Discover more from The Living Dark
A New Name for This Newsletter: Welcome to The Living Dark
On continuing to live into the dark under a new title
Seven months after the launch of this newsletter, I have decided to act on a suspicion that has whispered itself in my psyche from the start: that the title “Living into the Dark,” which I used for this project when I rolled it out last September, is not entirely effective. Beginning now and going forward, this newsletter’s name will be The Living Dark.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love, and in fact conduct my life according to, the principle of living into the dark, defined as embracing the eternal unfolding edge of the unknown by not plotting the novel of your life but seeing it emerge spontaneously from the darkness of primal creativity in each moment. I laid the whole thing out in some detail in the first three posts that I published here. Everything I said in those posts still applies.
But as a title, it has always felt a bit lumpy. It never rolled off the tongue as smoothly as I would have liked. By contrast, “the living dark” both encompasses the original title and expresses a meaning that is simultaneously more expansive and more pointed. It’s an ideal moniker for a project whose guiding theme and short description (which I have also recently retooled) is “the numinous intersection of religion, horror, creativity, and the unknown.”
Thank you to all subscribers, both free and paid, for your continued interest and support.
Since we’re here, I’ll share a couple of additional items:
I continue to find Substack’s new Notes feature to be valuable and interesting. So far, it’s making for a nice new social medium that is quite user-friendly in its interface and, overall, warm and welcoming in its tone. You’re free to join and use it, as it’s available to everyone, not just to Substack writers. Personally, I will continue using it to post short content—ideas, links, quotations, reflections—that don’t add up to a full newsletter post. If you like this newsletter, maybe you’ll find my notes of interest, too.
Here are three recent ones:
What I’m working on
After spending all my “spare” time for the past two or three weeks creating the first Living Dark podcast, I’m now diving into the page proofs for my Journals, Volume 2: 2002–2022. The book will be published this year, probably in early summer, after I have made corrections and created the index.
In the course of transcribing those 20 years’ worth of private journal entries, I rediscovered a fact that I have always clearly remembered, but whose scope and intensity I had kind of forgotten: For years on end in the early aughts, and even beyond, I dwelled deeply upon and within the experience of creative block. My grapplings with it, not only as a practical matter but as a phenomenon to be understood and mined for insights into the very nature of creativity, the inner life, and even human selfhood, are recorded in those pages. This struggle deeply informed my writing of A Course in Demonic Creativity and my overall understanding of what I’m about as a person and a writer.
Moving forward with this newsletter, in addition to the title change (“The Living Dark”) you’ll see a shift in focus as the matter of deep creativity, of the relationship that we each have to our own demon muse, however conceived or experienced, becomes focal. At the same time, I will of course continue to write about many other things.
I appreciate your accompanying me on this journey, and I hope the things I publish here continue to connect and provide value to your life. Subscriber growth so far has indicated this is the case. From me to you, thanks.
The Living Dark is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.