"We must climb to our proper dark." ~William Butler Yeats
We do a great disservice to our spiritual heritage when we confuse the Divine Darkness of the mystics with "dark" emotional states. Emotions like thoughts come and go, clouds passing through the empty sky. Emptiness remains, sparkling with compassion.
As understood by the Christian mystics, "the dark night of the soul" is not about suffering, but dissolving. It is what Buddhists call "anatta," no separate litte "i, i, i, me, me, me!" with its anxious thoughts and stories about the past and future, full of blame and victimhood.
This darkness is not evil, but divine. This night is not a mind full of unhappiness, but no mind at all! It is a night beyond thinking and story-telling. It is a radiant annihilation, a cauldron of rebirth, not for the faint of heart.
Emptying the mind into the void was called "kenosis" in New Testament Greek: Jesus became divine by "emptying" himself. The void so hollow, so empty, is the very womb of creation, the source of continuous revelation.
Now gourds are hollow too, flowers wither, stems fall back to the seed. The spider web glitters in the moon, yet cannot capture the stars. We enter the sacred season of Samhain, when the veil between worlds is thin. Awareness wants to dissolve the past and future into Presence.
Why not rest in the heart's silence? Why not become the dark, and radiate peace beyond light?
Photo: Our Samhain alter.