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The spiritual joys are intended to entice men--lethargic or reluctant as they are--onto the Quest, or to reward them when they have finished it. That is to say, they are for beginners and adepts. The spiritual drynesses are intended to purify the character, fortify the will, and detach men from the ego. That is to say, they are for sufficiently grown adults. It is the paradoxical irony of this situation that the joys of the beginner make him believe that he is very near to God whereas the desolations of the proficient make him despise himself.


-- Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 3: The Dark Night of The Soul > # 72






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