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  • Writer's pictureEster Caty Young

Dark Night of the Soul

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

The Dark Night of the Soul, Psychospiritual crisis, Spiritual Emergency,

Kundalini Awakening, The Shamanic illness, Shamanic initiation, Shamanic Call

"There is no coming to consciousness without pain.

People will do anything, no matter how absurd,

in order to avoid facing their own soul.

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,

but by making the darkness conscious."

Carl Gustav Jung

There are many names for the many ways of this phenomenon.

Perhaps, it could be likened to a deep lament of the soul that with an almost

Kafkaesque manner wakes you up one morning and your life is never the same again.

The world you enter is that of a surreal, bizarre no man's land,

in which you are stripped of all consolations, solace, and comfort.

Feeling no pulse in your veins, no joy, no emotions through this

totally abrupt and unexplained life eruption, your soul begins

withering away into a deafening silence of emptiness. . .

Nothing but void as far as the eye can see and the void appears impossible to fill.

We end up like Gregor Samsa a protagonist from Kafka’s Metamorphosis;

a once ordinary travelling salesman transformed into a gigantic insect,

disconnected from everything, watching the world, we once were a part of, go by.

This process of metamorphosis is very real and one that mystics, seekers and

people without any spiritual background have been undergoing for centuries.

As we shed away every aspect of our being, like a serpent,

we die, in order to be reborn, awakened rising from our own ashes like a Phoenix.

Our consciousness and states of awakening bear a resemblance to

waking up from a deep sleep.

We have been thought by New Age Spirituality to love the light,

raise and hold our energy vibrations in the love and light by being simply

positive, visualizing the beautiful, never get angry, avoid all that is negative,

but those who taught us often fail to educate about the importance

of going to the dark side. As if the dark is something sinful and

not part of our existence. Our shadow self holds a key to our own ascension

and thus everything in the world that is negative is a projection of what we

are suppressing inside of us, that eventually comes to the surface.

Light nourishes us but it is the shadow that challenges us, teaches us,

evolves us, brings us face to face with ourselves and the world around us.

By facing it, rather than ignoring it, we strengthen the light within and around us.

The trigger for The Dark Night of the Soul is unknown and so something

as simple as one event, or myriad of little ones can rouse it from its sleep.

It can be events such as the loss of a job, house, finances, bankruptcy,

or the death of a loved one or childbirth.

When you feel abandoned by either God or your own ability

to manage life or solve the burning issues.

It can come in a form of disease or illness that presents itself

as a catalyst for the change that your body has to withstand.

It comes when it wants and leaves when it’s done.

You cannot cheat it or surpass it. You don't get to say no to the Dark Night.

It can hit like lightning out of the blue both when everything is going fine,

or even great and when things crumble down like the Tower of Babel.

Doctors cannot find anything wrong, even after getting all kinds of tests

and examinations and possibly even treatments for

the variety of baffling symptoms you present yourself with:

Some of the main symptoms are

Difficulties walking.

You will lose all sense of groundedness and might loose

all sense of your earthly existence.

You might experience severe spells of vertigo and dizziness

and the ground will feel as if walking on the cloud.

You will feel like a marshmallow man.

You might feel as if you cannot use your hands and legs

and experience sensations as if they are not part of your body.

It can resemble you have multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia.

That is one of the main symptoms, as you are summoned by the shaman's death,

have to "die" and fall apart, in order to be put back together into a new person.

This is the passing of the test of a Shaman.

You can get a sense as if someone or something within you is controlling your body.

Meaning, that your body movements will be the same,

you will decide to move your arms and legs and everything else in the desired way,

but you will be somewhat disconnected from your body and feel that someone else

within you is carrying out your orders.

To the outside world, however, nothing will be visible.

This experience is extremely frightening and I highly recommend visiting

an experienced shaman, as you might have a foreign entity living inside of you.

You begin to see the world around you in grains -

like a static television when the broadcast ends.

You might also have difficulties focusing with your eyes;

things will seem blurry, as in distance and never seem sharp.

This is the lifting of the veil, as you begin to see the reality for what it is.

Not something solid and factual, but you will begin to see the truth,

that we are all just a cluster of particles interacting with each other.

When you attempt to speak to a person (even though they might

be right next to you), you feel as if they are millions of miles away.

It also takes you a couple of seconds to realise what they are even saying.

You begin to pinch yourself because you are not sure if you are either

dreaming or if you are awake. Your state of being will be that of stoned.

You begin to feel a massive surge of energy coming from the bottom to top,

creating a state of being, where an incredible force of energy will launch

and begin to control you and there is nothing you can do about it.

That is rising of Kundalini, that often awakens with Shamanic call.

Your body is overwhelmed with unbearable heat waves

and sensation, leaving your body feeling as if it is on fire and vibrating.

You feel brain zaps, electrical sensations and feelings of out of the body.

Literary as if something is sucking your soul out of your body through

the top of your head. All of this is Kundalini clearing out your body

and transforming your DNA.

You will experience the most frightening states of anxieties and panic attacks.

No longer you will be able to bear darkness, negativities, or on the contrary

you will be terrified of the light and people.

Everything will become intensified and maximised and unbearable.

Suddenly you become incredibly aware of all toxicity that is around you.

Fairy-tales will become horror movies and shopping centres living hell.

You will begin to see people's true motives, emotional manipulations,

dark sides and negativities and in general the duality of everyone and everything.

The only solace might be your home, something that is familiar and secure

and sitcoms like Friends might become your saviour through all of this.

This is a manifestation of dying ego, which in itself is an obstacle for the shaman

and his journey and his fight with the darkness. If he wins and conquers it,

he will then become a true Shaman, who will successfully fight the dark and evil.

All your patterns of behaviour, belief systems, ideologies, your plans,

dreams, hopes, certainties, your sense of direction and your immediate surroundings

with all that is in it, fall into pieces, shattering across the floor like a hindrance,

so the only way to get out is to walk through the shards of your old self,

bleeding in pain and agony every step of the way in the hope of getting

to the other side. You are stripped of all that was safe, relatable and trustable...

You might experience hallucinations. This is a dangerous one as often, people

end up in psychiatric hospitals on medications. It is also part of this process

of awakening, as you begin to see the world behind the veil,

you communicate with spirits, otherworldly beings, people who passed over

and experience visions, intuitions, premotions and the ability to predict future.

To the world around you, it will appear as full-blown psychosis, but they are not.

You are not able to function in everyday life for you simply do not have the strength.

Things like going to the kitchen to make a cup of tea will drain you of all energy.

All you do is sleep or on contrary not sleep at all, but your body is exhausted

and you cannot possibly remember what happened yesterday.

It stands to reason, that you will fight in opposition, grasping at the last straw,

hoping to save yourself from the sinking Titanic, that is your life

oblivious to the fact, that you don't stand a chance. There is no escape.

Yet, you fight hard with whatever was left in you, whatever is left to you

through what can only be described as a one-way ticket to hell for eternity.

You argue, kick and scream, you doubt and question everything,

for faith has failed you and what ails you seems incurable.

You plead with God to help you, each step, not even sure of his existence.

If you were atheists, to begin with, questioning the very possibility

of something higher, then your immediate self rises so strongly within you,

you simply can no longer ignore it.

You fight it until you collapse on the floor, fragmented, exhausted,

surrendering to the process with one question in mind

"What is the point of living?"

Nothing makes sense any more life no longer has a meaning, no purpose...

Everyday tasks become mundane and robotic and you simply fulfil them

for the sake of fulfilling them. There is no other motive behind it.

You are in such despair, you might often stand on the edge of Heaven,

contemplating either death or insanity.

Often times people self-medicate or end up in mental hospitals

believing there is something terribly wrong with them, or hoping to run away.

Some lie helplessly on their bed with no reason to get up and the simple

task of even lifting one hand can take hours to complete.

Your friends, family, loved ones have no idea what is happening with you

and thus creating a state of isolation, ripping your connections apart.

Your struggles to adapt to this horrific new identity against the backdrop

of your surroundings is repulsion, you feel no hope and no light convinced this is it

and the rest of our life will be spent, like Gregor Samsa,

in the state of the physical manifestation of our abasement.

Unlike Gregor though we are forgetting that the chrysalis will one day

come out of its shelve transformed into a beautiful butterfly.

Meantime, you are imprisoned by the memories of your old human life

and the aspects of yourself, you, so desperately tried to escape from.

You begin to see everything from different angles –

everything we did, everything we were, everything that has been around us;

people, loved ones and our relationship to them and with them.

How people were to us, reacted to us and how they really perceived you and you perceive them, without the blindfold being put over our eyes, without denial.

It is an excruciating process and even though you might deny it to the outside world

and still try to deny it to ourselves, our consciousness

and guilt won't leave you until you look it straight in the eyes and acknowledge it.

Episodes of despair, intense fear, crying, depression, anxiety,

panic, out of body experience and wanting to die are intertwined

with vivid nightmares, from which there is no waking up.

One doesn’t know if it’s day or night, real or surreal for everything feels like one.

The sensation that the world around you is not real and everything is a dream,

like we are watching it from afar like it is just a movie on a screen is intense.

I call it the not good king of being high; the one that makes fear rush through

your veins, freezing it at the same time, making it unbearable to live through.

We can also begin to have encounters with people who passed away, angels

and other beings of light, as our extrasensory abilities open up loud and clear.

No ego likes to be brought to the ground, but pride does come before a fall.

Then there amidst the death of our own self.....light!

This process can take weeks, months and in some cases even years.

It's a very unique and individual one person to another. It is not tangible.

It simply passes when it's done - until we are awakened, in other words, metamorphosed.

This is a very difficult, yet miraculous transformation bequeathing its gift

to us in the form of powerful healing of our deepest wounds and traumas.

Our body undergoes many changes, not just psychologically,

but physiologically as well, including changes in one’s DNA.

Often times the Dark Night of the Soul activates full-blown Kundalini –

a coiled serpent has woken up from its sleep rising its powerful energies through

our body to clear any blockages that stand in the way to free up energy.

This opens many spiritual gifts and many people will either begin

or deepen their spiritual path through the Dark Night of the Soul.

It is also known as the Shamanic calling or the Shamanic initiation.

Many Shamans undergo the Psychospiritual crisis which is a calling for

them to begin their path of a Shaman.

The ubiquitous presence of God / Universe / All that is will conscientiously

work until one is ready to surrender before the nightfall of their soul

and enter the one that is before them – their higher calling and awakening.

When we are reborn, our lives are enriched and more abundant as a result.

Something very important is revealed to us through the

Dark Night of The Soul, about our identity, about our path,

about our world. It does not destroy the light within, but it defines it.

It is not all love and light.

Yes, when we want something the Universe does conspire in helping us

to achieve it, but in return, we have to overcome the challenges of facing

the hard reality of oftentimes distressing truths about ourselves, the world and existence.

We have to take responsibility for our own lives, taking the appropriate actions

and use critical thinking and discernment to keep yourself grounded.

Seek your own truth, for even the gurus of the world, are simply only humans

at the end of the day, with only their own experiences, their own perceptions,

their own awareness and their own truth. Go, find your own.

Try before you trust!

We are not creators of our own reality or our own life.

We are co-creators. Together with the Universe, we create our life,

but when the Angels call our name we don't get to say no!

The best way is to embrace and accept this incredible, healing,

even though frightening experience!

Anyone who is going through this experience, know that you are not alone!

For more information, I am including a link to a Czech documentary

on this phenomenon, created by the world renowned Czech psychiatrist Stanislav Grof.

From Darkness of the Soul...Light

2018 © Ester Caty Young, All Rights Reserved

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