Highs and Lows – Spiritual despair as part of awakening

Sitting down to blog this, my first impulse is to find an explanation and nifty quote somewhere on the internet.

To be honest, although so much of my own path has involved extremes of ecstasy and the most dreadful depression, rage and unhappiness – despair in short, I am still not really sure of the connection.

I wonder whether it is part of an intense capacity for feeling in general – one’s internal range of feelings – and I suppose this may well be part of the whole thing – much like manic depression but without the diagnosis or the persistence of symptoms that goes with having bipolar disorder. Or is it the grandiosity of some kind of psychosis? Or is it simply emotional lability?

And yet I know it is not any of these rationalist options – aha -here is one of the quotes that speaks to me.

Carrion Comfort – Gerald Manley Hopkins

Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?
Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

And these experiences of despair have left me with a lifelong fondness for gloomy music and art, because it speaks to me so deeply.

I have found that they precede and are woven into awakening experiences, and that they are are calls for healing or perhaps for awakenings. Maybe these are one and the same. With the despair comes illness, many times, and with or without the healing, transformation, and serenity/rapture/reinvention of the self.

Injury and loss become spirals into dreadful spaces that lead in turn, into awakening.

What then to do with them? How to help someone who is going through these very painful, rather dangerous despairs?

How to know when to help someone plunge into the abyss in search of the self, or in order to dissolve and disintegrate the illusion of selfhood. One and the same when you reach the fulcrum, the still point, the Union. And when you should pull them to shallow waters and offer tea and cookies?

Which is safer?

And should safety really be the priority? For an energy healer, not a therapist.

Well of course it is vital – so many people on the spiritual path, basically clients and practitioners, are hypersensitive and vulnerable, even unstable… And people can’t book sessions after they’re dead – not paying sessions anyway.

This is where Life Alignment is so gentle and soothing and wonderful and kind and funny as a spiritual path and tool for healing work. it has regularly at this point offered tea and cookies at the heart of the abyss. That is why I love it so much as a modality. Coax yourself or your client into the mad courage to leap, and the abyss transmutes itself into…

Who can tell?

But somehow, they always find their way through. Into a deeper truth, which once known, is known forever, and which makes everything perfect in that moment. The suffering that brought the person to this place is then also a blessing – a gift beyond price.

Spiritual awakenings are common to all religions and healing traditions.

Useful links on Spiritual Awakenings I found online:

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