It is difficult to know that your heart is not beating freely if the weight of the ego upon it is all you’ve ever known. Almost everyone suffers the same ailment. When we pass through the Dark Night we realize “I am a free Self and still connected to the world.”
Embracing the Dark~Honoring the Light
DARK NIGHT OF SOUL~Isabel Hickey
“One of the principal goals of any spiritual path is to lead us to experience that the true essence of our soul is loving, peaceful, joyful and free.
As our upper chakras open we experience our true soul essence as love and light. The air and fire elements facilitate this liberating experience.This phase of our spiritual journey covers both the taste of the ecstasy of Light and the agony of the dark night of the soul. We discover what the real cause of our pain and anguish is our perceived (unconscious) separation from God.
We realize that we have to work through all the dark thoughts,drop all alienating beliefs and release all false perceptions that keep our mind disconnected from the Divine. We become more and more content as we cultivate our inner relationship to our Divine Source and accept Maya for what it is.
We become more and more self-actualized as we learn to live our truth unflinchingly without letting outer circumstances distract us from our Divine Connection, or allowing external input to define our identity and our reality.
Working with the mental and subtle bodies is satisfying, but we notice that we cannot stay in this “enlightened” state all the time. This is when we realize that we have physical and emotional bodies that must also align with Spirit if we are to maintain this expanded state of consciousness. Enter the water and earth elements and the lower chakras. The good news is that the emotions are the sensory system of the soul. The bad news is that our work has just begun.
DARK NIGHT OF THE SENSES
St. John of the Cross writes about the “dark night of the senses.” Seva Simran Singh has observed “that almost everyone on a spiritual path goes through the ‘dark night of the senses.’ Essentially it is when everything you are seeing, hearing and feeling starts to drive you nuts. You begin to experience that the behavior of the senses is out of sync with the intent of your soul and it becomes a battle for which one will dominate your consciousness. You seek solace by finding sensory stimulus that supports you soul – sacred places, art, deep meditation – but then it is right back into the trenches and the battle rages on. After a while you begin to realize that the senses have been conditioned by past lives and the impressions of this life and that what you are really battling is your own karmic tendencies which, as your soul wakes up, are no longer acceptable to you.”We must consciously work with our emotional body to release the samskaras or scars that distract us from our true essence. Our task is to break the attachment to those tendencies that pull us away from our pure essence. We do so by patiently healing our emotional wounds and by re-configuring our psyche to support our soul. This process can take years and perhaps is never really over.
There is however a point at which our soul essence begins to dominate our conscious attention. This is a turning point, after which the process of becoming our true selves gets deeper, richer and wonderfully satisfying. As we become more fully awake, we get more adept at rooting out old programming and releasing the hold of the past on our senses.
We are able to identify aspects of our life that are a function of outer reality and let go of sensations that have been cooped by conditioned responses. We learn to release unacceptable and confusing responses and replace them with authentic ones.
As we do so, our sensations become more and more pure expressions of our soul. We discover what it means to live and love at the level of our own truth, which is empowering and directing us from within.
FROM DARK NIGHT TO SENSORY HUMAN
“It is through meditation and sacred spaces that we get in touch with our soul and also retrain our senses experience reality through the eyes and ears and feelings of the soul. During the dark night of the senses this contrasts acutely with the tendency to experience reality through the eyes, ears and feelings of the ego and its conditioning. Thus we are both attracted and repulsed, desire and don’t desire, like and don’t like, love and hate, and so on, as the battle to win our senses rages on. We crave sensory stimulus that will remind us of our soul in order to escape from sensory stimulus that reminds us of our conditioning, known and unknown, personal and collective.”
When we actually experience our soul strongly enough, it begins to alter the mind so that the senses serve the soul. We no longer experience reality through the eyes and ears and feelings of our history/conditioning/ego.
In kundalini yoga this is called the sensory human.
The point about the dark night of the senses is that you don’t get there without a struggle to determine who or what is going to be in command of the senses and the way in which information is interpreted or filtered. Once you are there, your sadhana keeps you there and the journey is one of seeing and feeling and hearing through a different lens, a liberated one, free of time’s weight.
“The senses are capable of taking in billions and billions of bits of information across auditory, visual and kinesthetic spectrum’s vastly greater that what they have been conditioned to take in through genetics (collective history), samskaras (personal past life history), vassanas (personal- this life impressions) and the associated tendencies to distort, delete and generalize information.
When we tap into the sensory human we transcend our identification with the above and begin to open up the senses to their real potential as the eyes, ear and feelings of the soul.
“Our goal is to become what Yogi Bhajan calls a sensory human. We do so by passing through both the dark night of the soul and the dark night of the senses.
We re-train our senses to align with our soul, to obey a different master and to serve a different reality.”
A prose I wrote:
Oh blessed the night of sparkling stars
That brings forth the sun’s comforting light
Blessed and cherished sleep that renews our soul
for the day ahead~
come what may
another darkness of night to come
and so it continues
Copyright ©2012 Cynthia Martz