Angels and Demons
I had a bizarre experience a few years ago. It’s been six years since I went on a beautiful expedition of rappelling Salto Angel. The tallest waterfall in the world with a height of 979 metres, which drops over the edge of the Auyán-tepui mountain in the Canaima National Park. I went to Venezuela in a small group of four friends, led by a well-known explorer and adventurer. Coincidentally, he was the first man in history to climb the vertical wall of the mountain and then rappel the waterfall on the other edge of it in the late ‘90s.
Looking in hindsight, the whole journey seemed to be a kind of a mythical “archetypal story” – the Devil’s House mountain located in Venezuela, 7 days journey to the waterfall edge followed by 2 days of rappelling, a night inside the cave in the middle of the wall, the first and the second Great wall, all the camps on the way, the edge and “the fall from the highest point”, a way through The Devil’s canyon and the final redemption in form of a small jungle camp full of good tasty food and a meeting with a beautiful woman, which preceded a refreshing river & plane journey back into civilisation and a reward by resting on the Caribbean seacoast with white-sand beaches and sky-blue water.
What a gorgeous game life plays with us. And who knows, perhaps it’s the whole meaning of life? To play our small roles within the great game on the theatre stages of life to our best…
What took my attention from the very beginning was the mysterious contrast and paradox in one. The “Angel Falls” dropping down from the “Devil’s House” mountain. The vertical walls of the Venezuelan tepuis or “Houses of Gods” how the indigenous people call them. The 2-billion years old table-top mountains reaching the skies, while being huge reservoirs of water falling from their edges to the depths of the wild Amazonian rainforest.
Anyway, the whole expedition was another amazing journey closer to the roots of nature for me and “the experience” occurred during the first day of rappelling the wall, in the longest section. The wall is quite tall, with some plateaus on the way where you can rest a bit and re-fix the rope into another section. And due to its roughness, you can’t see each other, let alone to hear anything due to the noise from the falling waterfall. We slept at the edge of the mountain the night before the rappelling and woke up into a gorgeous early morning with the clouds below us and the sun rising from behind the opposite tepui. One can hardly imagine a more picturesque and romantic start of the day. After breakfast and all the preparation, I had small advisement with the oldest member as we were the most experienced climbers from the group. We agreed that I go as first and he will be fixing the descent. The rest of the members will rappel between us if anything goes wrong. Something always does, so we forgot the walkie-talkies at the hotel which meant that there was no point of contact and if something really goes wrong, everybody will have to fall back on himself. Extraordinary beginning…
I fixed myself on the rope and I went as the first one, like many times before. A kind of an indefinite explorer. The first steps over the edge into the abyss are always the most difficult. You have to trust that tiny rope, the fixing point at the rock over the abyss and above all yourself entirely. But when you get the courage to make those steps, wauuu, what a blessing awaits you. The feeling of a vast and bottomless nothingness below your body is amazing. It’s terrifying and delightful at the same time. You give up the control entirely at that moment and let the “inevitable” to happen. You know that all that remains is your utter trust in Life and your life-story itself. And if you surrender to this feeling, that gives you all the certainty in the world.
The first few sections went smoothly and the day moved. The clouds below us cleared away and opened a view to the waterfall in all its beauty. Tons and tons of water falling down the rocky wall for almost one kilometre. For thousands of years. In the end, only water dust reaches the ground. A splendid spectacle of nature. At some point, the longest section came and I quietly stepped in. I was using a safety knot because the heavyweight of the body and all the luggage I carried together was too much to hold in one hand. Then I got to a long out-hang and the knot didn’t want to move anymore. And there I was, hanging on the rope in the air. Nobody around, my companions 40-50 metres somewhere above not seeing me, we couldn’t hear each other due to the noise from the waterfall and the knot got jammed at the rope, so I wasn’t able to move forward. With all the weight of my body and two big rucksacks, I simply got stuck there. I quickly realised the situation I’m in and firstly I thought: ”That’s it, that’s the end. End of the story man…” Then all those weird questions started to rush through my mind. Am I going to die now? What about to cut the rope? Another 25-30 meters below me to the next plateau, then a vast emptiness again. Would I survive the fall? And what if I won’t manage to land on the plateau? How much the body would be damaged? I was in this panic for a few minutes, trying all the possible and impossible tricks to release the knot. Unsuccessfully.
Fortunately, I had a few experiences being in a similar state, and so I tried to calm down and relax. I took the attention out of the issue and managed to enjoy the place a little bit. Suddenly, a tiny little creature, a small bird appeared next to me. I hardly even mentioned him. It was a hummingbird. He flew around me for a few seconds and then he left. What are you doing here, for god’s sake? – just went through my mind. Though I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it. But then the panic somehow dissolved into the background and in one moment I became aware that there is something inside me which is not afraid at all – and which is even enjoying the situation! I was in a huge problem, hanging in the big wall, possibly facing a serious injury, unable to call for help while relaxing and watching “some stupid birds around”. Insane!
And then, in that silence and standstill, I realised I have one more knot with me. Thus I used it to lift up the weight of my baggage and release the jammed knot. And suddenly I was free… Well, free in terms that I was able to rappel down to the next plateau and rest a bit.
I haven’t told about this to my fellows. I only mentioned some issues, but for me, it was an immense lesson. For the first time in my life, I consciously got into connection with some unknown inner aspect which carried me into a completely new dimension. I slipped into a vast field of self-confidence which appeared to be more than real. And it continued throughout all the rest of the time spent in Venezuela. I became aware of my true inner strength. Surprisingly, by experiencing the so-called “dark side” of life. At the place more than symbolic – while rappelling down the Angel Falls from the Devil’s House Mountain…
A few years have passed. More than enough similar experiences continued to enter my life and surfaced into my awareness. Thus I can now say without any hesitation that almost all of our potential, virtue, strength, creativity and light lies hidden and is unfolding from that aspect of ours which we, in our lack of clarity and perception distorted by the ancestral baggage we carry, call the “dark side”, dark matter, shadow, unconsciousness, Hell, Devils, darkness, Demons and who knows how else. That all the so-called demons are our angels in disguise. Whether in terms of people we meet, experiences we walk through or phenomena which are happening to us, with us or through us. It’s Grace coming towards us and manifesting through them. They are here to show us the hidden meaning and beauty of our suffering, discomfort, fear and pain. And uncover the light secretly stored inside these often difficult moments, experiences and relationships. Available to each of us by walking through the labyrinth of separateness lying between us and them. Lying in between our hearts. In between us and The Heart.
It’s we who are these angels and demons to each other. We play these roles in the story of a great game called Life. Where people, who we perceive as being demons often uncover themselves as the gentlest and our closest angels on the path of life. Gifting us with an opportunity to uncover more and more light. And vice versa, the perceived angels sometimes uncover themselves to be our worst “enemies”. Of course, only if we have the courage and patience to dig out the jewels from such relationships and experiences. Without constantly running away from them back into the vicious circle of our suffering.
This is how we all cooperate and help each other to evolve. Walking beside, interconnected and interdependent, towards the great aim of Life. Together, we all create the great body of humanity, sometimes called the Whole or Oneness. Nobody is isolated in this game. Yet, everybody is alone.
There are so many people, books, movies, teachings and dogmatic philosophies out there telling us how to fight, protect in front of or repress the dark side of ours. Sharing weird stories and fantasizing about dangerous “demons, devils, dragons, dark parts, shadows and evils”. Beginning with religions and ending with new age spiritual circles.
Here is something from my own experience what I’d like to share: Our shadows and all the “devils” out there are our closest friends and greatest teachers of all. Not the “gurus”, masters, “good vibes” or high-frequency experiences but our own shadows. They represent the vast untapped potential of human growth, free energy and transcendence. They are teaching us, step by step, how to live responsibly in all fields of life – personal, financial, family, health or work while being able to enjoy life. It’s we who are teachers to each other. Not so much through our light than through our shadows. All the wisdom of this Universe lies inside our relationships. This is how Oneness is slowly walking to its perfection. It’s using each one’s shadows to let the others grow through them as for most, we are growing through challenging each other. While slowly eradicating fear from the unified field.
This is the true meaning of shadows. And they will uncover this true meaning to us once we stop fighting, calm down, relax and stay in the unknown.