Weaning

 

The dark night of the soul can be seen as a weaning process, as is much of the spiritual path. It’s a process of sobering up, and of disillusionment (in the sense of seeing through or being stripped of illusions).

It’s a weaning from taking my images, words and sensations that to me is a sign of God or the divine presence – and may, in my mind, almost becomes the divine itself – as “it” instead of recognizing it as images, words and sensations.

In a broader sense, it’s a weaning from taking any states or content of consciousness as “it”, as a landing point, as an end point, as having “arrived” at a final destination. Content of experience will always be in flux, so no particular content of experience is “it”. It’s more a matter of recognizing it all – seeing it, loving it, feeling it – as the divine, in all it’s many forms, and that includes the forms that this human self tends to not like so much, or not prefer.

It’s also a weaning from holding certain “relationships” with the divine as “it”. All of these relationships are also content of consciousness. They are subject to flux, and coming and going. They are not “it”, any more than any other content of experience. (For me, I sometimes see a wish for the divine to save me, to intervene and save me from difficult situations or choices, as if the divine is a parent and I a child. There is nothing wrong here, but it belongs to a certain phase, I have really moved beyond it, and it’s certainly not “it” in the sense of anything final or somewhere to arrive.)

In general, the process is a weaning from identifying with any identity and viewpoint, from holding any of them as something final, absolute or a place to “land”. This includes shifting from reactivity when certain emotions or thoughts surface, to softening, recognizing it as love, and being a loving presence for what’s here. It’s a weaning from certain habitual, and often younger, ways of responding to what’s here.

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