The Dark Night of the Soul and the Mystic Way

When we search for our real self, we must learn to release our ego from selfish and egotistic thoughts. To be able to do that, we must attune with an ideal model that lies within ourselves. This search for the self is important because it helps us to unfold a different aspect of being based on the ideal model that is, in reality, an image of our soul, a Divine archetypal image dormant within us. By focusing and reflecting upon it, we energize our spiritual nature, which puts us in better touch with our intuition.

Iamblichus used the word daemon or daïmon to express an inner guiding presence that escorts and inspires our search for truth on our spiritual journey. The daemon is an invisible presence linked to each one of us from birth, whose purpose and bond with us remains sacred and mysterious, since it is linked to our spiritual awakening process. However, at the beginning of our spiritual quest, the daemon, as an inspiring initiator, guides and attunes our consciousness towards our ideal model. Because the ideal model is our spiritual counterpart, our ego needs to recognize it, and the daemon is that inner presence that shows us the way.

Through spiritual exercises such as meditation, contemplation, prayer, dream work, etc., the daemon’s presence is awakened and our attunement with it animates the process of purification. Thus, when we become aware of this inner work, we gradually to let go of our past ego identifications and cooperate willingly with the daemonic inspiration. Learning to let go of past ego identifications is a challenge, but must be done. Thus, ego identifications such as "I am a teacher, a mother, a businessman, a mystic, or whatever" have no more meaning to us, for we realize that these ego identifications are just "masks" and "subpersonalities" and transient illusions covering our real center of Being. Moreover, we understand that they were necessary protections sheltering the elusive and hidden center of Being.

This realization marks the beginning of a turning point in our life, bringing with it various trials and tribulations. It is a self-inflicted and salutary initiation that brings a high level of spiritual transformation. Likewise during this process of initiation, our ego, having no more protective masks, opens up to a new dimension of being within consciousness that relates directly to existence.

The first step of letting go of our ego’s hold on life brings about a complete transformation in our psyche. The second step—immersion into pure Being—brings about the revelation that our ego is itself just a limited projection of pure existence and being. This happens after we pass through what has been described by mystics of all ages as the dark night of the soul. For some, this process lasts longer than others, but there are different stages of this spiritual work, belonging to different levels of Cosmic Consciousness.

Cosmic Consciousness opens up the intuitive perception of our center of Being, which unfolds our own mystery and reveals a new way of receiving knowledge. However, our ego personality does not disappear; on the contrary, by merging with the source of pure existence, our ego becomes its receptacle, the sacred grail, the clear mirror wherein impulses projected from the center of Divine Intelligence and Wisdom are reflected.

 The dark night of the soul is a blessing in disguise because it saves us from the delusions and fantasies created by our ego. This is the initiation that imprints the likeness of the ideal model upon our ego. Thus, we can see that the dark night of the soul is the passage that takes us from a world of duality to a world of wholeness and unity, and makes us beacons of light for others to follow. We become living models who inspire in others the same spiritual process that leads them to their own understanding of primordial knowledge and truth.

The dark night of the soul teaches us to look at the horrors and joys of the world, the cycles of birth and death, the wars and destructions of nature and of the world economies with a quiet heart and a peaceful mind. On this level, our consciousness becomes a part of the center of everything happening in the world since we empathize with all the pains and joys that humanity experiences. Together they are transformed and united in the hallowed Holy Grail that, from here on, enlightens and illuminates our center of Being. The dark night of the soul liberates our limited and limiting consciousness into one that is unlimited and universal, as Cosmic Consciousness makes us aware of our true cosmic nature.

In Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta calls this level the "nondual" that contains everything and nothing. Christian mystical tradition refers to such a state as Divine Apathy. Through this mystical and spiritual perspective, we observe that we are nothing and yet everything, and from this central place of balance, we experience what meant by the words:

"To be in the world but not caught by a single thing in it."

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