John’s Dark Night of the Soul
I remember coming across references to the dark night of the soul when I was a young magician, toddling around. It was one of those things, like from a dream, which I was never able to focus on directly. It remained on the periphery of my sight over the imaginary years, but I never studied it, or read anything about it. Still, the words stayed with me, and managed to take on a personal meaning. I felt like I understood it intuitively. It sounded overly dramatic and even a bit cheesy in these modernly primitive times.
Last December, I quit my stable, uninspiring desk job, venturing out from the darkness that I had unknowingly retreated to for several eons. At the time, I felt like I was dying. I was bloated and pale. I had stopped dreaming from lack of sleep. There were many other dramatic symptoms which seem selfish to go on about. They were much more than the job. Perhaps the fluorescent box that I escaped was symbolic of a greater psychic imprisonment. In making this decision, I felt strongly that everything was going to work out.
During the winter I did some traveling. I was trying to get my bearings and get back to my essential self. I started slowly to get healthier. In March, I went to Oaxaca and, among other things, took part in an extremely relevant and wonderful mushroom ceremony. It could not have been timed better. I came out of it feeling at peace. This peacefulness, in turn, left me feeling strong and more confident than ever.
Warmer weather arrived, and I returned to Chicago, excited to do my will, live intentionally, “git’ ‘er done,” be proactive, or whatever it’s called. I was ready to do everything. There would be kung fu and meditation in the morning, followed by writing my novel, and then I would work on creating my coffee roasting bicycle and finally some additional professional development. I was an excited jumble of ideas. So many, that they were becoming confused as they bumped into one another. Yet, I pushed forth into this new light of day.
I decided to do an I Ching reading. “Emptiness” and “Humility” were the messages that came forth. It made sense that I would need to quiet my mind to continue and that I should progress in a humble way. So I took it as good advice.
I was floundering in that metaphor for a long time.
Now I’m out of it, at least for the moment. I feel that I need to declare it in order to make it official.