What is the Dark Night of the Soul?
I first want to commend you for taking the time to look for information on the topic of the Dark Night of the Soul. For you to focus on this information, means that you have tuned out the rest of the world, the constant barrage of bad news, fear, hate, terror, sadness, anger, despair and hopelessness, in favor of information that is liberating and uplifting. It also means that you are willing to go were others will not go, to find answers.
Thus, I promise you, I will not be one of those people who try to make themselves sound smarter than what they are, by using words they heard someone else use, who may have done the same thing. I do not believe that an explanation of this topic has to be complicated and mystical. It can and must be explained in the most down to Earth terms for the experience to be understood by anyone.
With this goal in mind, I will share my Dark Night experience, later in this piece. I will also give quotes from a book that is utilized in what is known as Gnostic study, called the Gnostic Bible. I will give just enough, to highlight information that can give insight into the Dark Night experience from a Gnostic and occult perspective. It may explain a few things.
The Dark Night of the Soul is a generally accepted title that has its origin in a 16th-century poem entitled “The Dark Night” which was written by mystic, poet, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite friar and a priest of Spanish origin. I introduce to you, St. John of the Cross. Carmelite meaning a friar or nun of a contemplative Catholic order, founded at the site known as Mount Carmel, a coastal mountain range in northern Israel during the the historical era of the Crusades.
It is a situation that is not unique to people in society, but is much more severe depending on the spiritual capability or spiritual gift of an individual. Individual awareness of such spiritual abilities or gifts is not a determining factor or ticket to Dark Night circumstances. Since many people, including myself have found themselves to be completely out of sorts and unknowledgeable about anything spiritual or otherwise. Yet, struggling to get our mind right just the same, grasping for anything to hold on to, that would make since of what was happening.
I have to emphasize that everyone will not be thrust into a series of chaotic situations that are of a mental, spiritual, emotional, and financial mix, a mix of the worst kind as I was. In the same token, the series of events are as unique as the individuals going through them. Yet, a common theme of this life event, is the feeling of the world being on ones shoulders and an almost desperate need to understand life. Life from the perspective of why am I here, why is my life this way, who am I, in addition to a feeling of “There is something that I am meant to do, that is bigger than this.”
Additionally, feeling of frustration with life is big during the Dark Night of the Soul and that could lead to very unfortunate and tragic circumstances, again for some people. Thus, the seriousness of what I am putting out through this writing cannot be understated. A person could be on the edge of contemplating taking their life, because they have no one to talk to about this very topic. Even if they do not know the generally accepted term for these series of events and feelings, they know the feeling of loneliness that can accompany this journey all too well.
That is a feeling that is difficult to explain to someone who feels that life is fine and your life is not that bad either. Even worse, is to tell someone who is going through this, to simply “pray and trust in the lord.” But, those words come from a person who is asleep and you are waking up.
The Dark Night is a journey…for your soul. Your soul at this point in your life has decided to act in a similar fashion to an alarm clock. Some people are born and raised with highly spiritual, metaphysical and occult books, parents, friends and family who exposed them to this type of information from day one.
Thus, when they go through such an awakening, they know what is going on and can respond to these feelings, with knowledge. They can take it as a sharpening of their born gift(s) that in the near future will be shared with others as a form of help and most importantly as their duty in which they were born to perform. They were never really asleep. For others this is a very solemn period in life, as I aforementioned, undertaken with little to no assistance.
If you are going through a Dark Night of the Soul, its purpose is number one for you to look within yourself for answers, look in the dark. An odd, obscure or esoteric place to look for answers. If most people knew how to look within themselves for answers, that would put psychologist and the so called spiritual gurus, out of work. When you are forced to look in the dark, you are forced to look at your own ignorance or lack of a specialized type of knowledge. Phds, MAs, Doctorates, BAs are like paper in the wind when it comes to this.
Think of the physical act of stumbling around on a dark night. You and anyone else will be unsure, trying to feel your way around, you may be scared and you will not know the way. Until you calm yourself…
The inner part of you that feels, thinks and wills on a higher level, your soul is now forcing you to recall why you were born, the special gift(s) you have, where to look for answers, how to refine your gift(s). You are being forced to remember what you should do with this gift or gifts in a way that can be of use to people who can identify with your talent and be helped by it in some way. It is also a time in your life when you are forced to reconsider what is real and what is not. What is important and what is not. You are being cleansed of everything that is of no use, from the inside out.
Believe it or not you are being groomed to teach or show people topics of a spiritual nature. Possibly, through the path of a business. Be clear about this, there may be someone out there, who has the same talent as you and may be well known in the realm of business. You may instinctively say to yourself that "There is no need for me to do this, because someone is already doing what I am thinking of doing.”
No, no, no that is the wrong way to think. The people who are already doing that certain activity, are doing it for a specific set of people, that they are meant to talk to. There are people out there that are waiting for your interpretation of a specific way of doing something. Your talent could be creating jewelry, writing, speaking, caring for people, caring for animals, dancing, cooking, basket weaving, the possibilities are endless. Yet, the vehicle of spirituality is a strong component and one this is being required of you to use in your activity.
People who go through the Dark Night of the Soul are being called on for individual refinement for a spiritual work. You are being awakened. Its not just about making money, its about taking what you do best, to an audience that is waiting for your work, to make their life better in some way. As a bonus, they will be inspired.
That may seem like a big responsibility, but this situation is meant to turn you into a leader, someone who can show others a certain way of doing something, that speaks to their soul. Your individuality being strengthen at this stage, is supposed to allow you to answer most of your own questions. Not all, but most and what is not known can and should be asked, either through verbal or spiritual means. Imagine a wise Force Ghost advising and teaching you along the way, Obi-Wan Kenobi style…just thinking.
Let me get into my experience. I was 26 years old when I experienced my first Dark Night and the most severe and important. It was in 1999 so yeah, for you young folk, I am 45 now in 2018, that was 19 years ago. During that time, nothing in my life was going like I wanted it to go. None of my plans materialized as I planned them. I was broke as f!@# and going through what I can now call depression.
At the time, the only thing I was sure about was that I as was angry, all the time and I could not gain a feeling of peace, for nothing in the world. I did the college thing, got a job in Atlanta, GA in 1997 in the gospel music industry, eventually was forced out of that job and fell into the ranks of the working poor. Its not the worse place to fall, because I learned many valuable lessons and met a lot of good people, who gave me a whole lot of game about life. I would not have met such good people if I had still been kicking it with the go-spell industry types.
My spiritual awakening was unique, as I told you it is meant to be. I mean I had a college degree and according to everyone I ever listened to in life for advice, that was supposed to open up the world to me, nah…
I assumed that being "degreed" was a big deal, which contributed to my confusion. Yet, I was forced to earn a higher level degree and more specifically, a spiritual education, mixed with street knowledge, southern wisdom and an appreciation for my kinship with the “underdogs” of the world. People whom those who have “made it” turn their noses up to.
That’s a mixture for your ass and when have you ever seen an article on the Dark Night of the Soul that included words like street, southern and ass.
I’m just saying and pointing out an example of how even though this topic has been covered many times before, I was meant to address it in my own way, using my gifts and skill set. Which will of course, appeal to certain people and not others.
I can recall moving several times to live in various places around metro Atlanta during 1999-2003 due to roommate situations, lack of money and relationship situations with women that didn’t work out and understandably so. So take a look at this madness. Readers who live in metro Atlanta, will recognize some of the locations I am about to mention. For everyone else…
I started off living in a two story, two bedroom townhouse with a college buddy in Smyrna, GA off of South Cobb Drive. Then moved to a two bedroom apartment with a young lady I was in “relations with” off Main Street in Forrest Park. Third, I was living with another young lady I was having “relations with”, I will call her lady #2, off of Boulevard Street South East in Atlanta in a spacious two bedroom, two story townhome.
Fourth, I moved in with an older male cousin of mine, off of Collier Road in Atlanta in a two bedroom apartment. Fifth, I moved in with my original roommate from Smyrna and three other college friends in a two bedroom house on Bethel Drive, just off Simpson Road in Bankhead. Sixth, I moved back in with lady #2 who was feeling sorry for me, in a new house she had off of Sullivan road in College Park.
Seventh, I moved in with a fellow fork lift driver buddy of mine, in a small two bedroom apartment on Little Street off of Hank Aaron Drive. It was conveniently located across the street from the former home of the Atlanta Braves, Turner Field and we could not afford to go see one game! We could always hear the cheers of the crowd though.
Eighth, I moved in with another fellow forklift driver buddy of mine to a reasonably spacious two bedroom, two story townhouse on Oglethorpe Avenue in West End Atlanta. Ninth, I moved in with another friend from college who was doing very good for himself. He had a three bedroom house on Thurman Road in Ellenwood.
That was my last move, before I just gave up on Atlanta and returned to Augusta, GA to live in my mother’s home, to lick my mental wounds. Whew!!! I think I carried all I owned in a backpack.
The source of everything, my higher intelligence was smacking the fire out of me, in the effort to get my attention and yet through all of my constant moving and troubled times, I was still trying to get with young ladies. As I mentioned, I lived with two young women for a while, instead of being by myself and working on myself.
Bad move, because the more I ignored the signs of needing to examine my bad luck from a spiritual or metaphysical perspective, the worse and more stagnate my life became. I had no idea what spiritual, metaphysical or occult was during that time. Yet, there were always clues throughout my life up to that point that would make their presence known to me, but I ignored them.
For example, I can remember being given a flyer by a friend for a Dr. Phil Valentine lecture that was being held in the West End of Atlanta, back in the early 2000s. My attitude was “Man please, I’m trying to hit the club and get at these women.” Broke as I was, I was still trying to go to the club at least once a month between 1999-2001.
I was working forklift jobs at warehouses, selling shoes at Footlocker, working night shift at Home Depot, working temp jobs, yet my pockets were not getting lifted during those years. I was still very much asleep.
Another example, I would walk into a metaphysical store like Crystal Blue in Little 5 Points Atlanta or The Shrine of the Black Madonna book store in the West End, not to get knowledge about spiritual, metaphysical or occult topics; not to learn about how to create and invest money, not to learn about my African heritage or history of African Americans, nooooo….I would walk in there because I saw a female I wanted to get a number from.
As DUMB as I was at that time, the higher intelligence was still trying to direct me towards life changing information, by baiting me into a store filled with knowledge, using beautiful women to pull me in. I didn’t get the knowledge or the women, ain’t that a mess. Those ladies probably sinced the bullshit I was on with their enhanced 3rd Eye and wanted no parts of it.
Stay with me, I’m explaining my Dark Night story here. From 2002-2003 I quickly lost interest in pursuing women and dedicated myself to reading the bible at that time. It’s the only book I had and I decided to start there. I would get back to that townhome I was renting with my forklift buddy at the time in the West End of Atlanta, which was a block away from the West End Marta Station.
We would get back from night shift work at Home Depot at the crack of dawn, tired and having just returned on the bus and subway. We had no furniture just beds, well…he had one in his room, in mine I had sofa cushions on the floor and a warm blanket. I can laugh at this now, but then…shhh. I would stay up after showering and watch of all people, Creflo Dollar, for 15 minutes on a small color tv, with a clothes hanger antenna and no cable, that sat on the carpeted floor downstairs. I sat in a foldable lawn chair and watched this crook. He would talk about prosperity over and over and then ask for the collection plate to go around. I would turn the tv off at that point to back upstairs to get some sleep.
While watching that guy, I was inspired to read the book of Job, Psalms, Proverbs and Solomon among other books that I had never heard any extensive information on, during the years when I used to go to church, that is. I didn’t feel too churchy in the mist of getting my ass kicked though.
I identified with Job in regards to losing everything that you believed to be of value to you and being torn down to nothing. But, there is a wealth of potential in nothing.
Years later, I am in a much better place, as matter of fact, as of this writing I am wrapping up working for the last five years overseas as an English teacher. I went from Bankhead to asking a person in a foreign country “What was is that you said?” I will give much more detail about the turning point in my Dark Night of the Soul experience, in a free e-book which will be available soon at www.jassirinassor.com. The download will be free when you subscribe.
As you read this, all of my needs are met and more is being put in place. I am not lacking. This is a result of an extensive amount of study, mental strengthening, understanding and action based on what I read. Thankfully, I have been able to study various forms of information that have extended beyond the bible and I have fed my desire to learn, to go in any direction to grasp something new.
Over the last few months I have read a book entitled the Gnostic Bible. This book is based on the Gnostic text of mystical wisdom from the ancient and medieval worlds of Pagan, Jewish, Christian, Mandean, Islamic and Cathar knowledge systems. The book was edited and conceptualized by Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer.
There is a concept in this book that I have found to be very similar to the Dark Night of the Soul. The concept deals with a person who is living a “normal” life being described as being asleep. When such a person begins to feel an urge to want to know more about life in a very deep way or “answers the call” they are described as awakened.
There are many passages that I found that highlight my point. I will simply list them and allow you the pleasure of finding the book and these jewels yourself, thus no page numbers.
“The human beings were made to drink water of forgetfulness by the first ruler, so that they might not know where they had come from. For a time the seed remained and helped so that when the spirit descends from the holy realms (Dark Night of the Soul), it may raise up the seed (discover or remember the gift (s)/ talent use it for self-benefit and the benefit of others) and heal what it lacks.”
“This is the cave (Earth) for remodeling the body that these criminals put on the human, the fetter of forgetfulness. The enlightened afterthought within Adam, however, would rejuvenate Adam's mind. Rather, this deep sleep was a loss of sense. Thus, the first ruler said through the prophet, "I shall make their minds sluggish, that they may neither understand nor discern.”
“It is thus, that each one has acted, as if asleep, during the time of ignorance, and thus a person comes to understand, as if awakening. And happy is the one who comes to himself and awakens." "The spirit came to this person in haste when the person was awakened. Having given its hand to the one lying prone on the ground, it placed him firmly on his feet, for he had not yet stood up.”
“They are involved in inflicting blows, or they themselves receive bruises. They are falling from high places, or they fly through the air with no wings at all. Until the moment when they who are passing through all these things—I mean they who have experienced all these confusions—awaken, they see nothing because the dreams were nothing. It is thus that they who cast ignorance from them like sleep, do not consider”
“If the strong follow this course, they are even stronger. Turn your attention to yourselves. Do not be concerned with other things, namely, that which you have cast forth from yourselves, that which you have dismissed. Do not strengthen your last obstacles, because that is reprehensible.”
Two key words were given several times, asleep and awake. During a Dark Night of the Soul either voluntarily or by force there is an awakening taking place. Some people chose to wake up, go through the experience and see the world in a different LIGHT. They develop the courage to think with a different mindset and take on actions that people who are asleep, frown upon or are afraid of.
SO WHAT, unfortunately some people do not want to see you advance in life. By advance, I mean total advancement of first the spiritual, closely followed by the mental, then the emotional. Physical and financial are not far behind. But, there will always be people who do not like to see you change. They want to see you crawling forever. Perhaps they want you to be the big spender and life of the party, forever…(SMT) sucking my teeth.
This Dark Night period is difficult and it seems that everything is being thrown at you at once. However, keep in mind that there is a special work that you are being prepared to do through the recognition of your talent. Change your perspective of this time, in order to make the most of it.
“And happy is one who comes to himself and awakens. Indeed”
COPYRIGHT 2018 JASSIRI NASSOR/ THOUGHT ELEVATION OLA LLC/ THE SPIRITUAL SATIRE