The Dark Night of Our Soul

“All the maps tell us that on the path to authentic selfhood, we must remain for a time in the dark night of the soul, in the winter of our discontent, until we reach the very bottom of despair. Only then do we discover that the seeds of renewal are blindly pushing up through the fertile loam toward the yet eclipsed sun. In past times theologians, philosophers, and spiritual pilgrims spoke about this part of the journey as being crucified, dead, and buried, losing their ego, being lost in the wasteland or a slough of despair, descending into hell, being consumed by hungry ghosts,being in the belly of the beast, doing battle with dragons, encountering demons. Nowadays we strip it of poetry and give it clinical names: stress–depression–burnout. And, predictably, having renamed the phenomenon, we have created a new class of professionals—stress managers, therapists, and burnout consultants—who destroy the spiritual significance it once had.”

“When we arrive at the dark pit of despair, we have reached the low point in the spiritual journey….Despair is the grave from which we may be born again.”    Sam Keen

“The longest journey is the journey inward, for he who has chosen his destiny has started upon his quest for the source of his being.” Dag Hammarsjkold

“When fog prevents a small-boat sailor from seeing the buoy marking the course he wants, he turns his boat rapidly in small circles, knowing that the waves he makes will rock the buoy in the vicinity. Then he stops, listens and repeats the procedure until he hears the buoy clang. By making waves, he finds where his course lies…Often the price of finding these guides is a willingness to take a few risks, to “make a few waves”. A boat that stays in the harbor never encounters danger—but is also never gets anywhere.”     Richard Armstrong

Dark Night of Our Soul Links:

1.  Definition of dark night of the soul-Wikipedia

2.  Saint John of the Cross wrote Dark Night of the Soul. it is available at Google Books.

From Google Books-

“There comes to all souls, at least once in life, a severe test. It is known as the Dark Night of the Soul. It is when we are beleaguered by darkness: spiritual and mental and where no hope seems to be near and everything we try to do is thwarted. It is where the soul is forced to persist and enter into the glorious Golden Dawn of Illumination and kinship with God, or relax into the dull slumber of a mediocre physical existence. You cannot avoid it. If this test hasn’t already come in your life-it will. How you deal with it is as important as life itself. This book, written by a high initiate, St. John, will be your counsel and guide.”

3.  The Dark Night and clinical depression

4.  Dark Night of the Soul–The Mystic. org

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Posted on April 25, 2012, in Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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