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Spiritual Crisis - Emergency/Emergence

cpuusage

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"It is possible to undergo a profound crisis involving non-ordinary experiences and to perceive it as pathological or psychiatric when in fact it may be more accurately and beneficially described as a spiritual emergency."

Spiritual crisis networks (in many major countries) -

Australia - Spiritual Emergence Network is an organization supporting Australians experiencing altered states or transpersonal experiences, such as kundalini awakenings, shamanic journeys and healings, expanded consciousness or psychosis.

UK - Spiritual Crisis Network

I'm not sure that 'we' really understand the nature of such experiences labelled as psychosis/schizophrenia - truth/reality/consciousness/the self etc - I've spent a lot of time studying philosophy, psychology, spirituality, mental health experiences, & associated areas.

The spiritual crisis/emergency/emergence angles seem very interesting - such areas as Jungian psychology, Catherine Lucas & Isabel Clarke, Stanislav Grof, & others. Also for me I've found the past life/inter life research very helpful - with authors such as Michael Newton, Andy Tomlinson, Ian Lawton, Robert Swartz, Kubler Ross, Thomas Zinser, Dolores Cannon & others.

Also appears to be some very interesting material with the Western Esoteric Traditions - Theosophy - Blavatsky, the perennial philosophy, Anthroposophy - Rudolf Steiner etc.

The conspiracy/alternative world/history stuff I also find fascinating - David Icke, Michael Tsarion, Graham Hancock, Jordan Maxwell & others.

Not to mention some of the spiritual Masters & Traditions.

I feel that we're dealing with massive areas, in regards to such subjects.
 

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cpuusage

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Shame there is not any replies to this thread. I'm very interested in the more holistic & spiritual angles to life & 'mental health' experiences. It makes a lot of sense to me to see things from more expansive perspectives in regards to experiences of more extreme non-ordinary states. Do people here think about this 'stuff'? Do they ponder & consider these things?

Spiritual Emergency

Spiritual crisis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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I do but it's by far the hardest part for me to try to understand and put into words

Paris Williams, and his Rethinking Madness book is one I'm going to read I think, and I liked the Spiritual Emergency blog and their other ones.

I never thought of it as that until more recently but it makes sense, but I never equated what happened to me as spiritual ... even though I always understood it intuitively as a reaction to events and as a crisis of the mind. I think the thing is that it sounds so positive, and that makes it difficult to understand such negative experiences in that way.

But that could easily be because the response to them in this system prevents you coming out the other side transformed and traps you in a chronic state, making it harder to see and understand it in that light.

If I'd recovered reasonably quickly I believe I would see it in a positive light, because I've learned a lot and changed in some positive ways as a person - but not enough to warrant losing so much even though that's more down to society than me in my honest opinion, because if I'd known the right things to I would have done them.

I wonder if that's why these ideas meet such resistance at times, including within me, because those who recover quickly tend to have this view much more often than those of us who become disabled by it - and/or the medications for it - more permanently.
 
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cpuusage

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I never thought of it as that until more recently but it makes sense, but I never equated what happened to me as spiritual ... even though I always understood it intuitively as a reaction to events and as a crisis of the mind. I think the thing is that it sounds so positive, and that makes it difficult to understand such negative experiences in that way.
I think that for a lot of people the connotation & meaning of Spiritual is Positive/Wonderful - But it doesn't really mean that at all. The ambiguity of the word I suppose does create a lot of misunderstanding. Spiritual can mean all kinds of stuff.
 
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gandalfisback

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I think the potential for what is called mental illness to evolve our understanding of consciousness and spirituality is immense.
 
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I think that for a lot of people the connotation & meaning of Spiritual is Positive/Wonderful - But it doesn't really mean that at all. The ambiguity of the word I suppose does create a lot of misunderstanding. Spiritual can mean all kinds of stuff.
I definitely misunderstood terms like spirituality and concepts like meditation in an unhelpful way that reflects an ignorance in our society of these things. It's something I've been trying to rectify. I'm actually scared of meditation in a way because quietening everything down and just listening to my mind probably won't be the wonderful experience it's often painted as, but I've come across more stuff that acknowledges that recently which makes it seem more relevant to me. There is a tendency for those from my background to think of these things as a bit kooky and "not for me".

This quote from one of your links was helpful to my understanding thanks:

“In the most general terms, spiritual emergence can be defined as the movement of an individual to a more expanded way of being that involves enhanced emotional and psychosomatic health, greater freedom of personal choices and a sense of deeper connection with other people, nature and the cosmos. An important part of this development is an increasing awareness of the spiritual dimension in one's life and in the universal scheme of things... When spiritual emergence is very rapid and dramatic, however, this natural process can become a crisis and spiritual emergence becomes spiritual emergency.”

—Christina Grof and Stanislav and Grof, The Stormy Search for the Self: Understanding and Living with Spiritual Emergency, 1990, pp. 34-5
I think all the labels I've received and symptoms I've presented to various services can quite obviously be seen as the result of being traumatised and disconnected from my environments and the grounding things that spirituality represents. Which brings me to this:

I think the potential for what is called mental illness to evolve our understanding of consciousness and spirituality is immense.
I totally agree, but once it's got to a certain stage I think a lot of guidance and support is required to bring this opportunity to fruition. With no guidance and with health services only interested in acting as agents of social control I've been shunted a very long way down a very unhelpful path, one which I'm far from confident my body and brain can recover from. Which is unfortunate, because for many I fear by the time they realise these things represent an opportunity for re-evaluation and growth it is far too late for the benefits to outweigh the detriment it has caused. I'd love to prove myself wrong in this respect though.
 

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I definitely misunderstood terms like spirituality and concepts like meditation in an unhelpful way that reflects an ignorance in our society of these things.
Yes - like 'mental health' itself - there is a lot of ignorance & fear in these areas.

It's something I've been trying to rectify. I'm actually scared of meditation in a way because quietening everything down and just listening to my mind probably won't be the wonderful experience it's often painted as, but I've come across more stuff that acknowledges that recently which makes it seem more relevant to me. There is a tendency for those from my background to think of these things as a bit kooky and "not for me".
A genuine spiritual path - is I feel a hard & rocky path, & often a very lonely one. A lot of people can't understand Being & Stillness & other practises & states of being involved in such things - they just think it's being off with the faeries, laziness, & not washing or something. It's a World full of doings - everyone always has to to be doing something - do, do, do - it's relentless - constant action, distraction & drama. Just what is it that the vast majority are really achieving with all this doing? Very little as far as I can see - & 'they're' destroying the planet in the process.

I think all the labels I've received and symptoms I've presented to various services can quite obviously be seen as the result of being traumatised and disconnected from my environments and the grounding things that spirituality represents.
Yes - me too.

I totally agree, but once it's got to a certain stage I think a lot of guidance and support is required to bring this opportunity to fruition. With no guidance and with health services only interested in acting as agents of social control I've been shunted a very long way down a very unhelpful path, one which I'm far from confident my body and brain can recover from. Which is unfortunate, because for many I fear by the time they realise these things represent an opportunity for re-evaluation and growth it is far too late for the benefits to outweigh the detriment it has caused. I'd love to prove myself wrong in this respect though.
I know the feeling with it all. On some deeper level I do feel there is hope with it all. The body/brain does have enormous capacity for healing & recovery - & awareness on more spiritual/trans-personal levels is possible.
 
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Yes there is always some hope and even new ways to approach a situation you can't change which can provide hope when you can't initially see it. Neuroplasticity, recovery, finding the meaning in these experiences, acceptance, spirituality - there are some very important concepts the medical approach completely ignores that are far more useful than anything it has to say to many of us.

That just made me think of some things I read about the distinction between curing and healing and wholeness as opposed to cure

The Beyond Meds site has been a good window into a lot of this for me.

I liked the quotes on this page about it too:

Definitions of healing:
“I like to think of the word ‘healing’ in the relationship to curing, as coming to terms with things as they are. What healing is is a process through which we come to terms with the actuality of our situation in the present moment. Now, the beauty of healing is that healing is possible even in the absence or the very improbable likelihood of a cure — that the work of healing can be done right up to our last breath.” Kabat-Zinn, J. (2004).

“Healing may not be so much about getting better as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are. Not a better you, but a ‘realer’ you….People can heal and live, and people can heal and die. Healing is different from curing. Healing is a process we’re all involved in all the time. Healing is the leading forth of wholeness in people. I think that healing happens only in the context of our imminent awareness of something larger than ourselves, however we conceive that.” Remen, N. R. (1993).

Healing as the ways that an individual relates to the suffering triggered by his or her medical conditions. Patients’ journeys through illness and healing manifest individualistically from their foundations in religious and spiritual belief systems and practices. Bedard, J. (1999).

Healing as transcending suffering. Egnew interviewed medical and psychological experts such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Bernie Siegel, and Carl Hammerschlag, and coded his findings into themes of “wholeness,” “narrative,” and “spirituality.” Egnew, T. R. (2005).

Terminal patients defined healing in a variety of ways: recovery from illness, living with more of a sense of normalcy, forgiveness from God, freedom from mundane concerns, connectedness to God, acceptance of their conditions, and as a “sense of peace.” Gauthier, D. M. (2002).

Healing as being three-dimensional as it engages the physical, emotional, and spiritual sides of each patient. Puchalski, C. M. (1999).

Recurring themes of healing and survival include open communication, self-advocacy, the ability to face fear, and an openness to life. Roud, P. (1990).

Healing as a relational process, one that is predicated on the harmonic interplay of physical and spiritual forces between beings and elements. Illness as a healing process in itself. Barasch, M. I. (1994, June).

Healing as being more attuned to an ultimate and sacred reality than the diurnal realities in which the patients had formerly been consumed. Sorenson, J. H. (1987).
I think coming from a working class industrial background (maybe this relates to all British and American backgrounds I don't know) the learned compulsion when you face adversity is to ignore it for a bit then dig in and fight harder. The Churchill spirit if you like. I wonder if in these situations Gandhi and a more complex confrontation through defiant acceptance and a resolute surrender isn't a better leader though. At the minute I'm pretty ill and I find myself trying to frantically read and learn as much as I can, as if the answer is "out there" and sometimes I think I'd be much better using the little energy I have to just lie down and watch a relaxing film and to stop pushing myself and listen to and confront what's within or just chill out.

I'm at a stage and in a physical condition where the main things I can actually do something about are the anger and frustration I feel about how I got here and my functionality, and sometimes wonder if trying to use these to fuel the search for a cure is actually a barrier to what we refer to as the healing process. It's hard though, because if I displayed and acted how I felt I'm pretty sure I'd be in a court or psyche ward in no time. Which shows how important they are to come to terms with and makes all this stuff very relevant to me at this time. Especially now I feel I have a pretty good understanding of all the other stuff surrounding these experiences. It's like "okay, I get where I am and what got me here now what?" - and the answer is probably this kind of stuff.

It's a hard balance, because acceptance and recovery can appear diametrically opposed at first ("I don't want to accept this I want to get better") but the more you learn about these approaches and understandings the more acceptance becomes an obvious requirement for recovery, and the only option for healing when "cure" or recovery might never happen. These approaches seem pretty helpful and interesting and meaningful no matter how it all turns out in the end, and in a not always obvious way are probably the better way of effecting outcomes than the head down, heels in struggle we're often led to believe is the most beneficial.

Taking Neuroplasticity for example I'm pretty sure these kind of concepts and just eating well, resting and exercising and socialising the little I can are a better way of taking advantage of it than frantic searching driven by anxiety and fear.

And looking at the epigenetics thread if stress can turn a gene on then coming to relaxed acceptance of the situation is probably far more helpful than any amount of expertise in epigenetics is, which is what my old approach would head towards. And in the end the answer would probably be to do some very simple things we already know are beneficial to do anyway.
 
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gandalfisback

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I do believe spiritual emergencies exist but also people would maybe wish to identify with this as something other than JUST a mental illness. Perhaps like feeling special or different. As some kind of validation for a life of suffering. Just musing
 
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The books by Stanislav grof are very apt to this thread. For people with paranoia and voices I'd look into the hearing voices network and paranoia network. Marius romme and Escher are very open to individual interpretation. Also prominent voice hearers such as Peter bullimore and Ron Coleman are very open I think to spiritual interpretations especially Ron Coleman.
 
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I have great difficulty talking about such paranoid delusions, partly because I think nobody would believe me, but I know 100% what I see and know even though the experiece feels strangely bizzarre.
 

cpuusage

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I wonder if in these situations Gandhi and a more complex confrontation through defiant acceptance and a resolute surrender isn't a better leader though. At the minute I'm pretty ill and I find myself trying to frantically read and learn as much as I can, as if the answer is "out there" and sometimes I think I'd be much better using the little energy I have to just lie down and watch a relaxing film and to stop pushing myself and listen to and confront what's within or just chill out.
Yes - very much so. Acceptance for me does seem a key to it all - As Is; in the moment. Deep surrender. I've found the lives of 'spiritual' people & certain teaching & writings helpful. I know what you mean about the frantic reading & learning; as if the answer is 'out there'. After a time I feel you get the impression that there is really nothing new under the sun, & that loads of people have said really more or less the same things, just in different words. & you can't look into everything; there is too much out there. On top of thousands of web sites & subjects that I've looked into on-line - there are around 500 books on the shelf, & around 800 on the Amazon wish list - you can go on forever with it all (if I had the space & money I'd create my own library). I feel it is good to expand our knowledge & use our brains - to read & learn. But we're also all individuals - it is about what is within you; your own experience, being & knowledge; we all have free will & free choice & our own path. I suppose it is better sometimes to just switch off, relax & do stuff that isn't too taxing, maybe it is in finding a balance with it all as to what best suits us & works for us as individuals. Some days I sit & do very little - other days I get out & about, or read & look into a lot, it varies a great deal.

I have found an internal reference with things - after going through the experiences that I have, & having looked into & read up on what I have, & certain conversations with people - different areas & subjects seem to fit together more & make more sense. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, it's whatever floats someone's boat. I observe some people that just don't use their brains that much; in regards to learning, language, & pondering things - there is a marked difference in them; again; I don't mean that judgementally or as being right or wrong; it's just what it is.

I'm at a stage and in a physical condition where the main things I can actually do something about are the anger and frustration I feel about how I got here and my functionality, and sometimes wonder if trying to use these to fuel the search for a cure is actually a barrier to what we refer to as the healing process.
I've had a lot of anger, fear & resentment - & do feel that I've let go of a lot of it all - but it does all still come up. There was a shift at some stage where I no longer acted out on it all in the same ways, or made as extreme a reaction - it's been gradual, but has changed. I'm not effected as much or for as long when stuff happens that sets it all off - I can let go slightly more easily. I have analysed, worked through, & processed things as much as I can. I think as well that there comes a time when we do have to try & move on from a lot of things - realise that some things will never be fully worked out, but that we've done our best & it's best to try & let go of it all & try & get on with our lives as best as possible. I'm working on that, & on stilling the mind to a greater degree. Largely the mind is a nonsense - yes we need it for certain things in certain ways, but it's a tool - & it does what it does & creates all kinds of problems - when those levels are more still; then I feel a deeper spirituality can come through - that for me is the spiritual path in large part. [I'm not saying that I'm 'there' with anything; as I'm not, if anything I realise just how far there is to go with everything]

.......the answer is probably this kind of stuff.
Very much for me it is - although to really go into & work through things, & find a deeper level of peace, calm, stillness, serenity, spiritual connection etc - is something that requires a certain dedication.

It's a hard balance, because acceptance and recovery can appear diametrically opposed at first ("I don't want to accept this I want to get better") but the more you learn about these approaches and understandings the more acceptance becomes an obvious requirement for recovery, and the only option for healing when "cure" or recovery might never happen. These approaches seem pretty helpful and interesting and meaningful no matter how it all turns out in the end, and in a not always obvious way are probably the better way of effecting outcomes than the head down, heels in struggle we're often led to believe is the most beneficial.
Yes, very much so. That you can glimpse it all is great, & you are probably far further progressed than you realise to have that insight & understanding into it all.

Taking Neuroplasticity for example I'm pretty sure these kind of concepts and just eating well, resting and exercising and socialising the little I can are a better way of taking advantage of it than frantic searching driven by anxiety and fear.
Yes, a more holistic, spiritual, healing view takes into account all the other areas - it's not in direct opposition.

And looking at the epigenetics thread if stress can turn a gene on then coming to relaxed acceptance of the situation is probably far more helpful than any amount of expertise in epigenetics is, which is what my old approach would head towards. And in the end the answer would probably be to do some very simple things we already know are beneficial to do anyway.
Yes - it does come down to some very basic & simple stuff; it doesn't have to be complex or difficult - or maybe it can be as complex or as simple as we choose to make it all? I enjoy looking into all the different spiritual & esoteric systems - all sorts - but it's not really necessary.

Very glad that you are getting something from considering these areas.
 

cpuusage

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I have great difficulty talking about such paranoid delusions, partly because I think nobody would believe me, but I know 100% what I see and know even though the experiece feels strangely bizzarre.
Whatever the actual or objective truth to it all - it is real to you, these things are real experiences; even if in a more symbolic or mythological sense (which ironically can hold more/deeper meaning).
 
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