The act of fasting is an event in a spiritual life. Caroline Myss asserts that if you live a spiritual life, it is inevitable that you will one day be thrown into madness, what Saint John of the Cross called “the dark night of the soul.”
According to Myss, all sages have this time of severe internal trial, including “modern mystics,” people on a spiritual quest leading seemingly average lives.
Stanislav and Christina Grof refer to these experiences as “spiritual emergencies,” or occurrences where “Individuals experiencing such episodes may feel that their sense of identity is breaking down, that their old values no longer hold true, and that the very ground beneath their personal realities is radically shifting.”
Similar to Myss’ description of spiritual madness, Grof and Grof note, “Episodes of this kind have been described in sacred literature of all ages as a result of meditative practices and as signposts of the mystical path.”
Fasting is one of many methods for creating a transformative transpersonal experience. Its long and rich history has left a genetic imprint on our collective consciousness that enhances the power of fasting.
Fasting can be mystical, miraculous, incredulous and transforming, depending on the intent. Whatever the purpose a person has when deciding to refrain from eating, a transformational shift will undoubtedly occur.