The Dark Night of the Soul – Steve Beckow @ Golden Age of Gaia

Sacred ~ Sheri Howe ~ oil painting


The Dark Night of the Soul

I stumbled across this article from 2014. It may assist anyone feeling spiritually “dry” and thinking God has abandoned them.

Many people use the phrase “dark night of the soul” to refer to simply a tough time. But St. John invented it to mean something much different from that.

The “dark night of the soul” is an expression that St. John of the Cross used to describe three stages in the aspirant’s journey to what he calls “the state of perfection.” (1)

The rigorous discipline that St. John and others followed to achieve enlightenment is not necessary for us in the end times. Because some contemporary sources are using the term these days, I look at the original meaning here.

The first dark night of the soul, according to St. John, is the purification of the senses through the deprivation of all sensory objects, which takes us out of our knowledge of the external world and plunges us into a form of darkness.

The second dark night is the sensing of God through faith alone, deprived of external light.

And the third dark night is the communication of God to the aspirant, which happens in the darkness of unknowing.

Some of our sources are pointing to this period of time, prior to the Tsunami of Love and before Ascension, as being in whole a dark night of the soul. And there may be readers who are experiencing it as such and wondering why?

One of the sources is the Arcturians through Sue Lie, who used the term to refer to a cleansing process, just as St. John of the Cross did in his description of the first dark night. They tell us:

“In order to complete the process of Ascension you must go through the dark night of the soul. …

“The dark night of the soul is the final cleansing that must occur before you can live within the NOW of Ascension. This dark night of the soul is when you go through your daily life being fully aware of what you are doing wrong, aware of your fear, aware of your anger, aware of your pain.” (2)

“You must see yourself,” they say. “You must be aware of what you are thinking, what you are saying, what you are doing and WHY. Why are you thinking that? Why are you saying that? Why are you doing that?” (3)

This dark night of the soul, they tell us, “is quite uncomfortable but very informational.” What are we being informed about? We are wiping the slate clean by seeing that “there is no one else you can blame.”

“It was no one’s fault. No one and nothing did it to you. You created your reality. Through creating your reality, you first needed to bring to the surface the parts of you that could not participate in the creation of the reality of planetary Ascension.” (4)

We emerge from this dark night taking full responsibility for our lives. And why is that important? Because, as far as I’m aware, not until we acknowledge full responsibility for everything that happened to us can we release Third Dimensionality. Thus the dark night of the soul that the Arcturians refer to is a time in which all our false beliefs of victimization are coming up to be released.

Another source is Mary through Pamela Kribbe, who uses the phrase more as St. John did. Souls go through many lifetimes seeking God outside themselves.

“You have tried to find the Light by gaining worldly power or possessions. You have tried to find the Light by creating a big ego and gaining recognition from the world. And you have tried to find the Light by losing yourself in romantic relationships; by trying to merge with another soul. These are really the stages that every soul goes through on its evolutionary journey.” (5)

But, according to Mary, “at some point, the soul discovers that those things do not work, and then the soul goes through a deep inner crisis” and here is where the dark night ensues.

“As it is maturing, it discovers deep emotions of loneliness, separation, and fear, and there is a growing awareness that nothing outside itself can fill the void. This stage of a soul’s journey can be called ‘the dark night of the soul.’ The soul can not lose itself any more in anything external, and yet it does not know how to nurture itself, how to go within.

“This is when loneliness can hit you hardest, and when you are at this point, as often happens in relationships, you realize you can not find outside yourself what you are really seeking. So there is no other road to follow than the road that leads to your heart.” (6)

The aspirant then turns inwards to find the Light, Mary says.

“Home is within you all, and when you open the doors of your heart, the Light will shine so brightly! Your Light will bring joy to others, and you will joyfully connect with other people, but you will also be at peace when you are alone.

“You will not need other people to be fulfilled, but it will be an experience of enrichment and abundance to meet them, especially soulmates.” (7)

There’s no mistake that Mary should call this an opening of the doors of your heart because Ascension does result in a permanent heart opening. (8) The soul that we are then shines through us in a way that isn’t possible while the heart aperture (hridayam) is closed.

So Mary uses the phrase “dark night of the soul” to mean a turning away from the external light and a seeking of the Light in the darkness within.

We’re at a place, I believe, where external things can no longer satisfy. I’ve heard from many lightworkers that sensory things no longer appeal to then.

So the way Mary uses the phrase is to indicate a turning away from the external and a seeking of the Kingdom of Heaven (the Mental Plane or Fifth Dimension) within.

Finally Archangel Gabrielle referred to the dark night of the soul last summer. She asked:

“What do you do when you are in [a] dark room? Because what you are really referring to is that dark night of the soul.

“[Call] for us. And we will respond.

“Embrace yourself. Hug yourself, literally, as you have never hugged yourself before. Appreciate, love, regard, honor yourself as you never have.” (9)

Why did we put ourselves in this dark room?

“You put yourself into the dark room — yes, sometimes with great help — so that you would break through this illusion of isolation, of separation, of being alone, because it simply is not so.” (10)

And now, she says, we are saying “I am fed up, and I won’t do this anymore!”

“And it doesn’t mean that you are getting rid of or throwing out your entire spiritual journey! You are saying, ‘I am done with this illusion, and I want the totality of my integrated self. I’ve had enough!’

“And to this, we say, thank God! Thank Mother/Father One. Let it go.” (11)

So Archangel Gabrielle uses the phrase to point to a breaking out of the prison of illusion we’ve built for ourselves, the illusory sense of separation from God which caused our original isolation from the higher realms in the first place.

So if we’re feeling somewhat desolate at times, and wondering why this late in the game we feel this way, perhaps remember that we’re experiencing the illusion once again, coming up to be experienced and let go of.

The really ironic thing is that we go back by the way we came in AND it feels the same leaving as entering. (12)

Previously we concluded that we were separate from God and descended into more and more loneliness. Now we’re re-encountering the illusory vasanas and beliefs that we created as we rise out of them. But the experience of loneliness and sometimes desperation feels exactly the same, whether we’re descending or ascending.

We probably think we should be feeling better by now and we’re not. Certainly we will when the Tsunami hits. But until then, we’re not feeling better because we’re re-experiencing the illusory beliefs and very real vasanas we created in our descent, as part of our ascent.

The same loneliness and sometimes despair are now coming up to be removed. We’re making our exit from the illusion of separation and at times it may feel like a dark night of the soul.


(1) St. John of the Cross in Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez, trans. Complete Works of St. John of the Cross. Washington: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1973, 73-5. This state of perfection is where we’re headed.

(2) “Message from the Arcturians: Walking The NOW,” channelled by Suzanne Lie. March 27, 2014, at

(3) Loc. cit.

(4) Loc. cit.

(5) “Mary: Circles of Light,” channelled by Pamela Kribbe, August 7, 2013 at

(6) Loc. cit.

(7) Loc. cit.

(8) Sahaja samadhi, which is the level of enlightenment that Ascension is, is a permanent opening of the aperture which the spiritual heart or hridayam is.

(9) “Archangel Gabrielle on the New Golden Grid, the Process of Ascension, and the Advent of Global Prosperity – Part 2/2,” channeled by Linda Dillon, August 26, 2013, at

(10) Loc. cit.

(11) Loc. cit.

(12) This is not mystical. Imagine we have a fear vasana. We created that vasana because we felt fear and never wanted to experience fear again. But now, when we want to exit the vasana, we have to do it by experiencing the very thing we resolved not to experience again. So entering and leaving feel the same. Ironic.


Sacred ~ Sheri Howe ~ oil painting

Gratitude to artists for their beautiful art – credit is given where this is known.
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St. John of the Cross on the Dark Night of the Soul – Steve Beckow @ Golden Age of Gaia

Artist appreciation


St. John of the Cross on the Dark Night of the Soul

Yesterday we looked at recent spiritual teachers on purification.

Today I’d like to look at one particular spiritual teacher who examined purification – or purgation – in minute detail – St. John of the Cross.  He lived in the second half of the sixteenth century.

His three-part description of the “dark night of the soul” describes a rigorous purification, followed by a high level of enlightenment (probably Brahmajnana or God-Realization, seventh-chakra enlightenment).

St. John describes it as if he’s writing a manual for seekers. But he’s actually describing his own experience, as his final statements, below, indicate.

“This purification of the soul,” he says, “we can call the dark night…, whether it is the purification of the sense or of the spirit.” (1)

The “dark night” is actually three separate purgations:

“A soul must ordinarily pass through [three] principal kinds of night (which spiritual persons call purgations or purifications of the soul) in order to reach the state of perfection. Here we shall term these purgations nights, because in [all three] of them the soul journeys in darkness as though by night.” (2)

The first night, or purgation “concerns the sensory part of man’s nature.” (3)

“[The first] dark night is a privation and purgation of all sensible appetites for external things of the world, the delights of the flesh, and the gratifications of the will. All this deprivation is wrought in the purgation of sense. …

“One is not freed from the sufferings and anguish of the appetites until they are tempered and put to sleep. … The first [reason we call this journey toward union with God a night] has to do with the point of departure, because the individual must deprive himself of his appetite for worldly possessions. This denial and privation is like a night for all his senses.” (4)

The second is “the night of the spiritual part of man’s soul,” as he describes for us:

“After passing through the first night (the privation of all sensible objects), a man soon enters the second night by living in faith alone, not a faith that is exclusive of charity, but a faith that excludes other intellectual knowledge. … For faith does not fall into the province of the senses. … God, by means of faith, which is the second night, communicates Himself so secretly and intimately that He becomes another night for the soul.” (5)

The third night is “the passive purgation”:

“While this communication of God is in progress, the night … becomes far darker than those other two nights. When this third night (God’s communication to the spirit, which usually occurs in extreme darkness of soul) has passed, a union with the Spouse, who is the Wisdom of God [the Divine Mother], then follows.” (6)

He continues:

“In actuality these three nights comprise only one night, a night divided into three parts, just as the natural night. The first part, the night of the senses, resembles early evening, that time of twilight when things begin to fade from sight. The second part, faith, is completely dark, like midnight. The third part, representing God, is like the very early dawn just before the break of day.” (7)

And what follows these dark nights of purification for St. John? He calls it “a union with the Spouse, who is the Wisdom of God [the Divine Mother].”

Here’s his account of his enlightenment experience:

“Upon my flowering breast
Which I kept wholly for Him alone,
There He lay sleeping,
And I caressing Him
There in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

“When the breeze blew from the turret
Parting His hair,
He wounded my neck
With His gentle hand,
Suspending all my senses.

“I abandoned and forgot myself,
Laying my face on my Beloved;
All things ceased;
I went out from myself,
Leaving my cares Forgotten among the lilies.” (8)

He exclaims:

“O living flame of love, how tenderly you wound my soul in her profoundest core! You are no longer shy. Do it now, I ask you: break the membrane of our sweet union.

“O sweet cautery! O delightful wound! O gentle hand! O delicate touch That tastes of eternal life, And pays every debt! In killing, You changed death to life.” (9)

I assume that St. John describes a movement from enlightenment in form (“the membrane” preventing union) to enlightenment beyond form (“delightful wound,” breaking through the membrane of form).

He then gives two indications that the experience did not last, meaning it was not Ascension.  The first indication is here, where he says “every time [the flame] flares up.”

“This flame of love is the Spirit of its Bridegroom, which is the Holy Spirit. The soul feels Him within itself not only as a fire which has consumed and transformed it, but as a fire that burns and flares within it…. And that flame, every time it flares up, bathes the soul in glory and refreshes it with the quality of divine life. Such is the activity of the Holy Spirit in the soul transformed in love: the interior acts He produces shoot up flames for they are acts of inflamed love, in which the will of the soul united with that flame, made one with it, loves most sublimely.” (10)

If the flame flares up and subsides, then he has not ascended. If he had, the experience would be continuous and consistent.

The second is here where he talks about “touches of God,” indicating impermanent experiences (again, probably Brahmajnana).

“Such is the sweetness of deep delight of these touches of God that one of them is more than recompense for all the sufferings of this life, however great their number.” (11)

Despite the lack of a glossary hundreds of years ago to assist us to know what’s being discussed, St. John’s descriptions of his process of purgation are suggestive: from detachment from the senses to detachment of the spirit to union with God out of the extreme darkness.

We won’t need to go through such rigorous processes as St. John or others (12) describe.  The energies that we’re bathing in right now are raising our vibrations to a state simply not available to St. John when he pursued his spiritual practices.

Reading the trials and tribulations that they had to pass through might make us grateful for the relatively peaceful and gentle way we’ve been asked to carry out our own ascent.


(1) St. John of the Cross in Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez, trans. Complete Works of St. John of the Cross.Washington: Institute of Carmelite Studies, 1973, 71-2.

(2) Ibid., 73. St. John actually says “two” rather than “three” but then goes on to describe three phases of the dark night. For ease of discussion at an introductory level, I’ve called them “three.”

(3) Ibid., 73.

(4) Ibid., 74.

(5) Loc. cit.

(6) Loc. cit.

(7) Ibid., 75.

(8) Ibid., 69.

(9) Loc. cit.

(10) Ibid., 580.

(11) St. John of the Cross in Maurice Bucke,Cosmic Consciousness. A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. New York: Dutton, 1969; c1901, 149.

(12) St. Germaine left us a record of his rigorous Ascension: The Most Holy Trinosophia by Comte de Saint-Germain [1933] at


Artist appreciation


Dark Night of the Soul – A Misnomer and Friend – William Meader @ Emergent Light


Dark Night of the Soul

– A Misnomer and Friend –

The Dark Night of the Soul (DNS) is an experience that spiritually minded people know well.  We all have had periods when we feel spiritually bereft of God’s countenance and grace.   As a notion first put forward in the 16th century by St. John of the Cross, the DNS causes us to feel abandoned by the Greater Life that has previously given us inspiration and guidance.  Essentially, the cause of the DNS stems from the inherent battle waged between the demands of the personality and the higher prompting of the soul.  Given this understanding, there are only two conditions where freedom from the DNS can occur—either when one is a young soul and not yet on the Path, or someone who has reached true enlightenment.  Indeed, it is part and parcel of life consciously evolving through the human domain.

It is interesting to realize that the common view of the DNS is a bit of a misnomer.  With one exception (the fourth initiation), it is actually not something experienced by the soul.  The soul isn’t feeling spiritually forsaken, but instead it is the lower self, the personality that suffers in this way.   Indeed, most often it is the soul that imposes the blindness upon the personality, not as punishment, but as a test. It is a burning ground of uncertainty and adjustment.  The DNS frequently comes forth in order to arrest the hastening personality.  Every step upon the Path must be earned through the crucible of personality crisis and consequential change.  The DNS forces the personality to face an aspect of itself in need of transformation.  Given this, it is more appropriate to called it a dark night of the personality experience.

When walking the Path, it is wise to view the DNS as a developmental friend, rather than foe.  It facilitates an unfolding of consciousness through an undoing, and is built into the fabric of the journey itself.  Whether considering the crisis period experienced by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, Prometheus chained to a rock, or the isolative and brooding experience of the Buddha under the Bodhi Tree, all of us will experience the DNS, many times over.  As such, when those moments of spiritual darkness and doubt seem to invade the mind, remember that you are in good company, and that “this too shall pass.”

William Meader