Disillusionment is an experience that is known to all. The experience involves a massive breakdown of perceived truths, leading to a sense of aimlessness, futility and disorientation. Our daily encounters in life inevitably force us at one time or another to face disillusionment. While being stripped of illusion is initially devastating, can it also be transforming? Can painful realizations lead you to truth and freedom?
Disillusionment is very common on the spiritual path. John of the Cross, who was a Spanish mystic talks about periods of inertia in his spiritual life, and called them “dark nights of the soul.” During those moments he pondered the validity of the path and felt worthless and filled with doubt. He stumbled in his commitment to what he believed and why he believed it.
Every student is forewarned about the possible encounters with bewildering situations when on a quest for truth. It is fair to say that many aspirants seeking enlightenment have usually suffered through many such periods. These tests are a way a person’s dedication and moral commitment are proved unshakable.
While none of us like to be uncomfortable, it is perhaps through disillusionment that we can embrace our humanity and create new truths and paradigms. We learn ultimately to enter the process willingly, knowing that the final result will be worth it.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”