Dark Night, Spirit, and Pointing to vs the real thing

 

In the Living Inquiries, and similar forms of inquiry, we look for a real object, not parts or signs of or something pointing to that real thing.

I can see how the dark night of soul has shown me how I have mistaken certain signs of Spirit, or something pointing to Spirit, for Spirit itself. In my conscious view, I knew what was going on, but at a feeling level I was caught in this misconception.

My mind made to assumptions. First, it took certain words, images and sensations to point to, or be a sign of, Spirit or God. Then, it took these pointers or signs to mean the presence of Spirit or God itself. So when these signs went away, or they didn’t have the same meaning anymore, my mind (at least a part of it) thought it meant that Spirit or God went away. That’s of course not what happened. It was only the signs that went away, the signs my mind had attached to for a sense of safety. As Gerald May says in The Dark Night of the Soul, I had worshipped my own words, images and feelings, and the dark night helped me see and wean me off from it. (At least to some extent, as there is still more to see.)

Here is a quick inquiry:

Look at the word “God”. Is that word God? (No. Although I see an image and there is a feeling.)

Look at the image. See it up on the wall. Imagine touching the surface of it. Is that image God? (No.)

Go to the feeling. Feel it. When you are ready, see if that feeling is God? (No.)

And so on, with whatever words, images and sensations comes up around my experience of God, and also Spirit, the Divine, Christ and so on.

It seems really obvious when looked at this way. And yet, when words, images and sensations are glued together, it seems very real, and it’s easy to mistake it for the real object. Also, our minds largely functions according to it’s own logic, and it’s not “rational” in a conventional sense.

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draft ii………

In the Living Inquiries, and similar forms of inquiry, we look for a real object, not parts or signs of or something pointing to that real thing.

I can see how the dark night of soul has shown me how I have mistaken certain signs of Spirit, or something pointing to Spirit, for Spirit itself. In my view, I knew what was going on, but at a feeling level I was caught in this misconception.

My mind made to assumptions. First, it took certain words, images and sensations to point to, or be a sign, of Spirit or God. Then, it took these pointers or signs to mean the presence of Spirit or God itself. So when these signs went away, or they didn’t have the same meaning anymore, my mind (at least a part of it) thought it meant that Spirit or God went away. That’s of course not what happened. It was only the signs that went away, the signs my mind had attached to for a sense of safety. As Gerald May says in The Dark Night of the Soul, I had worshipped my own words, images and feelings, and the dark night helped me see and wean me off from it. (At least to some extent, as there is still more to see.)

Here is a quick inquiry:

Look at the word “God”. Is that word God? (No. Although I see an image and there is a feeling.)

Look at the image. See it up on the wall. Imagine touching the surface of it. Is that image God? (No.)

Go to the feeling. Feel it. When you are ready, see if that feeling is God? (No.)

And so on, with whatever words, images and sensations comes up around my experience of God, and also Spirit, the Divine, Christ and so on.

It seems really obvious when looked at this way. And yet, when words, images and sensations are glued together, it seems very real, and it’s easy to mistake it for the real object. Also, our minds largely functions according to it’s own logic, and it’s not “rational” in a conventional sense.

 

……….

draft……..

In the Living Inquiries, and similar forms of inquiry, we look for a real object, not parts or signs of or something pointing to that real thing.

I can see how the dark night of soul has shown me how I have mistaken certain signs of Spirit, or something pointing to Spirit, for Spirit itself. In my view, I knew what was going on, but at a feeling level I was caught in this misconception.

I took certain words, images and sensations to point to, or be a sign, of Spirit or God. And when these went away, or they didn’t have the same meaning anymore, my mind (at least a part of it) thought it meant that Spirit or God went away. That’s of course not what happened. It was only the signs that went away, the signs my mind had attached to for a sense of safety. As Gerald May says in The Dark Night of the Soul, I had worshipped my own words, images and feelings, and the dark night helped me see and wean me off from it. (At least to some extent, as there is still more to see.)

 

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