At the level of inner need, the spiritual concept of “I am enough” is truly critical. As long as you dwell on more superficial levels of need, as long as you lean on a stronger person to carry you through, the anxiety of separation is disguised – and that may be what you need for the moment. It takes real spiritual commitment to expose the wounds of separation hidden in the unconscious.
If you look deep enough these wounds show up as black holes in your sense of self. Like black holes in space, which suck energy out of the universe, the psyche’s black holes suck out your confidence, your sense of worth, your certainty that you can survive.
When you approach just a small one of these holes, you can experience a drastic range of sensations, none of them pleasant. Mild uneasiness and disembodiedness give way to nervousness, dizziness, nausea, vertigo, anxiety, panic, terror, and dread, depending upon how close you come to the black hole.
Terrible as these feelings are, they have no spiritual reality; they are conditioned reactions. Stored-up fear magnifies the experience of a black hole because of the effort we all exert to avoid existential anxiety, fears about just being here on earth.
Keeping away from a black hole seems like a good tactic, but it isn’t the same as healing. If left unhealed a black hole only gets larger until it becomes a gaping wound. The largest wound you can have is the wound of separation, the trauma of losing love, spirit, God. This is the primal black hole; it breaks you off from the source of love, peace, and joy.
Someone who hasn’t healed this primal absence will have no energy to cope with life in any but the most basic ways – the black hole will seem to undermine all optimism and meaning; there will be a floating sense of dread that may not be felt directly but that drains the vitality of existence. This is the condition known as despair.
Black holes are healed by filling them with spirit. Despite their terror, black holes are just lack of love.
Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).