Getting Used to the Dark Night of the Soul
"Dark Night of the Soul" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
We go through several spiritual stages.
Here's the trick though:
As you proceed through these various stages, the voice of that which we call ‚ÄúGod‚Äù may become quieter and quieter until, as in my experience, it goes completely silent.
You see, in the past as I grew closer to what I thought was God, this God helped me proceed. He guided me. I heard things like, ‚ÄúI'm here. Turn right. Turn left. Stop. Rest. Go.‚Äù
Then, later in my journey, I heard such things like, ‚ÄúI'm with you. You won't hear from me much, but I'm with you always.‚Äù This was the place where I heard the well-worn phrase, ‚ÄúThe teacher doesn't talk while you're writing the test.‚Äù
But then, in 2009 I had a profound spiritual experience where my theology took a sudden turn. In fact, it disappeared. And "God" went completely silent.
Theology, as useful as it was to me at the time, became‚ well‚ ¬† you know the story of Buddha's raft... once he crossed the stream it was no longer needed. He was grateful for it, but it had served its purpose.
This Buddha's raft story described exactly what happened to me.
I now know what it is to have peace of mind in regards to this. Yes, the mind can be at peace. It can be at rest. In repose. Tranquil. Always. Finally.
The cloud of unknowing, the dark night of the soul, isn't a passage, but a place. It's a state of being. It's here. Now. Always.
You learn to appreciate where you are, to enjoy the beauty of this place, to be embraced by the Mystery without words and without images.
What if there is no Examiner, and there never was a test, and all this was a fabrication of my mind to concoct and adopt stories that made sense‚ for a time‚ and that all I ever needed to do was live in the Blessing of the Benediction of Here and Now?
Last night I stood outside in the bitter cold and looked up at the stars. In that one moment all eternity stood with me. It was full, rich, and enough.
The darkness has become my friend. We're learning how to adjust to one another.
on your spiritual journey?)