Grace and peace to you in Messiah Yeshua, Adonai!
First, concerning what’s traditionally meant by the phrase “dark nights of the soul,” these mark transitions between various grades of spiritual realization, and as such correspond with great klippot, barriers, that need to be overcome. Essentially, having experienced a significant gradation of nearness to God, or unification with God, for a period of time, there are these experiences of dark nights that arise when there is what seems like a severe regression, or fall into a lower grade and klippot, and what feels like a removal from the presence of God, as though the presence of God withdraws from us, plunging us, as it were, into dullness and darkness. This is a natural effect, however, after experiencing a new peak in consciousness and greater nearness to God, for naturally with the passage of some time we integrate the new gradation of consciousness and intelligence, and we begin to sense, glimpse, an even higher, more expanded grade of consciousness and greater intelligence beyond our present grade, and we become aware of the possibility of a greater nearness, making our current experience feel very removed or distant from God. These are the dark nights of the soul, and in them we are working out all that prevents the next progression of our soul, the next evolution and ascent of our consciousness, overcoming whatever klippot, barriers, there may be to our ongoing spiritual realization.
Joined with these there are also times we go astray and fall to a lower grade, or fall into klippot, and likewise times in life, because of circumstances, when we descend from our own proper grade and are vulnerable to klippot in a time of weakness, such as in the midst of severe suffering or illness; hence, along with actual dark nights of the soul there are these dark times, times of trials and tribulations that come in life, either because of sin, error, or natural flows of situations, circumstances and events in life, or a combination of both together. Regardless, though, our response is the same; in the midst of a dark times we keep the faith, trusting in the Lord to see us through, and likewise we repent and turn to the Lord with even greater zeal, taking refuge in the Lord through prayer and meditation, and contemplation, waiting upon the Spirit of the Lord, while we take action to workout whatever internal klippot may be arising. These are the times that it is most important to abide in our faith, live according to our faith, and pray and meditate each day, actively opening to the Holy Light and Spirit from above, actively “turning to the Lord.”
In spirituality we learn to go within and live within, and strive always to go deeper still, with the conscious intention of receiving ever greater influxes of the Holy Light and Spirit; and whenever we encounter dark nights, or dark times, these are times to strive to go deeper still, times to strive to ascend to a higher grade of soul, or consciousness and intelligence. If we will, regardless of the dullness and darkness we may be experiencing, eventually the Spirit will take action and will uplift us to a higher grade, but we must be willing to strive for as long as it takes, willing to wait upon the Spirit of the Lord until it is God’s will that we are taken up.
The right focus in spiritual practice will depend upon what’s happening, and it is not always the same from one time to another, nor from one individual to another; it’s like in medicine, there needs to be a right diagnosis of what’s happening and a right antidote applied, the right practice in response to what’s happening. As an example, if very encumbered, at minimum we can just sit, engaging in primordial meditation often. If there is significant physical, or mental-emotional suffering involved, so we can engage giving and receiving. In the midst of whatever’s happening there is the practice of seeing the good and cultivating joy, joined with the Three Roots; but a specific focus will depend upon what is happening. In this regard we can seek guidance from the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of our experience, and likewise, we can seek guidance from our tzaddik; receiving guidance, though, from the Spirit or our tzaddik, it is very important that we follow it exactly, and in good faith.
Now understand, in the Path of Return we encounter various layers of klippot, husks, habitual unconscious patterns that bind the soul. At first we encounter gross klippot, glaring klippot, but then progressively more subtle and sublime klippot, glowing klippot. At the outset the more subtle and sublime klippot may not even be klippot to us, but in fact may be somewhat useful at the time, and so are not recognized as klippot, but then later they are klippot to us and are recognized as such. Likewise, we will find more subtle manifestations of klippot that we may have been laboring to overcome all the while; regardless, as klippot arise and are recognized, so we strive to overcome them, dispel them, and extract the sparks from them, reintegrating those sparks of our soul with the Holy Light and Spirit of God. This is an ongoing labor of a lifetime, even numerous lifetimes, and ultimately this labor is accomplished, completed, by the Spirit - Divine Grace.
As perhaps you might imagine we will use many and diverse remedies to overcome the klippot we encounter and it is something of a creative affair in faith and love, seeking a conscious response to what we encounter, all in the wisdom of skillful means.
In the midst of a dark night of the soul, or dark times, remember that God is always with you, though, for this is a most essential key, and so seek to see the good - God, within and behind what’s happening, dancing with the Holy Shekinah within what’s transpiring; hence, abide in faith.
These are a few thoughts I can share in the moment.
May we remember and embody the Way, Truth and Light, even in the midst of great darkness, and may God help us do so! Amen.
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia