Sadness, depression, anguish, anger, chaos, nightmare, disillusionment are all aspects of the dark night of the soul.
One can see them as aspects to avoid, supplant with loving thoughts or religious practice, or distracting regimens
One can see these aspects as the dark side of the soul that brings to light its more positive aspects.
The soul represents all the spiritual aspects of our being, those that we like and those that we don’t. But regardless of our ego’s point-of-view about the soul’s values the soul will express itself, it will insist upon full participation in the world.
Our response to its activity will either enable its participation or hinder it and to hinder it is to limit our own growth and spiritual evolution.
To the believer who imagines that only love can bring spirit into being and thus pastes over or varnishes their darker aspects with thoughts of only loving gesture I say you will fail for even the power of love knows that it needs to make room for its darker cousin.
One must face the issues of life and death and the values existent within that life regardless of whether approved of in order to bring true love to their own being and the being of all else.
We are all tried in the crucible of the soul’s dark night. To seek consolation from without through religion, or rituals designed to eradicate the darkness often results in less than success. Facing the darkness and wrestling with it can be liberating from the constant struggle to eliminate it that is fruitless.
Many see the full expression of love as being divine in and a reflection of our true nature. This is true but the operative phrase here is, “full expression” not partial expression or only those expressions that we deem acceptable.
There is an inner wisdom being offered to the dreamer who dreams images of being threatened, attacked, killed, killing, or chased and hunted down by dark figures. All are shadows of the hidden self, the dark hidden soul wanting to be expressed and dealt with openly and honestly instead of suppressed and reviled.
Contrary to many so-called wisdom teachers the dark night is not necessarily something to be overcome but acknowledged and brought into the light and dealt with openly. Remember the old folk sayings that darkness comes before the light or the storm before the dawn? This is partly true in that it is often through personal struggle that ones true nature and purpose is revealed.
But even with the best of intentions to integrate and thus grow oneself one can find themselves so immersed in the darkness that they cannot find themselves. For those who find they are thus trapped they may need the guidance, partnership, and counseling of one who knows how to work with the darkness and its integration with the light. I have found these guides in dream groups, spiritual teachers, psychologists, and psychotherapists. All have helped in this journey to full expression of the soul.