A Walk in the Dark Night

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My recent post The Miasms, Karma and Homeopathic Healing touches on “walk-ins” or demonic possession.  I had a strange experience of this, about thirteen years ago.  This post contains that story, as I told it to John de Ruiter.  Around it I found other writings and pictures.   Existentially, we come to grips with our shadow, as we walk.

Sea 1

8 November 1998 –  The Dark Night of the Soul

The truth is impersonal.  It isn’t “me”.  It is intercepted by colourful individual hue-and-cry localities.  They do what they want or are designed to do – the shape of a flower, fish or hedgehog – but it never stops being truth.  If in the morning it flows strongly, I think “Ah, I can see the truth!”   But that’s because it will open any mind that’s willing.  It is not something to be proud of.  Sages – those who are established in truth – go about their business and most people wouldn’t recognise them.  Why?  The truth doesn’t belong or stick to anyone.  It is all there is.  The obstacle is in considering it as an object I must reach.  The obstacle is the seeker after truth, for she puts it ahead of her, like a mirage.

sea 2

Tripura Rahasya says (p.12) – “The beneficent work of the self-inhering divine Grace is finished when the inward turning of one’s mind increases day by day.”

notebook page

…   is the realisation there is nothing I can do, and thus the extinguishing of hope.  Life burns a lamp of hope revealing rock walls, and believes it is the agent of illumination.  But when there is no lamp indicating progress, the darkness is its own source.  When the light is gone and there is only the infinite, soft and impenetrable darkness, this for some is death, the loss of heaven-god, and so it is called the soul’s dark night.  But you know, and I know, since we are One, that this is the cave of the Uncreate.  The darkness of the void is but another perception of the light.  Wait.  For the Word has not happened yet.  There is no Word here.

sea 3

Yesod What is the dark night of the soul?

Tifareth It happens before the ability to see from beyond the pairs of opposites dawns.  Some souls, when in the power of darkness, experience futility.  Gifted adolescents turn playmate to the demons, which are half formed currents of Creation in the astral body.  They feel trapped in vast, fecund fields, for the vital energy is vampirized.   That is why they stay in bed. They are exhausted.  The fields of the night glitter with POETRY – “the gorgeous black sticky stuff“.   Every soul, every branch of the Tree, must experience Hades – whether past, or yet to come – in the relative cupboard of Time.  It is the loam of below the Earth.  The wraiths of Nature  prey on and suck substance from one another, as within the physical ground: the play of spores, nitrates, seeds and rotting fibres.  It is the mud without which no lotus grows.  All must find the magic land.  Some, having passed through it, forget it.  But you and I recall it, to draw the references.  We recognise the stems, which are still rich with it.   Your drawings in 1964  are the Asphodel, the Hadean flower.  But you are not trapped.  You were when it was seductive, sensuously compulsive as the Soul’s Dark Night.

Jukebox and Beehive, Carlisle 1964


Tifareth — The dark night of St John of the Cross – Mine eyes have seen a great Light, but now they don’t –  laboured in sorrow to bring forth, and to reconstruct the ladder.

The dark releases you.  Nothing else can.  When you go inward first, it is dark, not the custom light of the world.  You cannot see the unknown.  This is truth.

The substance of all this is that the Dark Night occurs when God disconnects you from seeing Him as a safe, Heavenly Mountain to climb up and reach, and pushes you back to drown in your swamp.  The Dark Night occurs during the i-lamp’s destruction, the miner’s lamp to …   you feel?

Yesod It is when the lamp no longer lights my cave walls with shadows, and so there is just the unbottomed. But what is the dark night of the soul REALLY?

Tifareth The dark is the passage of waiting.  It is the night through which you cannot sleep.  It is the longing for sleep, and the sterile agitation of the mind, and the slumberless corners of the body.  It is whatever episode in the life span endures grief, pain, bewilderment, inner destruction, the letting go of baggage, detachment learned the hard way.  There is no other way.  Without the dark night, who would bother to look away from the grazing-ground?  It isn’t cause and effect.  It is just that in the painful or sludge-y darkness, there burns a naked longing for the wise.

Yesod Integral to the dark night perhaps, is to know “I have no control.”

Tifareth – Whatsoever.

Yesod This in broad daylight looks very fine, but when trapped, it is the essence of suffering.

Tifareth – And the essence of surrender.  Surrender is’t just a pretty face.

Sea and rock, the feet

The dark night is the curling coal of the fathomless wave, the curve or swelling, and the willingness not to panic or wail with loneliness, but to “chill out” with it, rest on its breath, as in its feet.  There is a longing to be un-costumed, and to give up all resistance.  It is the Miner of the dark hard Night.  I learn from the companions.  When resistance is less, “I” diminish, therefore what suffered, becomes the easy movement of the breath.  The cells know this, for they sink.  This quiet state has the union and pivot of the world;  and in here the existential hell gets shot through with stabs of silence, open-ness, NOW, irrelevance, like shafts of Vedic Ushas, the Dawn.


And then the swan of silence floats.  There is still “I”.   Only God may remove what God put there.  Think about that!  Only God can remove “I”.  I can’t.  Only God can remove God’s eye one seeingness is. But can he? …  There is no escape, nor is there death.  Tentatively, cast adrift, leave prIde and other eyes behind (they are mental attachments, seeing, applauding, approving … ) unclothe and see what happens … alone …

A verse I wrote when my daughter was young and wild and off the grid in San Francisco

You see my Lord  
never mind that I'm her mother,  
but I am (?) put in the place where it is my feeling  
to have her come safe to harbour over the heaving waters - 
soul come safe to harbour, come what may, 
be loved, her own (unknown)  
and so the spells attuning in the fields of Asphodel 
with the healing silence, 
in the dry nude mountain are in-placed. 

What a cinematic world this is. 
All is well, so I am told deep down.  
All, all manner of things is well 
and strong, and blossoming.


And … even during the really difficult years, now past, she could laugh at Mum being such an old bat, and we could reach each other in this way:

… her threat to abandon her A Levels and become a Beautician in deepest Essex


Here is Ramesh Balsekar with Gabriel Hafron.  They had honest conversations about suffering and  suicide.  Gabriel walked his dark night and – as far as I know – eats lotuses.  I love Ramesh’s pragmatic and passionate fondness for talking.

Gabriel and Ramesh

I recall the barely concealed jealous tension around the relaxed alert old man: the sniggers and impatience we could barely contain while Gabriel worked out his stuff.  The sheer mind-stuff in one’s teens and youth hurts.  It is a torment.  It tangles the web and hammers the knot.  Philosophers suffer atrociously from mercurial parasites and mental arguments – Gabriel was a philosopher with sharp streetwise chutzpah – a “nice” Jewish lad.  The public sage receives seekers who are ignorant of psychology and their own emotions and the basics and are desperate for a path.   For meeting after meeting, Gabriel begged Ramesh for relief;  and Ramesh explained to him with all the time in the world, and with intense compassion, no, he cannot help him.  He must walk himself.

I continue to feel fond of that little old man and his bright ways and blackbird gestures.  He was a retired Bank of India manager.  As I have been in his room, and dedicated my time there, I savour the background Mumbai street noises;  wailing barrow boys and baroque car horns; the wheezing crows and twittering sparrows;  and I think of him alone and snoozing in his chair after lunch with his dignified wife.  I see him walking to and fro on his roof in inquisitive harmony.  Living on the top floor – you can see the sea from there – he took his daily constitutional in the apartment.  I cherish the gentle grace of his greeting, white shirt, silken skin and impish smile.

Ramesh said to a German visitor, that when the ego wants to be enlightened, the ego wants to be God, and of course it cannot be, and thus the depression and “losing it”.

What a dodgy business to install the understanding in an unripe hyacinth!   Many a spring it takes, to flower and shrink back into the bulb underground;  for subconscious programming to accept an accelerated revelation.

Hyacinth – A Sivaic Poem

When the blue, proud Hyacinth dies, he falls 
slowly inward; flower fading crinkles 
first, and then his tips of tall green spears  
turning gold, begin to burn.

The bulb of his Self Light 
that hides, until a Spring to come 
in dark soil, is drinking him, 
all of him up, O Lord of Caves! 

Let his sapphire die back to earth   
and then, consumed
in your fire, spring forth! 
O Lord of the River, and of Caves.



November 1999 – Talking of a Walk-in

Here is John de Ruiter, whose early appearances in London were homeopathic and alchemical.   He seemed to be in love with wandering very slowly around in peoples’ black holes.  He puts his YOD – the attention – on the littlest bit, and just lets it, and waits.    He may have  touched the deep before speech,  releasing me from having to listen to any more sages.

John de Ruiter and his game

The people who spoke to John were little microphones.  Sometimes they were little mirrors.  The one on the right goes pop with enlightenment. The lightbulb on the left is  endarkenment.

In one of his meetings, I had a conversation with John, about a “walk-in” I’d experienced recently.

I said:  “John, I’d like to talk to you about being nobody who has nothing, and about tension.   Tension seems to build up whenever it limits or defines itself –  limitation is put around it – in any way.

“But something happened last month.  It was a dream.  There were footsteps coming.  There was no person in them, just the essence and the sound and the place of them on the gravelly ground.  They came from behind, walked right through me and pulled me towards a farm, a place of violent anger, revenge and fear, and I was terrified.  It was an electric current, a magnet.  I tried to stand still while it was going through me, but it had enormous strength.  At that point all of a moment, I thought of you.  I tried from side to side, to open, soften, let it pass through me like a wave through water – but it was too strong.  Then a Christian prayer came very powerfully, the Prayer of the Heart.  I woke from the magnetic field, shouting out loud, with that prayer.

“But there was still my enormous tension of resisting, wasn’t there.  It’s a razor edge thing of being, and yet being also the resistance.  Subsequently, I felt this current had moved away and left me.  But I had had to make myself HARD with all my might, to resist it.

John replied eventually: “It’ll be back. 

“As soon as you resisted it, for that energy, its response was, “That’s good enough.”  That’s what it wanted.  So next time it builds on what took place, and then the next time it builds on that, inside of you.

“The only way is to let yourself completely dissolve in the midst of that. There is then no threat which is taken to heart.  Nothing to protect. Then it’s not only you who is dissolving, but that energy that’s moving through you.  And that energy dissolves too.”

I said: “There is an energy used, “to not resist” – to “try not to resist.”

John: “This is the belief that you ought not to resist.  Such a belief you don’t need. Tender absence can live.  Your belief is something you’re doing.

“You would even be better off to resist and to be OK with resisting, than to try to “not resist” because you believe that you shouldn’t.  The second one makes more of a mess than the first.”

co dependent borderlines

Long pause

co-dependent fishes.  

[NB – Some other paintings in this series are in “For Z”, posted 25 August  –  see the Archive of all Posts].


Jane: “I don’t know what sort of mess it made … because it left a feeling of openness …”

John: “To resist and be OK with it?  That’s the first one.  Even to put effort and trying into ‘not to resist’, because you believe you should put effort into not resisting – there can be an open-ness in that. The open-ness is wonderful. The effort creates the mess.

“Two things can be happening at the same time, and then there is a mixture of tightness and open-ness. The mixture is OK.  Stay with the part you’re in love with.  You don’t have to work with the other part.”  (24 November 1999)

This retrieval rings extraordinarily true for me.  It leads me to the way – in principle – Christ may have dealt with the dibbuks.

First:  while copying it out, I saw and felt John de Ruiter’s predisposition to bathe in these situations and their darkness, and be their elixir – the awareness.   He loved unconditionally the darkness, to be its slow unfolding light, from the deep depression which had rebirthed himself.   He held the tantra touch, the YOD.   He was indifferent to the huge meetings, the organization, the groupies, it all went on around him. He went to bed with some of it, and people were scandalized.  He was a forest man from the north;  a lumberjack.

(She closed her eyes and asked John to, also)

Secondly, the entity in my dream was “Mr V” whom I had met again, after many years.  Our rendez vous was the terrace outside Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath.  His approaching footsteps made the crunchy sound in the gravel; and we had a rather intense afternoon scrambling in and out of the woods and over fences.  Then they walked straight into my dream at night.  They tugged me towards an emotion – a farm nearby which was red with rage and gore .   I know now that if I had gone with them, my soul could have held a permissive bitterness, and I might be stuck and sick, seeking revenge.

I first knew Mr V when I was 20, and can only say about him now, that he was a gifted soul, but he was going into a downward spiral.  My long co-dependency with his dark side accelerated my awakening.  It re-opened my ancient doors he now shunned.  He was a catalyst in every way.  I saw the raw Karmic force, the way it whirls like a tornado.

I did this small painting (below), soon after my dream.  I amalgamated it with a 1970s dream from The Watershed, about a wounded, orphaned foal (also below).  I didn’t draw Mr V’s crunching footsteps through my space  – but I sketched the blood-red farm impression, the psychic “rage, revenge and fear” which I tried to resist by standing still and letting it go through me.

Foal farm holocaust

This is the story from “The Watershed” – The Foal.

Dreams No.124  June 1975

THE FOAL is crying,  we wish to discover how the larger animal died,  so we are leading the helpless foal through the broken out-houses, that it may sense and tell us.  The foal screamed and held back, native terror of its dead kin.   But we were too strong for it.   I carried it in my arms.   It lay numb and resigned with terror.   There was a splash of red on the floor,  blood going sticky.   I pleaded the foal’s case with the others,  I said Let’s spare the foal, it’s not right to force him into this fear.   We’ve seen the blood, we can find the rest for ourselves.   Please, we mustn’t do this to the little animal, the baby,  we will scar him for life.   So I took the baby back into the yard to wash and clean him again,  he was covered in thick mud again,  thick wet mud like a baby found in a bombsite,  and I was cleaning it off with water.   He was a human baby.   I was to clean him at a sort of trough.

The yard was derelict and full of rubbish,  thrown-out relics of demolished houses,  plaster and refuse.

The creature who had died, who had taken its own life, left imprints of itself,  its face,  in silver foil which was lying around.   It had been playing before it died,  it was non-terrestrial,  it came from some other place in the universe.  It left big graceful sculptures on the ground in thick wire and scrap iron tubing.   They would not live long because they were an alien implantation and they could not survive here,  they could not be seen.

They were ungainly structures standing on two or three legs with a kind of conscious expression above, like a child’s drawing.   They were very simply made and ephemeral because …  heaven knows what would happen to them,  they might get thrown away in ignorance with the rest of the rubbish.


My job here is to touch on essences, not the pressure of autobiography in the tyre.  The Karmic narrative condensed within that dream, took many years yet to walk through itself, and realise the  “water under the bridge”.  I can look back on it now, and recognise the essences.  They release me deeply, acknowledging past-life hints and flavours:  apprenticeship to a medical magus in Elizabethan London, whose boundless curiosity raised and angered the dead.  In those days, cadavers were useful not only to Renaissance painters.  The esoteric Renaissance was rooted in compost – the fertile nitrates of medieval plague.  The penalty is the pain I took on, in this lifetime, together with an abortion at age 17 in my Victorian life.   These issues working through consciousness, are in the domain of “the Divine Regulator”.

My dark night revisits the pit, the walk-in or mood, to share with you my way through.   The daughters of Solomon are dark but comely.  Beauty walks with the beast.   I am astonished how, in the walk-in story, when I called on Christ with the Jesus prayer, I was released.  After twenty centuries of abuse, Jesus’s Name still has power to overturn the tables.  In any healing circumstance, His is the homeopathic power –  his Father’s, with Mother Earth.

In that episode and others, I suffered first the NEGATIVE force/fate, for it highlights the power of That which overcomes it.  They are one and the same wave crest.

The principle applies to everything we suffer, individually and collectively.  The Overcomer isn’t as dramatic and colourful as the negative fate, which is hard like gristle.  The Overcomer only pervades it, unnoticed like gravity, and brings me through to let it go.  The negative fate has its entire worldview, prediction and science.  All that is cast away – a heap of old clothes by the road.  (Even now, a symbolic Samaritan paradox:  the parables are multi-dimensioned.)   The sun came out.  Sometimes when the Sun comes out it is blinding brilliant like the road to Damascus.  But usually it just makes me take off that coat.

In my previous post, Listening with the Oracle, the Egyptian priestess in “Self Preservation” gazes at the whirling winds, the tornado before the sun comes out.  My efforts are considerable, but imaginary.   Who Ray!

Life is a landscape, a veil on the rock: the rock is the Face, the underlying geology.  It changes like clouds, because we are human and have lived a long time.  It rings the changes and comes around like the stars.

sun path

What is my Guru?  Guru means dispeller of darkness.  Let all obscurity fly from thee.  The Guru may be a person, but is really an interior climate.  When I think Guru and look inward, I find the seed of love in all its forms.  Love has the face of my beloved, and of others; but they are all incidental. They are boats on the wave.  With love comes patience.  The Guru is essentially, relationship – the give and take which is patience.


 The Guru of Everything in Life

A footnote:  Gareth Knight describes in his superb biography of Dion Fortune, her first great astral battle with the college headmistress, who bashed her for four long hours with:  “You are incompetent and you know it.  You have no self confidence, and you’ve got to admit it.”

This mantra is the exact inverse of the strong occult leader she was to be.  The disabling hypnosis flagged up the opposite, like a colour complementary in the dark.  The girl broke down for months, but would rise to the initiatory test.   Competence and self confidence are the achilles heel and hallmark of creative artists, great mediums, and leaders alike.




My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

3 thoughts on “A Walk in the Dark Night

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