising my full intelligence and I end up being convinced that it is okay to settle below what I aspire and work for. How do I overcome this tendency?

    1. Sen Post author

      A, if you find some sense of “resistance” in your life, it eventually comes from your way of thinking or an emotional pressure (like a momentum of fear energy within you) or both. The emotional pressure can be released once you become aware of its presence in you and become allowing of its release by no longer re-fueling it, as explained in this post – allowing release of suppressed energy. Your way of thinking could be rooted in a lack-based mindset of looking at life as a place of struggle, this belief is enough to keep attracting a reality of struggle. You would need to bring awareness to such a pattern of thinking in you and start letting go of its influence by no longer giving “belief” to it. The force of ego of you can be clinging to a struggle-based way of thinking, in which case you need to see through this “force”, and develop an inner freedom from it – doing this inner work will allow your life-stream to start orchestrating a more aligned reality for you in the external, of course it’s the inner readiness that allows you to follow it.

  7. Cat

    Sen – Thank you so much for your blogs. I’m new to your sight, but have read so many in such a short space. I am at a place in my life where there is so much interanal conflict and resistance that I physically feel paralysed with both fear and exhaustion and can see that these are my Wake up Calls. I take action, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what i’m trying to achieve or move towards. I’ve been reading your articles and working very hard at almost every quiet moment I get to get into relaxed awareness. It’s so hard and difficult as my mind truly is racing, but I do get glimpses of a calming and less connection to the thoughts and feelings. Of course then, I have out of nowhere thoughts that fill me with fear and panic again. It’s like nothing I’ve ever known. I want to take something to make it go away but I also want to feel at peace in my life and in my heart (seems to hurt when the fear really kicks in). I feel like I’ve been searching for what I don’t know. I’ve tried so much outside of me and in the moments of mediatation I know that looking for others to help me change is not going to ever work. I’m just scared that if I don’t find peace, I’ll feel this way forever and I guess as I write those words can recognise that’s my negative ego holding on for dear life! I don’t know if I need an answer, but I do appreciate your words and the fact that they resonate with my experiences. And I hope they continue to resonate as I grow.

  8. Markus

    Sen, another good essay. Indeed, the light-natured aspects are a convincing advert for spiritual growth – it seems that this is almost necessary to draw the ego-centered being toward growth. One living in imbalance may have no understanding of what balanced living might mean. What does it feel like? How does one act? Until much energy or momentum is released, the mind has no frame of reference. The light-nature ideas are a draw.

    The dark-natured aspects of conscious living that you write about seem the same in one way: Living and making choices based on emotion or imbalance gets replaced by living from truth. There is no longer a need to seek the light-natured aspects in the spiritual advert, as one feels whole. Not sure where I fall in the spectrum of growth, but the most noticeable change for me is this vanishing of emotion from choices.

    As for ordinariness, awe seems to give way to appreciation. The sunset is just as beautiful as it was ten years ago. But it does now seem ordinary, as that is just the nature of a colorful sunset. At the same time, it brings contentment to just watch it. No oos and aahs, no pointing, just seeing and appreciating. And then moving along to the next moment.

  9. IAN BALASABAS

    HELLO sen, I AM IAN BALASABAS: FROM THE PHILIPPINES…

    I SUFFERED enferiority complex… I started the search during my youth but never find a true solution of it…

    Then I stumbled into “CALM DOWN MIND” SITE at first IT RESONATE ME ALOT…

    but i didn’t realy understand what is allowing…

    1. i started “allowing without RELAX AWARENESS everyday
    2. I DIDN’T KNOW THE COMPLETE PARADOX
    3. BUT LATER ON… I UNDERSTAND IT FULLY
    4. BUT I DIDN’T have the clear IDEA ABOUT the dark nature in have to meet along the way on this process

    5. I DIDN’T know how terryfying it is sen…
    6. LATER ON I REALIZED THE WHOLE PARADOX… BUT IT WAS TO LATE I CANNOT GO BACK THE JOURNEY anymore… WITHOUT FEELING ASSURED SOMETIMES…
    7. I am already TWO MOTHS ON THIS PROCESS…

  10. IAN BALASABAS

    Now i always connected with my being anytime… It is already a part of me… whenever i go…

    I have a giantic releases for the past two months… but now i have only a small releases…

    I realized that my life stream is working on me… i know even during my youth and leads me on this process…

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