Dark Night of the Soul

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manofsands
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Dark Night of the Soul

Post by manofsands »

The "Dark Night of the Soul"...

... What do you think it really is... and...
If you think you've experienced it... what was it to you?
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there is no need to push the river... it will flow on its own

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chowderpope
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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by chowderpope »

I've wondered about that myself. I don't know for sure. I would think it'd be like a deep depression or hopeless sadness.
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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

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manofsands wrote:what was it to you?
Me

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Cerber
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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by Cerber »

Do you mind stupid question? What is that?
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manofsands
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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by manofsands »

Cerber wrote:Do you mind stupid question? What is that?
What is the"Dark Night of the Soul"?

Well that's kinda what I was asking. There are many interpretations and I just wanted to get the communities take.

Some have talked about it as being set upon by mental demons, but usually it's described as a period of hoplessness set on by a loss of faith or what you had believed to be true. It has also been stated that it's a prequel to some kind of enlightenment... as ironic as that may sound to it's description.
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there is no need to push the river... it will flow on its own

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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by jamesw »

While there are parallels at earlier stages of development, the dark night of the soul follows on from the inner initiation that requires self-control of thoughts. By this time the junior initiate is conscious of connection with the greater mind and able to call upon and receive inspirational assistance when required.

Now having entered the first stage of enlightenment the new initiate has to learn to make his/her own decisions. Contact with the greater mind and the various sponsors is cut off and the initiate experiences being quite isolated.

This experience makes the initiate much more self-sustaining, requiring neither guidance nor light in making decisions.

Eventually increasing heart functions restore the sense of inner community.

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Cerber
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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by Cerber »

I don't recall anything like than. Maybe because I'm not "initiated"
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manofsands
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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by manofsands »

jamesw wrote: ... the dark night of the soul follows on from the inner initiation that requires self-control of thoughts. By this time the junior initiate is conscious of connection with the greater mind and able to call upon and receive inspirational assistance when required...
Is this part of a ritual initiation or can it happen without one fully aware
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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by manofsands »

I was raised Christian.. and like many, slowly fell away from it in the light of more open spiritual beliefs. The pursuit of 'truth' always guiding me.

Then a couple years ago a change happened in me. I don't recall a catalyst. I didn't consciously initiate it. I remember first thinking something was happening in what some would call my root chakra. I have felt disconnected. Most of my spiritual/magical ideas flaked away til something approaching atheism remained. It felt like a cold grounding.

So, I'm either an atheist who is having trouble coping with the change, or I've shed most of my previous beliefs and am raw and open for a new look at things. (This is why I have another thread about "spiritual atheism" and trying to decide how to define where I am).

I don't know if there is more... or if I just want there to be more.

This is my Dark Night of the Soul
YOU ARE
where your
ATTENTION IS

there is no need to push the river... it will flow on its own

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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by violetstar »

manofsands wrote:
jamesw wrote: ... the dark night of the soul follows on from the inner initiation that requires self-control of thoughts. By this time the junior initiate is conscious of connection with the greater mind and able to call upon and receive inspirational assistance when required...
Is this part of a ritual initiation or can it happen without one fully aware
In non-Adept terms this is best explained here:

Souls who begin to enter this dark night when God proceeds to lead them from the state of beginners proper, to those who meditate on the spiritual road, and begins to set them in that of the progressives, which is, at length, that of the contemplatives, to the end, that passing through this state, they may reach that of the perfect, which is the Divine union of the Soul with God.
— St. John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul

In the Qabalah this is symbolised by the 25th Path and linked to gaining communication with the Holy Guardian Angel.The Dark Night is specifically personal rather than encountered via a group and will eventually present itself to any who genuinely dedicates to the Mysteries.The experience will always be transformational and permanent but expect hardship,loss or some form of suffering.
Woe if I reveal,Woe if I do not reveal...

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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by blindwake »

I think it's an analogy to loneliness. If you were wandering in the dark, as a single soul, I imagine loneliness would be what you'd feel.

It's the point of recognizing that it's up to you to take control of your own life. A transition from being led, to being the leader. All your days you've seen the sun (what you know), and the next logical progression is the night. Where everything you think to be true is no longer visible, or at least, no longer makes sense to you; you've lost touch with it.

I relate the dark night of the soul to the tarot card: "The Tower"
If the peak view of the tower is your ideology, the dark night of the soul is like jumping off of the tower and no longer being able to climb back up. It is change through suffering.
If all brains are made roughly the same, then why do I perceive through my own? What special characteristic places me in this skull?
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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by Micr0cosM »

Then a couple years ago a change happened in me. I don't recall a catalyst. I didn't consciously initiate it. I remember first thinking something was happening in what some would call my root chakra. I have felt disconnected. Most of my spiritual/magical ideas flaked away til something approaching atheism remained. It felt like a cold grounding.
Manofsands, a very similar thing happened to me. It seemed to have been initiated by an experience of Satori that happened in my early 20's. I was very spiritual at the time but after that experience which should have just strengthened my spirituality the opposite happened. I became less interested in spiritual stuff and more interested in scientific stuff, and gradually became an Atheist. Then around 20 years later I had an epiphany which set me back on my path. I always consider that period as a Dark night of the soul.
“Science is a way of talking about the universe in words that bind it to a common reality.
Magic is a method of talking to the universe in words that it cannot ignore.
The two are rarely compatible.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Books of Magic

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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by Jastiv »

I experienced the dark night of the soul. It was awful. I felt really cut off from god. Now some spiritual traditions talk about dryness, when certain prayers or incantations no longer work anymore, and you should keep plowing through them, and suposively on the other side will be enlightenment.
In my case, I decided it was more important to function in the real world then to achieve some kind of miserable enlightenment. I felt like I was losing my grip on reality even though I felt more atheistic and materialistic than ever. I would try to fit myself into certain traditions, to follow certain paths, and I hoped that if I could stick to some program then some good results would follow.
What happened was I realized I had a strong core of inner values, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice them for some dubious experience of enlightenment, that society would just frown upon anyway as being insane, and also that I was more interested in concrete results on the world rather than vague ideas of enlightenment.
They say before enlightenment, chop wood carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood carry water, and I say, chopping trees hurts them and throw the damn buckets of water upon the ground (hence the age of Aquarius.)

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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by Cybernetic_Jazz »

Jastiv wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:46 am
What happened was I realized I had a strong core of inner values, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice them for some dubious experience of enlightenment, that society would just frown upon anyway as being insane, and also that I was more interested in concrete results on the world rather than vague ideas of enlightenment.
They say before enlightenment, chop wood carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood carry water, and I say, chopping trees hurts them and throw the damn buckets of water upon the ground (hence the age of Aquarius.)
Yes.

I think what happens with this stuff is it gets oversold. AMORC told me on entry that usually it's about a year and three months when you start noticing the changes. BOTA suggested that as you start studying the tarot the reach that the majors have into reality will open brand new vistas. Neither really happened and if anything I noticed that my mystical experiences peaked around 2013 and 2014 and if anything decreased over the five years that I was in esoteric orders.

I think when we're beginners, or at least I was, we get the wrong sense of what's happening with the experiences or how to tell what means what. I did have several years of what seemed to be grand revelations periodically but the thing about most visions - they seem to be what happens when your mind has united some new symbol set, ie. it's a 'eureka!' call from your unconscious where you either end up with overpowering minds-eye visions or possibly even external manifestations, but ultimately that kind of experience hits its strongest the first time but you can't replicate it by doing exactly what you did - and I think it's partly because your subconscious mind already had the epiphany and with that it's not going to reinvent the wheel to give you another experience.

What seems to be important is understanding that we're largely on our own. When we get the sense that this path isn't likely to yield miraculous changes in our lives (it's still very important, on the order of physical fitness or even more, but again - it's just not what it gets sold as) we end up in a place where orders of salience completely rearrange, the size of this diminishes, and what we're left with is a long slog through a very long and uncertain future of many incarnations. What that ends up meaning - just by sheer application of rational thought our sense of our hierarchy of needs returns to normal and it's not that we necessarily are likely to go out to Dennett or Churchland territory but we're much likely see what there is of this stuff baked into the physical world at a much deeper and more rigid level where it's not all fungible and where we still have to live our lives by rule sets that we're not wild about.

As far as the 'Dark Night of the Soul' - I don't know for certain what it is, and I'm sure one could have many experiences that would seem to fit that analogy, it could either be about crossing certain valleys on the inner plane to get to the mountains on the other side or it could be the alchemical Nigredo work although I haven't ever heard anyone compare 'Dark Night of the Soul' as the crossing of the Veil of Paraketh or the Veil of Isis (the two gaps between the triads on the Tree of Life and what John of the Cross seemed to be hinting at in Ascent of Mount Carmel where he said that there were two dark nights of the soul - the lesser and greater) to periods of deep shadow work - which seems to suggest to me that if it does hit - I'll know it and I'll now that anything else I went through doesn't quite compare.
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Re: Dark Night of the Soul

Post by Jastiv »

Studying the tarot is good, not because, oh the tarot, but because the tarot is one very effective means of divination, part of the whole "should I cast this spell or should I work with this entity" type questions that will help you out when making decisions. Also if you have mixed feelings about something, the tarot will help you sort them out. In fact, I am working right now on a revelatory deck that explores the duality of tarot symbolism. Too many decks have been confusing, either too stuck in the old aeon, not spiritual enough, or to far into some new one.
So, yeah, studying symbol sets is important, but what you must do is use those symbol sets, not just "oh I know a bunch of knowledge" you have to apply it to your daily life.
What seems to be important is understanding that we're largely on our own. When we get the sense that this path isn't likely to yield miraculous changes in our lives (it's still very important, on the order of physical fitness or even more, but again - it's just not what it gets sold as) we end up in a place where orders of salience completely rearrange, the size of this diminishes, and what we're left with is a long slog through a very long and uncertain future of many incarnations. What that ends up meaning - just by sheer application of rational thought our sense of our hierarchy of needs returns to normal and it's not that we necessarily are likely to go out to Dennett or Churchland territory but we're much likely see what there is of this stuff baked into the physical world at a much deeper and more rigid level where it's not all fungible and where we still have to live our lives by rule sets that we're not wild about.
Not everyone wants miraculous changes in their lives. Some people are content with the same old same old, and that is what makes them happy. If drastic change is what you want, you must be willing to seek it. You pretend like the so called "laws of physics are so baked into this reality, that is not so either, and they can in fact be played with, although that is far from my primary focus.

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