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Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes Crisis

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From Spiritual Emergency to Healing and RebirthIncreasing numbers of people involved in personal transformation are experiencing spiritual emergencies — crises when the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. Individuals experiencing such episodes may feel that their sense of identity is breaking down, that their old values no longer hold true, and t From Spiritual Emergency to Healing and RebirthIncreasing numbers of people involved in personal transformation are experiencing spiritual emergencies — crises when the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. Individuals experiencing such episodes may feel that their sense of identity is breaking down, that their old values no longer hold true, and that the very ground beneath their personal realities is radically shifting. In many cases, new realms of mystical and spiritual experience enter their lives suddenly and dramatically, resulting in fear and confusion. They may feel tremendous anxiety, have difficulty coping with their daily lives, jobs, and relationships, and may even fear for their own sanity. Unfortunately, much of modern psychiatry has failed to distinguish these episodes from mental illness. As a result, transformational crises are often suppressed by routine psychiatric care, medication, and even institutionalization. However, there is a new perspective developing among many mental health professionals and those studying spiritual development that views such crises as transformative breakthroughs that can hold tremendous potential for physical and emotional healing. When understood and treated in a supportive manner, spiritual emergencies can become gateways to higher levels of functioning and new ways of being. In this book, foremost psychologists, psychiatrists, and spiritual teachers address the following questions: What is spiritual emergency? What is the relationship between spirituality, “madness,” and healing? What forms does spiritual emergency take? What are the pitfalls — and promises — of spiritual practice? How can people in spiritual emergency be assisted by family, friends, and professionals? This groundbreaking work reveals that within the crisis of spiritual emergency lies the promise of spiritual emergence and renewal.


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From Spiritual Emergency to Healing and RebirthIncreasing numbers of people involved in personal transformation are experiencing spiritual emergencies — crises when the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. Individuals experiencing such episodes may feel that their sense of identity is breaking down, that their old values no longer hold true, and t From Spiritual Emergency to Healing and RebirthIncreasing numbers of people involved in personal transformation are experiencing spiritual emergencies — crises when the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. Individuals experiencing such episodes may feel that their sense of identity is breaking down, that their old values no longer hold true, and that the very ground beneath their personal realities is radically shifting. In many cases, new realms of mystical and spiritual experience enter their lives suddenly and dramatically, resulting in fear and confusion. They may feel tremendous anxiety, have difficulty coping with their daily lives, jobs, and relationships, and may even fear for their own sanity. Unfortunately, much of modern psychiatry has failed to distinguish these episodes from mental illness. As a result, transformational crises are often suppressed by routine psychiatric care, medication, and even institutionalization. However, there is a new perspective developing among many mental health professionals and those studying spiritual development that views such crises as transformative breakthroughs that can hold tremendous potential for physical and emotional healing. When understood and treated in a supportive manner, spiritual emergencies can become gateways to higher levels of functioning and new ways of being. In this book, foremost psychologists, psychiatrists, and spiritual teachers address the following questions: What is spiritual emergency? What is the relationship between spirituality, “madness,” and healing? What forms does spiritual emergency take? What are the pitfalls — and promises — of spiritual practice? How can people in spiritual emergency be assisted by family, friends, and professionals? This groundbreaking work reveals that within the crisis of spiritual emergency lies the promise of spiritual emergence and renewal.

30 review for Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes Crisis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Judith Cregan

    This is a collection of essays around the topic of spiritual emergency. There is a wonderful little essay by Ram Das that is delightful to read, and a great description of kundalini awakening.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Lynn Martin

    I love that he stresses the fact several times about being WILLING to do something. Like WILLIING to face pain and pleasure. WILLING to look at our attachments and reflect and change them if need be. Whole book was filled with ways to transform your life.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gudrun Mouw

    For anyone for whom this subject is relevant, this is a must read! I love the quote, the hero's "counterpart is the demon of resistance." For anyone for whom this subject is relevant, this is a must read! I love the quote, the hero's "counterpart is the demon of resistance."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hugo Damasio

    Spot on 👌

  5. 4 out of 5

    Milly Cohen

    Los capítulos que eran de mi interés son muy buenos.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tony Castro

    Challenges conventional view of psychosis. Refreshing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    Book helped make sense of experiences of going deep inward. Some parts I did not resonate w and find it to the more esoteric than I can relate.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gaylene

    This is an amazing book which easily catalogues a variety of ways people emerge into deeper aspects of spirituality. Grof chose the word "emergency" but I prefer the term "emergence". The idea that it is possible to emerge from one level of spirituality to another more insightful level is very appealing to me. Perhaps the reason Grof chose to use the word "emergency" is because he is trained as a psychiatrist and has had people come to him for help as they make their way through an experience th This is an amazing book which easily catalogues a variety of ways people emerge into deeper aspects of spirituality. Grof chose the word "emergency" but I prefer the term "emergence". The idea that it is possible to emerge from one level of spirituality to another more insightful level is very appealing to me. Perhaps the reason Grof chose to use the word "emergency" is because he is trained as a psychiatrist and has had people come to him for help as they make their way through an experience that is somewhat foreign and a bit frightening. People who enjoy the everyday world of consensus reality and wouldn't want to step outside that realm, might be caught "off guard" by a glimpse into a more attuned level of spiritual awareness should it "happen" to them without their conscious seeking of that experience. For example in the case of a UFO sighting and perhaps if one experienced an unsolicited drug experience...the words "spiritual emergency" might be more appropriate. The Grofs' addressed at least 10 varieties of Spiritual Emergency including: 1. The Shamanic crisis 2. The awakening of Kundalini 3. Episodes of unitive consciousness ("peak experiences") 4. Psychological renewal through return to the center 5. The crisis of psychic opening 6. Past-life experiences 7. Communications with spirit guides and "channeling" 8. Near death experiences 9. Experiences of close encounters with UFO's 10. Possession states They outlined and defined each of these states in the introductory chapter of the book and then went on to include articles by authors who are experts in each of these fields of transpersonal experience. My favorite article was by Paul Rebillot who was an actor who became a facilitator of groups who took "mythic journeys". Since I already have an interest in psychodrama, I was intrigued by the idea of including Jungian ritual in workshops designed to encourage personal growth by creating a personal map for future challenges.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    The best thing about this book was its attempt to outline when symptoms might indicate "spiritual emergency" and when there is more likely some psychopathology involved. Other, more black and white new-agey approaches contend that there is no such thing as psychopathology, that all psychotherapy and medication squashes a person's spiritual growth, etc. That kind of thinking tends to result in all discussions of spirituality & psychology being painted with the same flakey brush. On the flipside, The best thing about this book was its attempt to outline when symptoms might indicate "spiritual emergency" and when there is more likely some psychopathology involved. Other, more black and white new-agey approaches contend that there is no such thing as psychopathology, that all psychotherapy and medication squashes a person's spiritual growth, etc. That kind of thinking tends to result in all discussions of spirituality & psychology being painted with the same flakey brush. On the flipside, much of mainstream psychology discounts spiritual experience or reduces it to chemical events within the brain. This book presents some very sane, open-minded perspectives that I found quite useful in thinking about both spiritual development and psychology.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    excited to read this book as it poses the problem in Western medicine in diagnosing transformative experiences of consciousness as psychotic. distinguishes the difference between organic manifestations of psychotic episode - to be treated with intensive medication vs. viewing some episodes as mystical, transformative and ultimately positively rewarding experience in need of support and understanding in medical community.

  11. 4 out of 5

    S. Div.

    A strong soulful effort to bring gentle balance to a difficult but natural transition, much needed in western culture.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Argyris

    If the intro rings a bell...it's a 'must read' If the intro rings a bell...it's a 'must read'

  13. 4 out of 5

    Daemor

  14. 5 out of 5

    Telepathic Teddy Bear

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marziale Mirarchi

  16. 5 out of 5

    Roger

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hayley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Philipp

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

  20. 5 out of 5

    George Jefferson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gondwild

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ihor

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Parry

  24. 4 out of 5

    Robert Nguyen

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Rothschild

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emmab

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Emery

  29. 5 out of 5

    Philip Saenger

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Bolton

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