For St. John, true tests of will, determination, patience, discrimination, and understanding will come to the aspirant, who may then feel as if he has been abandoned, whereas, in truth, this is not so. He is actually being brought to a new stage in which he is humbled, purified, emptied of self-satisfaction, and prepared for a more permanent realization of his essential Self or Soul, wherein he will also be able to perceive things in a divine or universal manner, as it were, rather than a personal or egoic one, which he could not do otherwise as a beginner, due to his inherent ignorance. In this third and final stage, even the world, as well as the personal self, is no longer negated, or even avoided, but is spiritualized or seen as existing in and as God or, in more philosophic traditions, Mind or Consciousness.

We cannot say that the classic dark night itself and all of the various stages are required experiences. It is just that they occur and must be accounted for. However, all will generally pass through a dreaded black vortex, an abyss, or many such passages, to be born again from the ground up.

Read the full article by Peter Holleran, here.