Blessings and Shalom, Sophia. Paul, 1 Corinthians Let us sow in the world to reap in summer. Winter is the world, summer the other realm.
7 Omens That Herald the Dark Night of the Soul
It is wrong to pray in winter. From winter comes summer. If you reap in winter you will not reap. You will pull up young plants. The two dark nights of the soul are distinct in our experience, one following the other; the nature of the dark nights is our resistance or struggle against Reality as It Is — a struggle due to preconceptions, preconditions and expectations we project upon Reality, Enlightenment or God; hence a play of self-grasping, desire and fear.
This, of course, is only natural in the process of awakening, the process of coming into being — there will be resistance in the physical, vital and mental consciousness. The very resistance in us that arises when we hear of the dark night of the soul is, itself, the cause of the dark night — this desire to avoid the grief and pain, and the desire for only the pleasure and joy, this is attachment and aversion, rooted in self-grasping, and it is this that precipitates the dark nights of the soul.
Essentially, passage beyond the dark nights comes through a complete acceptance and surrender to the dark nights — a complete surrender to the Divine Mother, to Reality as It Is, to God.
The Dark Night of the Soul: A Précis with Commentary
We do not come to such surrender without the full realization of the necessity for surrender, and the only way we come to this realization is through the experiential level — through actual experience; the experience of the dark nights leads to this, and they are an integral part of an organic and holistic process, the depths into which we seem to fall being integral to the heights into which we seem to ascend. Consider the story of Christ after the crucifixion, according to the tradition, first he descends into Hades and hell realms, and then he is raised up from the dead and ascends to the heavens; there is the suffering of death and the suffering of hell, and then the joy of the resurrection and ascension.
Now we may speak of the love and mercy of Christ in his descent, seeking to extend the Divine Light into all realms, descending into the depths for the salvation of souls; yet we may also speak of a simple truth in the self-realization process: You will ascend into the heights only to the extend that you are willing to descend into the depths; to ascend, first we must descend, and our ascent in consciousness will be equal to our descent — they are integral to one another.
There is no way around this, now way of avoiding this — it is the nature of Reality as It Is. We want the rewards of heaven, not the suffering of hell; but this is the cause of our bondage to the heavens and hells of the demiurge, this play of attachment and aversion — until it is brought into cessation the soul remains in its bondage. If we listen to St. Paul or we listen to the Gnostic Gospel of St. If we were speak of the potential evolution of life towards the Great Transformation — the idea that with the evolution of our present species into more advanced life-forms we will be able to receive and integrate the full influx of the Supernal Light so that the matter composing these bodies will be utterly transformed; first of all, that is not today, and secondly, in such a transformation the consciousness or soul would no longer remain manifest in the material dimension, but would pass into the ascension.
Thus, whether in this present condition, when we depart this world, we pass into the Rainbow Body Attainment, or whether in some envisioned future time our species evolves into a new species to enact the Great Transformation, it is the same — an ascent beyond the material dimension, liberation from the gilgulim transmigration of souls. This is a point that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother do not seem to have realized about the Supernal or Supramental Attainment, but then Sri Aurobindo thought he was the first to embody this attainment, as though it were completely new with him, but that is not exactly the case.
It can be no other way here, for if it could be another way, it would be another way — if it is not here now, it is nowhere! Thus, truly, we labor towards this complete reintegration and realization into the Light Continuum throughout life until death, and the ultimate fruition comes with our passage beyond the material body and material world — just as we see with Yeshua Messiah and the original apostles.
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- Dark Night of the Soul!
On one hand there are the spiritual experiences of two dark nights in our process of self-realization, connected to two distinct stages of self-realization in the body. As has been said, and passing through one, we will come to the other; and as we may labor in one stage of this self-realization process throughout this life, or any number of lives, the corresponding dark night may extend throughout a lifetime, though at a lower level of intensity rather than its peak.
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On the other hand, given that so long as we remain in these bodies of flesh and blood, and the darkness of this material world, there must be a natural restriction upon the Divine Light, in effect, we may say that this life is one long dark night and that morning comes only with the passage of our consciousness or soul beyond the body and the darkness of matter.
As for the help that we might receive or offer — we can speak of the divine assistance we receive, and we can speak of the encouragement and support we may receive, but nevertheless, on a certain level we experience and pass through the dark nights alone, and it is this recognition of the truth of our aloneness that is part and parcel of these dark nights. It is just as with the time of death — even in a room full of loving people offering us their encouragement and support, and even with the presence of holy and shinning ones offering their assistance in our crossing; still, no one else is dying, and no one can die for us or remove from us the pain and grief innate in the process of dying and death.
In a room full of people we will die alone — in a world full of people we will pass through the cycles of mystical death alone; this aloneness is a simple truth of our experience, whether we like it or not. As paradoxical as this may sound, realizing our aloneness, accepting and embracing it, is the end of the dark night of the soul, and we shall discover that we were never alone in the way that we thought and feared. My heartfelt thanks for your illuminating words.
You mentioned elsewhere that some labour all their lives and never see the fruits of their labour until after life. In light of what you said, could one then call such a life a Winter Life in the greater cycle of things? Such a person may suffer greatly trying to bring forth the Spring, when it could be that it is only the limiting perspective that prevents such a person from seeing that it is a winter life.
Could one then say that to such a person the very longing for spring would be self-grasping, and prevent the surrender required, that the very longing for Spring would make the Winter harder and colder. For such a person would the surrender be to enjoy the labour itself, the warm interiors of their inner life, and to take joy in the crispy cold of the winter itself?
Is it then the task of such a person to find the Dark Mother's warmth and numinosity in the cold dark of winter? Could the principal lesson for such a person then be that of faith; although there are no signs of Spring ever coming, to such an extend that there may well be doubts that Spring itself is just a rumour, or that it may be that you might not live long enough to see it, or simply is not deserving enough, to never the less even in isolation, steadfastly believe that Spring will come in due time.
Moving Through And Beyond A Dark Night of the Soul
So that through the faith that Spring will come, such a person can then take joy in the labour's of winter and find the beauty and quiet joys of Winter. Is that the surrender such a person require? Blessings and Shalom, Sophia-Suzette. Here we may speak an open secret — winter, spring, summer and fall, all is the radiant display of mind, and they are all the same in essence and nature, all arising from the same ground or foundation; rather than attachment and aversion to appearances, we wish to look to see the nature of mind and nature of what appears, the source and ground of all.
Regardless of appearances, we abide in faith; and taking up the spiritual life and practice in faith, rather than vital demands for attainments or results, we live the spiritual life for its own sake, and we practice for the joy of practice itself — so whether apparent attainments arise or they apparently do not arise, it makes no difference, it is the same, all in the Risen Christ. All comes to fruition in due season — this is the spiritual hope that is born of faith in the resurrection; until fruition we abide in the love of Christ, waiting upon the Holy Spirit.
Regardless of apparent situations, circumstances or events, may we be empowered to abide in our faith, inwardly cleaving to the Messiah and Shekinah of Messiah, confident that the Holy Spirit will accomplish all; amen.
It fills me with wonder! That which we try and avoid with all our strength contains our very Liberation.
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The Dark Night of the Soul may be seen as a curse, something to be feared, just as much as we fear death, and the trials of life, yet it is indeed a great blessing when we find ourselves so sorely tried. Berean Study Bible The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Berean Literal Bible And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. New American Standard Bible The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
New King James Version And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. King James Bible And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. Christian Standard Bible That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it. Contemporary English Version The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out.
Good News Translation The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. Holman Christian Standard Bible That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. International Standard Version And the light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. NET Bible And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.
~ Christine Caine
New Heart English Bible And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn't overcome it. New American Standard And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. Jubilee Bible And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not. King James Bible And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness overcame it not. American King James Version And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
American Standard Version And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not. Douay-Rheims Bible And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. Darby Bible Translation And the light appears in darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not.