Now we begin the long ascent up the high mountain of the Dark Night of the SPIRIT…
As with nearly all mountain hiking there are innumerable switchbacks that seemingly are getting us going nowhere fast. Yet after we have a momentary glance back we can see that we have made ground and moved up the mountain toward the long awaited goal.
Speaking of the imperfections at this level of the spirit there are two kinds: Habitual and Actual. Habitual imperfections are like roots of a tree compared to the imperfections of the senses which would be characterized by the branches of a tree. The work at this level is a purging to penetrate to the roots of our life. In further contrast it is the difference between removing a stain which is fresh and one which is old and been long standing.
The Dark Night of the spirit serves to accommodate sense to spirit rather than to unite spirit to God. For now there still remains in the spirit the stains of the old man, yet the spirit may resist and even deny such accusations against itself and if it will not be purged with hyssop then it will be unable to come to the purity of Divine union.