Dark Retreat – Dark Therapy
In the Depths of my Soul
Experiences in Complete Darkness
In 2003 and 2005, I spent 12 and 24 days, respectively, in a small, completely darkened room, fasting, and in the absence of any external distractions, confronted exclusively with myself for twenty-four hours of every day. Once per day, my facilitator came for a one-hour debriefing session. I recorded everything that I experienced during my dark retreat on a Dictaphone. This book is based on these recordings.
The account presents a cross section of the experiential spectrum of the human psyche and is aimed at readers interested in the subject areas of psychology, transformation, spirituality, mysticism, healing of the Inner Child, lucid dreaming, dream analysis, deep meditation, Tai Chi, fasting and Beingness experiences.
The book is available through all common outlets.
This long version is a translation of the German title “In den Tiefen meiner Seele. Erfahrungen in völliger Dunkelheit.” by Saskia John, Wagner-Verlag, first edition 2012.
Translated by: Gabriele Fröhlich
Editorial by: Fran Pickering
Cover design: WerbeFactory Luckenwalde, Germany
First Edition January 2014
Print Book published by tao.de in J. Kamphausen Mediengruppe GmbH, Bielefeld, Germany; e-Mail: email@example.com
This book includes all of my dreams, thoughts and feelings, as they correspond with my experiences as well as my observations and insights about the multi-layered interplay between body, spirit and soul. In addition to my experiences of a personal as well as transpersonal nature, I also provide an account of my fasting, Tai Chi, and meditation experiences in the darkness, and description of the process of healing and reconciliation with my Inner Child, including the way in which emotional reactions to our past experiences can be effectively transformed.
For the processing and integration of my experiences, I made use of Gabriele Fröhlich’s psychodynamic model of The Intelligent Heart, and the book provides many examples of the practical application of the model to specific contexts and in this sense, presents a kind of reference guide for the model. Amendments to the transcripts of the recordings have been added on to in italics, in the ensuing years, in the course of the reworking of the experiences, comprising further processes, insights and psychodynamic analyses, thus encompassing the accounts of her psychical experiences in the course of a seven-year period in total.
Both journeys into the depths of my soul served to expand my consciousness, as well as presented experiences of an exploratory, integrational and adventurous nature without my being able to know beforehand where they would take me and what might develop for me as a result. I was able to investigate hitherto unknown territory, which often took me to my personal limits, and at times, even beyond. My experiences finally caused even the last remaining supporting pillars of my earlier, skeptical, materialistic-scientific model of the world to crumble, opening up new gateways towards a more mystic-spiritual outlook on life.
Based on the longitudinal expansion in terms of its contents and evaluation period, extending from 2003 to 2011, this book may be of interest to scientists and researchers in some specialized areas of mainstream medicine, including in the context of extended hospital stays, near-death experiences during operations, extended isolation and quarantine periods in conjunction with infectious diseases, processes of disease inception, and an improved understanding of how soul processes impact on the physical body; emergency spiritual care, correctional services (including solitary confinement and spiritual care to prisoners), terminal patient spiritual care, hospice work, psychiatry, psychology, parapsychology, dream research, and space research (long distance flights under altered conditions) and provide valuable insights into the way the psyche functions, the affects from spending extended time periods in darkness in solitude and in conjunction with fasting, and the complex interplay between body, spirit and soul. The contents may also provide useful material as comparative literature for future research projects, including in conjunction with doctoral thesis work, in a consciousness studies context.