I’m taking a class “Practical Mysticism” at The Center for Spiritual Living here in San Jose. The class is based on two books, “The Foundation of Mysticism” by Joel S. Goldsmith and “Enter the Castle” by Caroline Myss. “Enter the Castle” is based on the work and writings of Teresa of Avlia.
Both these books blend very nicely with one of my favorite soul sojourn books, “Soul Craft” by Bill Plotkin
All these books help a person with soul work and have been a big influence in my work with The Warriors Quest Intensive.
When we start out doing soul work, ether soul retrieval, Enter the Castle or any other form of consciousness awareness and elevation, there will come a time, for most of us, that we will enter what is called the “Dark Night of the Soul.”
The dark night of the soul is like soul spelunking. You have to go into a dark and strange place, unfamiliar and scary. But what you find are the treasures you have buried deep away and when you return with them you will be entering a “new dawn.”
You are then a mystic warrior!
In Part 1 we covered what the dark night of the soul is and some of the ‘symptoms’ live you can’t fit in, you feel like you’re just hanging on, you feel totally alone and then you enter midnight
In this post we’ll cover the exiting of the dark night of the soul.
The Peace Comes
Helpless, totally helpless, as well as ever so alone, you abide in this condition. And you accept your predicament. You accept that there is really, except for a murmured prayer to a remote Lord and a remnant of a shredded faith, nothing else left.
Suicide would be absurd. Suicide would be an act of arrogance and vanity. You have grown far beyond such primitive responses to your private agony.
No…nothing to do.
Nothing remains in this lonely helplessness. There is, without question, nothing you can do.
You abide. You accept your state.
How have you gotten to this place?
That’s insignificant. Musings and feelings aside, you wait. You feel you may have to stay this way forever, doing the regular day-to-day things, but in this mood of emptiness.
Then, it happens.
A holy presence comes into your room — sweetly, softly. You feel it filling you. Your mind is filled with mellow or bright light. Your heart, your still heart, is permeated with peace. This peace moves through your body like a cold spring of mountain water. It flows in your spine, your brain, and under your skin.
Also, this presence, this comforter, moves like a breeze across your arid mind and numb heart. Then, or a few days later, the fire of joy begins to smolder. Here, abiding with nothing more to do, your ego drops away!
Your ignorant, arrogant, fearful sense of self falls away from you. You stand in light — a new being, a free being — transformed.
Your Ego Sense
Believe it or not, that’s what the dark night is all about: transformation. This is the quest for the mystic warrior.
Your ego, your limited sense of self, your inadequate complex of ideas about who you are had to be dissolved. Your ego was, you begin to see, eclipsing higher consciousness and your true nature. Your old sense of self was inadequate to your new hopes and proper state. Your suffering intensified because of a major misapprehension.
You were too used to thinking of yourself based on inputs from your previous experiences in life. On and on through life, you gathered information and responses from the world which indicated to you what kind of person you were and are.
These superficial units of related inputs became integrated in what is called the ego — your sense of self, your sense of who you are. As long as you allowed this inaccurate or only partial sense of who you are to dominate, you could not know or abide in your true nature.
Your ego sense is so powerful — you invest it with so much of your thought and feeling — that your attitudes of life become based on an egocentric perspective. The ego gains a progressively greater foothold on your entire life because your basic attitudes about your existence and essential nature are strongly linked with ego.
Then, your ego sense, due to your suffering or your limitations in life, wants to have more power over circumstances and a more pleasant life. The ego sense often becomes motivated to seek higher consciousness and, thus, greater ability to dominate in life.
Not always, but often, it is the ego sense which most eagerly pursues higher consciousness. It wants to be in charge; it wants to manipulate events and make life come out more to its satisfaction.
But, as long as your ego is untrained and dominates, it is on a collision course with your true nature and your higher consciousness. There’s going to be a showdown. There has to be a confrontation sometime if your higher consciousness is ever to emerge, if you are ever to know truly who you are and what your human capabilities are.
Furthermore — and this is extremely important, especially in understanding the dark night of the soul — your ego, as it develops from childhood onward, has the conviction that it is the doer. Generally, your ego assumes that it chooses what your mind will think, and chooses what your heart will feel.
It feels it selects the various actions and activities you are going to undertake. Your sense of self, being convinced it is the doer, feels it accomplishes anything and everything in your life.
Do you see, then, how the dark night develops?
A false sense of self has been ignorantly and manipulatively standing in the way of enlightenment.
Additionally, until you are consolidated in higher consciousness, your ego can return and reestablish control if you let it. Sometimes when you’re fatigued or when you have special, new opportunities in life, you are vulnerable to the reestablishment of your ego and its opinion that it is in charge of doing everything.
It will again eclipse the higher consciousness until you recognize what has happened. Then you must courageously and consciously reaffirm your true nature as a mystic warrior, and deal with the upstart, old ego. Otherwise, another dark night phase will again develop.
Attempts of the Ego
A warrior seeking higher consciousness is, in effect, and with intensity, seeking the transformation of their own ego. They are seeking to end the tyranny of the ego and abide in their true nature, instead of a false nature concocted through experiences and emotional inputs during the process of life.
While it is true these inputs have a value in subjecting you to new experiences and so offer unique learning situations, they often give you a delusory sense of self. You are not your mistake. Even a murderer can change and become a new being.
Still, as you progress toward higher consciousness, your ego may not be humbling and daily transforming itself. You may, instead, have a highly developed ego which is sure that it is causing the events of higher consciousness to unfold bit by bit.
Your ego, after all, can be very interested in the attributes of higher consciousness, in meditation and association with enlightened beings. Your ego feels gratification and satisfaction in moving on down the road toward higher consciousness.
Your ego may also have the opinion that, because of its grasp of matters, it will one day establish or — by its thought process and feelings —bring about enlightenment and awakening. It is convinced that it will achieve higher consciousness.
This is ironic because by the time of the dark night, the ego is the main obstacle; it is the obstruction of the light of consciousness. It stands between you and your fulfillment. In fact, the length of your dark night is based on the truculence and cunning of your ego.
It can fight a very lengthy battle if it fears it’s going to be destroyed or will have to give in to something so much greater than it knows itself to be.
Incredibly, your ego wants to be in on the act of enlightenment. Ego wants to bring about higher consciousness by its own dramatic means. Certainly, it doesn’t want to be granted fulfillment by a power outside of itself. Convinced that it is the doer, your ego holds on for dear life — until that event called the dark night of the soul, when your ego awakens to the profound fact it cannot cause or bring about higher consciousness.
Ego cannot, by its will or any other skills whatever, create the wholeness of heart which will end your deep suffering. In a sense your ego recognizes itself — in the dark night — to be the disease. It recognizes that its foothold on your mind and heart has, at an advanced stage on your path, proven a great numbing agent and a high stone wall against the light.
Ego stands against the fulfillment of your faith and the realization of your profoundest yearnings. Finally your ego has found something it cannot do and, in the dark night of the soul, it becomes totally convinced it is inadequate. It cannot deal with your suffering or the fulfillment of the heart’s yearning. Nothing it can do, think, say, buy, or travel to, will in any way suffice.
Dawn of a New Life
Here in this dark night, the lifelong ego sense dies: impotent. Having fulfilled its part, now weak and incompetent, it is dissolved — transmuted. From a higher sense now awakening within you, you slough off your false sense of self.
You now know yourself to be a different person than you thought you were…a mystic warrior. Your ego was merely experiencing some of the attributes, some of the qualities, of your true nature, while at the same time obstructing others.
You, in passing successfully through the dark night, enter the realms of higher consciousness. You’ve been cleansed of the most deep-rooted sickness: your ignorance of your true nature and your inadequate, often totally wrong opinion of who you are.
You now cease your inner conflict and abide serenely in your true nature. The night is over. The dawn of a new life in higher consciousness transforms your bleak life of the past few months into one with a heavenly nature. You have been delivered of the intolerable bondage to ego.
Henceforth, you will walk the earth as a mystic warrior seeing others afresh, living a new life, and abiding in your true nature. You have become a son or daughter of higher consciousness. Now your words and actions will be attuned with your true self. Now you express inspiration and comfort.
The dark night has passed. It is over. You have arrived!
If you feel like you are on the path of the mystic warrior then pick up copies of the books mentioned. Or better yet, come out here for you own private and personal Warriors Quest. I’ll be your guide as we go together on your soul spelunking adventure.
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