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Question #17:  Awakening through a "dark night of the soul"
and by Grace

Could you please answer the following question: I have heard about two ways that people have described their experiences of "awakening": in one case, the awakening came out of nowhere; in the other, it came after a period called (by some people) "the dark night of the soul" -- a period in life when you're totally dissatisfied, don't know what to do, and there seems to be no way out.

The "dark night" is often seen, in classical religious thought, as a profound transitional stage in spiritual development, one that presages a shift in energy and experience often described as an "illumination" or an "awakening." In this sense, the "dark night" signals an energetic readiness for opening -- for movement beyond the limitations not only of the "darkness," but also the limitations of a polarized perspective in which we see life and our experience in the universe in terms of a light/dark duality.

As the energy of awakening moves in and through our experience, the "dark night" begins to dissipate into receptivity -- into a surrendering and an openness to the larger window of possibilities available to us. As we begin to see and understand our experience within these broader terms, we also begin to recognize that both the Dark and the Light are aspects of a larger Reality which is far more vast, more whole and more complete than we had ever imagined.

As the experience of awakening continues to deepen and mature within us, we begin to recognize the play of light and shadow in our lives are simply facets of the Infinite making itself manifest in and through finite form. When the focus of our attention, energy and understanding shifts to the Background and Source out of which this movement manifests, then the "darkness" is replaced with a profound Satisfaction with the perfection and completeness of Reality, exactly as it is....

For more information about experiences of "awakening" that come "out of nowhere" by Grace, see Question #2 and
Mentoring Letter #23.

2000, Metta Zetty
All Rights Reserved.

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