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Spiritual raptures, which are such a help and encouragement for the beginner, become a hindrance and stumbling block to the advanced disciple. The latter must learn to give them up without complaint, and to no longer expect or depend on them. The most effectual way to teach him that lesson is unfortunately for him also the most desolating. It is through the dark night of the soul. The absence of the higher self or God or grace in this condition is only a seeming one. Each is still there underneath the darkness. The situation is really paradoxical and beyond correct appraisal by the conscious mind, certainly by the suffering ego. He is being made to learn, by the severest experience, that the divine reality must not be confused with his conscious reactions to it, nor with his mental reactions to it, nor even with his emotional reactions to it, that it belongs to an unknown and unknowable realm that transcends human faculties and defies human perceptions.

-- Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 3: The Dark Night of The Soul > # 58

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