This will be part one of a series on the dissolution of the ego. In this episode I will share the important topic of the “Dark Night of the Soul”.  I believe all spiritual seekers go through this experience and sometimes it’s the dark night of the soul that is the catalyst for their spiritual awakening.
Listen all the way through so you can understand more about what is the it’s like when you go through a spiritual depression and how to deal with the deep suffering you may be experiencing or experienced in the past. And share this with a friend or loved one who may need to hear this.

This is an automated transcript.
Please read with the understanding there may be some mistakes. 🙂

Transcription

(00:00):

I decided to do a series on spiritual awakening and the dissolution of the ego self. So in today’s episode, we are going to talk about ego dissolution and the dark night of the soul. Before we even talk about the ego, we really need to talk about the dark night of the soul. The terminology, “dark night of the soul,” goes way back. I think it’s about the 16th century. And this came from a Catholic mystic. His name was St. John of the Cross, and he wrote this famous poem called The Dark Night of the Soul. But that’s not really where this all started because ancients, saints and mystics and gurus throughout the centuries have talked about the situation, this internal struggle. When you’re experiencing this dark night of the soul, it’s this spiritual disconnect. You feel empty. You feel lost. You’re in a place of this hopeless disconnect and you don’t even know what you’re disconnected from.

(01:09):

It just feels heavy and you’re not even sure what’s going on. It could be considered depression, but it’s actually a spiritual depression. It’s a spiritual disconnect. It’s your disconnection from who you truly are. This dark night of the soul can actually be your catalyst towards your spiritual awakening. And it’s also maybe a type of initiation to let you acknowledge that you are more than just this human body. You start to recognize, wait a minute, this deep dark place that I’m seeing right now, isn’t who I am, but I don’t know where to go or what to do about this deep darkness inside. It feels like a depression. But you don’t want to take medication for the dark night of the soul. You want to work through it. You don’t want to spiritually bypass this. You actually want to look at what’s going on deep inside of you and how to deal with that.

(02:14):

And this has been going on for a long time. Everyone goes through this, what they used to call a crisis of faith. Nowadays, we call it a spiritual awakening, but really it’s still a crisis of faith, meaning something is missing. And that’s what it feels like. You feel lost and you feel disconnected. The things that meant something to you in the past, like maybe a relationship or maybe a job. Those things don’t mean the same thing as they used to because you know, deep inside you’re missing something. And it’s really that meaning in your life, that connection with yourself, your higher consciousness and the divine itself. Now I’ve heard many people say, “I didn’t want to come here. That’s not what I wanted. I was forced to come and incarnate on the earth plane.” And that can never be true because your soul has made a choice to be here.

(03:23):

No one would ever force you to do it. Because if you come from the source energy of unconditional, deep love and compassion and connection, the creator source would never force you to do something you don’t want. But in that place of saying, “I didn’t want to come here.” You’re experiencing a dark night of the soul. I remember saying many years ago, “Why did I decide to incarnate? That’s it! This is my last lifetime here.” And it was because I was really experiencing a very deep spiritual depression. And I was going through my dark night of the soul. But what I did instead of sitting in that suffering and sitting in this depth of despair, was I said, “Okay, what can I do to shift this? What can I do to change this energy?” And I started looking into healing modalities and working through some inner issues.

(04:29):

I didn’t stay in that depth of depression, but many people go through the dark night of soul several times. It’s not a one-shot deal. Unfortunately it’s not. Many times, we experience this dark night of the soul kind of over and over and over again. And it’s because the ego’s identity is holding onto this belief of who it is, but there’s this higher consciousness that says, “Hey man, there’s something else. Don’t sit in that ego identity.” Or maybe what happened in your dark night of the soul is that your ego identity was crushed. It was completely demolished. Maybe you lost someone close to you that you identified with. Maybe you went through a breakup that crushed you. And what that is, is that ego’s identity of mother, of lover, of friend, of daughter, of son. Maybe that was crushed. And now it’s gone. And here you are trying to reevaluate, “Who am I?

(05:42):

What does this all mean? Why am I here? What was I thinking, coming here with all this suffering? Why do people suffer? What is really happening? Is there a God? Is there really a source?” So you get my drift. You question everything that you were told in your life and everything you experience. Now what happens for many spiritual seekers, they may go out and do an Ayahuasca trip, or they may do mushrooms, or they may take medication in the form of antidepressants. And while all of those things are great, quick fixes, they’re not going to shift you into a consistent higher state of consciousness. The medication for depression will actually numb you out and disconnect you even more, but it’ll feel a little bit better, but you’ll still feel disconnected. And if you’re taking any sort of psychedelics, which is fine, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

(06:44):

But if you’re not really integrating the experience and you’re not doing your inner work, those psychedelics are only going to help you so much. They’re not going to keep you in a higher state of consciousness more consistently. And my feeling is, if you’re going to do psychedelics, please, please do your inner work as well. Look at your shadow, listen to this type of thing and really shift some things multi-dimensionally. You don’t want to rely on anything external to change your internal self. The reason the dark night of the soul is called a spiritual depression is because it’s this existential crisis, which means it’s a crisis of the human condition of the soul, of the suffering. And when you go through that, that’s not depression. That’s this understanding like, “What is going on? Who am I?” You usually feel so alone and disconnected. It’s really this hopeless, helpless, disconnected feeling.

(07:54):

But what you’re really looking for is how do I fit into this world? Who am I in this world? What was I thinking when I came here? Right? And I keep on saying that, but I’ve heard so many people say that through the years. Like, “what was I thinking that I came here in this family?” “Why did I incarnate in a family that was abusive?” Or they were alcoholics or addicted to drugs? “Why did I do that?” And this is what’s happening. But this is the catalyst for your spiritual awakening. And it’s also the catalyst for you to accelerate your spiritual Ascension process. Because in this existential crisis, you have the ability to shift and change things on a really deep level. Sometimes we need to go through this dark night of the soul to come out at a much higher vibration. I know it sucks because when you’re going through it, you’re like, why am I doing this?

(09:02):

If you do your work, you come out the other side with a higher state of consciousness and awareness of who you truly are. One of the pitfalls of the dark night of the soul is that you start to identify with that dark night of the soul. So you identify with your depression, you identify with your victim self, and you want somebody to rescue you or save you from your deep, dark depression. But that means you’re not willing to do your inner work. You’re looking for something outside of you to make this go away. But unfortunately, when you’re going through the dark night of soul, you have to go deep inside and look at it. You don’t want to spiritually bypass it or fall too deeply into your victim mode or your need to be saved mode. And I just want to acknowledge that this is a series.

(09:59):

So I will go into how to do some of this work, how to work with those dark night of the soul issues to help you transcend and transmute it and to work through your ego dissolution. But first you have to understand what you’re going through when you’re going through the dark night of the soul. And what I find with a lot of spiritual seekers is that they go through this dark night of the soul, but then they say, “Oh no, I’m supposed to be love and light. It’s all supposed to be lollipops, unicorns and rainbows.” But it’s not. And oops, “What do I do about all of this darkness? Oh, I know, I’m just going to pretend, or I’m going to try to do this other thing to make me feel better.” And of course, dance, sing, exercise, talk to your friends…etc, those are all great ways, but really to transform and transmute the lower self, the egoic self, that is responsible for the dark night of the soul,

(11:02):

you have to do the inner work. And for a lot of spiritual seekers, they want to quickly get through that darkness quickly, get through the difficulty. And they’re not willing to go into the depth of themselves and really look at what’s going on. And they also don’t always want to challenge their ego because they’re starting to build up the spiritual ego. And when they build the spiritual ego, they want everybody to see them as this spiritual person. “I’m special now because I’m this higher spiritual person. I’m hitting the 23rd dimension and you pee-ons are not.” You don’t want to build that spiritual ego because the darkness of the soul will build spiritual ego. If you’re not willing to do the inner work, (I hope I’m not annoying you with “Got to do your work!! You must do your work.” I get it.) Look, I’ve been on this path for a very, very long time.

(12:06):

I’m always doing my inner work. I don’t mess around and pretend that I don’t have crap that is in my way. And the good thing is you do come out the other end differently. And I know for me, the dark nights of the soul that I’ve been through, I’ve been able to transcend and transmute that energy. So now, if I go through a slight piece of the dark night of the soul, I have the tools and the awareness to shift through it quickly. So the more work you do inside, the easier it will become. But let’s get back to the dark night of the soul. Now, if you know me, I’m not big into quotes, but I want to quote Hazrat Inayat Khan. He’s a master from India. And his quote is “There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul, a total annihilation of all that you believed in and thought that you were.” And there you go right there, that quote is so important because you have to annihilate or dissolve the ego because that’s what the dark night of the soul is.

(13:21):

Hey, it’s a wake-up call. It’s an initiation. Hey, you are not this human. You are so much more. And the depth of that spiritual depression and disconnect is to wake you up to the realization that your ego has been feeding you a line of BS over and over and over again. And it is, it’s a line of BS. Well, if they think that you’re this type of person, then you’ll be loved. If you believe that you’re good enough, then you’ll have everything that you want in your life. But that’s a lie your ego tells you. And the dark night of the soul is propelling you into recognizing the lie and seeing through the Maya, or illusion, of the lie the ego tells. And I know when you’re going through this, it feels like it will go on forever. And there’s no way out.

(14:24):

I know for myself for a while, I would just on the bathroom floor and cry, or I would sit in a very dark room and I would just be in this despair energy. And I knew that it was a depth that I could not figure out, but I wouldn’t give up on myself. And I don’t want you to give up on yourself because it’s dissolving this egoic place. Now, I don’t think that crying it out is necessarily the solution because you’re not being aware and you’re not taking full responsibility for your healing, but it’s going to sometimes happen like a crying stage of your life or a despair. I know it’s dark and it’s not fun. It’s difficult and feels very scary at times because you’re afraid what might happen if you don’t get out of this deep, dark depression. But without the dark night of the soul, you don’t have the availability for this deep spiritual transformation.

(15:37):

And that’s the key, because if you’re working on opening up to your higher consciousness and becoming more expanded in love and oneness, you have to dissolve some of those lower energies. And that’s what spiritual transformation is all about. But sometimes you need that catalyst, that darkness inside to say, “Hey, wake-up call! You are still sitting in the egoic ways. Wake up, become more of who you truly are.” And that’s what the Ascension is really about. It’s propelling us toward this great awakening. And it’s because so many of us are waking up, but there is the dissolution of the ego that needs to happen. And how do you experience the catalyst of that? Unfortunately, sometimes it’s that dark night of the soul, that depth and despair. Now, look, I don’t believe that you need to be fixed. There’s nothing wrong with you. When you’re going through the dark night of the soul, you think, “Oh my gosh, there’s something wrong with me.

(16:46):

I need to go get fixed. I need a doctor to fix me with medication. I need to go and do a hundred Ayahuasca ceremonies. I need to go to a healer.” And yes, all of those things may help you, but there’s really nothing wrong with you because it’s your soul saying, “Dude, come on, come join me.” And there’s nothing wrong with you working through those things, those issues in your life, because on the other side, it’s great. But I want you to think, “I am whole. I am perfect just as I am.” Because when we think we need to be fixed, we look outside of ourselves for someone to fix us or someone to save us. But really it’s also the ego’s way of keeping you in the place that you can’t do it yourself. Now, I will be really honest with you. I’ve watched people who have tried to go into the depth and do their own healing work, and they only get surface level work done.

(17:59):

And that is because they’re not always able to go deeper because the reason it’s called shadow work or the dark night of the soul is because it’s hidden. It’s hidden from us. It’s hidden from our ego and we don’t always have the availability. So I don’t want you to go through and say, okay, I’m going to try to fix myself or heal myself. I want you to say, “how can I empower myself through this?” Maybe it is for someone else to help you. Maybe it is for you to do some inner work and meditation and go to a great healer or a teacher to help you dissolve the ego. But the great thing about every dark night of the soul that I’ve experienced, and I’ve watched thousands of my clients’ experience, is that it makes a mark in your life. It’s not something you forget.

(19:01):

And a lot of times they’ll say that dark night of the soul was my spiritual catalyst to change my life because it really changes you in such a deep way. It changes you completely. It shifts your identity of who you thought you were. It shifts your belief systems. It shifts how you perceive yourself in your world. And sometimes it even dissolves parts of your ego. Because look, if you want to completely embody your higher consciousness and become the energy of oneness and love, you have to dissolve the ego because there’s not enough room for the ego and your higher consciousness to be fully embodied. But what happens to many people, and I mean this lovingly, and I know I’ve had it happen to me. I’ve watched thousands of people and how they express their spiritual ego. So, you don’t want to recreate your ego and create it into a spiritual ego, which happens all the time.

(20:11):

So you just want to be cognizant that through this process, you don’t want to recreate the ego into a spiritual ego. You want to transcend and transmute the ego to become your higher consciousness. The dark night of the soul is your wake-up call to say, “Hey, I’m living in illusion. I’m living in a matrix that has been created partially by my own ego and yuck.” Not that the ego is a bad thing, but think about this. Your ego has created your matrix and that doesn’t sound like something that I would want in my life. Because if you want to have that joy, that happiness, that connection, you want to change or make tricks and connect it more to your higher consciousness than to your ego or spiritual ego. So let’s look at what happens when you experience the dark night of the soul. Your whole world is ripped apart. In Shamanism,

(21:21):

one of the things when you go into the lower world that can happen is the animal that you’re working with, your animal guide or totem will actually do some ripping apart of your energy of your body. And it will actually disassemble the body. But what it’s really doing is disengaging the physicality or the egoic belief system of what you think you are, who you think you are and re-assembling it. So basically, in the shamanic experience, you’re pulling apart and ripping out the ego. And sometimes it’s not always pleasant. Sometimes it can freak people out. I’ve had it happen many different ways and times in my life. And each time I recognize that something is shifting within me and I’m okay with it, I surrender into it, but it’s not always pleasant. And that’s the same thing with the dark night of the soul.

(22:26):

It can feel like you’re being ripped apart from the inside out. You feel fragile, but through that, you have the ability to grow, to shift, to change, to recreate who you truly are because that emptiness that you feel inside is a place where all the things that you don’t want to look at, this is where all that negative death or the trauma in your life, it is sitting in this empty place inside of you. And sometimes you may want to die. But the part of you in that despair that wants to die is really the ego. But what happens is the ego screams and kicks and says, “I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.” But that’s the ego’s thing, it’s here to keep you safe. So of course it doesn’t want to die because it sees itself connected to the physical body.

(23:25):

And its goal is to keep you safe and to keep the body alive. So, what really happens when you go through the dark night of soul is it’s your wake-up call. It’s saying, “Hey, this is not working anymore. Who you thought you were, isn’t who you are.” And it’s that catalyst, that beacon in the middle of the night saying, “Please wake up, please connect with your higher consciousness.” But in that desire for connection, you feel disconnected, which is kind of the paradox of our world because we live in this illusion of separation, but we are all one and connected. Now, how can we have both? That is the paradox of the third dimension. Now I actually think that the ego tries to disengage us from our spiritual seeking and from connecting to our own higher consciousness. Now it doesn’t do this consciously. It’s that 95% of your waking life, right?

(24:32):

It’s ruled by your subconscious. So your subconscious gets involved and says, you can’t have a connection with this higher consciousness. You’re just this peon. You’ve had all these difficult things that have happened in your life. Remember when you did that terrible thing, you should feel guilty and angry at yourself. You should feel hurt and pain, and it sits in this despair energy, but your higher consciousness is calling you. It is hoping that you’ll answer the call. And some people, it’s this connection and they sense this awareness, or they have this glimpse of their creator or God or a glimpse of their states of love and bliss and unity. And then it goes away because the lower self or the egoic self gets in the way or the subconscious programs take over. And then you say, “Well, I’m not good enough. Why isn’t this happening?” And you go into this crazy place.

(25:40):

That’s that paradox of egoic self and higher self. And you don’t want them to be in a competition of who’s going to win because the ego will definitely try harder to win because the ego wants to win. And that’s part of its makeup. That’s part of its feeling good enough for itself. But your higher consciousness, isn’t looking to win. It’s waiting for you to answer the call and what all of these great mystics have told us through the years is that you can do this. You can transform and transmute this lower darkness of the ego and then become more in the higher consciousness, more energy of love and bliss. And basically this is what’s called the death or rebirth energy. And this is in so many archetypes and spiritual teachings. It’s this representation that a part of you has to die off in order to be reborn, to recreate itself.

(26:51):

So basically, you’re recreating your old ego’s belief systems, your old egoic programming, and recreating yourself through this dark night of the soul. It’s so hard when you feel like you don’t have a purpose or any meaning in your life. I think that most people are seeking something, and they think it’s going to be outside of ourselves because obviously that’s what our society and family has taught us. But in reality, most people are seeking or wanting to feel more connected, more loved, and more joy in their life. And now everything that brought them semi-happiness in their life is gone because something has shifted. Maybe it was a catalyst of something difficult happening, but now those things no longer have the same meaning they used to. They got the nice house. They had that child. And now they’re lacking the purpose or meaning behind themselves.

(28:06):

And the ego will say, “okay, chase after this, okay, chase after that.” And they’re chasing, chasing, chasing, but they still don’t feel fulfilled, loved, or connected. And then they go into the depth of the dark night of the soul to search for any meaning in their life. And now that you understand a little bit more of the dark night of the soul, the next couple episodes, we’re going to talk about ego, shadow work and some really great ways to transform into a higher state of consciousness. So make sure that you subscribe. And I would love if you left a review, especially on Apple podcasts or Spotify, and you can find me@melissafeick.com. I have some great eight meditations that will help you do some deep transformation and transfiguration much love.