The Dark Night of the Soul
Book of the Month.
I’m recommending some reading material to some of my coachees and as such, I thought I would share these books, articles, and videos with you. I will share more of my work throughout the year, in the shape of podcasts, the launch of my YouTube channel, and new publications. For now, I would like to review the book of the month, “The Dark Night of the Soul! by Thomas Moore.
When I first studied counselling, many years ago, I read “The Dark Night of the Soul” by Thomas Moore. Now as a qualified coach, who also trains others to become a life or management coach, I recommend many books for my students to read and this month it is “The Dark Night of the Soul”.
Covid19 has brought many people to the depth of despair and caused a mental health crisis as it has swept through the world. During the outbreak, “generalised fear and fear-induced overreactive behaviour were common among the public”, while depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder all emerged. The result was “a heightened public mental health crisis and a “The Dark Night of the Soul”.
Many people are living in a difficult time and so many are experiencing some kind of life tragedy.
A lot of people are feeling that they are alone and living through a crisis, unable to bear going through the motions, having no sense of direction and feeling they have lost all hope?
If you find yourself going through a ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, then hopefully this article will shed a light on the soul-searching process and how you can come out the other side as a more conscious and more understanding individual.
The Dark Night of the Soul is a time when you will undergo a difficult and considerable change in life. If you can move through the process, no matter how difficult, you will gain a deeper understanding of life and who you are.
The Dark Night of the Soul is accompanied by painful shedding of previous parts of you. Such as identity, relationship, career, habits, or belief systems. These belief systems enabled you to create your own meaning of life, but the dark night of the soul will strip these belief systems away. When you see how easily your confidence drops away, you will know you are living through a dark night of the soul.
During the Dark Night of the Soul, you may struggle with your sense of purpose and question the meaning of life. Everything can seem meaningless and it seems like there is no place where you belong, and your shadow side will emerge.
Carl Jung informs us that the shadow or “shadow aspect” is a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and instincts. It is one of the three most recognisable archetypes, the others being the anima and animus. “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”
In Jungian psychology, the “shadow“, “id“, or “shadow aspect/archetype” may refer to an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself, or the totality of the unconscious, i.e., everything of which a person is not fully conscious. In short, the shadow is the unknown side.
Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of one’s personality, the shadow is largely negative. There are, however, positive aspects that may also remain hidden in one’s shadow.
Thomas Moore’s book ” The Dark Night of the Soul” is easy to read and more digestible than the work of Carl Jung-unless you are a counsellor of course. The book overview is below, and you may find some kind of comfort from reading it.
This classic book by one of our most important spiritual teachers will bring comfort and inspiration to anyone facing life’s challenges. Beautifully written, it touches heart and mind.
A ‘dark night of the soul’ is not a psychological syndrome, but a quest for meaning during life’s darkest hours, a challenge to restore yourself and to become someone of substance, depth and soul. By using trying times as an opportunity to reflect and delve into your soul’s deepest needs, you can find a new understanding of life’s meaning.
Dark Nights of the Soul has its roots in a favourite chapter in Thomas Moore’s million-copy bestseller, Care of the Soul. In this beautifully written and thought-provoking work, he explores our contemporary anxieties and insecurities and shows how these metaphoric dark nights can become transforming rites of passage.
About the Author
Thomas Moore (born October 8, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan) is an American psychotherapist, former monk, and writer of popular spiritual books, including the New York Times bestseller Care of the Soul (1992). He writes and lectures in the fields of archetypal psychology, mythology, and imagination.
I look forward to each new book by Thomas Moore, knowing that he can be counted upon to offer fresh meanings discovered through the depths of experience and expressed in sublime language.
Eileen specialises in helping clients with inspired learning and leadership development. By supporting and equipping talent management with a variety of training or coaching packages.
Eileen works with senior management teams, individuals and independents on executive, interpersonal or business coaching.
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