i think the Maverick Philosopher here is exactly right in his assessment of all this. He is exactly correct to point that those who deny any value in spiritual life before even leaving the starting gate cannot in the end comprehend something like the dark night of the soul. It's a remarkable form of blindness. (Which of course they would be quick to dismiss as meaningful, preferring to believe that they are sighted while others are blind.) Speaking as a non-denominational mystic who has in fact experienced the dark night of the soul, and the dark night of the senses, and chronic life-threatening illness, and the absence of the Divine, I once again state that the Maverick Philosopher really makes sense here. It's not a matter of belief, and particularly not a matter of intellectual dogmatic belief. It's a matter of experience.I am no fan of Mother Teresa, and no follower of organized religion. Nonetheless my own experience has been described and validated in detail by St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart, and all the other genuine mystics, of whatever denomination. Some of whose writings have kept me alive, in a rather literal sense.