Quotes from the book: “Healing through the dark emotions”

I once posted an interview of Miriam Greenspan on this book of hers entitled, “healing through the dark emotions: The wisdom of grief, fear and despair.”  After reading and posting parts of that interview I bought her book after my brother died.

It’s a wonderful book and speaks to any human pain or suffering. Not just loss. Here we see the profound and universal nature of human distress, when today all people want to do is pathologize it. The great thinkers, poets and artists who express these thoughts show us that these feelings are eternally human.

So I flipped through the book and took some of my favorite quotes that Miriam Greenspan used to highlight her work:

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.Carl Jung

Help us to be always hopeful
Gardeners of the spirit
Who knows that without darkness
Nothing nothing comes to birth
As without light
Nothing flowers

—May Sarton
“The Invocation of Kali”

Blessed are the men and women
who are planted in your earth, in your garden,
who grow as your trees and flowers grow,
who transform their darkness to light.

—The Odes of Solomon

You can hold back from the suffering of the world…but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering that you could have avoided. —Franz Kafka

The man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. Michel de Montaigne

Your heart will give you greater counsel than all the world’s scholars.The Talmud

For grief has darkened my eyes; my body is like a shadow. My days fade like an echo; the strings of my heart have snapped.The Book of Job

There is nothing so whole as a broken heart.Menachem Mendel of Kotzk

One may lay down weeping at nightfall, but at dawn there are shouts of joy. —Psalm 30:6

He hath set me in dark places as those who are dead forever. He hath a fence around me and against me, that I may not go out; He hath made my captivity heavy. Yea, and when I have cried and entreated, He hath shut out my prayer…He hath thwarted my steps…and broken me into pieces.St. John of the Cross , The Dark Night of the Soul

There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. —Albert Camus

Despair…is the only cure for illusion. Without despair we cannot transfer our allegiance to reality–it’s a kind of mourning period for our fantasies. Some people do not survive this despair, but no major change within a person can occur without it.Philip Slater

I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
which shall be the darkness of God.

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
T.S. Elliot

In the depth of winter, I found that there was in me in invincible summer.Albert Camus

Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair. T.S. Elliot

If you see a spark, you will find it in the ashes.Elie Wiesal

In order to experience fearlessness it is necessary to experience fear. — Chogyam Trungpa

There are many ways we have of standing outside ourselves in ignorance. Those who have learned as children to become strangers to themselves do not find this a difficult task. Habit has made it natural not to feel. To ignore the consequences of what one does in the world becomes ordinary. — Susan Griffin

There is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in. — Leonard Cohen

If a way to the better there be, it lies in taking a full look at the worst.Thomas Hardy

An unhealed life is a statement of our need to work together to heal the whole. It is an opportunity to refrain from turning away, separating our reality from the reality of others. Yael Bethiem

Emotion is the chief source of becoming-conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion. Carl Jung

9 thoughts on “Quotes from the book: “Healing through the dark emotions”

  1. hahaha! the reason i questioned it-i’ve seen it as invisible summers several places on the web and thought-oh god-i’ve really f*cked up!!! 🙂


  2. Just found this blog…it’s amazing! I look forward to reading more. I’ve been told that I’m manic depressive, however I do agree that a lot of things can be improved in a more natural way without medication (I am only on a low dose of lithium, I have refused to take any other medications).



    1. welcome Penny! glad you like what you see!

      I know lots and lots of people who live healthy happy lives without drugs who were once diagnosed with various psychiatric labels…


  3. you’re quite right kim…was a typo!! fixed and thank you! oh, and you’re welcome to just say, “hey, Gianna, you got it WRONG girl!”



  4. very nice.

    but i must say, 3 years ago I came up with the name of my blog from an Albert Camus quote which you have as:

    In the depth of winter, I found that there was in me in invisible summer. — Albert Camus

    I thought it was invincible. hmmmmm.


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