Sunday, December 13, 2009

Black Holes and the Dark Night of the Soul

As we have seen, from a psychological perspective a sudden acceleration in the customary speed of interaction between polarities of experience (such as internal and external) leads to a dramatic increase in psychological gravity.

In common language this represents an experience of grief which in the spiritual contemplative life is identified as a purgative period for the soul.

The higher stages of development (defined by their unique number dimensions) therefore represent progressively greater interaction i.e. psychological velocity as between opposite polarities (associated in turn with purer experience of the spiritual light). The transitions as between such stages thereby requires an acceleration with respect to previous interaction (associated again with purgative phases of development).

The most profound of such purgative phases is often referred to as the Dark Night of the Soul. In truth there can be many "dark nights" on the spiritual journey. However the most dramatic - which is referred to as "the passive night of spirit" by St. John of the Cross - would generally bridge the transition between 2-dimensional and 4-dimensional understanding.

St. John provides a particularly intense account of such a "night" in his writings (no doubt based directly on his own experience).

It would perhaps help initially to clarify what the term "passive night of spirit" actually entails.

First of all St. John distinguishes as between "active" and "passive" nights. Now active in this context relates to phenomena of a directly conscious (i.e. linear) nature.

However passive more properly relates to indirect circular paradoxical phenomena that tend to be very refined and fleeting which mediate the pure intuitive light. Now during the first major period of illumination (corresponding to 2-dimensional understanding) this refined type of understanding would be especially prevalent.

However the problem that arises in the spiritual life is that attachment can build up with respect to such phenomena (leading to a certain rigidity in their use) thereby dimming the true quality of the light.

So for pure contemplative union writers such as St. John would prescribe an intense period of further purgation whereby remaining attachment with respect to even these subtle phenomena (as mediators of spiritual light) must be largely eradicated. Therefore there is need for a "passive night of spirit". "Night" of course symbolises darkness rather than "light" which in a psycho spiritual context implies deep immersion in the unconscious regions of personality.

Therefore because such purgation relates to the removing of remaining linear attachments with respect - to what is inherently - circular type appreciation, it leads to consequent extreme curvature in the psychological experience of space and time. Here for a considerable period of time no light can thereby escape! Also there is intense psychological suffering involved largely relating to a profound degree of psychological gravitation (i.e. grief). During such a time it seems as if the whole world - as it were - becomes drawn inside one's internal psyche causing an immensely suffocating feeling.

What we have here therefore in this experience of the "dark night" is the psychological counterpart to the black hole. The black hole likewise is associated with extreme curvature in space and time due to the enormous effects of physical gravity brought about by a burnt out star. So just as the most intense form of the spiritual "dark night" is reserved for dynamic personalities who have already shone as spiritual "stars" (through extraordinary spiritual illumination), likewise black holes are associated with particularly dynamic and immense forms of physical stars.

Likewise, just as with the "dark night" where all psychic matter in one's immediate experience gets sucked inwards in experience, likewise with the black hole where matter in its vicinity likewise gets sucked in towards the hole's centre.

Thus form a holistic qualitative perspective the key structural characteristics of the (psychological) dark night and the (physical) black hole are complementary.

Once again this implies that for appropriate qualitative understanding of physical reality that both a linear and circular aspect must be employed.

This realisation in fact has far reaching implications. Spiritual writers acknowledge that the darkness experienced during the spiritual night in fact relates to a hidden form of light (that remains unseen).

Ultimately pure darkness (relating to pure psychological gravity) is of an inherently empty nature (without phenomenal characteristics).

In complementary fashion this entails that the holistic nature of physical gravity is likewise empty (as is similar with electromagnetic energy).

In psychological terms we identify pure darkness in unconscious terms with gravity (the unseen light) and then the seen light with its pure conscious manifestation.

Now the relationship of conscious to unconscious is of real to imaginary in holistic mathematical terms.

Therefore the corresponding relationship of electromagnetic energy and gravity (in both its physical and psychological manifestations) is also of real to imaginary.

The important consequence of this is that the unification of these two forces requires a complex rational approach combining both real (analytic) and imaginary (holistic) components.

Therefore such unification cannot be properly attained using conventional scientific method (which is qualitatively geared solely to real interpretation).

This perhaps explains why Einstein's subsequent attempts to obtain a unified field theory (consistently combining both the electromagnetic energy and gravitational forces) was ultimately doomed to failure. We shall return to this in a later contribution.

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