Dark Night of the Soul

“Geez, I thought I signed up for peace. And now this!” I cried as I observed waves of uncomfortable emotions running through me. Layer after layer of anger, sadness, and guilt showed up. Some feelings I didn’t even know a name for. In an intensity I didn’t know I could endure.

Welcome to the Dark Night of the Soul.

In order to understand what is happening here, we have to zoom out a bit and look at some important milestones of the spiritual path.

  1. Start
    We usually start out by assuming that we are a body-mind. We end at our skin. Our life ends with the death of the body. And consciousness is just a by-product of the activity in the brain.
  2. On the way
    We turn within to open-space awareness and encounter the ‘void’, which is our Source.
  3. Goal
    Those who have travelled the path quite far, reach a permanent stage where they report that they are one with their surroundings. Adyashanti felt himself merging with the dresser drawer. Suzanne Segal drove in a car and said that she felt she was driving through herself as she was the surroundings. Bernadette Roberts wrote that seer, seeing, and seen are one. In short, eventually the separate self falls away and with it the subject-object relationship. We realize that we are consciousness which is beyond the 3D world and at the same time is the substratum of the visible world.

The spiritual path may start out as a path of self-improvement. Becoming a happier, more loving and caring, more peaceful version of ‘me’. But it is not about that.

Rather, the identity shift is what it’s all about.The rest is a by-product.

And that identity shift necessarily involves a letting go of the former self-image we have been so used to.

If we look at the path, there are (at least) three stages where it can become uncomfortable:
A) Pain of letting go of the former self-image
B) Fear of the void
C) Welling up of formerly unconscious emotions when we rest in awareness.
I’ll cover each one below with examples and possible remedies.

A)  The pain of letting go of the former self-image
Inherent in that identity shift of the spiritual path is a letting go of the former self-image. Letting go of the screen character of the computer game. Finding out that we have been sitting on the chair in front of the screen all the time.

How is that letting go accomplished?

We can either sit down with pen and paper and do a Spiritual Autolysis as described by Jed McKenna. Write down something that we think is true and then question it from every angle. Try again, until we find something that is absolutely true. This eventually boils down to answering the question ‘Who am I?’

For folks like me who prefer a less brainy approach, the universe has some wonderful methods of helping us to find those unconscious areas of the former self-image that we have to let go of. That is really the point: bringing the formerly unconscious attachments into consciousness. (And then letting them go.)

The universe’s ingenious approach:
tailor-made disturbances to the former self-image

We will be disturbed. Intentionally. Purposefully. For a good cause.

But the ego doesn’t like it. And then we experience the Dark Night (of the ego).

So, all these uncomfortable emotions like anger and grief are a by-product of the letting go of the former self-image. They are the ego’s temper tantrums when its toys are taken away.

Adyashanti was a competitive biker and was proud of being a super athlete. That was part of his self-definition.

How did the universe wean him from this self-image? By putting him to bed twice for several months with various illnesses.

After that, he finally got the message and said that it is hard to define yourself as a super athlete if you are as weak as a puppy.

Margot Ridler was a self-employed professional doing constellation work. After a spiritual flash insight about the emptiness of the self, she quit her constellation work practice and experienced a breakdown where she was about to be homeless and penniless. What followed was a surrender into the guiding arms of Source. Then, she experienced a period of traveling for several years where – one by one – all her former beliefs were stripped away and she learned to be guided by Source only. The experience was frightening but liberating.

(Here is a (20min) video of Margot Ridler where she compares her breakdown process with Adyashanti’s.)

My experience: A large part of my self-image was being a high achiever. I was studious and bookish. Good grades and prestigious scholarships all over my résumé, and with it much striving, perfectionism, and pride.

And what did the universe do to deconstruct this?

Well, today I find myself working in the corporate world with not a single promotion after more than 17 years. I’m being weaned from the need for appreciation and from the need to define myself as an achiever.

And that was not the only part of my self-image which I had to let go of. There was more. Each part got its own tailor-made demolition squad. For each part, I went through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) according to the model by Kübler-Ross.

That’s how it works. Whenever we have an attachment with the attitude “I bet that I must have this in order to be happy”, God says,
Wanna bet? I’ll take it away from you, and then you are invited to turn within and seek true happiness there.”

What helps during this phase is  knowing that this is part of the path. And then allowing it to happen. The more we resist the ripping away of the former self-image, the more painful it is going to be.

B) The fear of the void
Falling into the pit of the void can also become uncomfortable. By psychologists, this is pathologized as depersonalization/derealization disorder (DP/DR).

Suzanne Segal lost her former sense of self and spent ten years trying to understand the nature of her confusion and fear about this. None of the psychologists had any clue. Eventually, an Advaita teacher pointed out to her that she was just waking up to her true nature. That was a turning point.

Hans Burgschmidt lost his sense of self suddenly and was terrified by it.  Pilates, weight training, and yoga helped him feel grounded in his body again.
(http://www.psychologytomorrowmagazine.com/enlightenments-evil-twin/)

My experience: I was hanging out in ‘transcendence land’ for three months early in 2014. This felt peaceful, but unreal, lethargic, listless, and emotionally flat. What helped me was that the universe forced me back unto the stage of this play called ‘life’. I had to take care of a sick pet. And my inner voice urged me to invite a bunch of friends over.

What helps during this phase is very different for each seeker. Therefore, it would be best if everyone relies on his/her own inner guidance.

C) Welling up of formerly unconscious emotions
If we abide as the peaceful witness, as open-space awareness, then that is an invitation for formerly suppressed emotions (of this life or even of past-lives) to rise to the surface and enter our consciousness. As fellow blogger and spiritual seeker Susan once so aptly put it,

“Everything comes by to say ‘Hello’.”

Dr.Willoughby Britton, a clinical psychologist and neuroscience researcher, went on a meditation retreat. She reports,

“I thought that I had gone crazy. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. I mean I really had no idea why I was suddenly having all these, like terror was big symptom of mine. And I found out much later that these were actually classic stages of meditation and I was woefully uninformed.”

After this experience, she became the most prominent researcher of the Dark Night phenomenon. She has found an amazing range of disturbing experiences due to meditation practices. These include headaches, nausea, muscle twitching, seeing light, concentration difficulties, anxiety, depression, an inability to socialize or to have a job or to take care of children, in severe cases lasting for years.

Dr. Britton is courageously speaking up about the Dark Night  even though critics have attempted to silence her (after all, mindfulness practices are popular in business nowadays; but the focus is on how to be a better version of one’s former self , and not about how to lose one’s self and find the truth of one’s real being.) Her website with more helpful resources is http://cheetahhouse.org/.

What about help in this phase?

Many people feel already comfortable if they are reassured by a teacher that these experiences are normal and will subside over time.

For me, the most valuable advice was to let the emotions come up and to witness them. That is, don’t judge them, don’t suppress them, feel them fully,  but don’t get engaged too much in them. Afterwards, direct attention 180 degrees backwards to awareness itself – to our real being.

The fine line between feeling emotions fully and drowning in them too much was tricky for me (I had to rely on inner guidance, like dreams, that would tell me when I was off track). When this process was done, often layers of emotion were revealed, like in an onion. They came up, were felt fully, and then released.

It is important not to pathologize these experiences. I like to think of them as the healing of an infected wound with a splinter in it. Concealing it with a band-aid won’t heal it. Rather, there will be an immune reaction with inflammation and pus in order to remove the splinter and the dirt. This phase doesn’t look pretty. But that’s the nature of the healing process.

***

So, that’s the paradox of this journey. In order to find peace beyond understanding we must give up our illusions, our belief in separation, our attachment to our mistaken identity. And usually, this process entails some emotional turmoil.

Let me end with an ACIM quote:

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.

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55 thoughts on “Dark Night of the Soul

  1. This is profound read.. and echos some of my own pains of letting go, and revisiting the void of one’s emotions.. I so can relate to all you have said here Karin.. Thank you for your honest share of these emotions we journey on as we begin our paths of discovering who we are..
    Blessings sent your way..
    Sue

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Sue. Yes, it is a difficult subject. As I wrote this post, I found that I could write much more about it. But then I realized that the post is very long already.
      As usual, if you have a link to your experiences to share in the comments, please do so.
      I’d love to read your stories.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So timely, as life as the teacher has had much to show me this week. So wonderful to be able to read and relate to process, which is not easy to find, in the midst of a bit of circumstances to address, with allowance and openness!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Marga.
      I’ve read that you have been run over by a bus lately. I hope you are getting better.
      Yes, the dark night can be confusing if we don’t know what the heck is going on.

      Like

  3. Hi Karin. Great post! This part – ‘Bernadette Roberts wrote that seer, seeing, and seen are one.’ – I have heard that a lot from speakers lately. Every time I think I get some new realization, they tell me to go further and to notice how what appears (forms, sounds, perceptions, etc) and I are one thing. This is tricky…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, they all eventually arrive at that conclusion. I don’t know whether it can be forced by contemplation to happen. I think, rather, it happens as a result of the identity shift. Or as a result of the falling away of the separate self.
      And the falling away of the separate self sometimes happens as a result of inner peace. And sometimes just by waiting at the bus stop ( Suzanne Segal).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Very true. The identity shift has to happen.

        I think that if a ‘person’ awakens unexpectedly (at a bus stop) out of the blue, it may take a long time to understand whats going on and may even be difficult for the character. It seems most awaken after some seeking and if the shift happens, it is not such a confusing thing. It may still not be what “we” think it will be when it happens though.

        After years of ‘seeking’ on my own, I told god that I am ready to have a personal teacher that I can talk to directly. Within days I found that teacher and now I talk to him many times a week. I asked him if “we” can do anything to awaken to our true nature. He told me that the the illusory ‘me” can’t do anything to awaken because it does not actually exist. He also told me that the true “me” or self CAN and does do everything to awaken. He went on to say that everything actually done is done by the true self. So anything, a urge to study or contemplate, or watch videos etc, is done by the true self 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Thanks for your detailed answer. Good to hear that your call for a teacher was answered. That is certainly a relief if there is always someone there to talk to.
          I am on this journey alone. I think I do not want a teacher.
          That is just my personal preference.
          I like to have the universe as a teacher and read those little signs which you also have observed. And I try to listen to that inner voice. And then , of course, there are books and youtube satsangs and other blogs where people share their paths.
          I am curious to see how your path unfolds. I am glad that I found your blog today.

          Like

        2. This reminds of a series of videos I just watched. Very hard to get my head around the “Me” is an illusion. I needed to step back for a moment to let this information settle in. It was timely to read your response, time to go back to the meditations.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Karin, I am very glad I found your site too. As for a teacher, the best guidance is always within. But for this “me” thingy, my mind was too busy to be able to hear the inner guidance…most of the time. This is why the universe often had to send obvious signals like the licence plate, and others I will write about.
    Initially I was very shy and embarrassed to even admit I needed help or was seeking anything. For years I just worked on my own. But this past summer for some reason I felt I needed a teacher. Since finding him, and meeting other “teachers,” a lot has opened up to me.
    I realize the teachers are no different than anyone else from the “character” perspective. But I also seem to be getting a deeper “understanding” of silence too. That may of happened with or without the in person teacher too though.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This was a great post, Karin. I like that you’re honest about the depth of difficulties that can come up when we engage a practice that is intended to bring us peace and happiness! I once asked a teacher of mine, shouldn’t this feel more like a homecoming than an exercise in failure and doubt? I don’t remember the exact answer now, but regardless of the words offered, the answer was in the practice itself. As you already know… it feels how it feels until those feelings and their causes are freed…

    Peace
    Michael

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good question. And difficult to answer.That probably depends on whom you ask.
      I’d define it as follows:
      Awakening is recognizing the void inside as our Source. Finding that the void is awareness and creative potential and that true joy comes from there and not from anything outside of us.
      Enlightenment is a step further. It is the falling away of the separate self. Adyashanti said, the normal person looks in the mirror and says,”That’s me.” The enlightened one looks at the wall and says, “That’s me.”
      But it is really not that easy to give a clear order of events which would fit for everyone.
      I found Bernadette Roberts’ books useful. She says, first comes the falling away of the ego. This results in the unitive life. Afterwards comes then falling away of the self.
      Jed McKenna talks about stage Human Adulthood , which probably is something like the no-ego stage of B.Roberts. And then he defines truth-realization. Which is probably the no-self stage of B.Roberts.
      There are several attempts out there to draw maps for this uncharted terrain. None of them completely true, but each emphasizes some important aspects. A little like the story of the five blind men trying to describe the elephant by touching it, and one touches the legs and the other touches the ears.

      Does that help you? I just realize if you ask these questions, then you probably are already infected by the seeker’s virus.
      There is a video I want to recommend to you. Google Kirk Nugent answer the call, parts 1-5 on youtube. Maybe that resonates with you as much as it did with me. And maybe you do need to wake up asap even though you are quite young.
      Linda posted one video of this here
      http://litebeing.com/2015/03/02/answer-the-call/

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Karin I love this post. The dark night of the ego is so much complexe and you’ve explained it very well. When I surrender to let it flow to the surface of the iceberg with no resistance for me I feel like the event stays in my vision until I let go of the emotions. When walking in the dark this post helps to move forward. Blessings Diane 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Diane. I’m glad to hear that this post resonates with you.
      Thanks for sharing how this process of letting go works for you. That is great that you can let go. I find that this can be difficult, for me at least. Witnessing without drowning.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome Karin. This post did resonate many memories…I’ve been working at it for 5 yrs in letting go. I believe when we stop resisting and just surrender of what we cannot control. Life becomes simpler. Now I am practicing the law of attraction focusing on what I LOVE rather on the things it is out of my control. This way I can feel the void. The void for me is JOY another word meaning Divine Source. Why not focus on what makes me joyful. It is so easy to fall back in the dark nights when we are out of balance. Keep the story short..lesson learned. You are not alone Karin, I have witness and sometimes drowning…a great movie to watch is Jack Frost a powerful message on how he overcame is dark shadows and remembered who he was. JOY – PLAYFUL 😉 not everyone has the courage to face the darkest fear. I almost gave up (like Jack Frost) because it took me a full year to understand it was only I (my brain) was making the illusion. Perception of the mind means letting go of all your belief and fear. This process wont happen over night…believe me I learned it the hard way. I’ll stop here…keep on smiling 😉 Diane Love and Light.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks, Diane, for explaining how you deal with this. Yes, focusing on something joyful works for me, too
          Also thanks for the movie recommendation. I’ll check it out.
          Love,
          Karin

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Your welcome Karin. It is so wonderful to hear someone else focus on joy. Every time I am out of balance I think of Jack Frost so I can remember to be playful & joyful in dark times. Love and Light Diane 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderful post. Adyashanti is our favourite teacher, we have sat with him often and done several retreats. I’ll never forget him saying that if you can accept yourself fully (including, especially, all the so-called dark/negative stuff) you’ll be free. And that’s it for me – all is welcome here, whatever needs to be seen, heard felt, let it all arise from within until there’s nothing left.
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Alison. Wow, you have met Adyashanti in person. I like that approach of letting all come up until there is nothing left. That makes sure that nothing is suppressed.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am so glad you wrote this because I’ve been having a lot of thoughts during the past week about the dark night of the soul. I became aware approximately a year ago that this is the stage I’ve been in shortly after awakening, but it’s still helpful at this point to hear about other people’s experiences with it and to learn how they got through it. I’ve not had much luck with opening up to people I know about some of these odd and uncomfortable feelings I have been dealing with lately because most people I know have not gotten this deep into questioning the sense of self. I feel very conflicted sometimes by the thought that we are nothing, yet we are all so incredible and amazing. I see us as powerful spiritual beings temporarily residing in these human bodysuits while attaching ourselves to false identities. There is no doubt in my mind that a psychologist would diagnose me with depression and depersonalization disorder by this point!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment.
      Yes,that is a difficult phase, and if one is alone with nobody to talk to that doesn’t make things easier.

      That is well expressed. We are nothing and at the same time incredible and amazing.

      I can only share what the phase was like for me and what was helpful.
      During the flat phase, there was more unraveling of the personality. I was shown how much I was still attached to certain personality traits or certain beliefs. This showing happened by everything that disturbed me. Could be real life events or also dreams.
      I found that things became easier when I stopped resisting this unraveling. It was like, “Oh, here goes another piece of ‘me’ to the trash bin. That’s ok. Take it all if you wish.” That was my mantra during this phase.

      Then, after I was completely wrenched out , completely down and willing to let go, completely okay with this emotional flatline, then Source stepped in and told me that it is not okay to rest in this very low-spirited, very low-energy, very detached state forever.

      How did it do this? It communicated with me through dreams and events, both with metaphorical meaning, that
      ‘I have to pick up my luggage and meet my brother’. That is, I have to go and get involved in life again.
      Bummer! I just was starting to get comfortable in transcendence land! And now the inner voice told me, ‘Go and invite an bunch of friends for a party!’
      Nooo! How could I do this with my low energy level? Get the house ready for an invitation like this?
      But somehow I obeyed and managed to scramble the rest of my energy together, and we had a party with more than 20 people including many 4 year olds.

      And then there were more nudges from the inner voice to go meet life again, and to share with people. To write a book, to start a blog, and to share with whoever was sent to me. There are no chance encounters.

      I found it helpful to watch for guiding signs. Inner voice, dreams, songs in my head, visions. And also recurring events with patterns with a metaphorical meaning. These would all tell me what I should do and when it was appropriate to share (and when not).

      I learned that Source is within us and guides and orchestrates all these seemingly separate bodies like a giant puppeteer guides his puppets.

      I my case, I also learned that the gentle nudges of Source turn into not-so-gentle kicks in the butt if I resisted. Good bye ‘free will’. But that may be a different experience for other people.

      I am glad that we have met here, and I wish you all the best for your journey,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for a detailed response 🙂 I especially like the part where you said you allowed all of your old self to be dumped into a trashcan. Maybe what’s really getting in the way right now is that my mind is still in overdrive, trying to figure out how much longer this phase is going to last and how to get out of it. I kind of went through a surrendering thing back in March and regained my energy shortly after that. If I’m still suffering, I guess I haven’t fully surrendered yet. I’m trying to resist the temptation to look for distractions and escapes from this.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There is a free online event this weekend. Linda has just posted the link here
          http://litebeing.com/2015/07/11/shades-of-awakening-summit-spirituality-and-mental-health/
          It might be interesting to you. Please check it out.

          And I wanted to mention that the journey is not linear, but more like a spiralling movement. Back and forth, back and forth. But always moving on. So, if there are ego backlashes, don’t despair or beat yourself up about them. That is normal. Returning to peace over and over again is like when kids learn to walk. They fall down but they get up. They don’t despair. They don’t think about what will happen if they will not have learned to walk for the next thirty years.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Did you manage to check out that event? Unfortunately, I didn’t see your comment until now, but thanks for mentioning it to me. Sounds like it was really interesting.
            And I think you’re definitely right about how there is usually not a predictable, linear path when one begins to awaken. I will have those moments of inner peace and clarity, but then I’m sort of back to my old conditioning before too long. I see how I go back and forth, so maybe it will be easier if I just accept that this is how the process will be unfolding for a while.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes, I listened to almost all of the lectures. The topics were psychosis /bipolar disorder vs spiritual crisis.
              Is there a difference?
              And how to tell the difference?
              How to help people through this phase? The problems of the traditional psychiatric system.

              The website is http://www.shadesofawakening.com/
              You can google all of the speakers and find more material on their websites if you are interested.

              Many of the speakers had their own story with a severe breakdown or breakthrough and their own experience with the medical system.

              Yes, accept the process of spiralling. Accepting that it is the way things work makes it easier. There is no linear way with clean-cut phases. I like to think of it as a tsunami. The first wave of an uncomfortable emotion is really huge. And once it is over , there will be aftershocks which cause more little waves.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I found someof the speakers well-meaning but a bit over-keen on mystical experiences for their own sake! One of the things we are taught in zen is not to get attached to experiences however pleasant they are. I didnt hear much about how to be a better person, how to deal with our self concern. (I admit I only llistened to a few though.)

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Thanks for sharing your perception.
                  Yes, mystical experiences were a big topic.
                  They are not necessarily pleasant for everyone. The speakers made the point that mystical experiences deviate from consensus reality. And the fact that they experienced something which deviates from consensus reality might be frightening for some people.

                  I don’t know much about Buddhism and Zen. I don’t know what a Buddhist student would be told when he suddenly hears his spirit guide talking to him. Is he told to get over it and let go of it because it is all makyo, there are no spirit guides and angels and he should better quiet his mind? I am wondering about that. Thanks for educating me about Buddhism.

                  Many speakers stressed the benefit of mindfulness for this difficult phase of the journey.

                  Right, the focus of the summit was not on how the become a better person. It was more about the breakdown/ breakthrough phase of the spiritual journey.

                  Like

                  1. Yes, Karin you have hit the nail on the head. Buddhists dont believe in angels and regard a lot of non-consensus reality experience as makyo. For Buddhists it’s important to be mindful in all activities and cause no harm to oneself or others and to try and live from compassion towards all living things.

                    Liked by 1 person

                  2. It makes me wonder, would Helen Schucman (who channeled A Course In Miracles) or would Esther Hicks (who channels Abraham) be told by a Buddhist teacher not to listen to the inner voice because it is all makyo? Really?
                    I remember that Esther Hicks did let go of all thoughts that came to her mind during meditation. She let them go immediately because she thought that is what meditiation is all about.
                    But this Abraham entity wanted to communicate with her. So, Abraham used a little workaround. They/he made her move her nose and paint letters in the air with her nose. That is when she got it that she needed to listen.

                    I really wonder how a Buddhist teacher would react. Would he hit them with a zen stick and tell them to quiet the mind because the voice of Abraham and the voice of Jesus is all makyo?

                    Does that mean I can be really glad that Helen Schucman and Esther Hicks are not Buddhist? Because if they were, then we would not have ACIM or Law of Attraction teachings? Or am I misunderstanding something here?

                    But I am also thinking of Barabara Brodsky, who channels Aaron. Aaron teaches her about (Theravada?) Buddhism. And even though he teaches Buddhism, he seems to be comfortable with the fact that Barbara does listen to him during meditation. At least this Aaron guy is a Buddhist who is okay with channeling apparently. He appears to her in a vision. And this obviously not consensus reality.

                    Like

                  3. I’m not saying all Buddhists would dismiss experiences of channeling etc out of hand; just that they would be cautious in interpreting them literally and especially of creating a whole system of spirituality out of the experience. Its possible to take the messages of ACIM or Converstaions with God without literally believing there is some entity commmunicating from a ‘spiritual realm.’ In my experience its always good to apply the philosophical stance of scepticism to dogmatic claims.

                    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reading this reminds of two periods I have gone through in my life, the latter of the two being this past fall. In the form of , as you write, “Welling up of formerly unconscious emotions”. The first, being a smack down with my ego as I like to call it when I was 19. I’ve moved past those periods- thank goodness! Thank you for sharing, it’s nice to know that someone understands the process and can eloquently express it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experiences.
      Good to hear that you have survived your dark night experiences and moved beyond them.
      I also find it very valuable to find others here who have experienced this and can relate and express it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Karin! I could kick myself for not reading this earlier but…I believe everything comes when or as needed. And tonight I asked a question and the memory of this post fluttered to me, at the back of my mind. I want to thank you, for sharing your experiences here. I believe I know the path I need to take now. Or rather, what I need to do to help push past the dark night. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind comment.
      Yes, everything comes at the right time. Good that the memory of this post came across your mind when you asked.

      Good to hear that you know what you need to do to push past the dark night. I’m curious. What is it?

      I am not sure that I could do much, other than accept with an attitude if ‘Oh well, here goes another part of me into the trash can. That’s fine. Take it all if you wish.’
      That was the feeling during the flat, grey, listless phase of unraveling the former personality.

      Quiet time was helpful, and writing it all down as a means of digesting it.

      Later, things change. When source kicks in and moves us, then hold on to your seat!

      Like

      1. Thank you for asking!
        I have been attaching myself too much to the emotions, assigning blame (to myself,others and my surroundings), assigning fixes but have been too exhausted (emotionally) to make them work. Guilt. More assigning tasks, ways to cope, ways to release this emotional burden.
        The one thing I forgot is that these are emotions, they are not me! Yes they are a part of me and they can flow through me but by attaching myself to them, I have been dragging them down, holding on to them and they have been drowning me.
        I forgot to play witness. I have forgotten one of the most important lessons – to just be.
        This weekend I intend to carve out some time, in nature, palms to the ground, meditate, and just be.
        I think you will understand? And I need to thank you Karin.Thank you for being a source of light here. I am not sure if I fully expressed the flutter that reminded me of your post. It really felt more like someone flicking their fingers at the back of my brain. Very profound experience…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for elaborating on this. Yes, witness sounds like a good idea. At least for a while. It is not a state to stay in forever. But it is a useful practice for part of the path.

          One further note:

          You can turn the focus of your attention two ways. One way is to rest as the witness and put your attention on stuff out there, on things, sensatios, emotions.
          The other way is to turn the focus of your attention 180 degrees inward and look at the witness directly. The peace and joy found there are your true home. The meditation method is best described on http://www.justonelook.org.

          The universe will do *everything* in its power to get you to that place, to do this 180 degree inward look and recognize/ remember that this your connection to the divine source. This is the one lesson we all must learn.

          This thing that you are looking at when you turn the focus of attention 180 degrees inward cannot really be described. It appears as vast, void , black no-thing-ness, source, awareness, consciousness, sense of ‘I Am’, stillness, yet always moving, overflowing source of joy.

          When you have reached that place, then it is likely that many synchronicities will happen and that you will experience new abilities , like manifesting power or extrasensory perception, for example. This will in turn shake your world view of what you thought you were. You will not be able anymore to think of yourself as just a personality in a body.

          So, there are some rewards for this strenuous journey. But the biggest reward is the sense of inner peace that comes with remembering what we are.

          Best wishes for your journey.
          Karin

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Greetings Karin. I was reading on another blog, and saw you comment, and bring up (I hope this was you who said it) ‘pre-life planning’ and made my way here to read some of your posts. I found this one, which seems to have reached out and tapped me on the shoulder.

    And I wonder: Was I led here because I am about to go through a rather difficult treatment which I’ve not wanted to actually do, but decided to, anyway. But nothing is quite so straight forward as that. In fact, it’s not been a year yet, since I began blogging, and I feel I was, in fact, led here to yet another opportunity to begin some important work which I’ve put off.

    So much of what you’ve written, here, created a sense of ‘sit up and pay attention’ from somewhere deep inside.

    I think my point is, that when we begin to resume our Path, while no one else can actually say what the course of another’s path should look like, that connection with others Of Like Mind is often a necessary tool, when hammer to head has been needed to wake up.

    Anyway, I just want to thank you for putting this reminder out there, that I might stumble upon it and remember what I was doing before I settled into my Lazy J. Ranch.

    Blessings,

    Fim

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Fim.

      Yes, that comment about pre-incarnation planning was probably from me.

      I’m glad to hear that the post resonated with you and might be important for your journey at this time.
      I , too, think that it is helpful to meet others of like mind during this journey. This is uncharted terrain. And having to go through it alone will make us wonder whether we have lost our mind.

      Best wishes for your path,
      Karin

      Like

    1. Thanks for your comment, Dayna. I think of the dark night or any phases more like a spiraling motion. Forward and backwards, yet always moving on.
      I wonder whether it will ever end. The answer is probably when there is total surrender.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Your post and the intelligent comments of your readers have been helpful in preparing me for the next stage. I have already gone through one DN and I feel that another may be coming soon. Perhaps if I start exercising what I know now, it may be averted or at least moderated. I will still need to take the uncomfortable steps to get through this step. I can do it without attaching to emotion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind comment. Glad to hear this was helpful.
      A dark night is no fun. I guess I am in one again during these days. It is as if everything that once gave me joy has been stripped away, with no adequate replacements. So, it feels kind of depressive. And all that is left is to breathe, take it one step at a time, and sort of endure life. Plenty of cave time.
      Best wishes for your journey.

      Like

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