Tell me, have you experienced “the dark night of the soul”? How long did it last and how did you finally emerge from it into the ‘sunlight’?
- PLv 72 weeks ago
John of the Cross was of a different age and expressing himself in religious terms. That said philosophers mainly recognise existential crises, and some even enlightenment. It's very much a personal path and not wise to generalise.
Everyone has to experience life for themself and learn what their own personal wisdom allows
- j153eLv 73 weeks ago
Saint John of the Cross' setting forth of this major initiation in the life of any Christian (and many others) is given a Wikipedia treatment here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Night_of_the_So...
His friend and spiritual companion, Saint Teresa of Avila, gives help as to navigating the personal experience, in such works as "Interior Castle."
In modern-speak, the dark night of the individual is experienced as a changing from darkness or sin/misqualified energy into Light. The individual sowings of error or sin come up for repentance, forgiveness, turning from error, etc., and hence the soul is readied for its (preferred personal pronouns his, her, etc.) dark night in an individual way.
General advice is to call upon the LORD (Saints, Angels, and so forth) for assistance. For example, if you are Roman Catholic, calling on Saints John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, and other more recent Saints such as Therese of Lisieux and Padre Pio, with whom your soul can perhaps more easily relate to as elder Brothers and Sisters close to our times, perhaps reading of them, helps. All of Heaven stands ready to assist, especially as you call and pray; this assistance is given at the spiritual level, and your physical behavior by your election outpictures it.
The dark night of casting off one's sin nature or "old person" as Saint Paul calls it is a lifelong practice, which is the mercy of the law, rather than receiving a complete burdening in a more focused period of time.
The sinister forces that tempted your erring are generally "content" to vampirize the Light of the engrossened ones as standard operating procedure. It is those souls who are resisting the devil or deified evil, who are thus moving toward purity and perfection even as they dedicate their suffering to God, which are more attacked by the dark forces, as said forces only exist by stealing the Light of the souls who are brightening and resisting the negative or left-handed pathness.
The karma is intensifying, so every choice the soul makes for the Light and the good, is very positive.
If you're a more general kind of Christian,
C. S. Lewis dealt with this in books such as "The Great Divorce," "The Screwtape Letters," "That Hideous Strength," and "Mere Christianity."
Stay close to whomever you have genuine spiritual ties and/or affinity with, as the ascent up the mountain or Jacob's Ladder is worth the trek, and companions help, even as one is expected to work out one's salvation with diligence--i.e., Christ Jesus will not do it all for you, in the sense that if you are content with having recited the Sinner's Prayer, you, your soul, your inner Child of Light, may need to become more of the Light of God that never fails, before He is able to say "I know you." He, and all the Saints and Angels, love each of us dearly, yet are not permitted to unduly assist the soul who is in need of putting on the new person in Christ, Truth. Much help is available, but we are expected to do our fair part.
Such books as the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series offer contemporary comfort, and ministers' recorded sermons, such as those at https://www.ligonier.org/learn/sermons/ of R. C. Sproul, are comforting and convicting, albeit in their particular "line of Light."
- MarkLv 53 weeks ago
Most of humanity is experiencing this in one form or another. For some people, it's short, yet brutal, and for others, it's drawn out over many years. I'm in the latter category. I just keep on going. So long as I breathe.