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“It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. Remaining with him at the foot of the Cross were the three Marys, the Feminine power that brought him to birth in the ‘Below’, and would now stay with him through all his suffering until his soul was liberated and he returned to the ‘Above’.
“From noon until three in the afternoon, the whole earth was covered in darkness. This represents the ‘dark night of the soul’, the final purification and pardoning of the initiate before merging back with the Divine.
“The Gospels tell us little of what Jesus went through during these three long hours, so we have to rely on what other Christian mystics have revealed. According to St. John of the Cross (who coined the phrase ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ in his famous poem and commentary), what the anguished soul feels most deeply “is the conviction that God had abandoned it.” This is a time when “the soul is conscious of a profound emptiness in itself… It sees itself in the midst of the opposite evils, miserable imperfections, dryness and emptiness of the understanding, and abandonment of the spirit in darkness.” (“My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”)
“Why would this happen? Why would God abandon the initiate in this high place?
“The dark night of the soul is the way that God cures the soul of its tendency to cling to spiritual joys: for even these must be given up. Everything must be relinquished, even the pleasures of the contemplative and spiritual life, even one’s gratitude for the bliss of Divine Light. There cannot be the slightest sweetness left, for this would continue to separate the soul from God as it identifies with its own ecstasy. Thus, in anguish and in pain, the soul must undergo this ultimate break with the life of illusion, and be completely torn away from life. The soul must have nothing, it must become nothing, so that it can have and be only God.” – excerpt from ‘Symbols, Meaning, and the Sacred Quest’.