The dark night of the soul is the journey from:
Illusion -> Illumination -> Union.
During the ‘Illumination -> Union’ phase,
There are different bardo realms of experience to be passed through.
Here I’ll describe the bardo I am presently going through,
Which is of ‘Dread-Trance-Emptiness’.
The ‘dread-trance-emptiness’ bardo,
Has a lot of chaos, confusion, and disorganization
There is deep exhaustion,
In my ability to ‘be/become’ anything.
Like the king is unable to act anymore.
He is just a passive witness to his collapsing kingdom,
Which is falling into evermore chaos-confusion-randomness.
He has even lost interest/desire in it to keep it going,
And is simply now a passive spectator,
Of the spectacle of his kingdom falling into chaos,
And getting reabsorbed by all its surrounding forces.
‘Neglect’ and ‘Withdrawal’ of anything causes death of that thing.
So the process is very much like the process of conscious ego death.
This paradoxically feels like a descent and ascent at the same time.
The plunge into the depths is also the ascent to the heights.
To see everything from above is to see everything from below, and vice versa.
There is a process of passive purgation,
Of a journey into the purgatory playing/unfolding itself out.
I abide in this space passively,
In a ‘continuous falling’ into it.
It is like being in a kayak on a river current.
You cannot stop moving,
But you can influence the kayak with your paddles.
There is again a paradox here, that:
It seems deeply personal and yet so deeply impersonal at the same time.
Passions emerge, actions happen,
But the emptiness of all of it pervades my being.
Almost no experience is riveting enough,
To make me lose sight of the emptiness in the background.
I feel if I pass through all this madness,
I might bottom out and emerge on the other side.
This feels more like a time-energy thing,
Rather than a defined spatial thing,
Where there is a definite distance to cover.
The loss of identity,
Causes a fall into the shadows underneath.
Like sinking into the ground of chaos-filth,
From which the trees of identity spawn and return to.
This is a place where will/action are heavily suspended,
(Hanged man tarot archetype),
And one must mostly only abide/allow.
The only freedoms I have are to resist or allow.
And resistance hurts anyways,
So there is no actual freedom at all.
This archetypal chaotic dream madness (which is also the creative ground),
From which identities/egos in the world spawn,
Resembles the ’12th house’ described in astrology.
It is like the state of ‘dreaming and imagination’.
Waking > Dream > Sleep is what we ordinarily think.
But I think in the spiritual ascension path,
It is the reverse.
Being awake in ‘Sleep’ = Prajna (direct insight),
Being awake in ‘Dream’ = Vigyana (special meta knowledge),
Being awake in ‘Waking’ = Gyana (knowledge)
I feel like my awareness of emptiness is me being awake in the dream world/space/bardos.
Feels like falling into a bottomless pit,
Where there is an infinite fall,
And where I am always in the center in spite of the continuously falling.
Only the scenery continuously keeps changing.
Sometimes I fall through clouds of scintillating mist,
Other times I fall through clouds made of acid.
The only way to communicate or share this experience with others,
Is through imaginative symbolic expressions.
A person going through a similar experience would probably instantly relate.
For others it may be a bit of a stretch to imagine/see.