Inner War and Peace: The War in Our Minds and Dark Night of the Soul

Inner War and Peace: The War in Our Minds and Dark Night of the Soul

5000 years ago, a war was fought. That war never ended, and is still being fought. In our minds….

Arjun, our hero, threw down his weapon, and said he would not fight. Thus starts the Gita, the Song of the Lord.

For those who don’t know the story of Mahabharata, of which the Gita is a chapter: The king Pandu died, and his blind brother was put as a caretaker in his place. It was supposed to be a temporary measure, until the real king’s sons grew up. But the blind king’s son’s were jealous, and tried to cheat and steal the kingdom. Over the years, the things got worse, until all out war broke out.

The Mahabharat was a total war, a sort of a world war of the time. Kings from as far as Persia and Afghanistan came to fight, which was basically all the known world at the time. Arjun was supposed to be the hero of the story, like Aragon or Luke Skywalker. For him to refuse to fight was hard to believe. and yet, he threw down his weapons in disgust.

I was sitting in a park, feeling very anxious and depressed, worried that life was too damn hard, that I should just fucking give up, when I realised it- I was like Arjun. I had thrown down my weapons in the fight of life, and given in to the forces of darkness. This is the answer I got:

Question: Who is the one who suffers?

Me, of course.

Who am I?

I am the dude writing this page. Im the one complaining to God how tough life is.

The Teacher: No, that is not you, Shantnu

Well, who am I?

The Teacher

What you call “me” is a collection of thoughts, random thoughts, that have taken over the seat of consciousness, and are masquerading as you. It’s not even the whole mind, just a few thoughts that believe they are “real”. These thoughts pretend to be you.

These thoughts are the ones that suffer. Because they have no concrete existence, and THEY KNOW IT. Which is why they are so scared all the time. Which is why YOU are so scared all the time.

Some of these thoughts have become self aware. They have come to realise that they are not the real rulers of this body-mind complex. That they have always been just the caretakers.

That the reason we are so miserable is because we have forgotten who the real king is, and given all our power to a thought that thinks it exists.

It is these self aware thoughts that are the ones, meditating, the ones that want peace, the ones trying to find a God outside of them.

But, this sets them on a collision course with the other thoughts, that don’t want to give up their seat of power.

And hence the Inner War starts- between 2 groups of thoughts. One that want everything to remain as it is, and others that want the Divine Light to come in and change the Being.

The thoughts on the side of the Light are few and weak. They often feel helpless and out of control, and throw down their weapons in disgust. Like Arjuna, like me, like YOU.

These good thoughts would certainly be crushed and destroyed; but they have help. They have the Teacher.

The Enemy- The Blind King

The enemy is the ego, the identification of the mind with the continuous stream of thinking, identifying with the limited self, identifying with the routine, mechanical and destructive thought patterns most people are stuck in.

This ego is the devil in Christian myths, cunning and dangerous. He attacks with cunning and guile.

In Hindu stories, there is always a demon who wants to be worshipped as God. And he kills anyone who refuses him. One demon, Hirnayakashyap, tried to murder his own son when the son refused to worship him.

This is the ego- it’s children are the Divine thoughts that accept that there is an external divine force in the world, that the ego is not God. This angers the ego so much it tries to murder it’s own children, the thoughts that want to bring peace and joy. This is known as the dark night of the soul, a spiritual depression so crushing that many Yogis give up the spiritual path completely. But never forever, as the Teacher brings them back. The Teacher is the Divine Guide, our friend from God who guides us to the Light. But more on him later.

In the Durga Saptashati, the Goddess Durga is attacked by the the main demon in the shape of the bull. The ego, the mind, is like that. Like a bull, it charges straight at us anytime we try to meditate, and destroys our practice.

Another demon is Rakta beej, literal translation, the Seed of Desire. Every time he was attacked and his blood fell on the ground, 2 demons would take his place.

Again, this is symbolic of our desires, our thoughts. Try to crush them by force, and 2 more take their place, until you are crushed under the weight of thoughts.

This is the enemy every spiritual student must face. This is the blind king, the ego, driven mad by anger and hate, willing to kill his own children, even the body, to get what it wants. The ego isn’t scared of death; indeed, if it feels it is losing, it is happy to destroy the body. Look at all the suicide bombers or the people who kill themselves when they face humiliation. The ego fears nothing, and it has the power of God behind it, as it too was created by the same Divine Energy that created the Divine Mind.

This is the enemy You must face.

The Teacher

The Teacher is a representative of God, who comes in as a friend, a guide, to help us through the night of the soul.

The Teacher is the silent voice, the calm voice, that speaks last, but speaks with certainty. The ego speaks first and speaks loud. He is the one who wants to fight, to insult, to show them.

The Teacher is the calm voice of peace, the voice that has the strength of God behind it. The biggest tragedy of humanity is that most people can’t, or won’t listen to this voice.

The War

And so begins the war. The ego, the blind and insane king, strikes first and draws the first blood.

The ego is strong, and will not be happy with just striking you inside the mind. No, remember he was created by the Divine Mind, and so he has some of its powers. No, the ego will attack you in the outer world as well.

You will face problems at work; in married life; with children or parents. And in many cases, all hell will break lose. You will be fired, as your wife will leave you emptying your bank balance and your parents will stop talking.

This is when the meditator usually throws down the weapon and says, “I can’t do it.”

In the Gita, Arjun says he can’t kill his own brothers. These brothers are your old habits and thought patterns. These are the thought patterns that got you through the hard times before. They have been with you since childhood. They have helped you out many times. And now, you are being asked to kill them, why? Because some God said so?

Where was this fucking God when you needed him the most? Should we trust some God we have never seen, and who may not even exist? Or should we trust our old habits and mind? After all, they have always been with us.

And this is the dilemma of the mind. It is being asked to take a leap of faith, to trust the unknown. It is being asked to jump into the dark, be willing to be crushed.

And this is what scares the mind. It throws a tantrum, refuses to meditate, and makes your life difficult.

And Yet, we must fight

We only have 3 choices:

  • To fight the Darkness
  • To refuse to fight
  • To join the Darkness

Refusing to fight is the same as joining the Forces of Darkness. They lead to the same result.

And so we must fight, no matter how scary it seems, how painful it seems. And it is painful, fighting your own negative tendencies and habits. If meditation does not leave you in tears, you are not doing it right.

The Attack on Heaven

Many Hindu stories begin with the demons attacking heaven, and taking over heaven. They kick Indra, the king of heaven and the Hindu version of Zeus out.

Indra is the representative of the Divine Mind. When the demons attack heaven, it means the forces of Darkness take over the mind. They kick out the gods, who are the divine energies and thoughts.

The demons are the negative and suppressed emotions. These suppressed emotions eventually have had enough and attack the mind, easily taking over it.

The divine thoughts then go running to a higher force, usually the Divine Mother, for help.

The Mother is the active part of God, the force behind the universe. She is the energy that powers our mind, our breath, our body. The Mother can be felt most closely in the forest, near large water bodies like lakes or rivers or even the ocean, or in mountains. That is why humans love going into the nature, as they can feel this Mother Energy.

The Mother has several forms. In the west, she appears as Mother Mary. India has many Goddesses, Kali and Laxmi being the most popular; as does Tibet/China.

But these forms are just a tiny part of her. The Mother Energy is far beyond these forms. People say God is infinite. Well, so is the Mother Energy which permeates this world.

When the gods, or divine thoughts are defeated, they must go running to the Mother. This is the ultimate form of surrender. It is the realisation that we have reached our limits. That we are helpless against our own inner demons, that we can never win the war against ourselves.

And so we must ask the Mother for help. Krishna, the Teacher, is also a representative of this Mother energy.

I first got a vision of this Mother energy some time ago. As usual, I was angry and bitching to God about how tough my life was, how God didn’t help me yadda yadda yadda, God was weak and couldn’t do anything, when I had this vision while sitting in meditation.

I was a grain of sand, and the Mother energy was the whole ocean standing up, hundreds of miles in the air, about to crush me in a moment. I was so terrified I had to get up and take a walk.

The Mother wasn’t scaring me, she was just showing me what the universe is like. We are surrounded by this ocean of energy- imagine all the water in the whole ocean forming one big wall. That is what the Mother energy feels like.

This energy is one of Love, but it scares the ego shitless, which is why it wants to fight it. But the Mother was trying to show me that we are surrounded by an universe of love and compassion. The demons, our negative emotions, have no real power of the Mother. Like in my vision, she can crush the demons anytime.

So why doesn’t she?

Because the Mother is Love. She does not want to crush or destroy the demons. Instead, she wants to turn them to the light, and save them.

And this is where the shocking truth comes in.

The Soap Bubble melting in the wind

This is based on my personal experience, gained via meditation and self-analysis. When I first read the Course in Miracles, it confirmed my thinking, which is why I love the book so much.

The ego, the blind king, hates God and the Mother with a vengeance. But at the same time, he loves them immensely and cries out for them in pain.

This contradiction is the reason we suffer so much.

The ego is like a soap bubble- it has no real existence, and will pop anytime. The ego knows this, which is why it fears death so much. Not the death of the body- as we said, the ego will happily kill the body to save itself.

No, the ego fears annihilation. Thats why egos love the concept of heaven and hell- what is heaven and hell? It is a place the ego, or the thinking mind, can continue living after the body has died. Even if it being tortured in hell, at least it is alive!

What the ego fears is being wiped out, vanishing in the sun, like it had never existed. The ego knows it will die, all alone in a dark and cruel world.

The ego believes the world is dark, cold and cruel. He is scared, terrified, scared shitless, that there is no God. That there is nothing. That it will just vanish one day, that it has no real existence.

The ego yearns for the love of God. It yearns for a bit of warmth, a bit of kindness and love. But it fears there is no God, that it is all an illusion, that it will die all alone in the dark and cold, with no one to love it.

And that is why the ego is so cruel. It’s cruelty is born of ignorance. Its loneliness drives the ego mad, and it attacks itself and any part of itself it believes is praying to God or meditating.

The Mad King

The ego is mad, and you can see it in your own life.

The mind will first tell you to do something that it feels is wrong. Eat unhealthy food, sleep around, waste your life watching TV. And then the same mind will attack you and shame you, calling you fat, loser, slut, and failure.

The mind keeps attacking itself without pity.

All the while, even in its most mad moment, all it wants is a hug, to be loved for what it is.

And that is why the Mother teaches compassion. One who has no compassions for oneself can never have it for others.

The Scared Child

And this is the biggest tragedy of all. Our biggest enemy is a scared child, a child looking for an ounce of love. And we don’t even have that to give it.

Ultimately, the ego must be defeated. For while it lives, it will keep attacking itself, it will keep self harming until it destroy itself.

But the Teacher and the Mother do not wish for us to become monsters as we fight the ego. We must remain Aware, Compassionate and loving. The ultimate war is fought by the Mother. Over time, the Light of the Divine will melt the forces of Darkness.

There is little or nothing for us to be done- and this is what makes so many spiritual people unhappy. They want secret techniques, shaktipat from enlightened Gurus, powerful mantras, special meditations. These things might work, but they never defeat the ego, as the ego takes over the meditation. It always does.

The way to defeat the Darkness is to surrender to the Mother Energy, to let her work through us, to let her Heal us. To listen to the Inner Teacher as he guides us on our path.

Ultimately, we have to realise we are not the ones doing the Spiritual Practice. Instead, it is being done through us. That the part of us that wants to be enlightened now, dammit! is the enemy, is the ego. That we have to let go of that. Not just give up attraction to material wealth, but also spiritual wealth.

When the Light of the Divine comes, that is when we will finally die. That is when the ego will finally find peace, and stop fighting, as it melts into the Love of the Mother.

And that is when the War will end, and You will finally find the Peace and Joy of God

A Vision of the scared child

I debated putting this last section here, as I don’t want to look like I’m boasting. Ohh, look at me. I get VISIONS. With God. Me, so special

But the Teacher asked me to put it in here, reminding me that false humility is also a weapon of the ego. So here goes:

I had been thinking about these thoughts in meditation, full of anger and hate about something. I was having thoughts of self disgust- Im so weak, how will I ever become englightened etc.

That is when I got this vision.

I was in a place with a bright light, and on the floor was a little baby, very ugly like a demon child, and it was all bleeding and hurt. I asked, “Who did this to this child?”

I heard a voice, a voice I knew belong to God. “He did it to himself, Shantnu. Do you not recognise him? He’s your own inner self. You did that him. You did it to yourself in your madness.”

At this point, I started crying. Like, tears started flowing and I started sobbing like a child.

The voice spoke again. “Look around. There are millions of other children suffering too.”

I saw there were millions of other children around me- all stuck in bubbles, all bleeding from injuries they had caused themselves. Each baby was alone.

I saw the bright white light was healing me- but that most of the other babies were blocking it off by the bubbles they were creating.

“Why don’t you help them?” I asked.

“I DO. I speak to all of them, like I’m speaking to YOU. But they don’t hear me. They CAN’T hear me, though I try. I keep talking to them, to let them open, so MY LIGHT can heal them.”

“What can I do to help them?” I asked.

“You can’t. At least, not now, not in your current state. The best thing you can do is: Heal YOURSELF first. And then, you will be able to carry MY VOICE to them. That is the only way to heal them- to make them realise they are not alone, that they are surrounded by love, by the Light.”

And that is the final lesson I want to give you: If you want to help save the world, help ease the suffering of the world, HEAL YOURSELF first. Let the Light heal you. In my vision, I had to do nothing. As soon as I opened up, the Light healed me by itself, without me having to do anything.

And that is the hard lesson we can’t / won’t accept. There is so little for us to do except open up. Just stay still, the Light knows what to do, how to Heal us.

And once YOU are healed, you can start to heal your fellow brothers and sisters. Show them the Light, show them that they need do nothing, that the Divine is willing to do everything for them, if only You will let Him.