An archetypal motif in mythology and psychologically associated with depression and the loss of energy, the dark night of the soul is an important stage of the quest for deeper knowledge, as Joseph Campbell said:
“The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation. When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.”
Journey through the dark night of the soul with these reading companions:
Swamplands of the Soul : New Lifein Dismal Places by James Hollis – Who does not long to arrive some distant day at that sunlit meadow where we may live in pure contentment? Yet much of the time we are lost in the quick sands of guilt, grief, betrayal, depression and the like. Perhaps the goal of life is not happiness but meaning.
World Weary Woman : Her Wound and Transformation by Cara Barker – A World Weary Woman is one whose characteristic response to stress is to struggle to achieve. However, she feels little joy in the process, suffering a disconnection from her feminine body wisdom and her creativity. Her task is to find a way of living authentically that allows her to express what awakens her heart. The provisional life exhausts her and she knows it. Thus she must detach from who she has been, in order to discover who she is meant to be.
The Middle Passage : From Misery to Meaning in Midlife by James Hollis – Why do so many go through so much disruption in their middle years? What does it mean and how can we survive it? The Middle Passage shows how we can pass through midlife consciously, rendering the second half of life all the richer and more meaningful.
Archetypes and Strange Attractors : The Chaotic World of Symbols by John R Van Eenwyk – Is chaos in our lives a sign that things have gone terribly wrong? Not necessarily. Just as the material world oscillates between states of order and chaos, so also the individuation process involves stages of psychic balance and disruption.