Dark Night of the Soul (6.1) – A “System” to live by? No.


[3.5 minute read]

[a re-contextualization of Dark Night of the Soul (6) – Dad & His Family. Ours]

Kolodiejchuk wrote about the first of the two metaphorical nights (the “night of senses”):

“…there is a notable longing for God, and an increase of love, humility, patience, and other virtues.”

How do these increases happen? What role are we to play in our own increases?

The greatest authors who write about the dark night of the soul all advise in their own way that we do not resist it or attempt evasion, but embrace it in some mysterious form of surrender. For those of us more comfortable with practicable advice, how can we do this? After all, saints are rare. Surrender seems strange to most of us, as does mystery. They seem inconsistent with our nature, so seem difficult.

Is “The Way” of Yeshua only for the exceptional elite?

Is God’s love only for the select elect?

For a moment, set aside your indoctrination by institutionalized Christianity. Those notions seem outrageously ridiculous, don’t they? Were most of us created to spend eternity in hell? No way. No Way.

***
There’s no shortage of support programs that offer a rule, or set of rules, for navigating through difficult challenges in our lives. Even many aspects of institutionalized religions are aimed at this sort of navigation and “keeping the faith.” Pray a lot. Practice mindfulness. Have accountability partners and support groups.

I do not at all mean to belittle any of these avenues of help. You may favor one of these complicated systems over another. And another person may favor a different one.

Is there not one for all?

I think there is.

I favor the example of Yeshua. Not the institutionalized religions that use Christ’s name. But the example of Christ Christ’s-self.

I do not think Yeshua meant to complicate navigating through life’s challenges.

I think it’s clear Yeshua didn’t favor any complicated laws or belief systems. Yet many of the “programs” that offer to guide us today are complicated systems. Something about each of these systems conflicts with who we are, as if “no pain, no gain,” and only inexorable challenge is the way to contentment.

Is our present nature so corrupt that it needs a complex repair system?

That is not my take on the example of Christ at all.

When we “boil down” the message and example of Yeshua, is it a program or system?

Is it meant only for exceptional saints, or disciples dedicated to practicing a program, or religious rites?

Is this what Yeshua expected of the simple fishermen, laborers, housemaids, and social outcasts whom he called, and to whom he appealed?

We all should eat some humble pie and consider this question with some naked honesty.

I do not think there’s anything reasonable about asking us to act according to our nature by constantly trying to self-evaluate our nature’s corruption.

I don’t think Yeshua made his wish for us so complicated that only a small class of smart people would ever grasp it.

Somehow, His intention for us must have the same appeal to a lowly peasant as to the saints and the pope himself.

So I think it is deeply enlightening for us to consider how a beggar meandering the streets of a Third World country might be capable of following a simple rule or guide for how to live the example of Yeshua in every moment, searching desperately for the day’s food or wages. And, to me, the key lies in “moment.”
***
Next, Dark Night of the Soul (6.2) – Loving in the moment
.
Neil D. 2020-07-02


Published by Neil Durso

Just another mid-lifer sharing the journey...

One thought on “Dark Night of the Soul (6.1) – A “System” to live by? No.

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