What the hell are we supposed to do?
Who is right, who is wrong … if there really is any “right” or “wrong” answer? We walk down one path and immediately become dissatisfied, disillusioned, and repelled by what we discover. Then we walk down another path and history repeats itself again and again until we realize with horror, “Every path is meaningless to me,” and we collapse in grief and despair, winding up at square one again.
Such a cycle repeats itself over and over again during the Dark Night of the Soul, so much so that it can become like torment. I know because I have experienced it. The strange thing is that although we get to a point of complete desolation, we still hold a glimmer of hope that pursuing the same path over and over and over again will somehow bring us to a deeply satisfying meaning one day. We seem to think that the mind is the solution to our problems; that utilizing the mind will release us from the original prison created by the mind that feels the need to quantify, measure, and define everything.
What most of us fail to do, however, is to question the actual questions we are asking and pursuing the answers to. Have you ever tried asking:
Why must there be a point to living? Instead of, What is the point of living?
I’ll elaborate on this below.
Happiness Isn’t This or That, Happiness IS
Earlier today I opened my email and received a poignant message from one of our long-time readers asking:
I don’t understand. Why am I alive? Why do I experience life? I don’t know why I am here now. I don’t see the point of living my life. I don’t want anything, not material /physical achievements, not relationships, not entertainment, nothing. I don’t know what to do with this body, mind, and feelings. Or maybe I just experience this life too intensely until I am numbed. But why?
My answer to anyone experiencing this is that although you might feel cursed, you are actually blessed. It sounds absurd, even insulting, but this is the truth.
Before any true growth or healing can occur, there must be a process of destruction and complete annihilation of everything you thought would bring you happiness.
Most people experiencing Dark Nights realize this: that nothing makes them happy anymore; not bodily, not sexual, not emotional, not material, not political, not social, not even spiritual. And this is the start of the purification process.
Conditioning vs. reality …
Since birth you have been conditioned to believe that money will make you happy, a sexy/rich partner will make you happy, a high IQ will make you happy, a big house will make you happy, a thriving career will make you happy, a perfect life will make you happy.
But this is all a lie because whenever you pursue happiness, you are immediately losing touch with the fact that happiness is already here, right now, in this very second, without you having to do anything or question anything. Happiness IS.
This sounds like the most ridiculous thing you might have ever heard, and yet deep down you might sense the truth in it. If this is the case the first layer of your illusion has been peeled away; what a blessing!
A blessing in disguise …
In reality, it is absolutely terrifying to have the ground beneath your feet ripped out from beneath you, and this is precisely what we experience during the Dark Night of the Soul.
And yet, this experience is the greatest teacher of all to us because it illuminates what is fragile, transient, and subject to change, growth, and decay. We are subsequently left with a feeling of great inner emptiness, but within this emptiness, we eventually come to see what can never come, go, change or die, and that is the truth of who we are: pure, peaceful, and blissful conscious essence.