The Dark Night of the Soul: Finding Meaning in an Ambiguous World
Are there times when you feel as if you’re all alone in the world, unable to stomach going through the motions, without a sense of purpose, and having given up on life altogether?
It’s possible that you’re going through a period known as the “Dark Night of the Soul.”
This article’s goal is to show how painful it can be to find out about yourself in order to become a more mature and aware person.
Everyone experiences the “dark night of the soul” at some point in their lives when they are forced to confront a new perspective on life and their place in it that is both challenging and profound.
With this newfound self-awareness comes the painful release of old conceptual frameworks, such as personal identity, romantic relationships, jobs, routines, and beliefs that helped individuals find purpose in their lives.
Though it may seem strange, the “black night of the soul” has many different meanings in religion, mythology, and psychology.
“Existential crises” and other types of depression are more easily recognized.
There are other notions like “Positive Disintegration,” “Katabasis in Greek mythology,” and “Nigredo,” as Carl Jung symbolically defined it in Alchemy, which is all linked to this concept.
A poem by St. John of the Cross, a Roman Catholic priest and mystic, called “Oscura Noche,” or “Dark Night of the Soul,” was given this name in 16th-century Rome.
In it, he describes the agony of a person’s soul is separated from God as a prisoner for his beliefs.
Going Through a “Dark Night of the Soul”
What does this experience mean? A dark night denotes obscurity, and the term “soul” is frequently used to describe a person. When the actual self is obscured, then the dark night of the soul occurs.
As part of the obscuration process, one’s beliefs about oneself or the world may be questioned.
This “dark night of the soul” is necessary for rebirth since “everything that you believed and thought you were has been completely annihilated.”
Muhammad’s companion, Hazrat Inayat Khan,
Many components of our environment impact us as we go through life’s phases. When a kid is born, the family teaches him or her a name, values, and what is and is not acceptable or unsuitable.
In addition, the child’s education is further influenced by the educational system. There is a need for social approval in high school, and the adolescent’s ideals are either internalized or rejected in the workplace and at home.
Many turn on the news or attend social gatherings where subjects might range from the media, the economy, or their peers’ failures and accomplishments.
Many people have the same aspirations as the rest of us: to look good, drive a great vehicle, live in a lovely house with a nice spouse, and so on. They have no regard for the why what, or how of their own lives.
People who have adopted the routines of contemporary society may feel as if life is running on autopilot, with only their ego and habits to guide them, as well as the arbitrary and subjective conditioning of their environment.
However, many people are in for a shock. You may have had an experience that has shifted your perspectives, such as an illness, an accident, or a career shift, or you may have realized that you have everything you ever wanted and you are still unhappy.
Whatever the cause of your dissatisfaction, it is essential that you take time to reflect on what happened and how you can move forward with your life. At some point in your life, something shocks you out of your narrow, day-to-day perspective.
After receiving the complete conditioning of our society and attaining physical maturity, it may be possible for us to take a step back and attempt to learn more about ourselves.
This is the only way that we can approach this issue. In other words, when the so-called physical, material, and industrial scheme of life is broken down by bodily or emotional changes, this moment of pause happens.
There is almost always a catastrophe, a heartbreak, or a serious disease. Because of these stresses, we may be reminded of our distinct existence and the need to express it, or our lives will remain unsatisfactory. “
For many people, finding a purpose in life may be a problem at this time. Everything might appear pointless as if they don’t belong anywhere.
As one hovers in transitional space, a kind of purgatory, it is easy to grudgingly surrender to a dismal nihilism. This location has the attraction of victimhood, luxury, and avoiding responsibility, but it comes at the price of suffering… However, at least it’s familiar to me.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s no surprise that individuals seek this kind of help, since the strain may overwhelm a person’s ability and lead to suicidal thoughts or an apocalyptic hallucination of death and destruction in severe circumstances. It’s no wonder many picks this alternative.
Grief and longing for the past are common reactions to traumatic events. There are also sentiments of frustration, helplessness, meaninglessness, and hiraeth—a longing for the past that never was.
No one ever gets where they are without first going wrong, as the saying goes.
Ich bin der Meister Eckhart.
How Long Does a Person Experience a “Dark Night of the Soul?“
It would be a mistake to interpret “night” literally. As with any spiritual crisis, each person’s experience will be unique. There is no “average” amount of time, and each person’s experience is unique.
This night seems more like a polar one when the darkness lasts far longer than it does in the rest of the world (the individual) because of the earth’s tilt (living circumstances).
Even while this encounter may seem to be a complete waste of time, it really has a wealth of promise. You must exercise patience, since rushing the procedure would only make things worse.
It’s possible to postpone the dark night of the soul in a world that provides addictive pleasures or engage in over-analysis, but it’s essential to be aware of where you were once naive and to let go of the old parts of yourself that were conditioned, assumed or habitual that aren’t in alignment with who you really are.
Meditation, relaxation, and introspection are frequently required to achieve this personal insight.
Radical honesty is essential to proper contemplation. In order to overcome the mind’s tricks and deceptions, one must learn to relax and stop trying to hide how they make them feel.
Tense muscles can only show you how you’re resisting feeling, not how you really feel.
When you’re stressed, you can’t be open or surrendered, and this may lead to exhaustion, hopelessness, and a feeling of dread and overwhelm.
The dark night of the soul might lead you to believe that you’re not accomplishing enough. This concept may be enforced by your peers.
They fail to grasp the concept that in order to regain your functional capacity, you must go through the process of experiencing your emotions and overcoming your emotional hang-ups.
The mental strain you’re currently feeling will quickly lead to exhaustion if you try to bully yourself into submission. It’s important to remember that, for the time being, you don’t necessarily require “more,” but rather “more.”
You must be able to detach from the external world and return to the fundamental experience of yourself as a living person at the moment.
The most difficult element of the dark night of the soul is confronting your shadow, which holds your suppressed desires, anxieties, and traumas.
The riches of the underworld are hidden beyond the darkness of the soul. In order to get there, you’ll have to travel into the dragon’s stomach. It will slowly eat you if you turn your back on it.
There is a danger since this is so complex. Adopting an extremist ideology or any pathological complex is one of the larger hazards.
Breaking limits inside oneself is replaced with attempting to break down physical barriers.
A wide variety of alluring pre-packaged beliefs may be found for purchase.
Religious orthodoxy, conspiracy theory hysteria, and extreme activity are all ideologies that grow because they make the path of suffering look different than it is.
Seeking advice in a moment of pain is understandable, but these organizations entice individuals with half-truths and lead them down a road of erroneous objectives.
One of the most common causes of a dark night of the soul is having a hard time figuring out who you are.
Finding some shards of significance to cling to again begins with realizing that you are not alone in going through this process.
As soon as there is a glimmer of hope, impatience and unhappiness will go away, allowing one to feel more at ease in the process.
It doesn’t matter what a person’s personality type is; there is an interpretation that may help them view the “darkest before the dawn” as just a part of the journey.
In the case of reintegration of perception beyond the individual’s initial conditioning, the problem is resolved. It’s possible that a series of circumstances may awaken this sleeper inside, or that a complete retreat into one’s own thoughts and feelings is necessary.
Although it may take a lifetime to dismantle the conditioning one has acquired, the basic level of perception is all that is required for a fundamental shift in thinking. Investing time at this basic level is essential.
Meditation and peaceful contemplation will be useful throughout this experience in meeting life at a level above the commotion and clamor of the fractious mind.
You’ll begin to view the world as it really is, rather than as you’d want it to be or how you were taught. You can only reconstruct your life in line with who you are or what you aim to be if you are calm enough, to be honest with yourself.
Anyone who has been through this process before may provide excellent insight and advice.