The Dark Night of the Senses / Soul

(Updated 12-6-07)

Dark Nights Lotus

By Barbara

The Dark Night of the Soul is as predictable as the inevitable sunrise.

This subject of the dark nights is extremely important to understand in context with the Oneness Blessing and in the context for enlightenment, in general. Lacking the understanding of this is where many people have felt lost or betrayed, feeling like somehow the Oneness Blessing hasn't worked for them, or that they are worse off than ever before.

For most people, creating the initial 'hole' in the mind (which keeps us walled-off from being able to experience divinity directly) is the first step in the process of The Awakening (enlightenment). The remainder of the process proceeds gradually as most bodies require slow, gentle adjustments to the shifts in energy and consciousness. There are some beings that, after receiving the Oneness Blessing, move very quickly into the state of the Awakening (God-realization) and are able to function in the normal world after this wall has been completely dissolved. And while there are some, it is still quite rare at this current time.

As a person receives one or more Oneness Blessings, then over a period of time this 'hole' in the mind will be able to widen as the body adjusts. The larger the hole, the deeper the experience of Oneness with oneself, nature, creation, other human beings and God can be. What this means is that more and more Presence is able to integrate into our being. Put another way, our nervous systems develop the capacity to handle more voltage; more consciousness; more literal energy. This leads to an absolutely inevitable experience of coming face-to-face with our shadows. Just as a powerful river pushes the silt out to the ocean, so this increased flow of Presence/light/energy will push our shadows out into the light of day for no other reason, than to be witnessed; held in Presence, so that they can be set free and so that we can be free of them, too.

These shadows contain and consist of all manner of things. For example: blocked emotions, energies or memories from former experiences or traumas. Back when they occurred, we did not have sufficient capacity (Presence) to be able to let them flow through us, so we stuffed their movement because it was the only way we knew to try and survive such intense pain or suffering, engendered by the perceived state of separation. It is a perfectly universal coping mechanism. So in the 'dark' these things have remained, lodged in the very fabric of our physical, emotional or ethereal bodies. (They actually cause a great deal of suffering, there, too.) Some of these 'shadows' were laid down into the body before we were even born (at the moment of our conception) in our mother's womb or during birth itself.

Now that you might be beginning to be able to hold sufficient Presence, these things are all going to want to be cleared out. Every single one of them, one by one... until such time that you are completely liberated from them. This means you will also be liberated of their ill-effects (possible vitality and health issues, dysfunctional patterns, addictions, to name only a few). Know that many of the shadows that will clear through you may also be of a larger collective nature. Despite the illusory nature of separation, the reality remains that we are all One and eternally connected.

Think of this journey to your Awakening (enlightenment) as a subconscious clearing house process – where everything has to go! It is incredibly exciting! However, the catch is this: as these shadows are brought up for you, it is probably going to be your tendency to want to run away from them, or to push them away... to push them back-down to where they came from. This is not going to work because this is how they got there in the first place!

It can help you to have this strategy: simply BE with whatever is there and coming up for you, no matter if it is anger-rage, sadness-grief, fear-terror, self pity, feeling victimized, feeling loneliness or despair. That's all that is required of you – To Be. You don't have to do anything with-or-to these shadows – just hold still and let them flow; witness them so they can be set free from you.

If this is too difficult for you to do or if it is proving to be completely impossible, then ask for help; pray for Divine Grace to carry you through the experience. You are most certainly never alone in any of this! If all else fails, receiving another Oneness Blessing can help tremendously as this is a direct injection of Grace and the energies given are highly intelligent to know and give you exactly what you personally need in that moment. It is also important to emphasize that no matter how violent some of these feelings or energies may seem as they surface, never give them any physical expression that is directed at another being. If this proves to be too challenging, then again ask for Divine Grace to help you hold it and observe it, the best that you can, until the feelings subside. Know that you are never given more than you can handle.

This is only the first aspect to what is referred to as The Dark Night of The Senses / Soul.

St. John of the Cross, (an early Christian mystic), first coined the term, "dark night of the soul." In his book, he distinguishes between two distinct processes. What has been outlined above is what he refers to as "the dark night of the senses."

He refers to "the dark night of the soul" as being the eventual and complete dissolution of a separate sense of identity that has developed over time. This comes as a result of living with the perception of being individual and separate. This kind of experience of the dark night is deeper in nature as it concerns existential issues. At some point in your journey to enlightenment, this kind of transformational crisis will begin to occur. Before you become disheartened, please bear in mind that the caterpillar has to allow complete dissolution-into-chaos, of his 'arrangement' (termed 'caterpillar'), in order to gracefully emerge as a butterfly!

Following are selected excerpts about the dark night of the soul by Kiara Windrider.

Most of us are more attached to our self-identities than we realize. Our personal histories, psychological personalities, social roles, and purpose in life are all derived from the idea of a fixed self. Indeed, our very search for meaning in the universe is based on the sense of a personal identity. What would we be left with when this begins to dissolve? Who would we be when we are no longer recognizable as a fixed and separate self?

The more attached we are to our experience of a personal self, the more devastating it can be when we recognize that this is merely an illusion projected by the human brain. The 'ego,' which is just another term for the personal self, throws up all kinds of resistance in response to what it perceives as its own imminent death. All our emotional 'stuff' comes up as old patterns of psychological self-preservation move up to the surface. A sense of existential darkness pervades the psyche. All our life-support systems, including our 'spiritual' props and support, begin to drop away. Our very 'faith' in God, which all too often is the ego's substitute for a direct experience of divinity, begins to crumble.

The dark night does not have to be painful or difficult, however. It is only so when there is an extreme attachment to the illusion of a fixed and separate identity. All fear eventually boils down to the fear of dissolution, the fear of death. Once the process of enlightenment begins, and we open to the realization that the self who dies is itself an illusion, the journey becomes smooth and exhilarating. We enter into a place of mystery, letting go of our fears and expectations, being carried along by great big winds across the sky.

It can be symbolized as a process of death and rebirth. What dies is the ego. What is born in its place is an inner divinity arising from the knowledge that everything is a flow of oneness. We emerge reborn as a "Christ-ed" being. This is the stage Jesus went through in his 'forty days in the wilderness.' As he struggled with the last remnants of his inner demons, he was able to dissolve the last illusions of a separate self and merge with the 'Father' his inner divinity. This is when he became the Christ. This is when his mission as an Avatar could truly begin.

We are on this same journey. Sri Bhagavan makes it very clear that we are all an aspect of the Collective Avatar which is descending on Earth. He emphasizes the need to go through our own dark night of the soul and he challenges us to step into our mastery.

This journey through the dark night cannot be measured in linear time. Whether it lasts for moments or for years depends entirely on our willingness to undergo the death of ego. Paradoxically, this death takes place once we understand that there never was a separate self in the first place. It is simply a rearrangement of perception which opens the pathway needed for our true nature to express itself. We recognize that we are, and always have been, simply a flow of consciousness expressing itself moment by moment in the theater we call life. Once this realization occurs, accompanied by a shift within the neurobiological structure of the human brain, we are established in a state of mastery. There is no more room for separation or judgment in our perceptions of life. Synchronicity becomes our daily experience. Miracles happen all around us because we are no longer restricted to a linear perception of reality. We establish a field of harmonic resonance all around us, which becomes contagious. There is no longer a need for psychological drama or existential suffering. We radiate beauty and joy everywhere we go, simply because we are no longer capable of experiencing or expressing anything else. For many of us, this realization is still in the future. However, knowing the end makes the path easier. Knowing that there is a radiant dawn at the end of the night makes it seem somewhat shorter. Ultimately, once we awaken we realize that the long dark night was itself an illusion, much like our dreams of sleep dispel into unreality in the light of day!

The journey through both of these dark nights is the same. We must simply become aware of our inner process without judgment or blame. And we must trust that this divine intelligence is equally with us in the darkness as in the light. When we can finally surrender fully to the perfection of God within the darkness, we mysteriously discover that we have emerged once again into the light!

When we emerge from the dark night of the senses, we step more fully into oneness. When we emerge from the dark night of the soul, we step more fully into mastery. We become God-realized and can serve humanity as part of the Collective Avatar on Earth; one cell in a Planetary Body as it slowly builds the critical mass necessary to achieve the collective planetary awakening as we flow into the Golden Age.

Copyright © Kiara Windrider and Barbara

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