Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of life...

Monday, March 26, 2018

Dark Night of the Soul - Mirabai Starr & Jeannie Zandi

The Dark Night of the Soul, as St. John of the Cross conceived it,
is actually an inner state of "spiritual crisis."  It is an experience
of being stripped of all spiritual feelings, all our false constructs,
and a dismantling of edifices of religious concepts with which we
are accustomed to propping up our inner lives.  In the Dark Night
we cannot feel the presence of the Sacred anymore, and the word
"God" becomes devoid of meaning.  It is a plunge into the abyss
of radical unknowingness.  It is only when we get out of our own
way that the Divine can take over and fill us with love.  But it's a
grueling process to come to this level of surrender.

But the Dark Night of the Soul is not only about being brought to our
knees.  It is about unconditional love, the kind of love that wakes
us up and affirms our deepest humanity.  The act of consciously
yielding to the shattering of the heart [in grief] is not high on the
 list of cultural values, but it is part of being awake [to life]...

The Dark Night of global crisis will reveal itself as a state of pure
luminescence, where nothing is as we thought it was...


Even the most sophisticated.....seekers are flummoxed by a dark
night experience, and this ability to flummox is at the heart of its
effectiveness and purpose.  The coping strategies of conditioning
must be entirely frustrated, the arrogance of the "me" must be
thoroughly met with a humbling, so that the being is left with
absolutely nowhere to turn to "solve the problem."  Thus the
brilliant survival strategy that has the illusion of separation at its
base is brought to its knees, so that a new reliance on the organic
flow of the Divine may rise.

The dream of "getting there" that the being invested all her life
energy, hours and efforts into is suddenly seen as a mirage.  And
trying to get to Nirvana with strategies [is seen as] hopeless,
because it IS hopeless.  The coping strategies generally have to
fail utterly for a new reliance on living radically open and
unprepared in the moment to be fully embraced.

What the soul is after is not a temporary influx of light, but a
thorough deconstruction of the false that results in the embodiment
of a light that shines through the darkness.

The Dark Night of the Soul is an initiation, a sacred passage, a
dying of the old and birthing of light enfleshed.  This process of
initiation or passage is not a problem to be solved.  Huge amounts
of shadow material will rise, identities will fall, coping mechanisms
will fail, and tremendous amounts of energy, mostly as emotion, will
emerge to be released.  The "me" coping structure undergoes a
massive deconstruction, and the fresh innocent, wide-eyed and present
Essential Being emerges from the rubble.

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