The Dark Night of the Soul

“WHAT – THE – FUCK – IS – THIS?” is my first memory of CONSCiOUS awareness, closely followed by an overwhelming and persistent state of fear, anxiety and confusion.

What I am about to describe is, from a spiritual perspective, my first experience of The Dark Night of the Soul. A psychiatrist may interpret these events differently, and so this could also be classed as my first brush with psychosis. As REALiTY is part perception, part interpretation and is entirely subjective, you decide.

I don’t recall exactly how old I was, between 1 and 2 years perhaps. All I know is that I hadn’t developed language skills. I remember being sat on the sofa in the living room of the house I was born in, with an adult sitting next to me talking at me. At least I think they were talking, because all I recall is what sounded like unintelligible gobbledygook. Hence the lack of language skills and the rough estimation of my age.

I am confident that this is the moment I achieved CONSCiOUS awareness of self for the first time.

In that moment fear and panic set in as my newly formed EGO tried to rationalise just what it was witnessing for the first time.

I had an overwhelming sense of being isolated and alone. I was terrified and it left me traumatised.

This is the foundation upon which all my other memories and experiences have been built, so it is not surprising that I have suffered with various, undiagnosed, mental illnesses throughout my life. I was finally diagnosed with severe depression in 2011. I hit rock bottom in 2014 and found recovery and ENLiGHTENMENT in 2015.

The fear, anxiety and confusion from my initial “awakening” remained. As I grew older, I began to adopt various coping mechanisms. I distracted myself from my pain and mental suffering. I avoided dealing with the terrifying nature of how I was perceiving and interpreting REALiTY.

My fear emanates from the fact that I perceive myself as alone in the universe, although there is a shadowy presence of “another” that is ever present. I’m not sure which is more terrifying, the fact that I am alone in what appears to be infinite space and time, or that there is something unknown yet present within my awareness. This “other” feels unknowable, yet strangely familiar at the same time, hence the sense of confusion and disorientation.

The subconscious question that goes unanswered is, who or what is this “other”? This insistent questioning would ultimately lead to my full-blown Dark Night of the Soul experience many years later. The realisation of ENLiGHTENMENT would answer the question of who “i” truly am.

Because the sense of fear, anxiety and confusion coupled with overwhelming panic had been present at the point of my EGOS inception, my daily existence felt “normal”. It never occurred to me to seek help or even admit to someone else what was going on inside my head.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been periods of distraction in my life that have been enjoyable. I have experienced friendship, excitement, joy, laughter, pleasure, happiness and fun, but there was always an underlying fear. A fear that at some point these distractions would end and I would be alone. Alone with my own thoughts and feelings and that terrified me.

Little did I know that I had entered but not fully passed through The Dark Night of the Soul.

Over time the memory of my initial traumatic experience dissipated, but the noise and confusion inside my head remained. A singular question would continue to drive me… WHY? Why is this happening to me? Why am I here?

I became co-dependent in the belief that someone or something else had the answer I was looking for. I codependently looked to others for completeness but was never able to achieve a connection or level of intimacy with another person to satisfy my desire long term. Similarly, I would achieve brief periods of rest bite through various addictions to substances like cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, food/sugar etc. and various process addictions such as work and sex, but the thing I was searching for was vague and illusive. I was working on the misguided premise that the answer was “out there”, when in fact it was right here, inside me, all along.

I now know that what I was searching for was in fact the i (me) that exists within all things. The authentic self, the witness, CONSCiOUSNESS. In finding my true self I would eventually come to know peace. How I would find my authentic, CONSCiOUS self would take me to the very edge of rational thought, inner self knowledge and an experience beyond the boundaries of possible and plausible comprehension.

You see, I have been to Heaven and spent the day with the “heavenly father”. In that timeless moment, I experienced a singular (((SHARE)D) CONSCiOUSNESS) otherwise known as Nibbana. I passed through The Dark Night of the Soul. I entered the void of the unmanifested and witnessed the end and the beginning of all things. I deconstructed the quantum paradox and confused my EGO so significantly and dramatically that it could no longer continue to hide the true nature of REALiTY from me. I achieved ENLiGHTENMENT. Or alternatively, none of the above and I was/am mentally ill…