The Dark Night Of The Soul (for lack of imagination)

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After the first year or so when I experienced the manifestation of this energy in my body, things began to settle down again. In saying this, I mean that in some way, my body started to acclimate itself to whatever force this was, at least on a physical level. The seemingly supernatural effects of this invisible force permeating my body and causing me to have a host of physiological, spiritual, and psychological side effects began to wane over time, and I felt myself returning to the somewhat normal state of being that I previously had experienced up until that point. At least to some degree, so that I was able to once again regain normalcy in my day-to-day living. Although, I should note that I only mean this in a sense that my abilities to interact with others in a way that hid the underlying activity was easier for me to do. The reality was that the inner turmoil and confusion and wonderment with what was happening never really went away. The acclimatization then, was in large part, my ability to conceal in a more effective way, my newly realized understandings and strange personality; that to others, if they were to truly listen and experience who I was, would probably have deep concerns over my psychological state of mind.

So, after this initial period began to pass, when the new realizations began to set in and slowly embed themselves into my being, throwing to the wind anything I previously thought I knew, and crumbling the very foundation of my existence to a pile of rubble (metaphysically speaking), I was gifted with some minuscule ability to once again interact with the people I knew. I sensed that this was really just a superficiality and that underneath it all, I was a completely different person – no longer primarily concerned with the physicalities of life such as materialism or social standing, and keenly aware of the lie being fed to everyone from the controllers of society. From that time through now, several years later, I can see a slow progression in what appears to be this normalization, but which is in reality, the cementing of a higher state of conscious awareness – that is of course still co-habitating on a physical plane of existence. Whatever changes occurred within, in terms of how I perceived the integrated nature of life in this world, with the subtle energetic and spiritual side of things, which ultimately provides the basis and structure and life force with which everything appears to exist, now formed the mental framework with which I viewed everything. In spite of the fact that I continually questioned whether or not what happened to me was a fluke or temporary phenomena, and that on some level I had completely lost my mind psychologically; there was a deepening sense that the true nature of it all was that I had only been going through a period of heightened spiritual evolution.

During this same period, I continued trying to learn and expand my consciousness, through reading and meditation and contemplation. Although strangely and ironically, even through the time of this writing, there has been an extended period of time when I felt as though nothing was changing, nothing was being learned, and that I was stagnating and “lost” in a sense. I continually questioned the meaning to it all. What is the point to all of this? What should I now be doing with my life? I sensed from the beginning that this was going to have a dramatic impact on what I did and what I wanted to achieve, yet I didn’t know how long the process of transformation would last until anything of that nature manifested itself within me. Yet, it stuck with me in the back of my mind every day, as if I was in constant contact with a higher force, my “higher self” if you will, letting me know that a new day was dawning. To me, the difficulty in this process, is that there is no timetable, per se, and that a new level of patience has to be realized to come out in the end in one piece. Only after reflecting on this period of time have I come to realize that not only was/is this a time of re-adjustment, but that in some sense, it was/is a testing of sorts, a “Dark Night of the Soul” – that at least some people who have experienced this sort of thing ultimately go through. This term is only metaphorical though, in a sense that it is less a “night” and more of an extended period of time when the newly wrought realizations about life and the supernal experiences which have occurred, have seemingly disappeared, and you are suddenly left wondering what it was all about. For me, it has been a time when I have indeed questioned everything – not only with what has happened to me, but with the fact that I have struggled intensely with the meaning of my life. I found myself at odds with what all of this is about, having experienced periods of heightened agitation, frustration, loneliness, and a sense of isolation from everyone and everything – instead of what most would think should be happening, that being a heightened sense of oneness and love between myself, nature, and all the other people around me. What was apparent to me before, when all this first began, had in some ways to my perception, disappeared altogether for much of the time, and had been replaced with this extended period of spiritual and psychological darkness, that threw into question what I thought should be happening.

This frustration, to me, has been occurring as a result of the contradiction between how I now view life and how I am actually living it. A dichotomy exists between two opposing perceptions of reality – an old one in which the spiritual aspect of life isn’t a primary focus or element of daily life, and the normal, everyday on-goings that I find myself in, such as maintaining some sort of occupation and form of subsistence – and then a simpler, more natural, truthful, or connected way of being that isn’t caught up in it all. Not simply this though, but that the intense nature of this pull towards a different way of being seems so incompatible with my old way of life, that it sometimes drives me mad – not knowing how to make the necessary changes I need to move in that direction. It also seems compounded by the fact that while I feel on a deep level that my new perceptions of life are starting to integrate, the initial experiences I had; the ecstatic feelings, physical sensations, expansive sense of reality, and otherworldly dreams appear to have left me altogether. I find myself struggling, as if I were shown to some degree the basic rules or necessities on how to survive on a desert island, and I was just left there one day, alone, with nothing but the clothes on my back. Only, the necessities of surviving on an island are obvious and show themselves to you – you search for water and food, build a shelter, and learn how to make a fire. With this, nothing is obvious. What I sense is a fire burning within my soul, a deep and unyielding knowing that my life as I previously experienced it is not how I should be living, and that through this I must learn how to now live in harmony and unity with the planet that provides my subsistence. That, I must start to understand the uncommon nature of the gift I have been granted, to explore myself from within and listen to or feel my intuition guide me, and less what I see every day. This, in itself, is part of the difficulty in that I still live in a world of people who seem to know little of the sort. It is close to impossible to both find the words to explain my new sense of awareness and to relate that to anyone in a way that doesn’t sound like I’ve lost my mind.

What hurts me the most is that because of all this, my frustration, lack of patience, and sometimes anger rise to the surface when interacting with my wife and children. I find myself almost forgetful of what I’ve been going through, and I am at times unable to refrain from lashing out at even the smallest of annoyances or things that don’t go my way. I fear my children are starting to perceive me in a way that will be remembered when they get older – that being a period of time when their father wasn’t a nice person, or at the very least had a complete lack of patience. When, I fought and argued and yelled more than anything else – and perhaps made them feel unloved in some way because of this apparent lack of compassion and understanding that they were only children learning how to live life. This illusion I now contend with on a daily basis, being stricken with feelings of abandonment of spirit and of a once potent force permeating my body and soul has become a two-edged sword – that which has fortunately left me etched with a knowing about something which exists outside our normal reality. Not simply a belief or theory anymore, as I previously had, but a deepened, personal understanding of the spiritual nature of human beings, that consciousness which is connected to something greater than we think, which has remained with me even though I now experience this dark side of things. And, a somewhat exceedingly long period of time for me to learn how I need to “be” as opposed to “think” in life. One that has apparently taken everything away, leaving me bare and vulnerable, in a sense that what I thought I had, or rather what my life had transformed into, has now disappeared; so that I now have to dig deep and find my way back through a continued, persistent contemplation of self and desire to actually “be” instead of simply theorizing about it.

This dark night of the soul, as some have referred to it as, seems destined to bring me to rock bottom, to make me grow excruciatingly weary of expecting something to happen to me, of manifesting such negative emotions and states of being – all with the ultimate goal of realizing again and cementing all the intuitions I have towards how I need to be in life; if only by fomenting a general malaise and disgust for how not to act and think in order to again realize how I need to be, and by understanding in a more definitive way the personal responsibility that I have in the creation and evolution of my life. Still, with my newly realized understanding of the period in which I am now going through, only know-able through trying to live in the present and witnessing my actions, trying to maintain a vigilant awareness for synchronicities and deeper meanings, and relating that to what I have recently experienced in my past, will I have the opportunity to move beyond this period and regain some semblance of balance and unity as before. How long will it take? Will being cognizant of the state I am now in, allow me to once again find that balance in a more expeditious manner, since it has now become a part of my daily consciousness? What I fear is that this is really a slow process, one that naturally progresses over the course of many years, and that regardless of the fact that I am aware of what is happening; the speed at which I begin to get through this period and incorporate this essence of higher consciousness or spirit into my life is relatively unaffected by it.

Even as this period of time progresses, whether that be months or years or perhaps longer for some, I find myself going back and forth between the possibility that this period is now ending – because for me it feels like it has been going on for years now. I feel on some days that I have a level of understanding for what I am going through and what is required of me, but then wake up on other days with a feeling and sense that in the background of my mind, sitting there in the corners and hidden places within my soul, is still this state of being that is continuing to slowly and relentlessly progress along a darkened path in search of the light – still in search of the understandings required to pull out of this condition or circumstance I am in to once again realize the superlative nature of this life we are living, and to re-connect with the potential of who we really are. I see it and feel it, and I’m reaching out for it, yet there continues to be something in the way, holding me back, disallowing me to fully re-integrate with the sense of oneness I previously felt when my body was overrun with energy and love and beauty. The general nature of these terms doesn’t sufficiently convey what I experienced; they perhaps only, in a limited way, suggest that in my opinion I went through something truly different and amazing. And again, that is the conundrum with all of it, that to explain any of it is close to impossible because words are simply not enough to create the mental and spiritual and physical composite of meaning, and to re-create the context that is required for someone else to understand what is going on. Because of this, I think it is indeed so much of an individual experience by its very nature, that it is so unique and tailored to each person, that there is in fact nothing standard or regular about any of it, and that the feelings and emotions and perceptions about things are considered so irregular and abnormal and beyond this sensual world, that it really is impossible to describe or talk about to others with any real effect to convince them this is not a dream.

The prolonged development of the dark night as it unfolds, interspersed between periods of time or days in which my mind is subdued and enwrapped in deep thoughts, and then the normal everyday living, is now what I consider to be the normal state of being – that in which I teeter back and forth in two different states of being or worlds, as it seems. At times during this physically-disconnected mental absorption that I feel, I wonder how it is that I am able to interact with others, knowing full well that I am right there with everyone else, yet sensing a complete detachment and unaffectedness by anything and everyone around me – a sort of mental numbness or apathy. It feels to me in a way, unfair to everyone else that I’m around, with perhaps some level of guilt or self-reproach, that I go through these periods in which I feel not entirely available to those I love or care about, and that my experiences and conversations with them are to no small degree superficial – at least within my mind, and that I’m missing out on things, and that it seems not entirely within my grasp to control it. How can it be that during this time when I supposedly should be reaching a higher state of being or realizing a fullness in life itself, or at the very least, connecting with others in a deeper way, that I still continue to be so very disconnected in some ways?

It’s really quite strange to me that this new normal way of being is at the same time so very peaceful and quiet and protected from external influences, enhanced with this greater awareness of my surroundings, modified with an intuitive ability to interpret physical experiences for a richer meaning, and with a sensory perception that the source of who or what I am comes from the depths of existence; and yet on another level I still continue to struggle with really letting my potential unfold into something more meaningful and with truly embracing what I experience every day. Nonetheless, this loss of things, as it seems, of spiritual abandonment or disconnection, still continues to spur me onward in a minute amount and at a rate in which I can’t perceive most of the time; but one in which I only sporadically sense or realize at different points in time. As maybe a precipice is reached, I catch a glimpse of some personal progress that I’ve made on my journey or of a minute realization for why I am – where I am in life. But, this inner work that is being done is slow and difficult and inexorable, and to be quite honest I don’t think it will ever go away, but will continue with me to the end of time – because really, there is no end to this growth and evolution. The choice I made years ago to step through this doorway into a realm of higher truth is without a doubt, one that closes behind you and does not let you go back. You can perhaps pretend, if you wish, to leave and go back to the life you once had, but in all reality that cannot happen. There is now always that underlying longing, that pull, to embrace things for what they really are, and to seek out the creative force in life, which you may consider to be god or just the living, oneness or unified consciousness that permeates everything. It becomes part of your personality in everyday living, affecting what you do and how you interact with others, integrating and affecting your whole decision making process. Yet, the whole experience and meaning behind it is entirely cloaked from others.

To even talk about this sort of thing, in a sense that you try to describe how life should be lived or what you should be doing, as opposed to what you should not be doing, is something that I don’t think is the right thing to do. I get an uneasy feeling whenever anyone tries to tell another person how life should be lived or what the true nature of something really is, and that in order to reach a certain goal – to become more enlightened or spiritual, you have to follow a certain set of steps or rules. Maybe this is just me though. Every experience I’ve had in life, has affected me in a multitude of ways, that for the most part I can’t fathom in their entirety. For others, it may affect them in different ways, that might even potentially have drastically unexpected outcomes. This is why I now hesitate to think that I should offer any advice that might be interpreted as my definitive beliefs or answer to problems – maybe just a general direction or path that I think one should to travel in life. Then again, there is no absolute way I can determine what anyone needs to experience in their life, for their own purposes and their own end goals. This goes back to my belief that the kundalini or any other spiritual, inner experience is an entirely individual path, unique to each person, and one which comes about, or is initiated, in an infinite number of different ways and manifestations.

So now, I wake up everyday, (and will once again say it) – in this eternally deepened state of mind, unable to see things in any superficial sense and continually prodded by some unknown force or impetus along a path to try and find who and what I really am, what I’m here for. You might say to yourself that it is something that can never be found, by the very nature of the goal itself. I would say that even if we can’t ever reach a goal of true enlightenment in this one lifetime, whatever that may be; it is well worth the effort to try and do so. For the simple matter that when you reach the end of this physical life, you have at least pushed onward through the difficult way, the straight and narrow, the path of moral and meritorious righteousness – in a sense that you have consistently embattled to transcend the simple and unlearned life of materialism and sensual pleasures to at least catch a glimpse of something greater, with the intuitive knowing that when you do move on from your current body, there has been progress made and wisdom learned. That, in no small measure, what society deems acceptable and worthy in terms of becoming educated and successful is actually all wrong, and in fact backwards to how humanity should be. This extended plateau that I now find myself on, seems to be the stage of this process where much of the work is being done, the day-to-day living, the wandering and slow realization over time that it is in some way pointless to fight against or resist your own true nature, once it has been re-discovered amongst the mental wreckage that is the current state for much of humanity.

So now here I sit, over four years later as I culminate this first segment of writing, that for all intents and purposes reflects my initial experiences and the internal process in which I’ve tried to adapt to this new way of living – much of it in a purely subjective way and outside the norms of mainstream society or what many would deem rational. To me everything is real, to mostly everyone else, nothing has changed. And, that is what I’ve learned it’s about, that the nature of this spiritual journey is an entirely personal venture that is being done quietly and secretly within myself, inherently outside and separate from the world, so it is necessarily non-existent to all others. In this way, I can’t expect anyone else to empathize with me because it is impossible for anyone else to fully understand to any extent if they haven’t also tread a similar path. The work that is required of this experience is done within the mind and soul, with symptomatic expressions in the physical body. But fundamentally though, it is non-physical, in trying to connect more with the spirit of who we are – and this is unique to whomever travels along the path. So, there is an infinite number of individual ways one can go along this path in order to grow spiritually and try to attain some semblance of wisdom or enlightenment about where we find ourselves in life. That is the realization when the journey is taken in earnestness, even though the illusion is that we must follow a certain set of rules or some sort of religious script, dogma, or practice. When we realize that we all have it within ourselves to attain something greater than the simple physical life we see, it spurs us on automatically to grow even deeper within ourselves and to seek out more meaning. The more you learn and understand, the more you get pulled into the spiritual abyss, so to speak, with no road back from where you came. In my opinion, this is how it works when the journey is true and real and when it is sought out from the depths of your being. The kundalini, being a mysterious force, is what triggered this mass of changes within me and which is the one thing that by its very nature started to answer many of my questions about life – if only because it was a previously imperceptible force, seemingly connecting my body with something outside the physical world. This illustrates perfectly how as you dig deeper and deeper into this realm of spirit, learning and meditating, and opening your mind up to things that you previously considered unreal; you eventually experience things of a supernatural nature. You create and manifest into your reality and that brings you closer to what might be considered more absolute, and that almost always wakes you up from the hazy fog of illusions you have been living in since your were birthed into this world.

There is a requirement though of extreme persistence and patience, and this is needed because of the duration of the journey you embark upon. It is a lifelong journey from the point in which you pass through this door until the time of your physical death. However, it seems to me, once you start to wake up to the realities of this existence, you automatically develop this level of patience and internal stamina because your eyes have been opened to something far greater and more meaningful, and this alone re-programs your mind and body to be able to better handle what is required of someone who now follows the path of enlightenment. You don’t need to fret and wonder about how you will develop this level of strength – it will come to you. A newly developed sense of focus and inner peace and quiet will also avail itself to you as you progress, as it is both a requirement for your development and a side effect and benefit of living a life connected more to spirit and your true self. After you pass through the different stages of development in your awakening, this focus seems at times to magnify and become ever more intense. At times you may become disconcerted with your new personality changes, if only because you start to think you no longer fit in with mainstream society. For this you must continue to trudge onward, knowing that what is happening to you is the personal development of spiritual qualities that are more harmonious with an enlightened way of being. It will be difficult at times. You will go through periods in which you feel alone and separated from everyone else – this is all part of the journey. You should remember though, that you are not alone and that others are in existence right now and going through the same sort of thing. Because of this, you should understand that this is not an individual – but a human experience, and that these types of changes are as natural as anything else and a sign of your progression along the path.

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