From Spiritual Emergency to Healing and Rebirth Increasing 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 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.
Stanislav Grof, M.D., is a psychiatrist with more than thirty years of research experience in nonordinary states of consciousness. He was born and educated in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and received an M.D. from Prague's Charles University School of Medicine, where he specialized in psychiatry. He was the principle investigator for a program at the Psychiatric Research Institute that explored the potential of psychedelic therapy. For his dissertation on this subject, he was awarded a Ph.D. by the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. In 1967 he was invited to Johns Hopkins University as a clinical and research fellow and to the research unit of Spring Grove State Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where he continued his psychadelic research. In 1969 he was offered the position of chief of psychiatric research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and of assistant professor of psychology at Henry Phipps Clinic. The research team he headed systematically explored the value of psychedelic therapy in neurotics, alcoholics, drug addicts, and terminal cancer patients. Stanislav continued these functions until 1973, when he moved to California and became scholar in residence at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. Since that time, he has focused on exploring the potential of experimental psychotherapy without drugs, in addition to writing and conducting seminars worldwide. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology and the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association. He has published more than ninety papers in professional journals and is the author of Realms of the Human Unconscious, The Human Encounter with Death, LSD Psychotherapy, Beyond the Brain, and The Adventure of Self-Discovery. He was also editor of the volumes Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science and Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution.
Date of Publication
Mind, Body & Spirit: General
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Christina Grof, Stanislav Grof
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