This period of crisis which may descend upon a Quester and which has been called the dark night of the soul is a period of spiritual stagnation, moral discouragement, and mental fatigue. Nothing and nobody seems able or even willing to help him and books themselves become useless, arid, and futile. Not only can he proceed no farther, but there seems no point in trying to do so. Yet, as I have often pointed out before, it is in this crisis when he seems most deserted that he is really being most guided, guided from a path, the Long Path, which has reached its end towards the Short Path, which he must now begin to travel.
-- Notebooks Category 23: Advanced Contemplation > Chapter 3: The Dark Night of The Soul > # 74