Dark Night of the Soul – June 8 2018

Paradoxically, the dark night of the soul is often a sign of significant spiritual progress for it is not really the soul (higher Self) but the ego that is in the dark. Some comfort can be obtained by recalling the spiritual dictum that one can only go as high as they have been low, or that Jesus Christ sweat blood in Gethsemane, or that the Buddha reported that he felt as though his bones were being broken and he was being attacked by demons.
David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., 
Transcending the Levels of Consciousness
 
When I learned Vedic Meditation, from the very first session I knew I had found something different. Finally, here was a practice that worked for me; and as I went forward with my twice-daily meditations, I found that the practice continued to be effective. Each time I meditated I had an experience that was transcendent of the ego and its difficulties. I would go beyond thought, beyond feelings; consciousness would expand or drift or dive into the deepest levels of Being; and after 20 minutes I would emerge feeling peaceful, sometimes blissful and always deeply rested. This has not changed. Over 13 years later and still I am having priceless experiences each time I meditate.
 
But after a while I began to notice that, on another level, my expectations were being disappointed. I had expected true meditation to render me instantaneously perfect in some way. I had expected it to take away all my pain and suffering and keep me from ever again having to experience the darkness I used to live in. I had expected to be cured of my ‘character defects’,  to no longer be at the mercy of the ego and its neediness and its unending manufacture of fear. Such was not the case.
 
The ego has not gone anywhere. Fear-based behaviors do not change overnight. Habits of a lifetime are not always so easily set aside. However…
 
Life does become infinitely more pleasant, and acts of loving-kindness more easily chosen. More and more the meditator begins to identify with the deepest Self, rather than with the ego; and at those times when the darkness and the demons do arise, as inevitably they will, we can know absolutely that we are experiencing them because they are being released. The stresses in which these negative ideas of self and life have lived are being dissolved away by our twice-daily practice, and all we need do is continue forward, remembering the truth of our being, despite all thoughts, sensations or ideas to the contrary–that God is all there is; that the Infinite All has been created out of the very stuff of God; and that we ourselves are made of this very stuff of God, and as such, we cannot possibly be what the darkness may say we are. 
 
What we are, always, is pure, perfect, whole and complete; and as these stresses dissolve and unwind from our body, this perfection of Being shines forth as the truth of us.
 
It is sometimes uncomfortable, this letting-go of the negative, this laundering of the stresses; but for each moment of discomfort borne, there is a corresponding opening and awakening of our ability to know joy. A more than fair exchange, and well worth it, always.
 
Today I will recognize the negative voice of stress release and I will refuse to believe what it says about me or the world. And even though I may not be able to feel it in the moment, I will remember the truth of my Being and my oneness with the Divine. 
Boy, Playing, New Delhi, India
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober