II. Dark Night of the Spirit
Congratulations! If you have come this far in this series and have been in spiritual earnest, then you have completed the first leg of the Noble Ascent of Primordial Perfection. You have journeyed through the purgative night of the active sensorial and the illuminative night of the active spiritual tribulations and have thus purified and mortified these faculties. It needs to be known that many never enter into the next and darker phase of the journey. They feel content in no longer being disturbed by the discursive mind or spiritual anxiety in mastering this first phase and make the decision not to progress further into the “Passive” Dark Night of the Spirit. Passive in the sense of not initiating any form of action but just surrendering to the work that the Unborn Spirit still needs to confer. For those few brave souls who do, they need to be prepared for the harsh arid and desolate experiences that await them on the ‘Unitive-Way’ of the Unborn. Yea, no matter how profound the purgative and illuminative ways have been, the spirit is not yet totally purified and still needs to endure a more thorough cleansing before the Actual Union will occur.
Some habit-energy and affections remain deeply rooted in the spirit due to past karmic residue and associations. The mere purgation of the senses has not erased these adventitious seeds that are planted deep within the alaya-receptacle. You see, all that has transpired up to this point has only been the initial gateway to the process of Infused-Contemplation. It has served more to unite sense with spirit than to unite the spirit with the Unborn. The rancid smells of the charnel-house still cling to the spirit and if not sanitized by this passive dark night it will never be empowered to enter into the purity of the Clear Light of the Unborn Mind.
These adepts may also suffer from the deadening of the mind that one contracts from becoming too immersed with mundane associations. Yea, their spirit is always distracted by the ten-thousand things. Thus they need to be fully instilled with a Spirit of Noble Recollection that only this type of darkness can administer.
It also needs to be known at this junction that not everyone shares the same kinds of imperfections. Some are more spiritually-grave indeed. They place too much stock and value in spiritual locutions (private revelations) that they beheld through imaginary, visionary-means. Mara always plays tricks on them in this regard, coercing and fooling them into depending too totally on these vain images and fleeting feelings. Unless the adept is mindful of just what is transpiring under these circumstances, and makes an act of faith in the Unborn, then one is bound to be continually deceived.
It needs to be especially noted here that Mara induces many such visions and false prophecies, for what he fears most of all is someone successfully fulfilling the Unitive Way with the Unborn. One must not become Mara’s agent in such matters by falling under his evil-spell, but rather humbly maintaining a holy awe of the Unborn which is the sole gatekeeper of all other virtues. One needs to realize that this entering into the Dark Night of the Spirit will erase Mara’s hold and influence. One is made forever clean and free to put-on-the-new man-in the Unborn. One becomes proficient in this task by patiently enduring the spiritual trials yet to come.
When the adept’s spirit connects so totally in this way with the infusion of Unborn Light, it no longer operates in any inferior fashion. A new and vivifying Divine Gnosis has been instilled, one that reverberates with the Unborn Will and Spirit. One’s memory also now becomes transfigured in the recollection of countless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. One’s life is no longer one’s own but an extension of Divine Agencies.