September 19, 2022

The Dark Night of the Soul

The Dark Night of the Soul can drive one to oblivion or to liberation. For those who seek the real, the Dark Night of the Soul is inevitable. It is a period of confusion and unrelenting suffering that can push one further into the darkness or lead to a transformation in which the chains to this world are finally broken.

Many great individuals and especially artists have described a period of their lives where they felt hopeless and confused – unable to fulfill the potential that they knew lay within. Succumbing to instantly gratifying impulses, they refused to acknowledge their true purpose in this world. The Universe is asking them to awaken. And when they don’t, the misery inevitably becomes worse.

The Dark Night of the Soul can lead one down a path of self-destruction. For those who do not understand what is happening, a label or diagnosis such as depression will be stamped upon them. But these diagnoses are used by medical professionals who do not want to address what is happening in the depths of an individual’s soul.

The soul is yearning to break free of its chains but the habitual mind keeps it rooted in its despair. When the two forces collide, misery is bound to ensue.

To get off of this path takes incredible courage and awareness. Continuing on in a dreadful existence is easy. Pulling oneself out of despair could be called the most difficult thing in the world. But in fact, the reverse could also be called true.

It takes effort to be miserable. It takes a concoction of habitual mind activity, and continuously living past trauma to remain in the depressed state. And in fact, to overcome the misery simply requires you to wake up from the illusion that you are your mind. You are not. Awaken from the dream that has turned into a nightmare and you will see clearly who you are. Who you have always been.

Have you experienced this? Have you experienced the feeling of dread and apathetic indifference towards yet another day on Earth? Do you wake up knowing your purpose, yet feel tormented because you never do anything about it? Do you secretly hope for some sudden transformation that will pull you out of the depressed state that you have become so accustomed to? Do you remember a day when you did not feel like this?

The Dark Night of the Soul will deepen an individual. If an individual can transcend this period of their life, they will come out the other side with tremendous compassion and understanding for the collective suffering of this world.

Unfortunately, not all who go through this will awaken. Some will remain trapped in the confines of their mind. But the secret is that it can happen in an instant. Do not be fooled by those who say it will take many years or lifetimes for an individual to awaken. It can happen from one moment to the next.

Michael Bains

Currently 32, he lives in the Yaletown district of Vancouver. He enjoys staying physically active and is an avid reader and writer. Hooped is his first published novel.

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