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Spiritual Emergency: The Understanding and Treatment of Transpersonal Crises

Life honouring article.

The term Spiritual Emergency was coined to validate the experiences of people who are at risk of being pathologized for challenging consensus reality. For many people, it is an empowering alternative to psychiatric diagnosis.

Spiritual Emergence suggests a curious and respectful attitude to experiences of belief, perception, reality or meaning outside of consensus reality.

There exists increasing evidence that many individuals experiencing episodes of nonordinary states of consciousness accompanied by various emotional, perceptual, and psychosomatic manifestations are undergoing an evolutionary crisis rather than suffering from a mental disease (Grof, 1985). The recognition of this fact has important practical and theoretical consequences. If properly understood and treated as difficult stages in a natural developmental process, these experiences—spiritual emergencies or transpersonal crises—can result in emotional and psychosomatic healing, creative problem-solving, personality transformation, and consciousness evolution. This fact is reflected in the term “spiritual emergency,” which suggests a crisis, but also suggests the potential for rising to a higher state of being. This article, from 2017, is written by Christina Grof and Stanislav Grof of the California Institute of Integral Studies.