Dark Night of the Soul - Summary and Key Ideas

"Dark Night of the Soul" is a spiritual guide by St. John of the Cross that explores the soul's journey from a state of abandonment and darkness to a loving union with God.

The target group for the book "Dark Night of the Soul" is likely individuals interested in Christian mysticism, spirituality, and personal growth.

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Dark Night of the Soul

Key ideas


St. John of the Cross's guidebook, the Dark Night of the Soul, narrates the soul's challenging journey through two transformations, culminating in a blissful divine union with God.


In the purifying process the soul needs to overcome the seven deadly sins to achieve union with God.

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The spiritual journey of purification includes sensory deprivation, leading to humility, and self-understanding.

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Intense suffering and alienation ultimately lead to profound self-knowledge, humility, and divine elevation.

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In the lengthy darkness the soul must show perseverance, surrender, patience and submission.

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The dark contemplation serves as a hidden ladder that the soul uses to ascend to God.

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Summary & Review

"Dark Night of the Soul" by St. John of the Cross is a profound exploration of the human soul's journey towards union with God. The book delves into the concept of the 'dark night,' a period of spiritual desolation and purification that one must endure to achieve divine union. It emphasizes the importance of detachment, humility, and love in this spiritual journey. The 'dark night' is not a punishment, but a necessary process of transformation, leading to a deeper understanding and experience of God's love.

St. John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross was a Spanish mystic, Catholic saint, and priest in the 16th century. Known for his deep spirituality and teachings on the soul's union with God, he is considered one of the most important figures in Spanish mysticism.

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