The Dark Night of the Soul- Part II

The Dark Night of the Soul, says  Dr. Gerald May, sounds different in his patients when they speak. There may be (felt) discouragement, and silence from God. There may be a confusion, and a lack of spiritual “experience” or lack of sensation of the spiritual as there had been before. But, compared to his patients who have symptoms of depression, these folks do not have despair like those who are depressed do. They do not have the same cynicism, even though they may feel alone.

In the dark night times one knows transformation is underway. During times of depression, one hopes to return to normal.

Because God is not a “thing” but rather Spirit-all places at once-as we progress spiritually, invitations come to rebirth and journey closer to union with him as Spirit. What I speak of here is not a journey to a physical spot, but to an awareness of God, in a deeper, richer way. One that involves faith, not sight, or even the crutch of sensation, which may confused for God, but also cannot be God, in actuality.

We can leave behind the old methods of tapping into the spiritual that are like outgrown child’s clothing–too small for us. Ultimately, we move toward union with God in this way.

Some dark nights take years to move through. We must not fear them because they involve a greater revelation of God’s amazing grace and love. The end always results in greater insights of God’s love, and greater union with the Divine, in a brighter day.

In Part III, I will talk about the “Dawn” from the Dark Night.

Some information taken from my reading: Gerald G. May, M.D. The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth. Harper San Francisco, 2004.

My (upcoming) book Life as Prayer: A New Paradigm for contemporary Spirituality Inspired by Ancient Piety dedicates a whole chapter to this topic. I will update this blog with details as this work continues. Thanks for your interest. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

(lit. agent Chip MacGregor)


4 responses to “The Dark Night of the Soul- Part II

  1. Having been there, done that, and have the t-shirt, I found we have a lot in common with the process in general from our separate but equivalent experiences.

    Perhaps from your yoga training you approached your state differently than I. For me, no matter where I turned, or what I read, I found no answers, no solace, and certainly no enjoyment in the process. I did not even understand what was going on until it was complete!

    The end, in and of itself is worth the price of admission, although during the process I would have gladly traded my spot for many others around me.

    Now that I understand the process, I find it hard to relate to those who do hold childish views of spirit, and are the first to shout out what spirit approves and does not approve. Of course they usually see me as the ‘dark one’ incarnate because of our differences.

    I think one important point of note, is whether it is your view, my view, or Moores view, we speak from our own perspective, and I am not sure that the process is can be broken down and quantified into a one size fits all. We can find spots where we all agree, but the journey is too personal and we as spiritual beings are too dynamic. Or maybe not….

    You put in a lot of work and study, and it shows, well done!


    • lisacolondelay

      Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate them. You sound like you’ve been through a lot and see so much more clearly now. I hope the people around you don’t discourage you on your path. Maybe they take comfort in small boxes for truth.

      I’ve never had yoga training. At least I doubt it, I don’t think a few Kathy Smith exercise video sessions counts, right?

      I find little or no solace in the process itself either, Michael. I think sometimes it helps to know we aren’t crazy, or something is wrong with us, even if we don’t feel at all that well with things yet. I think we do judge many things from our perspective, and even our experience, yes. Yet, strangely it seems that many things have universal/eternal commonality. The Divine, the Eternal Mind, knows us and draw us to “him”. Since we all journey, I doubt anyone thinks/imagines they are at a childish stage. I know my frustrations tell me more about me than they reveal about other people. Probably the best we can do is journey hand-in-hand with others–extending grace and outpouring love.

      Blessings to you.

  2. Crazy, wow, yep you have paid for your ride! lol! It is quite an experience to say the least. I found I need to think about what I say before I say it, it’s all in the presentation.

    What is obvious to me, generally sounds like something quite different to some people. I figured out that they have to find their way at their own pace, and my thoughts were scary.

    Please do not stop writing, I wish I would have discovered your words thirty or more years ago.

    It will be a cool drink of water to those that are directed here.


  3. lisacolondelay

    Thanks. Help me spread the word, friend.