Skip to main content

Reflecting On Dark Soul Nights

Duane has been curious about mysticism and science for several decades. Duane enjoys studying and sharing where his experiences takes him.


When The Darkness Dawns

Living is a dance, a dance of polar opposites. Day gives way to night, storms give way to calm, summer fades to winter, body consciousness fades to ... whatever awaits past this existence, this life.

There is a faultless cycle to the experience of living. To fully experience your life in maximum consciousness, being utterly present, moments when all your senses are active for all of the observation that living presents. To see into every sensation, feel the energy, to come to an explicit knowing of our light, and our darkness. Understanding brings peace.
Simply dismissing negative feelings with shallow 'love and light' delusion does not bring balance. Sitting with our feelings, without judgement of ourselves, letting them show you what needs to be seen in you, by you. Learning to listen to your 'inner knower', the real you, the you that exists under your ego/mind created self.

“You don't need to retire to a cloister or the desert for years on end to experience a true dark night; you don't even have to be pursuing any particular spiritual path. Raising a challenged child, or caring for a failing parent for years on end, is at least as purgative as donning robes and shaving one's head; to endure a mediocre work situation for the sake of the paycheck that sustains a family demands at least as much in the way of daily surrender to years of pristine silence in a monastery. No one can know in advance how and where the night will come, and what form God's darkness will take.” ~ Tim Farrington

Dark Moods Often Leave a Present

"Dear Melancholy, Thank you for producing the best music, writing and art of any other emotions. . ."

"Dear Melancholy, Thank you for producing the best music, writing and art of any other emotions. . ."

Not Clinical Depression

What I'm addressing here is not clinical depression. This is not the paralyzing hopelessness and despair associated with that debilitating condition. I don't want to write anything here that diminishes that painful diagnosis. If what you're feeling is accompanied by a sense of hopelessness and despondency, please seek the care of a professional.
Guy Winch Ph.D. writes an illuminating piece on the difference between regular life melancholy and clinical depression here.

What I speak of with this writing is a functional melancholy, a wistfulness, a feeling that there is more. Things that were enjoyable become monotonous, mundane. Your thoughts have more gravity, they're heavier, more questioning of habit and motive. Yes, they're darker, moodier, but not foreboding, they don't feel emotionally alarming. This is more of a poignant distraction that lasts a while. A pensive mood, bitter-sweet sorrow, you feel like you've misplaced something that you never knew you possessed. The familiar pleasures of life lose their savor, the unfamiliar experience is beckoning.
Something has bubbled up from your soul. It's percolating in your sub-conscious, you don't know what it is, or what it wants, but it has your attention.
Sit with it. Life is calling you to a deeper experience.

To Understand...Listen...


Many Are Called...Few Respond

“Well-meaning, helpful, good-natured attitudes of mind have not come to be honored on account of their usefulness, but because they are states of richer souls that are capable of bestowing and have their value in the feeling of the plenitude of life.” ~ Nietzsche

Richer souls have sat with the darkness. They've found their 'good natured attitudes' in the murky depths of the wistful times. They've followed their soul's call through the darkness, and trusted its voice, the feeling...the feeling to 'be still and know'.

The soul is calling you to a deeper knowing, a more resonant experience of life. Our ego minds resist this call, things are fine as they are as far as the ego is concerned. The ego has everything labeled and categorized, it doesn't need any 'deeper knowing' from life. Shallow is how our egos likes things. That is why many don't respond to the soul's call. There is an ego-mind based denial that there is a deeper, and ultimately, more satisfying way to be.
Even some people that view themselves as 'spiritual' resist. They think 'being spiritual' means everything should always be butterflies and rainbows, sugary, self-denying platitudes as affirmations. When melancholy comes they go straight into denial.
"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." ~ Joseph Campbell

You Do Not Become Enlightened By Ignoring The Dark...

The road to higher conscious being is not paved in denial. It does not matter how bright and sweet your daily affirmations are, you will encounter darkness. Affirmations of incessant zeal and sunny disposition does not make one resilient. Resist the temptation to gloss over this time with all is light platitudes.

Ego Fears What it Doesn't Understand


Sit With It

Feelings of melancholy come natural to the human experience. The awareness of a longing, a bitter-sweet remembrance, an undefinable sadness with no apparent cause. I need to repeat - It's not a debilitating is more a wistful mood. This is where one discovers their deeper being. It is the soul's call to a deeper knowing of yourself. You are no longer fulfilled in your outward existence, your ego/mind attachments have gotten old, stale. Your soul knows this, your heart has become disengaged from your mind. Don't let this pass without examination, sit with it. Let it show you what it has to show you.

Counter-intuitively the way to re-connect your ego-mind to your heart is to not deny these feelings when they arise, Do not try to cover them with false sunshine.
No, sit with the melancholy. Be silent with it. Feel it fully, listen to what bubbles up from your sub-conscious heart-mind, that is where your answers are. Find the inner distant beacon-light, and follow it to your heart. Do not not 'seek', simply be. The darkness is not a scary place, the dark is where we discover our divine selves. We become whole again...we re-member the part of ourselves that shallow living has neglected.

You will not have to seek out the melancholy, it will find you. Sitting with it in silence is not wallowing. Intention is everything, sitting with it in the intention of knowing it, is healing, self healing. There is no need to avoid the seeming emptiness out of fear, the empty feeling-sadness exists to be filled from your heart space. Your being will will gain a new depth, your joy will be enhanced. Do not fear yourself.

One Love,

Duane Townsend

© 2015 Duane Townsend

Related Articles