Eckhart on the Dark Night of the Soul


Have you ever experienced the dark night of the soul? Your teachings have been so helpful through this difficult period. Can you address this subject?

The “dark night of the soul” is a term that goes back a long time. Yes, I have also experienced it. It is a term used to describe what one could call a collapse of a perceived meaning in life…an eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness. The inner state in some cases is very close to what is conventionally called depression. Nothing makes sense anymore, there’s no purpose to anything. Sometimes it’s triggered by some external event, some disaster perhaps, on an external level. The death of someone close to you could trigger it, especially premature death, for example if your child dies. Or you had built up your life, and given it meaning – and the meaning that you had given your life, your activities, your achievements, where you are going, what is considered important, and the meaning that you had given your life for some reason collapses.

It can happen if something happens that you can’t explain away anymore, some disaster which seems to invalidate the meaning that your life had before. Really what has collapsed then is the whole conceptual framework for your life, the meaning that your mind had given it. So that results in a dark place. But people have gone into that, and then there is the possibility that you emerge out of that into a transformed state of consciousness. Life has meaning again, but it’s no longer a conceptual meaning that you can necessarily explain. Quite often it’s from there that people awaken out of their conceptual sense of reality, which has collapsed.

They awaken into something deeper, which is no longer based on concepts in your mind. A deeper sense of purpose or connectedness with a greater life that is not dependent on explanations or anything conceptual any longer. It’s a kind of re-birth. The dark night of the soul is a kind of death that you die. What dies is the egoic sense of self. Of course, death is always painful, but nothing real has actually died there – only an illusory identity. Now it is probably the case that some people who’ve gone through this transformation realized that they had to go through that, in order to bring about a spiritual awakening. Often it is part of the awakening process, the death of the old self and the birth of the true self.

The first lesson in A Course in Miracles says “Nothing I see in this room means anything”, and you’re supposed to look around the room at whatever you happen to be looking at, and you say “this doesn’t mean anything”, “that doesn’t mean anything”. What is the purpose of a lesson like that? It’s a little bit like re-creating what can happen during the dark night of the soul. It’s the collapse of a mind-made meaning, conceptual meaning, of life… believing that you understand “what it’s all about”. With A Course in Miracles, it’s a voluntary relinquishment of the human mind-made meaning that is projected, and you go voluntary into saying “I don’t know what this means”, “this doesn’t mean anything”. You wipe the board clean. In the dark night of the soul it collapses.

You are meant to arrive at a place of conceptual meaninglessness. Or one could say a state of ignorance – where things lose the meaning that you had given them, which was all conditioned and cultural and so on. Then you can look upon the world without imposing a mind-made framework of meaning. It looks of course as if you no longer understand anything. That’s why it’s so scary when it happens to you, instead of you actually consciously embracing it. It can bring about the dark night of the soul – to go around the Universe without any longer interpreting it compulsively, as an innocent presence. You look upon events, people, and so on with a deep sense of aliveness. Your sense the aliveness through your own sense of aliveness, but you are not trying to fit your experience into a conceptual framework anymore.

A Journey to Metanoia: My Life Transformed by Mr. John R Samsen jr (Author)

Over a course of many decades, John Samsen followed a quest to understand the “big questions” of Life;

  • why are we here,
  • what is Life all about,
  • and who am I, really?

Along with careers in Aerospace Engineering and car designing, John studied the sciences, mythologies, religions, philosophies, and psychologies, to expand his understandings. A pattern of paranormal experiences opened his mind to areas of experience beyond the paradigms of Science.

In 1970, he embarked on a quest of Self Discovery, participating in hundreds of hours of intensive consciousness exploration with such noted researchers as Dr.s Jean Houston and Robert Masters, Dr. Lawrence LeShan, Robert Monroe, and others involved in the “human potentials” movements of the 1970’s.

After a series of traumatic events in his life, John experienced a “metanoia”, what some call a transformation or “awakening”. John’s quest ended, and in the years since, he has been enjoying Life, knowing peace of mind, “unconditional love” of self and world, and freedom from fear and anxiety.

John has been working on a verbal description of his experiences that does not rely on traditional metaphysical or religious ideas, but is consistent with modern scientific concepts of space, time, matter, and energy. Included essays offer his unconventional concepts of physics, time, thinking, consciousness, and human evolution. He believes that a dramatic experience of “awakening”, which is rare and very difficult to achieve, is not necessary for enlightened living; that with proper guidance and consistent effort, most people can achieve that state of being.


Biography
While pursuing a life-long quest to understand the “big questions” of Life; John had careers in aerospace engineering and car designing. In 1970, he embarked on programs of self discovery, participating in hundreds of hours of intensive consciousness exploration with such noted researchers as Dr.s Jean Houston and Robert Masters, Lawrence LeShan, Robert Monroe, and others.

After a series of traumatic and tragic events in his life, John experienced a “metanoia”, what some call a spiritual transformation or “awakening”.

John’s quest ended, and in the years since, he has been enjoying life, knowing peace of mind, “unconditional love” of self and world, and freedom from fear and anxiety. He has presented programs and workshops in self-discovery.

John Samsen, now in his eighties, resides with his wife Tucky in the Sun City Hilton Head community. John and Tucky, are active in spiritual evolution groups, and, following a forty-year career in mental health nursing and education, Tucky is currently on the board of the SC Coastal Empire Mental Health Center. John also paints and teaches art classes locally.

View Here

We Are All God Playing Hide And Seek

Awaken From Hide And Seek
“So then, here’s the drama. My metaphysics, let me be perfectly frank with you, is that there is the central Self, you can call it God, you can call it anything you like, and it’s All of Us. It’s playing all the parts of All Beings whatsoever everywhere and anywhere.

And it’s playing the game of hide and seek with itself. It gets lost, it gets involved in the farthest-out adventures, but in the end it always wakes up and comes back to itself. And when you’re ready to wake up, you’re going to wake up, and if you’re not ready you’re going to stay pretending that you’re just a ‘poor little me.’

And since you’re all here and engaged in this sort of enquiry and listening to this sort of lecture, I assume you’re all in the process of waking up. Or else you’re teasing yourselves with some kind of flirtation with waking up which you’re not serious about. But I assume that you are maybe not serious, but sincere, that you are ready to wake up.

So then, when you’re in the way of waking up, and finding out who you are, you meet a character called a guru, as the Hindus say ‘the teacher,’ ‘the awakener.’ And what is the function of a guru? He’s the man that looks you in the eye and says ‘Oh come off it. I know who you are.’

You come to the guru and say ‘Sir, I have a problem. I’m unhappy, and I want to get one up on the universe. I want to become enlightened. I want spiritual wisdom.’ The guru looks at you and says ‘Who are you?’

You know Sri-Ramana-Maharshi, that great Hindu sage of modern times? People used to come to him and say ‘Master, who was I in my last incarnation?’ As if that mattered. And he would say ‘Who is asking the question?’

And he’d look at you and say, get right down to it, ‘You’re looking at me, you’re looking out, and you’re unaware of what’s behind your eyes. Go back in and find out who you are, where the question comes from, why you ask.‘

And if you’ve looked at a photograph of that man–I have a gorgeous photograph of him; I look by it every time I go out the front door. And I look at those eyes, and the humor in them; the lilting laugh that says ‘Oh come off it. Shiva, I recognize you. When you come to my door and say `I’m so-and-so,’ I say `Ha-ha, what a funny way God has come on today.”

So eventually–there are all sorts of tricks of course that gurus play. They say ‘Well, we’re going to put you through the mill.’ And the reason they do that is simply that you won’t wake up until you feel you’ve paid a price for it.

In other words, the sense of guilt that one has. Or the sense of anxiety. It’s simply the way one experiences keeping the game of disguise going on. Do you see that? Supposing you say ‘I feel guilty.’ Christianity makes you feel guilty for existing. That somehow the very fact that you exist is an affront. You are a fallen human being.

I remember as a child when we went to the service of the church on Good Friday. They gave us each a colored postcard with Jesus crucified on it, and it said underneath ‘This I have done for thee. What doest thou for me?’ You felt awful. YOU had nailed that man to the cross.

Because you eat steak, you have crucified Christ. Mythra. It’s the same mystery. And what are you going to do about that? ‘This I have done for thee, what doest thou for me?’ You feel awful that you exist at all.

But that sense of guilt is the veil across the sanctuary. ‘Don’t you DARE come in!’ In all mysteries, when you are going to be initiated, there’s somebody saying ‘Ah-ah-ah, don’t you come in. You’ve got to fulfill this requirement and that requirement, THEN we’ll let you in.’

And so you go through the mill. Why? Because you’re saying to yourself ‘I won’t wake up until I deserve it. I won’t wake up until I’ve made it difficult for me to wake up.

So I invent for myself an elaborate system of delaying my waking up. I put myself through this test and that test, and when I convince myself it’s sufficiently arduous, THEN I at last admit to myself who I really am, and draw aside the veil and realize that after all, when all is said and done, I am that I am, which is the name of God.’

Transcript from the YouTube video The Way of Waking Up by Alan Watts

Alan Watts ☮ The Way of Waking Up

What does it mean, to awaken? A short movie narrated by Alan Watts.. “So then, here’s the drama. My metaphysics, let me be perfectly frank with you, are that there is the central Self, you could call it God you could call it anything you like. And its all of us. Its playing all the parts of all beings whatsoever everywhere and anywhere.

And its playing the game of hide and seek with itself. It gets lost, it gets involved in the farthest out adventures but in the end it always wakes up, and comes back to itself. And when you’re ready to wake up, you’re gonna wake up. And if you’re not ready your gonna stay pretending that you’re poor little me.”

Thanks to Mark Watts for permission to put this up: http://alanwatts.com/

Video created by Christopher (Tao & Zen on Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/TaoZen2012

Your Nature is Happiness: Rupert Spira

Published on Nov 13, 2017

Speaking at the SAND gathering in Italy, Rupert guides us through a simple step-by-step enquiry from the perception of the subjects and objects of experience to the knowledge of the everpresence of awareness. He points to the fallacy of the myth of matter and suggests that everyone and everything is a modulation of a single infinite indivisible whole, whose reflection we know in the experiences of love and beauty.

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