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Dark Night of the Soul

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Paperback Book
February, 2003
$20.00 CAD
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When prayers go dry on the tongue, and any sense of God in the world is lost, it seems the spiritual seeker has nowhere to turn. This is the dark night of the soul that the great 16th century saint John of the Cross experienced when he could no longer feel God’s presence and when prayer and spiritual practice no longer made any sense. The poem he wrote while in prison (for trying to reform the Church), on a scroll smuggled to him by one of the guards, has never before been translated complete with his later commentary by anyone outside the Catholic church. Mirabai Starr, who has studied Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, moving through several outer teachers to the silence within, lends the seeker’s sensibility to John’s powerful text, “restoring to us a classic in all its unflinching candor.” —Andrew Harvey

In his foreword, Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, writes: “I am grateful for Mirabai Starr’s fluid, inviting translation of this important text. Her translation allows me to adapt John’s words to my life with an immediacy I’ve never felt before in relation to this work. With this marvelous English version in hand... readers might discover their spiritual calling here and make the all-important shift from curing the personality to caring for the soul.”

The soul is singing about the fire of love. In this night of painful contemplation, the soul is ignited. Although the burning in some ways resembles what unfolded in the sensory part of the soul, in other ways it is as different as the soul is from the body. This is a love that glazes in the spirit. In the middle of her dark predicament, the soul feels herself vividly wounded by the flaming blade of divine love. And she is stirred by an inkling of God’s presence, even though her mind sits in darkness and she does not understand anything.

“We all have used the title as an expression—‘dark night of the soul’—but few of us have gone further... Starr gives us a fine, personal introduction to begin our luminous journey.” —Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones



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