Why do things “go wrong” during a dark night?

Why do things tend to “go wrong” during a dark night?

The answer may be in the definition of a dark night that makes most sense to me now. It’s a period – a swing back from the light – where bubbles of confusion surface to release from their suffering. Aspects of the psyche still caught up in beliefs surface to be seen, felt, loved and align more with reality.

If this dark night is dense and really dark, things tend to go wrong. There may be loss of health. Projects go awry. Friends disappear. I have experienced each of those, and a few more.

So why is that happening?

The answer may depend on what’s going “wrong”.

Health problems may be due to burnout from the initial awakening period. Or they be a component of what’s surfacing. For instance, if paralyzed/hibernating parts of the psyche surface, fatigue may accompany them.

Projects may go awry since confused aspects of our psyche surface. They fill awareness, influence how we are in the world, and we make decisions colored by that confusion.

Friends may disappear because they don’t understand or don’t know how to deal with what’s going on, or – as above – because confused aspects surface and influence how we are in the world.

I also suspect that each of these intensify the more we are caught up in resistance to what’s happening. Throwing tantrums takes energy otherwise used for healing. We create more confusion for ourselves. And we may become more unpleasant to be around.

Whatever goes “wrong” is an invitation for us to notice what happens when we are caught up in beliefs, fear and resistance (discomfort), and what happens when we align with the inevitable – as Adya and de Mello so well put it. And how to we align ourselves with the inevitable? It’s an individual path and process, although I suspect for most – or all – it involves some confusion, struggle and ups and downs, and eventually meeting and being with what surfaces with love, inquiring into beliefs, allowing experience as is, and asking for and finding whatever inner and outer support is needed in this process.

Note: El Collie has written on much of this, including losing friends.


  • why do things “go wrong” during a dark night?
    • what’s a dark night?
      • bubbles/subpersonalities of confusion surface to be released from their suffering, align more with reality
    • a common theme is that things tend to “go wrong”
    • what goes wrong? – health, projects, lose friends etc.
    • why? perhaps two main reasons
      • since confused aspects of the psyche surface, they influence how we are in the world
        • make decisions out of confusion
        • may experience old emotions that surface to be released – and may be influenced/colored by them
        • may get caught up in resistance, tantrums
      • we interpret what’s happening through these confused aspects – interpret as bad, wrong etc.
    • what’s the function?
      • it’s feedback, invite us to deal with what’s surfacing
      • allow experience, emotions
      • identify and inquire into beliefs
      • find inner and outer support
      • etc.
    • ……


Since confused aspects of our psyche surface, they fill awareness and influence how we are in the world. We make decisions colored by that confusion. And we may be caught up in resistance to

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