Dark night of the soul-
“All the maps tell us that on the path to authentic self hood, 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
God of activity-
“If the world stands bewildered and confused in the face of its trouble, it is partly because we Westerners have made a God of activity; we have yet to learn how to be, as we have already learnt how to do.” Paul Brunton
“The primary goal of meditation is not relaxation–it is awareness. This is what leads eventually to getting the mind back under control. Relaxation is a side effect of learning how to meditate.”
‘Now we need to take whatever gains we’ve made and redress the
balance by practicing an everyday spirituality that nourished:
interpersonal relationships, the environment, and the ordinary.”
“If prayer is the attempt to understand God, then grieving is the deepest form of prayer, rising from the body and soul and mind, asking God and really and truly wanting to know, no matter what the answer: Who are you? Why did you create a world with pain? Why is life this way? What are you? Because you are not what I thought you were.
Grieving, at its deepest level, is to acknowledge that creation can be cruel and that people suffer. To look at this truth, to allow yourself to feel it, you are forced to consider the nature of this world and this existence. you ask how this can be and who set this up and why this happens. To grieve is to ask God the hardest questions. To grieve is to ask who God really is. It’s to change your perspective on all other human beings and their relationships to one another and to you and your place in this world. To grieve is to start over, to be re-created.
Why suffering? Why grief? And why grief and God?
I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone does.” ~ Kerry Egan, Fumbling