In its most general sense, the dark night of the soul refers to (a) loosing that which used to give comfort and (b) learning to align more closely with a larger whole.
Our familiar views and behaviors don’t work anymore, and we have little choice but to surrender our personal will to the will of the larger whole – in whatever form that may appear to us, such as the Earth, Universe, Life, Divine will.
As a global civilization, we are heading full speed into an ecological bottleneck, and what may well be a “dark night” of the civilization. We are most likely already well into the bottleneck, although most of us – especially in the wealthy corners of the world – have not noticed it yet (due to the overshoot effect: going beyond living off the interest to depleting the principal and the system’s ability to regenerate).
We – and some before others – will soon be in a situation where it is clear that our old patterns do not work anymore. What we found comfort in, in terms of views and behavior, is taken away from us. And we have little choice but to surrender our views and will to that of the larger whole, to the realities of the processes of the Earth.
The Universe is one seamless fluid process, and as long as that is not a reality in our conscious experience, we are bound to repeatedly hit the wall until we learn to surrender to this larger whole. And of course, what we surrender to is just ourselves – the patterns we find throughout the Universe, this Earth and our own individual lives.
It may appear that we have to give something up, that we loose by surrender. But what we gain transcends and includes what we surrender, and we find a far deeper connection with life – with the deeper processes running throughout the Universe, Earth and ourselves as individual beings.