Friday, September 27, 2013

Adapting to the World

The decisive crisis of the "dark night" is not resolved until a basis switch in direction takes place in the personality.

Typically during the "dark night" one uses refined rational control (guided by a largely hidden type of spiritual  intuition) in one's attempt to negate attachment to conscious phenomena. This applies especially to the deeper conceptual structures that form the normal framework for ego existence.

As we have seen this is associated with the transcendent aspect of spirituality (which unconsciously is associated with a degree of repression of primitive impulses).

As remaining rational control is gradually eroded, the faint intuitive light associated with one's decisions fades completely and one is left alone in the dark with no sense of direction. Though existentially this provides the opportunity to truly act in faith, unfortunately it is associated with great potential danger.

One may now have reached a state of physical and emotional exhaustion with signs of pathological depression steadily growing. Also there is no means of adequately communicating the spiritual basis of  this problem. On the contrary anyone concerned with one's well-being, is likely to consider the very suggestion as confirmation of a pathological state and urge the return to "normal" living.

Also because one is now so ill-equipped to deal with the outside world, external "crosses" only conspire to make the situation worse.

All this may well lead to a crisis event representing yet another type of conversion.

Paradoxically, only in the very moment that one seemingly abandons faith itself, does the first faint sign of recovery takes place.
What this actually represents is the surrender of the unduly transcendent focus adopted (which for many years has prevented "lower" primitive impulses from enjoying any autonomy).

So the pathological element of depression that is experienced relates in large measure to the unhealthy repression of such instincts (all in the name of transcendent spiritual desire).

Therefore though one considers this the final defeat i.e. the letting go of transcendent faith, in fact it is the first step to an important new phase of rebalancing, where the immanent aspect can be gradually harmonised with the transcendent.

Putting it crudely the transcendent aspect represents spirit over nature; the immanent aspect in reverse represents nature over spirit. So only when one  can properly balance these two aspects can the divine spiritual be properly integrated with one's natural human identity.

It would not be correct to exaggerate the speed with which this adjustment can take place.

In my own case having reached my lowest point, it took some time before recognising that things had subtly changed.

Pathological depression still remained, though I was aware that a floor had been reached. And I took the fact that things were not continuing to get worse as the first positive sign of improvement.

Likewise I noticed that though still very dark, my mood had lightened to a degree. Most of all freed now of the unrelenting attempt to discipline all ego attachment, I gradually began to feel more relaxed and better able to focus on rebuilding a relationship with the world.

So I stated returning to many of the "normal" things that had been put on hold for so long. I was now able to drive a car, swim, and feel more confident in social situations.

Thus with a new job, the experience of dating girls (for the first time in my life) and a number of additional outside activities it seemed that life had at last returned to normal.

Indeed for a while it seemed as if the lengthy "dark night" stage which had preceded this new life represented just some strange aberration which thankfully had now passed.

However this new situation did not last long. Though on one level I was managing OK, I realised that I was not really deriving any true fulfilment from my activities.

Also I noticed that I was becoming keenly sensitive to projections (both affective and cognitive) which were greatly disrupting the security of this new existence.

So when I look back now, this overall period, which lasted for nearly 5 years, represented a necessary interlude. So on the one hand it allowed me to recover from the severe stress that had accompanied the "dark night"; equally important it allowed me to successfully re-adapt to the world and its various demands and pleasures,

So once this adaptation had run its necessary course, it was time to embark on the next stage of the spiritual journey.

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