The Dark Night of the Soul

lucas's picture

Average: 4.8 (11 votes)

Anybody has the text of The Dark Night of the Soul by Saint John of the Cross?

dora's picture


dora | Tue, 02/05/2008 - 00:00
lilian's picture

great text though difficult

great text though very difficult.

Anybody in that ultimate phase of suffering emptiness and misery (which is an important phase in the spiritual path when your last beliefs and content are also taken away from you) will find comfort in that text.

lilian | Sun, 05/25/2008 - 13:09
leo's picture

Important text

Very important text that describes a phase all of us believers are going through of great skepticism emerging from deep inside and consequently all structures previously built collapse.

It helps being less identified with this terrible state and letting it be until it vanishes and a great joy remains.

Those whose occupation is religious undergo the worse suffering of the dark night of the soul because it influences the center of their doing.

Strange as it may sound, Mother Theresa is known to experience this phase for so many years without having any resort in that text.

leo | Sun, 06/14/2009 - 14:14
dank's picture


See also in and

I like the explanation for Dark Night of the Soul in the first link:

We all have our substratum of sanskaras (conditioning / imprinted patterns) of disbelief, especially those of us who were raised in secular environments. And even those who grew up in truly-spiritual families (these are very rare) have their minds (whose nature is rational and thus skeptical) cultivating new skeptical sanskaras, partly as a mechanism of survival.

It is said that surprisingly enough the skeptical conditioning surfaces in full power when you are established enough on the path, paradoxically when your connectedness with the beyond is strong enough because at that point your consciousness is pure enough to contain these subconscious doubts.

"The dark night of the soul" is painful especially because at that point it is the last thing you expect to happen.

dank | Tue, 12/22/2009 - 07:57
nalabonga's picture

Can anybody explain the

Can anybody explain the essence of this text? Why is it so known?

I understand that it describes a very hard phase on the path to realization in which great pains and despair come up and may stay for a very long time, right?

nalabonga | Wed, 03/17/2010 - 06:21
Cliffhanger's picture

The Dark Night of the Soul as Purgatory, Richard Moss

One of my favorite teachers gave a talk entitled The Dark Night of the Soul. I really love his way of describing it. When we start to ask 'who am I?' often a painful purgatory/dark night begins. Here is a quote from Richard's talk:

“Hell is the identification with the process, purgatory is the separation from it.
Hell is much more pleasant than purgatory. Do you think when you lived in hell and you didn't question and you shot people in Vietnam or you beat up people on the buses that you were suffering? That's hell and you're not suffering. Do you think you're suffering when you're eating and eating and eating and gaining weight? And it's called gluttony and you're eating spiritually and you're gaining spiritual information and you're gaining technical information and you're becoming smarter and smarter in some little career? Which is gluttony, gluttony, which is what we have talked about as hell. You're not suffering.
You know when you're suffering? You're suffering the minute someone comes along and says, you know, who you think you are is configurated in these behaviors and that's not you. (gasp) And really then, we're separated from it and then, we start to purge this identification with this phenomena of how we use ourselves, then we suffer. Purgatory is painful.”

from The Dark Night of The Soul, Richard Moss

Cliffhanger | Mon, 08/23/2010 - 17:09
morethanmeetsthei's picture

Dark night of the soul

morethan- I had the experience of "the Dark night Of The soul".It occured after 15yrs as a spiritual seeker came to its demise.I had been seeking enlightenmentOr what I thought that was,as something I could acquire Or bring myself to.Then I discovered nondual teachings which ended my search & my concept of enlightment & I then went into the dark night of the soul what felt like a depression & helplessness.It lasted for quiet a while ,which then lead into a ripping away of beliefs,concepts,relationships,people & material possesions....It stripped me bare so I could do longer identify nor centre myself with any of these.In the end all that was left is just this nothingness that I am & is all.The dark night of the soul was the death to my mind made "I". Namaste

morethanmeetsthei | Mon, 05/02/2011 - 07:54