The Dark Night Of The Soul is a sad but important event for us all as we evolve spiritually. In this post, we’ll explain exactly what it is and what you can do to prepare.
As we grow as spiritual beings, more and more individuals are experiencing an existential crisis.
It’s a state of spiritual depression and desolation that usually comes before the enlightenment.
If that’s the case, you might be dealing with the “Dark Night of the Soul “– a phase that occurs with the arising of self-awareness. It happens when an individual undergoes a troublesome yet significant transition to a more profound impression of life and life’s purpose.
What is the “Dark Night of the Soul”
The expression “Dark Night of the Soul” arose from the poem written by the 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet St. John of the Cross.
This term in Roman Catholic spirituality speaks to a profound crisis in the journey toward association with God. This does not point towards the difficulties of life, even though the phase has understandably been used to allude to such preliminaries.
To whose seeking ascension, the “Dark Night” symbolizes and obscuration, while the “soul” as a term alludes to a person’s actual substance. Briefly speaking, the Dark Night of the Soul is simply the obscuration of the genuine.
It comprises of past thoughts that an individual has of their self-image or the world. When going through Dark Night of the Soul, these previous thoughts are questioned and usually discarded at a later point.
Experiencing Dark Night of the Soul can vary, from a rising and challenging inner turmoil, to a complete existential crisis.
It can go all the way down to self-destructing thoughts of death and complete pulverization, associates with extreme sentiments of misery, sadness, and dissatisfaction. In some cases, there’s a feeling of homesickness for a spot or a place that was never a home, to begin with.
DURING the Dark Night of the Soul, a person might battle with their feeling of significance in life.
Their confidence may suffer while simultaneously losing the acknowledgment of who they are and what’s their purpose in life.
For these individuals, regular movements of the present-day and social life may appear as though they’re on autopilot. These aspects of our lives may seem guided by self-images and propensity, dependent on an emotional molding done by encompassing society.
As this happens, it becomes effortless to hesitantly capitulate to a melancholy agnosticism as one’s personality floats in a liminal space, a sort of limbo. To a person experiencing these things, there is a certain appeal to an injured-individual solace, and abandoning of duty, accompanied by the feeling of hopelessness.
Though unpleasant to begin with, paradoxically, this state might also feel pleasantly familiar. For that reason, it’s not surprising that some individuals don’t want to overcome it.
Sadly, there’s little understanding of this in the quick-paced modern world, which can make the weight exceed an individual’s ability to carry the said weight.
Overcoming the Dark Night of The Soul
Overcoming the Dark Night of the Soul is just a matter of time.
For most individuals, there’s usually a severe shock, or a catastrophe or meltdown, that shakes them out of their everyday constrained view of life.
When this happens, there is a possibility that you’ll emerge out of these stressful events with a different state of consciousness.
This improved mindfulness is joined by a severe shedding of past theoretical structures. For instance: a personality, relationship, vocation, propensity, or conviction framework that recently enable them to build significance in their life.
As a result, life becomes meaningful again, but without a conceptual meaning that you can necessarily explain.
They might stir something deeper within themselves, a more profound feeling of direction or connection with a more remarkable life that isn’t subject to clarifications or anything calculated.
If we consider the Dark Night of the Soul as dying, this more profound feeling of connection can be regarded as re-birth. What bites the dust is simply the egoic sense – the ego. Passing is painful; however, nothing genuine has died – just a deceptive character. Presently, the situation is understood by very few people that underwent this change and experienced the death of the ego.
The passing of the former self and the introduction of genuine self is a “standard” part of overcoming the Dark Night of the Soul. At that point, individuals start viewing the world without forcing the mind-made structure of importance, or self-importance.
You start sensing life through your own awareness, without fitting your experience into any reasonable structure. The same view, now with a profound feeling of aliveness, starts applying to social occasions, and interactions with other individuals.
You should abstain from making the experience of Dark Night of the Soul excessively close and personal, firmly centered only around yourself. True, it does feel personal and isolating. Be that as it may, it could have more to do with enduring the sufferings of the world, than with you individually.
Dark Nights, objectively, aren’t that close and personal the way you might perceive them. And the ones that are overly close and personal are infrequent.
Keep in mind that at any one time, the creatures of this planet’s biosphere are enduring something. The earth itself is enduring, experiencing Dark Nights at all times. For example, if you’re living in a country where people are starving and dying due to wars and violence, you’re inside the domain of the world’s Dark Night.
Tips for dealing with the Dark Night of the Soul
Apply your favorite spiritual techniques – This might seem hard, as you’re repeating something you’ve done in the past.
Attempting something new might also feel awkward, but you should still try it, as it may help.
Meditation, prayers, mantras, crystals, anything you think of, any method that seems stress-relieving might help. Various studies concluded that meditation is the best option for dealing with stress and struggle in life.
However, if you prefer other methods, by all means – do it. Here are some powerful ways to deal with the dark night of the soul, when it arises.
1: Go easy on yourself
Allow yourself to be vulnerable, afraid, depressed, not to socialize, to leave your chores undone.
You’re a human being, and the Dark Night of the Soul can make life tough. Give yourself a break; there’s no shame in being miserable for a while.
Whatever you do, own it, do not force yourself to be okay.
2: Go for a walk
The walk and the associated physical activity helps to snap you out of the negative, spiral momentum you might get into.
Especially when the Dark Night of the Soul feels imposed on you, and you can’t resist plummeting down.
When this happens, people tend to eat unhealthily, drink too much, self-medicate (use illicit substances), or procrastinate as a means of escape.
However, that only leads to more depression, since these things aren’t right for you. Going for a walk can help you overcome this, as it enables you to relax and clear your head a little.
3: Talk to someone
Talking to someone close to you might help lift your mood. Conversing with someone who experienced the Dark Night, or is going through it, can help deal with the process.
It will also help lift the feeling of loneliness, as you’ll realize you’re not the only one going through this.
If you don’t have a reliable person for these types of discussions, visit online blogs and boards, and converse with the individuals on the web.
4: Help somebody else
Do something for somebody else, as it might make you feel better by making that individual happier.
There’s a feeling of some fundamental reward that humans get when they do something nice and helpful for others. It may help you realize that you’re a part of something much bigger than yourself since small deeds can inspire the feeling of purpose in life.
You might notice that, as you start to serve those around you, the dimness inside you diminishes. It doesn’t leave, of course, and nor should it.
5: Surrender to the process
Though this sounds easy, it’s anything but.
This process of surrender isn’t as simple as saying: “I surrender,” you have to immerse yourself in the experience of the Dark Night.
However, total surrender is the whole point of the Dark Night of the Soul. Only through this surrender, will you be able to get the amount of consciousness that your previous mental construct can’t handle.
This shattering, purging of the previous mental construct, and its reorientation, has to happen, or you won’t be able to keep up.
When you think about it, envisioning a great life would be impossible if the acknowledgment of life’s flaws didn’t previously saturate you. There is a strong, emotional feeling associated with surrender to the Dark Night. It changes its darkness into a perfect, magnificent world within.
Running from the Dark Night might leave you stuck in the world, in life, in time. You may end up floating through life unknowingly undistinguished from the qualities and desires of the people around you.
There is something incorrect, wrong with that way of living, something that requires your reaction. Not reacting to mindless floating through life can lead to various wrong conclusions about one’s self.
Self-acknowledgment appears when you start relating to the world. However, when you’re unable to connect, you may conclude that you’re no one important.
In this case, self-acknowledgment isn’t a mental accomplishment guided by solid will and a bright attitude, but one guided by an inability to relate. Both spiritually, emotionally, and in the end, physically.
But if you claim and actuate the mindfulness of the fact that you are your own reality, a strong feeling of one’s self rises. By following the paths of spiritual practices, quietude, and surrender, you’re preparing for a significant shift in your creative mind.
This fundamental shift leads to a heightened perception of things, and a different view of the world. You’ll see things as they are, not as you were previously taught or were already inclined to see.
From that position of quiet mindfulness, you can be straightforward with yourself about revamping your life per what your identity is, or aspires to be. Directions from a spiritual guide or someone who overcame the Dark Night can likewise be priceless.
How long does the Dark Night last
Taking the term “night” as a unit of measure creates quite a mix-up.
Dark Night, as any otherworldly emergence, is profoundly particular and lasts as long as it needs to, though it depends on the person.
There isn’t any foreordained time, no “ordinary” experience as it’s a profoundly personal process.
The Night can be compared to a polar night, due to their metaphorical similarity. Because of the world’s tilt, the zone is in murkiness longer than the standard Night and day the rest of the world is used to.
Here, the world’s tilt represents life conditions, Night and day are satisfaction and pity, and the rest of the world is an individual experiencing the Dark Night.
This experience, as hopeless as it might appear, shrouds phenomenal personal potential. Having patience and tolerance is crucial since any endeavor to commandingly accelerate the procedure will definitely thwart it.
The Dark Night revolves around the reintegration of various observations past the first molding of an individual.
If the individual willingly breaks former pieces of his perception, a new, heightened perception takes shape, and the effects of the Dark Night diminish.
If not, reentering the Dark Night of the Soul can be stressful, though not as stressful as the first time. The process will repeat itself until the shattering of a former aspect is complete, and a new perception takes its place.
Just remember that underneath, where you may anticipate darkness, it is bright. Above, where you think you’d discover light, it’s dark.
Remember this paradox, and you’ll be neither a nostalgic dreamer nor a cynical doubter. You will be a piece of a puzzle, change, a part of it all, despite any battlefield that lies within you, including the Dark Night of the Soul.