the fertile descension & the aftermath of becoming

1-101Despair’s journey is both a search for renewed meaning and a call to grieve our losses. Though it may seem sudden and precipitous, despair has its roots. Long-standing grief over unnamed or un-mourned losses is one of the most common sources. In its density, despair brings us to the experience of existential emptiness. This emptiness is experienced not just by those who have been traumatized, but by those whose lives are full. The metamorphosis of meaning is an important part of the call of despair. Arising as a response to something in ourselves or in the world that we cannot bear to accept, despair asks us to look at the Medusa’s head and not be turned to stone, to face into a dark truth from which we’d prefer to avert our gaze, and to create meaning from pain. It invites us to change our lives and ourselves, to transform the way that we look at the world. And it moves us to let our grief flow. Despair invites us to a journey into the fertile dark. It’s a journey to the dark inner core of our banished selves and our failures to create a humane world. The voice of despair says, ‘Go deeper.’ More than grief and fear, despair has a moral and social dimension that calls us to pay attention to and make meaning out of human suffering. ‘Enter this dark night of the soul,’ insists the voice of despair. ‘Look at the world’s pain without your usual protections. Descend to this place of near-annihilation. If you can bear your way through this night with patience, you will be moved to a muscular faith that has looked into the heart of darkness and emerged to affirm life.’…….Miriam Greenspan

imagine the shadow work of our life as the balm that crushes and re-envisions wholeness……healing the soul is a psycho spiritual journey of immense transformation……how can we hold each other’s hand? how can we find our place in a world that won’t stop turning when we do?….how can we find a word beyond the triteness of hope? how do we ‘become’ from what was torn away?

One of the essential requirements for true spiritual growth and deep personal transformation is coming to peace with pain. No expansion or evolution can take place without change, and periods of change are not comfortable. Sometimes you will go through deep experiences that bring up intense pain inside of you. To feel great love and freedom, to find the presence of God within you, all of this stored pain must go. It is in this inner work that spirituality becomes a reality. Over time, you will form an intensely personal relationship with this beautiful inner force. This is the core of spiritual work…..Michael Singer

the sacred knowledge of despair…..

There are sicknesses worse than sicknesses,

There are pains that do not ache, not even in the soul,

Yet are more painful than all the others.

There are anxieties dreamed of more real

Than those life brings us, sensations

Felt only by imagining them,

More our own than life itself.

So many things exist without existing,

Exist, and linger on and on,

And on and on belong to us, and are us…

Over the turbid green of the wide-spreading river

The white circumflexes of the gulls…

Over and above the soul, the useless fluttering

Of what never was, nor ever can be, and that’s all.

Let me have more wine, life is nothing.


My soul came apart like an empty jar.

It fell overwhelmingly, down the stairs.

Dropped from the hands of a careless maid.

It fell. Smashed into more pieces than

there was china in the jar.

…Fernando Pessoa

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