10a May 2011 Primitive Man and Darkness

I’ve learned to appreciate darkness. For a while when I lived in New Mexico, I became interested in darkness and learning to function within it. I used to leave the lights off in my home in the evening and walk about in the dim light of the moon coming in through the windows. I would walk outside in my yard and stand in darkness listening to the sounds of the night. I found that the neighborhood dogs didn’t particularly appreciate that , and I had to be careful or they would attack me. Night is a special time, and it creates a different type of consciousness.

Primitive man must have had a strange relationship with darkness. The discovery of fire would have changed all that. Fire creates an oasis in darkness as water does in a desert, and people flock to it. Without the light from fire, primitive man would have been vulnerable to wild animals, but could also have been a predator. We have better night vision than we think, and we can experience it if we will allow ourselves a hour of darkness to fully adapt. Without fire, primitive man would have had no choice but to use his night vision. We don’t even realize we have night vision, much less experience it and learn how to negotiate the night world. I suspect man was a formidable predator at night. He could have been adept at caching roosting birds. They could have formed a large portion of his diet.

But the psychic state is different at night. We experience our own mind differently in darkness. The Unconscious is more accessible, and we can make better use of it. We also experience each other differently at night. Each of us is then closer tour own Collective Unconscious, and in a group, we would be different social animals. Primitive man didn’t just sleep with when it was dark. During the long winter nights without fire, they would have had communal activities of which we currently know nothing.

I would like to propose an experiment. I would like for a group of people to isolate themselves in the mountains. In the evenings and during the night, they would all come together to sleep in separate beds but in one large room. During the early part of the evening they would share their thoughts in a group activity. It would be important to not have separate groups but to be of one mind. They would all practice Active Imagination and would report their activities, their psychic experiences to the others real time. It doesn’t have to occur in total darkness, but it should be dark enough that no one could get up and walk around without a red light. During the day, each member of the group would write of their experience the night before, plus they would also document their dreams.

During the night, they could have a section of the room partitioned where members could go to discuss their dreams that they had just had. People could go there who have they could practice active Imagination by writing in their notebook computer with all lights on it turned off.

This would be an experiment in primitive living. Perhaps someone has already thought of this and has formed such a group.

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