Spiritual Growth, Crises and Emergency
The seeking of spiritual fulfillment in life for some people is crucially important. Spirituality for some may signify the promise of relief of pain and suffering, a breaking from the past, acceptance, meaning and purpose in life, direction or resolution and perspective.
Spirituality for some is closely linked to religion or to practising of a particular faith. For others it may mean the relinquishing of a past linked to a religious background which was traumatic or abusive. Similarily individual perspectives may focus more on internal powers as opposed to powers of a spiritual 'other.' For some direct contact with something meaningful is essential for their spiritual questing, without that it is more of an idea, rather than an experience of something which was meaningful, unique and personal to them.
In the modern world a right to explore and seek spiritual experience appears to have become normalised and accepted. A renewed interrest in indigenous cultures, faith healing, shamanism, trance, medicinal plants and ancient wisdom has grown. With it has come a market place in spiritual seeking as abundant as the shelves of the local supermarket.
With this abundance of choice has come a reduction in refinement, like the ingredients list on a packet of food, few people pay attention to the small print or the actual contents. Promises and hopes of trauma resolution, epiphanies, spontaneous healing and spirit guides often mask the more delicate matters of what does it mean to be 'spiritual' - what does it actually involve and what are the risks?
Prior to the culture of entitlement which currently exists, esoteric practices were remote and their practices guarded. The arousing of internal energies or external forces was considered fraught with danger, risk and reward. This is the paradigm within which every school of esoteric religion / enlightenment works. Strict hierarchies, guidelines and restriction of information in place to protect neophytes and apprentices from potential danger, not the least of which was madness.
Every mental hospital will be familiar with the psychotic cannabis user, drug user or psychedelic drug experimenter. What for some people can be fun, for others can be life changing. This presents one area of spiritual seeking or indulgence which can benefit from appropriate knowledge.
The emergence of renewed interrest has brought about new insights and mapping of these experiences and the distorted conditions which may arise from them.
Transpersonal psychology has evolved upon the belief in higher potentialities of the human being, troubles and distortions which may arise in the stages inherent in spiritual growth and the seeking and defining of resolutions to them. This work began in modern times via some of Freud's apprentices breaking from his model of human psychology and seeing scope and value in the great religions, ancient cultures and traditions.
A great body of work has been developed around the area of Spiritual Crises or Emergency. Work which has been largely highlighted by the pioneering work and research of Dr Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina Grof. On the surface looking similar to psychosis, spiritual crises is a specific and acute form of spiritual awakening and change which is coloured by polarised negative and positive traits. It is often misdiagnosed by psychiatrists and can result in being misunderstood as schizophrenia. However there are clear points of differentiation.
The understanding of such experiences needs to be done through an appropriate model or framework. This is what the development of transpersonal psychology has brought to modern psychology in the last forty years or so. Many pioneering writers, researchers and clinicians have built up a strong evidence base of a deeper and more inclusive way in percieving and understanding the human condition. One which is more naturally akin to her surrounding environment, the ancient religions and cultures of the world and new discoveries in science and physics.
For more information on the spiritual process, spiritual crises or the new paradigm of transpersonal psychology look to the video page for the relevant videos.
For the last twenty years I have studied spiritual models of growth, shamanic practices, medicinal plants and matters of a spiritual nature. I recieve considerable interest from people from all over the world and do work via SKYPE where relevant and appropriate. For more information on this service and on after care post detox visit:
If you are looking for support or information on any matter with regards to spirtual matters, emergency or crises or any of the areas mentioned in this website in Middlesbrough, Durham, Hartlepool, UK or worldwide, please call for more information.