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it confirmed for me that as painful and emotionally heartbroking as it was for me, if I had to go though this or re-live it, I would choose to endure it all over again.
I don't know how many people would have been able to go through all that & not leave your husband.
originally posted by: ChrisB76728
. For me after things went wtf I started experiencing random thoughts of things to do that were usually hatefull then I'd see a story shortly later of what I was just thinking. As if for a few seconds someone would somehow implant ideas and emotions then echo them by perceiving them through news, songs, tv shows etc.
In many instances, it is possible to identify the situation that precipitated the psychospiritual crisis. It can be a primarily physical factor, such as a disease, accident, or operation. At other times, extreme physical exertion or prolonged lack of sleep may appear to be the most immediate trigger. In women, it can be childbirth, miscarriage, or abortion. We have also seen situations where the onset of the process coincided with an exceptionally powerful sexual experience.
One of the most important catalysts of psychospiritual crisis seems to be deep involvement in various forms of meditation and spiritual practice. This should not come as a surprise, since these methods have been specifically designed to facilitate spiritual experiences. We have been repeatedly contacted by persons in whom extended periods of holotropic states were triggered by the practice of Zen, Vipassana, or Vajrayana Buddhist meditation, yogic practices, Sufi ceremonies, monastic contemplation, or Christian prayer.
The wide range of triggers of spiritual crises clearly suggests that the individual's readiness for inner transformation plays far more important role than the external stimuli. When we look for a common denominator or final common pathway o the situations described above, we find that they all involve radical shift in the balance between the unconscious and conscious processes. Weakening of psychological defenses or, conversely, increase of the energetic charge of the unconscious dynamics, makes it possible for the unconscious (and superconscious) material to emerge into consciousness.
And yet, our work with individuals in psychospiritual crises, exchanges with colleagues doing similar work, and study of pertinent literature have convinced us that it is possible and useful to outline certain major forms of psychospiritual crises, which have sufficiently characteristic features to be differentiated from others.
Naturally, their boundaries are not clear and, in practice, there are some significant overlaps among them. I will first present a list of the most important varieties of psychospiritual crises as Christina and I have identified them and then briefly discuss each of them.
1. Shamanic crisis
2. Awakening of Kundalini
3. Episodes of unitive consciousness (Maslow's "peak experiences")
4. Psychological renewal through return to the center (John Perry)
5. Crisis of psychic opening
6. Past-life experiences
7. Communication with spirit guides and "channeling"
8. Near-death experiences (NDEs)
9. Close encounters with UFOs and alien abduction experiences
10. Possession states
11. Alcoholism and drug addiction
Psychological Renewal through Return to the Center
Another important type of transpersonal crisis was described by Californian psychiatrist and Jungian analyst John Weir Perry, who called it the "renewal process" (Perry 1974, 1976, 1998). Because of its depth and intensity, this is the type of psychospiritual crisis that is most likely diagnosed as serious mental disease. The experiences of people involved in the renewal process are so strange, extravagant, and far from everyday reality that it seems obvious that some serious pathological process must be affecting the functioning of their brains.
Individuals involved in this kind of crisis experience their psyche as a colossal battlefield where a cosmic combat is being played out between the forces of Good and Evil, or Light and Darkness. They are preoccupied with the theme of death — ritual killing, sacrifice, martyrdom, and afterlife. The problem of opposites fascinates them, particularly issues related to the differences between sexes. They experience themselves as the center of fantastic events that have cosmi relevance and are important for the future of the world. Their visionary states tend to take them farther and farther back — through their own history and the history of humanity, all the way to the creation of the world and the original ideal state of paradise. In this process, they seem to strive for perfection, trying to correct things that went wrong in the past.
After a period of turmoil and confusion, the experiences become more and more pleasant and start moving toward a resolution. The process often culminates in the experience of hieros gamos, or "sacred marriage," in which the individual is elevated to an illustrious or even divine status and experiences union with an equally distinguished partner. Thi indicates that the masculine and the feminine aspects of the personality are reaching a new balance. The sacred union can be experienced either with an imaginal archetypal figure, or i projected onto an idealized person from one's life, who then appears to be a karmic partner or a soul mate.
At this time, one can also have experiences involving what Jungian psychology interprets as symbols representing the Self, the transpersonal center that reflects our deepest and true nature and is related to, but not totally identical with, the Hindu concept of Atman-Brahman. In visionary states, it can appear in the form of a source of light of supernatural beauty, radiant spheres, precious stones and jewels, pearls, and other similar symbolic representations. Examples of this development from painful and challenging experiences to th discovery of one's divinity can be found in John Perry's books (Perry 1953, 1974, 1976) and in The Stormy Search for the Self, our own book on spiritual emergencies (Grof and Grof 1990).
At this stage of the process, these glorious experiences are interpreted as a personal apotheosis, a ritual celebration that raises one's experience of oneself to a highly exalted human status or to a state above the human condition altogether — a great leader, a world savior, or even the Lord of the Universe. This is often associated with a profound sense of spiritual rebirth that replaces the earlier preoccupation with death. At the time of completion and integration, one usually envisions an ideal future — a new world governed by love and justice, where all ills and evils have been overcome. As the intensity of the process subsides, the person realizes that the entire drama was a psychological transformation that was limited to his or her inner world and did not involve externa reality.
According to John Perry, the renewal process moves the individual in the direction of what Jung called "individuation" — a full realization and expression of one's deep potential. One aspect of Perry's research deserves special notice, sinc it produced what is probably the most convincing evidence against simplistic biological understanding of psychoses. He was able to show that the experiences involved in the renewal process exactly match the main themes of royal dramas that were enacted in many ancient cultures on New Year's Day.
These ritual dramas celebrating the advent of the new year were performed during what Perry calls "the archaic era of incarnated myth." This was the period in the history of these cultures when the rulers were considered to be incarnated gods and not ordinary human beings. Examples of such God/kings were the Egyptian pharaohs, the Peruvian Incas, the Hebrew and Hittite kings, or the Chinese and Japanese emperors (Perry 1991).
The positive potential of the renewal process and its deep
connection with archetypal symbolism and with specific periods of human history represents a very compelling argument against the theory that these experiences are chaotic pathological products of diseased brains. They are clearly closely connected with the evolution of consciousness on the individual and collective level.
Episodes of Unitive Consciousness ("Peak Experiences")
The American psychologist Abraham Maslow studied many hundreds of people who had unitive mystical experiences and coined for them the term peak experiences (Maslow 1964). He expressed sharp criticism of Western psychiatry's tendency to confuse such mystical states with mental disease. According to him, they should be considered supernormal rather than abnormal phenomena. If they are not interfered with and are allowed to run their natural course, these states typically lead to better functioning in the world and to "self-actualization" or "selfrealization" — the capacity to express more fully one's creative potential and to live a more rewarding and satisfying life.
Psychiatrist and consciousness researcher Walter Pahnke developed a list of basic characteristics of a typical peak experience, based on the work of Abraham Maslow and W. T. Stace. He used the following criteria to describe this state of mind (Pahnke and Richards 1966):
Unity (inner and outer)
Strong positive emotion
Transcendence of time and space
Sense of sacredness (numinosity)
Objectivity and reality of the insights
As this list indicates, when we have a peak experience, we have a sense of overcoming the usual fragmentation of the mind and body and feel that we have reached a state of unit and wholeness. We also transcend the ordinary distinction between subject and object and experience an ecstatic union with humanity, nature, the cosmos, and God. This is associated with intense feelings of joy, bliss, serenity, and inner peace. In a mystical experience of this type, we have a sense of leaving ordinary reality, where space has three dimensions and time is linear. We enter a metaphysical, transcendent realm, where these categories no longer apply. In this state, infinity and eternity become experiential realities. The numinous quality of this state has nothing to d with previous religious beliefs; it reflects a direct apprehension of the divine nature of reality.
Descriptions of peak experiences are usually full of paradoxes. The experience can be described as "contentless, yet all-containing." It has no specific content, but seems to contain everything in a potential form. We can have a sense of being simultaneously everything and nothing. While our personal identity and the limited ego have disappeared, we feel that we have expanded to such an extent that our being encompasses the entire universe. Similarly, it is possible to perceive all forms as empty, or emptiness as being pregnant with forms. We can even reach a state in which we see that the world exists and does not exist at the same time.
The peak experience can convey what seems to be ultimate wisdom and knowledge in matters of cosmic relevance, which the Upanishads describe as "knowing That, the knowledge of which gives the knowledge of everything." What we have learned during this experience is ineffable; it cannot be described by words. The very nature and structur of our language seem to be inadequate for this purpose. Yet, the experience can profoundly influence our system of values and strategy of existence.
Because of the generally benign nature and positive potentia of the peak experience, this is a category of spiritual crisis that should be least problematic. These experiences are by their nature transient and selflimited. There is absolutely no reason why they should have adverse consequences. And yet, due to the misconceptions of the psychiatric profession concerning spiritual matters, many people who experience such states end up hospitalized, receive pathological labels, and their condition is suppressed by psychopharmacological medication.
originally posted by: Peeple
This is probably the most reasuring and comforting thing ever posted on ATS.
We should open a self help thread.
Hello my name is Nadine
originally posted by: Peeple
Whichmakes me wonder, if all these hidden hints in fiction, or other cultures, like initiation rites are because it is ment to be a part of human adolescence to go through this crisis?
originally posted by: Peeple
We just surpress an important part of our personal development, if we deny ourselfes these experiences maybe? Could be the root for modern illnesses like burn-out?