“You don't need to retire to a cloister or the desert for years on end to experience a true dark night; you don't even have to be pursuing any particular "spiritual" path. Raising a challenged child, or caring for a failing parent for years on end, is at least as purgative as donning robes and shaving one's head; to endure a mediocre work situation for the sake of the paycheck that sustains a family demands at least as much in the way of daily surrender to years of pristine silence in a monastery. No one can know in advance how and where the night will come, and what form God's darkness will take.” ~ Tim Farrington
During dark nights of the soul, your mental chatter can be debilitating. Your mind becomes your harshest critic, your worst enemy.
You can't quiet the mind, you need to be able to see past your mind.
Conscious focused breathing meditation will take your attention past mental chatter.
You need to become heart conscious. The soul doesn't articulate through our minds, the soul lives in the heartspace.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”~ Rumi
" 'The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of your life. Your memories, your attachments. They burn 'em all away. But they're not punishing you,' he said. 'They're freeing your soul.' Relax. Good. So the way he sees it, if you're frigh"tened of dyin' and you're holdin' on, you'll see devils tearin' your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freein' you from the earth. It's just a matter of how you look at it, that's all." ~ Meister Eckart (paraphrased from Louis in the movie Jacob's Ladder)
Face it...Look the darkness straight in the eye, if only for an instant. This needn't be a stare down. That instant of unflinching eye lock is all it takes to recognize who the darkness belongs to, it's you.
"Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward." ~ Joseph Campbell
Humanity as a whole is enduring a dark night of the soul. A disconnection from engaging life's deeper realities.
We think melancholy is to be avoided at all costs, when in actuality melancholia is the soul's call to a deeper, richer life experience.
We deal with human encounters, even 'intimate' relationships, in a shallow manner. More as a means of escape, than true, genuine sharing of ourselves. We seek distracting entertainments, intoxicants, mindless consumerism as medications for the hole in our soul.
Christopher Bache has an outstanding presentation here, about the collective dark night of the human soul.