Thursday, August 24th 2017

The New Female Mystics: Dark Nights of the Soul

How, exactly, did these remarkable women emerge as “realized” beings in our data-infused, image-obsessed society? Like Katie, most of them have reported a fundamental dissolution of a social or personal identity. For Smadar de Lange (left), a rising star who represents the next generation of female mystics, it came after a traumatic motorcycle accident.

For Ingram, her meltdown came after the break-up of an engagement. “I had had romantic obsessions since I was ten years old,” she says, “which I now see as a yearning for divinity because that is the realm in which I had most tasted divinity — that intoxicating dissolution of separation. So this last painful ending was a grand culmination of that whole fantasy, and in that pain there was no place that I could be in peace except free and clear of a lot of thinking and ruminating about the story, the past, or the future . . .

“It forced awareness into a kind of luminosity that had not been there.”

Next Slide Show: The Top 9 Spiritual Resorts in the West

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