Every Journey Into Darkness is a return to greater awareness of self. Human existence is a profoundly existential experience; every human being is burdened, or gifted – depending on how you look at it – with a deeper sense of awareness of self. However, full consciousness is not handed to us. In our lifetime, we must seek it out. We must journey into the unknown, the uncharted territory, the shadow realm, and bring back with us our own awakening.
How does one do this? How do we know about that which is unknown? How can we embark on a journey in finding and obtaining our fullest potential? The answer, or rather the reward, is found only within the journey itself. Yet, as creatures who are but merely the latest continuation of the unraveling story of life, we may find guidance in all that came before us. These clues have been observed from people to people, generation to generation, preserved in stories which have been remembered through their cues from the environment that surrounds us: Earth, and the greater cosmos.
The story of the Human is a cyclical story embedded within the larger contextual story of life. Each of us human beings is an expression of this grand story. Our identity is but a representation of all which has come before, flowing forward and backward in time. Spinning and spiraling. In a reality in which we as humans are perceiving our world, it is difficult to see the foundational forces that provide this home or space for us to even exist. This is perhaps why humanity is profoundly an existential experience: The physical world in which we are born into, the light, is only illuminating the creations, but we cannot see the source of these creations. For that, we must venture into the darkness…
I cannot deny my own acute awareness of a deep void that rests beyond my horizons. Its gravitational pull is strong, pulling me towards its edge. I both fear it immensely, and desire it tremendously. I fear it because it is unknown: as we all are naturally programmed in our genetic instinctual self-preservation to remain in a state of safety. But I desire it because I feel so contained and limited within this bubble of safety. What does it mean when your soul calls for you to expand, to risk everything?
I don’t have many answers, but I have found that when I respond to this calling, my perceived experience fills with meaning and purpose. Destiny comes forth and leads me on. Passion is ignited and lights my way.
This place is an Atoll which is part of the largest protected preserve in the world, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and it rests at 28.3925° N, 178.2936° W. It also rests in the realm of Pō. As the Atoll exists much further north and west of the main Hawaiian islands, it also then exists within the realm of darkness: the subconscious; the source. It exists beyond the horizon, in the West where the sun sets, and in the North. These are places within us and without us where life came from and life returns to. It is where our ancestors rest. It is the home of our kūpuna. Mai nā kūpuna mai.
I am still trying to grasp the deeper significance of ancestral places and their imprinted wisdom on the geography of us people. I am merely a beginning student who has been honored to learn from our greatest Kumu, our greatest teachers. I do not take this lightly. I take it as a huge responsibility, a deeper purpose. And although It often feels like a great undertaking: to walk between the realms of the conscious and unconscious in such magnitudes, I have already seen what walking this path has given me. A greater sense of myself. A greater understanding of the mystery of life and a clearer vision of where we as a people are going…
If you would like further information about this place and the work that we do, please visit the Kure Atoll Conservancy page. If you would like deeper information on this place, there are many resources for this. Check out Kekuewa Kikiloi’s work.
Mahalo nui for your interest in my story!