[The following words are excerpted from the writing of Richard Rohr, who occasionally writes about the Shadow, the soul, and sometimes explicitly on the Dark Night of the Soul, like below, where he refers to the Yes introduced by Starr.]
[see more in the resource index]
The mystery of transformation more often happens not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart invites the soul to listen at a deeper level, and forces the soul to go to a new place. Most of us would never go to new places in any other way.
The mystics use many words to describe this chaos: dark night, emptiness, trial… Whatever it is, it does not feel good and it does not feel like God.
We will normally do anything to keep the old thing from falling apart, …tightening our controls and certitudes.
Spiritual transformation always includes a disconcerting reorientation. It can either help people to find new meaning or it can force people to close down and slowly turn bitter.
Transformation is always a process of letting go, living in the confusing, shadowy space for a while.
In moments of insecurity and crisis, shoulds and oughts don’t really help. They just increase the shame, guilt, pressure, and likelihood of backsliding into unhealthy patterns. It’s the deep yeses that carry us through to the other side. It’s that deeper something we are strongly for—such as… dignity…—that allows us to wait it out. It’s someone in whom we absolutely believe and to whom we commit. In plain language, love wins out over guilt any day.
For Rohr explicitly on the Dark Night of the Soul, see https://cac.org/dark-night-of-the-soul-2017-09-07/
Neil D. 2020-07-18