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Avoiding Spiritual Burnout and Dark Night of the Soul

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posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 01:50 AM
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear

Diversity even amongst us humans, whether physical, or psychological, can make people think and feel very separate and divided. Seems like a lot want that, or have at least been conditioned to like that. Quite the contrary, humanity is capable of amazing things when we harmonize, no doubt about it in my mind.

edit on 8-12-2013 by 1Providence1 because: Proofing

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 09:20 AM
Interesting topic.
If you would indulge me a moment to clarify something ...

"Dark night of the soul" and "spiritual burnout" are two different things.
St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila both had very good information on
what 'Dark night of the soul" is and how to get through it.

When people enter the 'dark night of the soul' they think they've lost something
or that they are burned out or that God is ignoring them. But it's actually just
the opposite. It's something that people go through to purify the prayer and
meditation process. In the end, the person will be closer to God. But you can't
tell a person going through 'the dark night of the soul' that ... they have a very
hard time believing it.

The Dark Night of the Soul Is A Period When God Works Deep Inside You

The main purpose of it all is not to attain something. Rather, there's a certain consciousness — an awareness — that grows in the person who experiences this night. This will later lead to a full awakening — living from that 'higher mind' that Jesus refers to in his use of the word metanoia. God's presence is not something you attain, but something that's already there. You just become aware of it. You realize it... often through unlearning and getting rid of obstacles. That's why the journey of true spirituality is often referred to as a path of descent. You have to become less.

Mother Teresa Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night, often called “dark night of the soul,” is popularly understood as a feeling of abandonment, but it is more complicated. St. John of the Cross, a Carmelite friar and friend of St. Teresa of Avila in the 16th century, wrote of how God works in the souls of mystics. Souls invited into Dark Night, he wrote, realize they just can’t pray anymore.

Not only does prayer cease, but those experiencing Dark Night lose the joy of the spiritual journey. But they hang on tightly to their commitment to Christ. This Dark Night is really only understood in the light of faith, through Scripture. St. John of the Cross points out two phases in this condition: Dark Night of the Senses and Dark Night of the Spirit, in his two classic writings The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night.

Part of the lesson of the Dark Night of the Soul is that the person is led to give up all “knowledge” of God—all analogy, all experience, all understanding, in order to be freed to really meet God. The "Dark Night of the Soul' is actually a GOOD thing. It's a gift from God. It's not to be avoided. (it being from God, you couldn't avoid it anyways). It's highly mystical. St. Terese 'The Little Flower' .... St. Teresa of Avila ... St. John of the Cross .. St. Mother Teresa (Whom I actually met while I lived in Japan) .... they all had a lot to say on 'Dark Night of the Soul'. It's spiritually painful, but it's a huge gift and it is good for the soul.

Spiritual burnout is something different, of course.
But for this post, I focused in on 'Dark Night of the Soul'.

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 09:34 AM
I'm finding this thread to be extremely helpful and relevant. It will take me some time to form a response to the OP but in the meantime, please keep up the conversation.

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 10:27 AM


If you stopped trying to describe yourself and define yourself,
and describe and define and 'attain' your 'real spiritual self'
all these struggles would go away and you'd be free.


The Conundrum here is everyone just being aware the Ego is hard at work trying to define, and once awareness sets in to just be, in the now, and feel the love.

I think the veil is awareness itself. Very fine line.

But I do agree with your assessment.

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 11:33 AM
reply to post by Realtruth

Listen; this wisdom of the ages stuff is 90% pure BS. Things
are far easier than at first thought, if you just attend to the

Here; try this:

Learn to 'stop the world'. Yes, I know that Castenada uses
that phrase, but that's not where I'm getting this.

As you know, there is a constant stream of commentary
in our minds about ourselves and the world. This commentary
in fact is the entire problem. The 'spiritual' part of us is entirely
non-verbal and by filling ourselves with all these words, we
hypnotize ourselves away from the part of ourselves that we
yearn for. This is in fact the 'hole in our hearts' .

Now meditation is the usual thing recommended to combat
this, but that's a crappy method unless done differently
than it's taught. There is in fact a far better way to begin
the path to freedom; I invented it in science class in 6th grade.
I call it 'grokking'.

Look at an object; any object. You will probably hear a word
about that object in your mind. Practice stopping that one
world description of that object. So if you look at a chair,
practice stilling the mind so as to not say the world chair
to yourself.

While looking at the chair, 'reach out with your feelings'
to the chair and (this takes some practice) attempt to
'non-verbally think with your feelings' to interact with
the chair and 'feel non-verbal concepts about the chair'.

The word chair will keep popping into your mind.. don't
worry about it.. just brush past that verbal word without
worrying about it, and use those non-verbal feelings
about the chair.. just practice that.

Over time, you will gain the ability to look at an object
and 'have a non-verbal, emotional intelligence conversation'
with yourself about any object without the corresponding
word ever appearing in your mind.

Keep practicing this throughout the day with different
objects. Eventually switch to people.. you'll one day
be able to have an entire 'non-verbal conversation'
inside of yourself about any and all people.

The final practice is to 'grok' 'yourself'. Once you can
do with yourself, you will be well on the way to
'freedom'. You'll be well on the way to becoming
some 'spiritual giant' all without any nonsense, or
chakras, or spiritual BS. You will be reborn and
remade; without a single 'traditional spiritual

It's so simply that the 'field' of the world will
try to stop you from doing it.. you'll find yourself
tempted to read spiritual books instead.. you'll
be tempted to thing and do all sorts of useless
crap... stick with the practice until you perfect
it.. it takes no more than 3 months.

I hope that helps.


posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 11:38 AM
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear

I too have suffered "spiritual burnout". I've been around the world in search of answers, until I found out that there are no answers, or what we call answers are all different. And that's where the strength in spirituality lies, in its own self-destruction and implosion, where one can then create out of whatever rubble is left. The nature of spirituality is to destroy itself.

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 11:48 AM
reply to post by FlyersFan

My friend.. and that's how I feel about you.. this world
is on a hamster wheel of destruction due to our traditional
understandings.. I thank you for sharing what is important
and meaningful to you, and I'm sure there are people who
will appreciate what you have said.. and that's great.

But it's my role to reject everything that isn't working
(which is everything) and to start over with what works.

If even ONE thing in the world actually 'worked', and I
mean REALLY worked.. then the whole world would flock
to that thing and it would be greatly successful. But in
fact that has never happened.

Now monotheism has the most agregious and hurtful/
destructive lies.. and it promises that a person can
just repeat a one line magic formula and then gain
paradise as a result and also damn to hell everyone
who disagrees with you! It's a TwoFer! Now while
this has captured more than half of the human race,
it's obviously not successful in the sense of doing
anything positive. It has in fact brought us to the
very brink of total destruction; as by hypnotizing
people that this world doesn't matter, and that
'heaven' is all that matters.. that gives the permission
to kill anyone you want and rape and pillage anyone
you want.. so long as 'god' says it's ok.. because
this world is in fact 'evil' -- the entire universe
groans under 'sin' you know. So monotheism
was designed to destroy the world.. and it's
nearly finished it's operating program.

Likewise mystical paths are designed to force
people to reincarnate endlessly as 'souls'. It
is also pure evil. So it's not just monotheism
that is such a huge problem.

I don't expect one person in the world to
believe me, or to break through to freedom;
but I must speak what is obvious.. I need
to live with myself.



posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 12:02 PM

this world is on a hamster wheel of destruction due to our traditional understandings..

I agree with you.

If even ONE thing in the world actually 'worked', and I mean REALLY worked.. then the whole world would flock to that thing and it would be greatly successful. But in fact that has never happened.

hmmm .... (not arguing .. just thinking out loud here ... )

There are things out there that 'REALLY work' for some people. But that same thing that 'really works' for some folks, won't work for others. Not everyone is in the same place spiritually. And indoctrination has caused so much damage that when something that 'really works' is sitting there for the taking, the people can't see it through the indoctrination haze. IMHO

So I mostly agree with you ... and a bit I don't.
Which is fine. It's ATS isn't an echo chamber.
Again ... good topic for discussion on a snowy Sunday afternoon.

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 12:41 PM


I'm posting this for a friend, but it's such a common phenomenon,
I thought various people might like the post.

It's appreciated.

A first death would be the physical body

I wonder if an NDE would count as a first death.

When the 'soul' 'fully matures' then it does what it
does.. goes on to the spirit.. or goes 'elsewhere'
but when it goes you will know it.. as all the
spiritual power goes away.. the psychic ability
goes away.. all the light.. all the charisma..
the massive expanded aura .. all goes away.
This is the second death.

After my NDE (or whatever the heck it was) in 2010 on the solstice lunar eclipse, a 'soul' was in 'me', and I was in a state of ecstatic rapture for quite some time. My diet changed, I fasted for many days. I just couldn't eat. I couldn't drive. I performed involuntary 'kriya' movements, and there were lights and entities and communications and so forth. It was amazing. Mind blowing. I was changed.

I felt the power of unconditional, non-local love and forgiveness. It was unfathomable, all-encompasing. All I could do was laugh and laugh and laugh like a Buddha shedding karma.

I'm making a long story short here and eventually the ecstasy faded, and so maybe I can take first and second death off my to-do list. :p

I wound up with
a 'soul' which was part of a bloodline tradition
of an occult group. Nasty little sucker. I suppose
I didn't act very 'Buddha like' by telling it to hit
the road -- but that was what I did. I could have
hatched the little dickens.. and learned more
about 'blood line traditions'.. but I didn't.

I wound up with a water god growing inside me. An anima figure showed it to me. It had a huge head and long skinny limbs. I thought I recognized the facial features though - as a frequently antagonistic recurring character. An old man. So I became apprehensive and that's when the water god seemed to go crazy and become vampiric. An extremely painful conflict began. My life hung by a thread. I assembled the Avengers, so to speak, and a few weeks ago the battle was won. Still so many unanswered questions.

I'm so sick of spiritual warfare.

Once you are liminal --- without boundaries..
due to refusing to define yourself.. once
you stop clinging to life or death or light or
dark.. and once you are determined to become
a living embodiment of honesty and love.
you will build connections to your unconscious
mind.. and you will become a permanent
mana personality, without boundaries..
without burnout or dark nights of the
soul.. and you'll have to do nothing to
maintain this.

I've been teetering on the edge of this since 2010, and it seems that when I get too close the field will conspire to yank me back into anger, fear, anxiety, greed, spiritual warfare. Traps, tricks, tragedy, loss, tests, antagonistic spirits, periods of terrifying (and sometimes physically painful) nightmares that target not only me but my poor uninitiated wife, ect.

edit on 8-12-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 01:47 PM
reply to post by FlyersFan

I understand your perspective. The problem is that one person's
good is another person's evil. Until we can get past that, we are
all screwed as a species.

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 01:50 PM
reply to post by BlueMule

We are definitley brothers.

I think that if you ruminate on a few things that either
I or you come up with, or both, you should be able to
escape the hamster wheel of death.

Just an opinion.

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 02:33 PM
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear

I think that I entirely follow what you are communicating but it is the terminology (definition of terms) that throws people off (as you see in my signature.. you can't tell anyone anything they don't already know..)

so instead of the term "higher spiritual self" perhaps it would be useful to describe it this way:

When we 'define' ourselves as any "thing" (and even these terms ONLY apply to one aspect of our 'selves' and not the entirety of our being or essence) this is only a TEMPORARY definition because EVERYONE changes with time.. everyday we see an entirely different, new world that only resembles the one we 'knew' yesterday, so we too must also be constantly renewed..

Sure, we can CHOOSE to stay "the same" if that is our intention, but this too is still a renewal albeit that of an old formula or template, and requires much effort and rationalizing to maintain a lifetime as ONLY a catholic, jew, realist, anti-realist, actor, writer, gardener, etc etc. I have never met anyone who is solely interested in one area of study or thought, and rejected all-else for the entirety of their life.. (nor would i really want to..)

there are certain exceptions to this when it comes to those who ACTUALLY understand the concept of Buddhism, Taoism, Gnosticism, and certain modes of thought in Sufism and Islam.. but this is a rarity and i think this can be attributed to the 500 year-old fad of equating pure complexity or simplicity, with truth..

but "truth" is neither! it simply IS what IS and whether it is simple or complex is purely dependent on your point of view (vantage point) and nothing else..

This is how I read your "stages of death" as related to my own experience:

1.) Death of the body - death of the Body-Ego and transcending Fear (putting "death" into perspective and seeing it as just the other extreme on a spectrum; "Birth" being the other extreme..) passing through this stage allows one to take risks without fear and probe into the unknown without being "hung up" on attachments bound by fear..

2.) Death of the soul - the overflowing of one's energy and attention into the surrounding world.. I experienced this as a river that has flooded.. the distinction and contrast between river (the 'self' or 'vessel') is lost in this flood and creates the illusion of "emptiness", while in fact one has simply reached an equilibrium with the environment and has obtained true sight if one knows how to use it as a tool, rather than FEAR it as a "condition" or "disorder"..

3.) Death of desire - This is what I believe the TRUE aim of Buddhism is, and this is a stage where most occultists plateau and become entirely transfixed. Once one becomes aware of the transient nature of "the self", one can literally play any role imaginable, IF one can gather the resources.. where there's a Will there's a way..
but it seems that oftentimes, people who reach this stage believe that they have "arrived", are USED by these "roles" rather than the other way around.. This stage seems to be about INTENTIONALLY using the "blank space" within to navigate the universe and build experiences..

The mind of the curious explorer will always triumph, whereas the mind who seeks to divide-and-conquer will "burn-out" as you say..

The universe is a song, and it is helpful to have a sense of rhythm and dynamic.. once Contrast and Change itself is feared and undesirable, stagnancy and blindness must follow..

When one can learn to take nothing for granted, there is nothing out-of-place..

The Universe is ripe for collaboration.

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 02:56 PM
reply to post by HyphenSt1

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.


posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 02:58 PM

This thread has accomplished it's purpose so I'm discontinuing
tracking it. Thanks one and all for contributing.


posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 03:22 PM


As you know, there is a constant stream of commentary
in our minds about ourselves and the world. This commentary
in fact is the entire problem. The 'spiritual' part of us is entirely
non-verbal and by filling ourselves with all these words, we
hypnotize ourselves away from the part of ourselves that we
yearn for. This is in fact the 'hole in our hearts' .

It's interesting you bring this up because I have been a very lucid dreamer for many years and have practiced astral projection.

My key to knowing I am dreaming is to find words, texts, symbols or numbers and focus on them. What happens is that words, or numbers begin to change right before my eyes.

I never understood what was going on or happening so one day I ran around in my dreams seeking a spirit guide. The scene was set in an old European cobble stone town. I ran into a tavern asking people at different tables where my guide was and they seem to brush my off like a child.

I finally saw an older man sitting by himself so I sat down directly across from him. I asked him where my spirit guide was and his head slowly raised up from the beverage he was drinking. His eyes glistened like two radiant emeralds that went on for infinity. I felt love and compassion directed my way.

His hand slowly came across the table and touched the middle of my forehand, with the only words he said. "Just relax"

I woke with a sense of confusion, but knew the answer was there.

In the end, I believe we have made things so complex that it's hard to see the real truth, which is simple.

Thanks again for the insight I am going to practice what you have suggested.



posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 03:57 PM
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear

you are certainly welcome!! it was a perfect warm-up to writing a thread i was already thinking about writing for awhile now. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 04:46 PM
reply to post by HyphenSt1

Well I tend to distill things down and think that any wordy
response, including my own, is just for the purposes of
getting a certain group's attention; 'speaking their language'.

In short, if we define 'ourselves' (body, mind, soul, spirit-whatever)
with concepts, we will suffer. We are trying to damn up a free-flowing
river and to turn it into a statue of ourselves.

Nothing but frustration can be the result of that.

The 'down and dirty' 'truth' about 'spiritual experience' is that you
can throw out ALL the 'spiritual stuff' and just rely on a model
of the conscious and unconscious mind and accomplish 90%
of what a 'spiritual path' accomplishes.

This was in fact the EXTREME GENIUS of Buddhism.. early Buddhism
then it all went to crap.

If one uses the exercise I detailed earlier in this thread, which has
NOTHING to do with 'spirituality or religion' and just add in 2
more exercises.. you can become a 'Buddha' in a manner of speaking,
if you want to. Sans any spirituality or religion.

But most people will get sucked into all the BS of the world, and all
the BS of spiritual and religious systems, and abandon the simple
practices. As you know very well, people restlessly run from one
new thing to another. If they would just do a couple simple things
all the melodrama would be over..

But of course that is why they don't do that.. the 'movie' would
be over.. and people are lustful for tall tales of gods and demons
and aliens.. so the 'field' keeps producing this for us.. to keep us
from growing up.


posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 06:25 PM
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear

Seems like you are on the start of your own spiritual awakening of sorts. Not the end and not the highest.
Remember the Ouroborus.

Attempting to define 'that which is eternal and the greatest power to which all belongs' is beyond mere words. Religions are all attempts at stamping their own views on this 'absolute energy'.

I am naturally wary of any person attempting to give such exact terms to such realms.

I say this from experience, from a child I believed in religions until it didn't fit with reality, so as a teenager and in my twenties and early thirties I experimented with researching various religions, in depth. Following teachings and rituals as specified, as a matter of concentrated effort rather that the usual half hearted religious followings of most. This included Buddhism and Hinduism, I read all the books on Krishna etc and that which you attempted to describe, as in the giving up of the ego as part of Krsna consciousness. If you didn't already get the idea from there, perhaps you should read some Krsna books.

I found that such egoless living is all very well if residing in a Buddhist monastery, for example, where such states of minds are accommodated, as well as the basic necessities for living, food, shelter etc being provided. However, in the real world, such things as cost of living etc comes first, unless from a privileged background where such things aren't thought of. For most, everyday life necessitates having an ego or being used and abused by those who don't give a monkeys about your spiritual journey and see such people as easy pickings.

I have regained my ego, in a healthy way whilst retaining my 'spiritual' beliefs and getting on in the real world of being physical.

I would advise all who study these paths to always be aware of the physical being as that is the vessel for the spiritual.
edit on 8-12-2013 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 06:37 PM
reply to post by theabsolutetruth

Yes, you are correct, I've started a spiritual journey. I can't argue that.
Thanks for your input, every response to this thread benefits
different people who happen to resonate with what some person
has written.



posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 06:45 PM
reply to post by KellyPrettyBear

We are trying to damn up a free-flowing
river and to turn it into a statue of ourselves

thank you for that! as usual, the more profound thoughts are always the most concise.. and concision is not always my strong point

The 'down and dirty' 'truth' about 'spiritual experience' is that you
can throw out ALL the 'spiritual stuff' and just rely on a model
of the conscious and unconscious mind and accomplish 90%
of what a 'spiritual path' accomplishes

exactly.. in fact it seems that the ONLY thing that is lacking in most systems of thought is that they aren't all-inclusive and hence only apply to part of the experience.. and to exclude a part is to exclude the whole. If a system of thought is "complete" however, (as in early-Buddhism) its teaching will be that it has nothing to teach and all truth is self-evident: creating a "feedback-loop to end all other feedback-loops" (when this train-of-thought is pursued to its "conclusion"..) and this ultimately results in what I can only call "Freedom", although the meaning behind this word has been extremely diluted and often invokes the sense of "freedom" that Amurika is supposedly OVERFLOWWWING with.. haha..

But of course that is why they don't do that.. the 'movie' would
be over.. and people are lustful for tall tales of gods and demons
and aliens.. so the 'field' keeps producing this for us.. to keep us
from growing up

This has been all-too-true for the last couple millennia, but.. just imagine when folks begin to realize they are not only actors in "the movie", but also the Gods, Demons, Aliens..


Writer, Director, Editor, and Producer of their own "reality tunnel" (to use a Robert Anton Wilson term)

Those who do not settle for ONE role as the ONLY role, are no longer obligated and hence are free to be as lucid and creative as they decide to be. Your exercise of "stopping the world" is indeed useful (though i did get introduced to it through Castaneda, and do take certain aspects of his writing with a generous dose of salt haha..) and I think that seeing the world through many "lenses" simultaneously is truly the only way to take control of one's reality.

What most people seem to miss is that this realization is NOT a prerequisite for Life, and it makes no difference to The Universe if we collaborate with it Actively or Passively..

Or i should say that the "Universe that doesn't care" about us coming to this realization, IS "us" so whatever we care to decide upon in our perception, is exactly what IS..

"As Above, so is Below" henceforth All Is Permissible..

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