Dark Nights and Clear Mornings

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Dark Nights and Clear Mornings

Can you imagine being outside on a night of the deepest midnight blue?   The silence.  The stillness. The sense of potential, of imminent rebirth.  Awe.  Just you and the cosmos.   

You might feel terribly alone and small in the face of such infinity.    Or you might feel at one both with it and all of life.   Many people I know have spoken about going through the dark nights of their soul and yet when I sat to write this piece my spirit took me to the fullness of that midnight ‘cave’ in the sky.  

The image of the midnight sky is literally weaving another dimension to what has been going on in my mind around the experience of the dark night of the soul.   This is a term originally created by John of the Cross, a sixteenth century Christian mystic, and has been used by many other spiritual writers.  

I’ve been doing a lot of research around the dark night because, like many others here, I have often experienced it on a level beyond words.  Yet, in more recent times, part of me would remember even in the midst of it all,  that not only had I been there before and had lived to tell the tale, but that I had always emerged renewed and strengthened. I knew that, while very uncomfortable, it was necessary and ultimately very beneficial.



Union and Oneness

Namaste 2There is a superb audio programme by Caroline Myss called ‘Spiritual Madness’ which I found particularly helpful in this context.   The goal of spiritual exploration, practice and dedication is a felt and conscious union with Source or God-Source (whatever term means most to us).  

Most of you reading this will, I suspect, have explored spirituality in some form or other, maybe in several forms.  You are likely to know or sense or intuit that we are all expressions of that Source.  The Indian greeting of ‘Namaste’ expresses that beautifully.  

Why then is there often this sense of the dark night, of isolation, of loneliness, of being cast adrift, when we are on a path of growth, and especially when we’ve been on one for some time and think we should be further along the road than to feel this aloneness? 

Surely by now, with all we have done and all the spiritual people we know, we should be feeling at one with all, feeling that divine love which we have glimpsed and even, at times, experienced to our very cells?   And yet this is the very time when the dark night seems to make itself felt more deeply.  



Finding our Spiritual Family

Community 2At the beginning of our quest, there can be excitement, delight in finding other people to share our enthusiasm, a sense of adventure and relief that there are others who think the way we do. 

In a sense, we often move from our tribe of origin, our family or country or ethnic group to a whole new spiritual tribe, even if that spiritual tribe consists of different groups as we go from one system to another to find what resonates most with us.    ‘At last I’ve found my tribe, my spiritual family!  I’ve come home!’    That is a necessary part of growth, of the path.  Much is learnt, many connections are made, spiritual truths integrated.  

However, the other side of the coin is that it is still a tribe.  While belonging may be comforting and comfortable, and indeed necessary while we grow and develop our spiritual wings, there is still a comfort in numbers and being identified, as well as identifying ourselves, as, for example, a seeker or a meditator or a member of a particular group. 

There is much to be gained from being part of such a tribe, just as there is in our tribes of origin, but in the comfort of belonging we can forget that the ultimate conscious union with God-Source is an individual, private matter between each one of us and Source.  



A personal matter

Rose walkingThe image of an old-fashioned telephone switchboard comes to mind.   Tribes and teachings can get you to the switchboard, can show you the way, can give you directions, but the all-important ‘plugging-in’ is a solo, not a group, matter.  

Integrity is a core principle on any true spiritual growth.  The more we are in integrity, the more ‘in tune’ we are.  In tune not just with our core selves, but with the essence of spirituality and most likely in tune with Source or Spirit.    And this kind of integrity is a personal matter; it isn’t something we gain by osmosis by simply being in a group or a system.  

Imagine a group travelling together through an airport.  Although they are travelling together (a tribe) each one has to go through security separately.   Even if we are soul or cosmic or whatever groups travelling together, each of us has to go through ‘security’ on our own.    The security of being in truth, in integrity.   And integrity means wholeness, being true to our true nature, being congruent.  

Before we can come into a more mature union with Source, then, we will need to have embodied progressively more reliable, balanced and anchored levels of integrity.    For that to happen, anything that is not in congruence with our true nature must come up for clearing. 

Any part of us that is not in truth, in resonance with divine law or the mystical laws, will prevent us from going through ‘security’ and thus must be addressed and brought back into alignment.  




Being enough

small-still-voiceSome of the greatest untruths that we can tell ourselves are to deny the divine equality of all life, to abdicate our responsibility for ourselves and our creations, to think we are not enough and thus that we need others to make us whole or to fill us up in some way.  

Denying the divine equality of all life can result in either thinking we are unworthy, in our grovelling and giving away our power, or in thinking we are ‘special’ and more important than others. I’ve done both!  

Abdicating our responsibility gets us into all sorts of dramas of finger-pointing, victim-victimiser games, what Caroline Myss calls ‘woundology’ (using our woundedness as a power-play to manipulate others), into finding it much easier to find fault with ‘out there’ than to look within and take ownership of our own energies and ‘shadows’.

Thinking we are not enough has us thinking we need other people or status or stuff.  There are many more variations on this theme.



Getting clear of distractions

IMGA0904The point of looking at these untruths is that while any of these are active within us, the integrity that could get us through ‘security’ is not sufficiently animated; with these attitudes, these distractions from the truth of who we are, even if we get to the switchboard we won’t be able to plug ourselves in. 

There is too much that is ‘not us’ still encircling us to allow for a genuine Source connection at the level we long for (while reminding ourselves that we are always part of Source; what I am looking at here is the conscious and animated aliveness of an intimate knowing of self-as-Source).

 The divine part of us (again whatever term means most to you) knows that the union we long for cannot happen while these distractions are alive in us.   It knows that they must be shed.  It also knows that the shedding will not always be comfortable, especially if they are deeply engrained distractions or ones we don’t want to admit to having.  

The caterpillar must go into the cocoon and while there become a  pupa as a vital stage of metamorphosis on its way to becoming a butterfly.   That is obvious to us watching the process as observers, but to the caterpillar/pupa it may feel like a time of confusion or chaos.




A time of pruning and preparation

 pruningThe dark night of the soul is a time when those parts of our lives, our psyches, our miasms, our shadows, in other words anything that will get in the way of true intimacy with Source, are being pruned and cleared.   

While it may feel like the loneliest of times, it is actually the time when the divine part of us is holding and nurturing us most lovingly.  

For anyone going through a dark night, triggered maybe by rejection or being ostracised or confused, hold on.  

This is a fertile time and one you will look back on with gratitude.  Keep on keeping on, as they say.   That dark night will give birth to a new dawn of greater empowerment and inner connection.  



silversky2There is tremendous richness in that midnight blue, and the darkest hour is indeed before the dawn.   

Take that as a traveller’s tale from one who has touched that dawn and knows that without that dark night, that dawn would have still been clouded and dull.






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