Saturday, October 28, 2017

Spiritual Emergency: When 911 Can't Help

These conditions, when treated with respect and receiving appropriate support, can result in remarkable healing, deep positive transformation, and a higher level of functioning in everyday life. Stanislav Grof, "Spiritual Emergencies" 
Those of us engaged in efforts to deepen our self-awareness, if we're lucky, have glimpsed moments of grace where we've transcended the demands of ego and have seen the world in an entirely different way. Often this is a gradual emergence of unconscious material into consciousness, where we loosen the bonds of personality. This kind of transpersonal change has also been described as spiritual emergence.  
Most who undergo deep transformational experiences... go on to live seemingly rather ordinary lives but with an extraordinary inner perspective.*
Sometimes, though, there's such a rapid, forceful shift in awareness we can be momentarily destabilized, which Stan and Christina Grof refer to as spiritual emergency. Here's a description of such an experience:
"I was at the airport, and as I walked toward my gate, the hundreds of people around me suddenly looked like pop-up figures, as in children's books where you turn the page and a scene pops up. I felt completely alone. The sensation passed. Then, as I boarded the plane, there it was again as I looked down the aisles, the seats were filled with pop-up, cardboard passengers. I thought I was going crazy."
With help from a friend and assurance this was a spiritual emergency, this person was able to integrate this episode and several later ones that were somewhat similar. She had an unnerving and yet exciting realization of what her 'pop-up' experience symbolized   her worldview had so radically changed that everything she'd thought was true now seemed only an illusion.
The bad news is that your psyche just got blown to shreds, and the good news is that your psyche just got blown to shreds.* 
So if you're experiencing psychospiritual/transformational crisis, don't assume you're crazy. Tell your story to someone who will listen, an experienced coach or counselor who understands the nature of spiritual transformation.
*   Dance on Fire, Richard Jewett

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