What is the “dark night of the soul”
Well, the “dark night of the soul” designates a very deep and personal experience, it’s not something we go through together in a group. It is a condition when one or more hidden limiting beliefs (e.g. fears, worries, wrath) in our subconscious emerge all at once and push us into deep traumatic feelings inside that cause us great pains.
Originally, this mental and emotional status was reached in a planned way by advanced disciples of some high spiritual masters who guided their closer disciples through this, giving each a customized guidance. It can’t be really done by general guidelines, like how one might find in some books, or elsewhere … we are not talking about sharing around cooking recipes, you know.
This condition is reached in general only by advanced spirituals that strive on progressing on their spiritual path, it’s for true practitioners and not for theorists, spiritual tourists, and so on as many are in this realm.
By exception, this condition can occur also to average people if they undergo really terrible events like multiple losses of loved ones in a short span, tragic events that push them to question their own existence here, etc. For such people, this condition is the main reason for suicide since they feel lost and alone, with no support whether material or emotional from other people or Creation in general; one starts questioning if God, the soul, or guides really exists, why don’t they do their thing of helping they are supposed to …
Only a higher understanding can give you support in such moments and this comes only by working with yourself as a true spiritual is supposed to do.
What are the options if one gets into such?
Now, between a fully enlightened soul who is detached and goes through hardships with few lower emotions and in a very short span, and the average Joe who succumbs to peak emotional pressures like the “dark night of the soul”, is a whole range of degrees and belongs to the type of person involved in this, like his spiritual knowledge level, his health, his age, other pressures his under, circumstances around, and so on.
Such a condition of the “dark night of the soul”, from my experience and also watching others go through it, can last from days to weeks, months, years, and even until death, so there is no way to forecast exactly how long it will last since there are too many factors involved.
Nevertheless, what’s certain is that the condition will last significantly shorter if the person will correctly work in the sense of acknowledging and releasing the beliefs that caused it, otherwise it can last a really long time with nasty results … Moreover, each one going through this condition needs a customized approach according to his specifics. In a sense, it's a deconstruction of one's old personality, whereas he emerges in the end as a new evolved being.
For instance, I lead several persons through such a journey and each needs his personal path through this which is different from others, although in general terms as said above we are talking about releasing limiting beliefs, which actually are some of that person’s main life-lessons.