Tag: spiritual emergency
A spiritual emergency is a crisis during which experiences are so intense that they temporarily disrupt the sense of self. Mislabeling them as pathological symptoms may be damaging to further spiritual development as well as to the individual's psychological and physiological well-being.
One month ago I suddenly found myself in a very dark place. There is a depth of wisdom that comes from dark or challenging emotional states, that with good support and hard work looking at the underlying (and sometimes ancient) dynamics can lead to enormous insights and compassion.
The one big lie that your mind will tell you when you are in that dark night: I am never going to feel okay again. This is the lie that drives people to self-destruction. It’s also the lie that keeps dynamic, complicated individuals captive in a system that says: your struggle is a permanent and defining feature of your brokenness.
Biomedical and alternative discourses frame people’s experiences of extreme mental states associated with meditation in different ways.
The drugs combined with my desire to know how life worked and what made a human broke down all past social conditioning of my individual self. I realized I was God. So was everyone else and I shared with anyone who would listen, but found no one who could understand or navigate the territory. There was little internet to speak of then and no Google to find others who experienced life as I was, so I voyaged on my own as best I could.
Is madness good for something? If there is something positive about psychosis, then perhaps what we really need is a balanced view, somewhere between “romanticizing” it as being all good and “awfulizing” it as being all bad.
What if we took individuals who are experiencing emotional crises called 'psychosis' and offered them safe spaces of respite? Similar to the psychedelic trip, environment, supportive relationships, and interpretation of experience appear key to whether the experience of psychosis is transformative or destructive.
My goal now is to focus on solutions for emotional distress, not talking about medical harm. We all know about the problems with medical harm, but not all people are clear about solutions. I'm not that clear, either, but I'm working on it. I'm not talking about revolution any longer, just trying to make my piece of the pie work.
A lot of posts on this site are about the problems in mental health care. This post is about some solutions. Many of us can do small, simple things to move advocacy forward. We can all make a difference so people can learn how to handle emotional distress without using disease based approaches with chemically based "solutions." Here are 5 things you can do in the next five minutes to promote UnDiagnosing Emotional Distress.
The more we worry about the separation from reality, the more scared we get and the more separated we get. This month I found out about another trap. When you can see the beauty and spirituality and mystery and magic of what is going on, it's tempting to do things to make it last longer and help yourself get further into it, like skip sleep or skip meals or use drugs. I had to fight those temptations often through this month, and still am, to be honest, because there is so much of this process that was not just scary, but glorious and giganticly interdimensional and impactful.