Cherie Hanson
5 min readMay 29, 2020


When Darkness Falls, We Only Know We are Out of Place

“Our more immediate personal recognition of the all-originating love and beauty will thus flow out as peace of mind, the health of body, discretion in the management of our affairs, and power in the carrying out of our undertakings; and as we advance to a wider conception of our concept of the spirit of love and beauty in its infinite possibilities, so our intuition will find a wider scope and our field of activity will expand along with it- in a word we shall discover that our individuality is growing and that we are becoming more truly ourselves than we ever were before.” p110 Troward

William Blake discusses the process of going from a state of innocence then experiencing betrayal, loss, grief. This is where most adults stand. It is the burned-out land of shadow structures.

The dark removes the confidence of ground edging us with sharpness we are blind to balance stumbling darkly, we know only that we are out of place.

This valley of despair results in a deep alienation from other people and even more hurtfully from ourselves. An imminent psychologist who spent over 40 years running psychiatric hospitals said that there was only one source for all the manifestations of pain which he observed.

Self-loathing. Self-loathing is the result of a lack of compassion. It is this state of experience that is applauded by society.

Cynicism is an armour forged on the fire of fear.

We are taught to defend ourselves. We are rewarded for being suspicious for finding arguments for finding faults and weakness. We wear the badge of “sophisticated intelligence” proudly. The statement “I don’t believe that,” is automatic when one is in the shadowland of experience.

Alienated from self. Standing sentinel in the fortress of isolation hardens a soul. We are told that this is what experience must inevitably teach us.

But mystics such as Blake know and understand that there is a world beyond experience. There is a place that resides beyond the fortress walls. And this new dimension is of a richer innocence. It is an opening up that often comes to people in deep, blinding grief when it feels as if another breath will break the heart, the chest, the throat open. It is a death beyond death because of the confused sense of numbness and chaos at once.

It is after the lightning strike that individuals find themselves sitting on a step next to flowers and being…