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The Dark Night of the Soul

Aug 31, 1994 06:16 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

This is by Eldon Tucker


Gerald Schueler:

    Regarding the Path that is before us, we have considered
different ways to model it, different ways of describing it in
words. Ultimately, it can only be appreciated in doing it, in
personal experience. Words are needed, thought, to talk about
the processes, and some model or models must be built to use
as a description.
    One model describes the Path, the road to Enlightenment,
as a gradual, almost-continuous process of growth and unfol-
ding. Another model describes the process as sudden, abrupt,
dramatic. We have the Gradual School and the Sudden School,
two differing schools of thought, both attempting to describe
the very same thing: the unfolding of our inner God.
    A more-advanced way of considering the process combines
both approaches. We say that there is always growth, that it
progresses gradually, continuously, with every instant of
time. The little green shoot has broken through the ground,
and poking its way into the light, grows bigger with each
passing day in the sunlight.
    To accept that this is happening, though, requires a
degree of Faith, a belief that something is really happening.
Living a certain way, we effect changes in our lives. But
those changes take time to appear. The results of our actions
may take time to show up in the outer world. Even so, we can
be aware *within ourselves* that the changes are happening,
because we experience the changes in our consciousness far
sooner than they appear in the body, the attributes of
personality, or the circumstances of the outer world.
    In addition to the gradual growth that we experience,
there are also sudden, abrupt changes that may happen in our
lives. We may undergo radical transformations, when the time
is right, and become entirely different people. Our physical
appearance may not be any different, but inside, in our
personalities, we may undergo dramatic changes. This can be as
dramatic as ice melting into water, a caterpillar becoming a
butterfly, or the transition of physical death. We have
reached the point, in our gradual growth, where no further
progress is possible without completely transforming oursel-
ves. And this transformation of our inner natures is called
    When we approach the point where such a transformation is
necessary, where we can no longer proceed in life the way
things were before, we approach a point of stagnation. Things
no longer seem to work for us. What we previously held dear to
our hearts is now felt to be valueless. We have come to a
point of transition, a place in our lives where we have to
undergo a radical state change, a transformation of our being,
or die. This does not necessarily mean physical death, but
inner death, certainly, a loss of the inner inspiration, of
the inner connectedness with our higher natures, a spiritual
death. We have a paradox here, for we must die to our past, to
what we were before, in order to live, in order to move on in
life as the new being that we were meant to be.
    We have these transitions, these minor deaths, these
passages throughout our lives. Some are minor changes, other
are major, making us into new personalities, different people
than before. But on a vast scale, considering our spiritual
evolution over tremendous periods of time, there are Major
Transitions. When we approach readiness for one of these
Initiations, we face a "Dark Night of the Soul," a period
where we feel completely abandoned by life. All our live
energies have departed from the old ways, and we have to die
in a big way, to completely leave our old selves behind, in
order to make the transition, to undergo the transformation,
to undertake the Initiation and move forward in life.
    There is another side to this "Dark Night of the Soul,"
something less obvious, of a more esoteric nature. It regards
a special stage of the Initiation process itself, where the
Initiant is facing his trail, apparently abandoned by his
Higher Self, and forced to become, to a degree, that Higher
Self himself. We are forced to completely stand alone, without
even the aid of our higher Monads, and undergo the trials and
evoke certain grand qualities from ourselves. We learn to
become a source, ourselves, as Human Monads, of what we have
come to receive as influences from our Spiritual Monads, and
have moved one step closer to the day when we will have become
Spiritual Monads ourselves.

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