Sun at Midnight:
A Memoir of the Dark Night of the Soul
by Andrew Harvey
I am very honored to share the following excerpt
of my latest book with the readers of SoulfulLiving.com.
" The Sun at Midnight" is my most personal and
spiritually passionate book. It is at once a love story,
an exploration of a prolonged, both shattering and
revelatory ‘dark night of the soul’ and an account
of the discovery in the middle of a life-threatening
ordeal, of the direct grace of the Divine Mother and of
the direct Path.
Those who have followed my work during the last ten
years will find in "The Sun at Midnight" the
sources of its passion and vision. The publication of
"Sun at midnight" during our contemporary
world-wide ‘dark night’ is more than a coincidence:
I pray that the humbling wisdom Eryk and I learned at
such cost can now help thousands of others as our
present universal crisis darkens and give them courage
to endure the death of all kinds that prepare the birth
of a new world.
The following excerpt occurs near the beginning of
the book. On December 27, 1993, my then guru, mother
Meera told me to get rid of Eryk, marry a woman and
write a book about how her force had changed me into a
After a week of agonized questioning, Eryk and I fled
Germany to go to Belgium and dedicate our love and
future to the Virgin Mary.
"Eryk and I left Talheim early Sunday morning
before anyone was awake, in a dark and blinding snow
storm that grew more and more furious as we drove on
into it, as if whipped up by some hidden Force that
wanted at all costs to keep us in its power. "If we
can leave Germany, if we can only leave Germany"
Eryk kept saying "we will be safe." Time and
time again, whirling snow would so whiten the front
window of our rental car that we could hardly see
anything, only the dimmest imaginable blur of lights
from the cars in front of us. Yet, we drove on, even
when the road became almost unnegotiably treacherous,
and the car started to skid and sway or tremble in the
hissing storm wind as if it were made of balsa wood.
At the Belgian border, as if by Divine magic, the
snowstorm suddenly stopped and a pale winter sun came
out and lit up the lush green hills of the Ardennes.
And with the sun, a great curtain of sane calm seemed
to descend on everything.
"I am the Virgin of the Poor" the Virgin
had said to Mariette Beco, the twelve year old daughter
of peasant parents to whom she appeared in Banneux in
"I am the Virgin of the Poor". As we drove
through the sweet gray-green landscape of the Ardennes,
that phrase kept returning to me.
The Virgin showed Mariette a sacred spring and asked
her to plunge her hands into it "This is reserved
for me" she said, "And it is for all nations
and for the sick."
Over and over, I repeated Her words in my heart,
laying the pain of these last days at Her feet.
We arrived at Banneux in a slight warm-drizzle at
about four in the afternoon. There is nothing glamorous
or ostensibly holy or even interesting about Banneux; It
could be any one of a thousand poor tiny faceless gray
and beige walled Belgian villages clustered round a
church at the edge of one or other of the forests that
stretch all over this region.
A few hundred yards from the main square, which
doubles as a car park, you can still see the tiny
one-story house where the Beco family lived. Near to it,
to one side, there is a small humble-roofed chapel, open
to the weather on three sides, with nothing in it but a
statue of Mary as Mariette saw her, head bowed, grave,
her hands slightly upraised in prayer, a rosary round
her right wrist.
A little further on, there is a long through with
water running into it through slightly eroded lead
pipes. This water comes from the spring that the virgin
revealed to Mariette when she appeared to her for the
second time. All over Europe, all over the world, small
bottles of this water go to anoint the newborn, heal the
sick, comfort the dying. Sacred images are washed in it;
drops of it sprinkled in corners purify houses that have
known tragedy. Through its power, the blind have come to
see, the lame to walk, the desperate to find hope beyond
hope, the stricken strength to bear the unbearable.
At the end of the fifth apparition, the virgin said
to Mariette who was kneeling gazing up at her by the
spring, "I come to comfort suffering".
Day after day, the water keeps pouring. It never runs
I went first to the spring and bathed my hands and
face in its freezing water.
"Mother", I prayed "wash my this
suffering from me. Heal me in my heart, my soul, my
body, my mind."
An old woman was standing by me, saying her rosary,
and reciting in french the Litany of Loreto "
"Virgin most merciful
Pray for us
Virgin most faithful
Pray for us
Seat of wisdom
Cause of our joy
Vessel of honor
Singular vessel of devotion
With each "Pray for us". A deeper peace
enveloped me. When she had finished, the old woman
turned to me, took my hand, squeezed it and said
"You have only to speak to Her softly. She always
hear." Then, she knelt in the dirt and I knelt with
her. It is so simple, I thought suddenly, so simple to
be with her, if you trust.
The woman studied my face intensely. "You are in
pain" she said" something very bad had
"Yes" I said.
"The water of the Mother will heal you."
Excerpted from Sun at Midnight, by Andrew Harvey,
Tarcher-Putnam, October 2002. All rights reserved
Andrew Harvey is an internationally acclaimed poet, novelist, mystical scholar, seeker and teacher. He is the author of more than
thirty books, including "Son of Man", "The Direct Path", "The Way of Passion", "The Return of the Mother" and "A
Journey in Ladakh". Married to writer and photographer Eryk Hanut, Harvey lives in Nevada and New York.