Dark Night of the Soul
Real Life Experiences


Argennon's Story (from Singapore)...

My online handle is Argennon, but mundanely I am known as Silver. I was popped into existence in the December of 1980 as the first-born daughter of an average Singaporean Chinese family. I share with you today, on this page so generously provided by Mr. Schmidt, my experiences simply to let you know that no man's, or woman's, experience is more or less unique than any other man's or woman's. Too many people today seek to read about other people's fantastic experiences, to say, "Oh my God, look at what he/she has been through." My experience may be fantastic to you; it may be mediocre at best to another. Ultimately, what does that teach us? That every man and woman walks his or her own path, and that all paths lead to God/Goddess/Universe/Source. Whatever you may like to call It. I hate terminology. =)

As a child, I saw elementals in the air, floating along as they sang, laughed, played and floated some more. Nature was not just a beautiful landscape to admire, Nature was a living, breathing symphony of a million separate beings, all guided in orchestra by a greater hand. Life spoke, in language, in cadences not fully comprehended by my human brain, but rather understood deep within me in a place I had yet to see or even find then. Such was the innocence; such was the joy of then. We spoke together, we sang together. The world speaks and it speaks with the same voice that your soul speaks. To put it poetically, the wisdom of the ages is within your grasp should you just choose to listen.

Then came the first waves of darkness. I was put into primary school, where I had to mix with other children of various classes. What did it feel like to me? It was like I opened my mouth to say something to another child and that other child does not comprehend. I was lost. Such a cruel world it was, and seemingly blind. Blind to the mysteries of life around us, seeing only the things that pleasure on the material level. Desire for material wants ran rampant even through souls as young as that. My soul recoiled in horrified hurt. The material world was so alien to me. I did not do well in school, nor did I make many friends. I was naive in the ways of the world, and it did not take too long for the other children to realize that I was very gullible to their wiles. I became unhappy, not understanding why "other people were like that".

It was in high school that my own "dark night of the soul" descended upon me in all its majesty. *chuckles* Quite a morbid way to put it hey? Well, descend upon me it did and lasted a good whole 7 years, the 4 years of high school and the following 3 years of polytechnic education. It was during this period of time that everything I was, or rather considered myself to be, came under attack by everyone around me. Friends, teachers and family fell upon me in a relentless battle to get me to "change". "Change!" they cried, "Stop living in that dreamland of yours! Wake up! Stop deluding yourself! Wake up to the real world!" "Be a normal child and get good results!" cried my parents. "Be a normal teenager and act like one!" cried my friends. "Stop acting weird and pretending to see and hear things!" practically everyone cried. *chuckles* Whoo-hoo, what a time THAT was. I am surprised I made it out of there alive, much less sane as it is.

I tried, that much I can say. I figured, hell, I was not really getting anywhere the way I was anyway right? *snickers* I only ended up proving what a failure I was at being normal! But that revelation came only after 7 solid years of denying myself. I blocked off all the channels I had to the other worlds, took hard and serious study of what "normal" kids my age liked and basically, tried my best to fit in. It was a hard, hard time of struggle. Though I did not really feel it then, it was like committing suicide. It was like I murdered every last bit of my soul, while it was crying, "No! No!" It was a time of much pain, so much confusion and even more hurt. In doing so, I denied myself the power of being what I am, and became a puppet to be jerked around by the strings of everyone who thought they knew what was best for me.

Everything finally culminated early in the year 2000, when I was about to turn 20 years of age. By this time, I had fought a losing battle for 7 years of my life and felt that I was still going nowhere. I fell into a clinical depression. The effects of depression are an all-pervasive disease that spreads slowly and surely through your every limb, invading your mind with its insidious negativity, drowning and suffocating your heart in irrational anguish and self-pity. Day and night ran into one another with no sense of time. I lost all appetite, I forgot appointments, I fell ill constantly, and horrors of horrors! I did not wash! Ugh! It just kept going downwards and downwards till one not so fine day, I realized that I just wanted to die. I cried out to the stars at night, "Take me home! I don't want to be here anymore. I failed, okay? I just don't have the strength to do what you want me to do here. I can't! I can't! Take me home! I want to go home!"

I don't remember how I managed to get out of it. It was definitely not by my effort alone! There were friends who were there helping me. By mid-2000, I had graduated, and was somehow wobbling my way back to some sense of sanity. By this time, one of the major lessons in my life was mastered. Be yourself. Be what you are. Let no one tell you otherwise, for no one else can know what you are better than you yourself. It will not be an easy path, but it will be worth it. To seek your true self is the first step to knowing your soul. The true you cannot be packaged, cannot be classified, and cannot be defined. Have the courage to follow it.

So, was it over, you may ask? And I'll reply, "Not by a long shot!" The way to truth takes a long and winding path and it is a journey that never ends. Today, I'll only be able to tell you what little I know for now, who knows what else I'll learn tomorrow? True, I had found the courage to be myself but in doing so, I was only just prepared for the next stage of learning. The next lesson that was in my way is the one that will defy all efforts to describe it. It is only something that can be experienced. If I had thought that everything in my life had fallen apart around me already, boy was I wrong. It was not a physical sort of ruin, not as in loss of money, family, property etc. No, it was a falling apart of everything that was inside me. Strange isn't it? That I had just found myself only to have it fall apart? What does it mean? It simply showed that everything I thought myself to be me was not I. Not by a long shot.

It was an incredible experience, even more so because I willingly submitted to it. That much I had learnt, that the lessons of life come and go and they only hurt when you resist them. Even today as I am typing this to you and I think about it, it feels like a cup of clear, heady mead, a joy that slides into your being as you drink it down bringing you up, up and never lets you down! I could laugh from the pure, unadulterated joy of it! This is the true culmination of the dark night of the soul, when everything breaks down for the last time, WITHIN you and everything is made clear. What truly fell apart were my EGO and all the illusions that I had of the world. It is like Anthony De Mello says: "Want to wake up? You want happiness? You want freedom? Here it is: Drop your false ideas. See through people. If you see through yourself, you will see through everyone. Then you will love them. Otherwise you will spend your whole time grappling with your wrong notions about them, with your illusions that are constantly clashing against reality."

Buddhism says that all suffering comes from the desire of the material because man desires the material; hence all suffering comes from man. For example, another quote from De Mello's book "Awareness" says: " Anytime you have a negative feeling toward anyone, you are living in an illusion. There's something seriously wrong with you. You're not seeing reality. Something inside you has to change. But what do we generally do when we have a negative feeling? "He is to blame, she is to blame. She's got to change." No! The world's all right. The one who has to change is YOU."

This whole thing about the dark night of the soul and all that is simply about change. About YOU changing YOURSELF. That's what AWAKENING is about. There is nothing more important than waking up, than changing yourself, than accepting the illusions that you have about the world. De Mello is right, the world is totally all right, it is US that have to change and the world will change accordingly. Everything that I have said here is simply another path, my personal path. YOU have your own path, your own road to change. And it will be hard, oh I guarantee it, but hang in there. Just hang in there, because it is like they say, "The hour before DAWN and the sunrise is the hour that is the darkest, but fear not, the sun WILL rise and with it, a new day."

If you wish to contact me for sharing, my e-mail address is... argennon@visto.com

To all my Brothers and Sisters. 


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