A friend and I were discussing about the dark night of soul, and she asked some really interesting questions, which I pondered on, and then wrote her a reply.
Here is the Q&A:
Q1 – At what point does someone acknowledge the disorientation and start focusing more on integration than destruction…?
I can answer from my experience. (I’m gonna write a lot, bear with me 🙂 )
I think both the processes happen together in transformation, but the degree varies. Like to give an extreme example, if I explode a bomb in a region, the old in the region dies, while the new gets born.
Sounds good in principle.
The only issue is the new looks like a post-apocalypic dystopian ruin site.
It might take many years for there to be a steady pace of growth of structures in this region.
If we look at what is dying – it is the dark night, if we look at what is being born – it is rebirth. Although the higher principle of simultaneity is present, we also see distinct season like patterns. Like how in Buddhist vipassana practice they delineate stages of evolution, and the dark night basically falls under – greater awareness of death/passing, than of arising/growth.
The vice versa can happen too, once the death potential is complete like the swinging of a pendulum to one end and stopping because its momentum is finished (simplistic example of the pattern).
I feel there is something deeper and greater(the soul?) that matures through this mysterious birth-death process, like in my case, I feel there is a gradual increase of overall maturity, deeper knowledge and deepening of context intuition etc. which has helped ease the ride through these confusing states of being. So nowadays I do notice much better stability overall and a deeper trust and relaxation, and also a better knowing/apprehension/clarity/discernment of appearance.
Like how growing up happens, it is not a single experience that makes one an adult, but a series of mystical journeys and passages. Something really super mystical/deep/abstract/intuitive is evolving from all the passing experiences.
I think one can say the dark night has ended, when there is a noticeable swing in the opposite direction/upswing of life force/spirit? Maybe a crystallization of a new vision, a renewed vigor, hope, expansion, love etc.? It’s hard to be really precise though, I feel the dark night ends depending on your overall evaluation of your gestalt. Like when your system becomes emptier, fresher, harmonized and radiant with energy and allows you to expand? – I don’t know, I may be presenting new kinds of wishful fantasies and dreams here, but just trying to create art with my words, so that you can see through it? 🙂
Q2 – At what point does someone become comfortable with perpetual dismantling and generation so that it’s no longer a “dark night”
Hmm, yea, I can see what you are pointing to. Like there is the suffering component (all forms) and the process of death itself (endarkment). I would say technically the process is on until there is the upswing resurgence of spirit influx (like an inbreath), however, one may develop high enough equanimity and understanding in its later stages, that he can ride through the emptiness (meaning like what you described quick fast alternating cycles of discontinuous creations). Maybe growth could also mean the intensification of the discontinuous creativity until it swallows all of the observer, making observer-observed ONE. Like one may ask, to who is this dark night of soul happening to?, and this would point to a subject/observer structure, which may get further dissoluted when contemplating deeper on the subject of the experience.
At one point does one become comfortable? hmm, that is possible only if your energy output and structure transcends the fluctuations that are happening. And I feel the fluctuations that are happening are basically structures in your psyche dying out from spirit withdrawal. So once a LOT of the death processes are completed in the psyche structure, then it feels a lot clearer, brighter, fresher, emptier and this may increase available energy for fresh creativity too. So maybe at that point, a person would start to feel comfortable, like he/she/it rises above the suffering vs. being debilitated and disabled by it.
Q3 Is it possible that a fascination with the “dark night” and identification with it might complicate the surrender necessary to move through it
I can totally see your point. Yes, but I think the fascination with dark night is also a psyche structure. My methodology is – if you are fascinated, go all into it, so much that it completes/exhausts itself. Isn’t it like any other passion? and how do we get over passions? -> my method is usually I go all in and do it so totally, and experience it so fully and deeply that I transcend it. I think we identify with things, until we are bored. Boredom seems to be the real mover. And I feel boredom is an impetus for moving on/trying something new/flowing/reevaluating etc. It seems like the precursor of all passion/creativity. So yea, I would say: Give into your fascination, passion, curiosity, so fully, and satisfy yourself so deeply without an agenda, that you automatically ride the wave of spirit