Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Mystic Path: Dark Night of the Soul

Most of us have experienced the "dark night of the soul" in one form or another.  Mystics are as human as the rest of us and also experience times of deep sadness and fatigue when nothing seems meaningful or even makes sense and when one feels abandoned. But it appears that this period of the "dark night" also is a period of growth.

St. John of the Cross, who is most well known for the phrase "the dark night of the soul" talked about it as a "passive purification, a state of helpless misery, in which the self does nothing, but lets Life have its way with her".

It seems to me that if I think of this stage of growth and discovery as similar to that of a seed in the deep darkness of the soil.  Essential expansion is taking place within, even though from without it doesn't look as important as the more exciting phases of budding and blooming.  Perhaps this is a time of "gestation of the soul".

And the wisdom from my card?

I am the one who waits patiently in the dark allowing the sadness and despair to wash over me.
I am the one who knows that there is no light without darkness.
I am the one who is growing wings in my darkness, although I am not aware of them sprouting.

1 comment:

Joanne Huffman said...

I never thought of the Dark Night of the Soul as something positive - very good perspective.