A Spiritual Crisis as Seen Through the Eyes of the Clinician

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“Until found, God cannot be proven

so that He can be hidden

from those who want to make a monopoly of

the abundance that He Provides.”

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Preface to the “Spiritual Crisis As Viewed by the Clinician”

This article, “A Spiritual Crisis as Seen Through the Eyes of the Clinician,” more than meets the eye, was originally a seven-page 8.5 x 11 document. In order to spare the visitor from the cumbersome task of having to exercise discernment through a cumbersome task of reading through the seven pages, I have decided it best to clip the article down to three pages.

The original publication thus became a three-page hub but was not featured due to the shortness based on word count.

In order to meet the word count requirement, this updated article will contain the short and the long version; the short being called “I. THE SUMMARY,” and the long, “II. THE MEANDERING.”

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I. SUMMARY

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I am a man of science, I cannot believe in God unless science has developed technology advance enough to prove God's existence. We are trained not to believe in God, so that we may be able to perform our duties and responsibilities effectively.

There are basically two schools of thought: Freud’s and Jung’s. I follow Freud’s, which espouses the “mother’s womb” theory.

What if I were a follower of Jung? Contemporary psychology is a combination of both Freud’s and Jung’s teachings. Science has continuously endeavored to use the best of both worlds and the best of technology to provide the best possible care.

Science is based on both research and statistics. Statistics provide the gauge for what is most likely to work, for example, if the said therapy works for 85% of the population, it is adopted for the mainstream. Clients are treated as individuals so are monitored to responsiveness and fine-tuning measures adopted accordingly.

The extremely creative/spiritual may be viewed as neurotic/psychotic. Jesus may be treated as insane, put to jail, imprisoned for life or given a life sentence if he were alive today. His ways are abnormal. He does not fit the norms that have been established by statistics nor society. He can be a threat to the established order.

Signs of psychosis:

  • Feeling of being transported beyond the self to a new realm
  • Feeling of communion with the 'divine'
  • Sense of ecstasy and exultation
  • Heightened state of awareness
  • Loss of self-object boundaries
  • Powerful sense of noesis
  • Distortion of time-sense
  • Perceptual changes (synesthesia, dampening, or heightening)
  • Hallucinations

If you can discern between your visions and reality, you should be okay. If you do not cause harm to yourself or others, you should be okay.

I refuse to believe in your god if it is telling you to kill yourself or someone. (I refuse to believe in your god if he or she is teaching people to go to war against each other.)

If your god is helping you live your life in a positive way, then I will tell you to go ahead with your beliefs whatever they may be.

A positive way refers to being able to help yourself and others.

“Check for your sleep, moods, activity, rapid thoughts. If these go beyond your control, be on alert. Sleep is foremost. Three nights without sleep may push you over the edge.”

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“’Who are my mother and my brothers?’ he asked.” – Mark 3:33

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“Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother,” the spiritual Jesus says.

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The Spiritual Crisis: Seeing on Earth How It Is in Heaven

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‘… They either didn’t have the desire, or simply didn’t know how to proceed. But there was no fear.

I felt a process of healing take place. Love filled this whirling, moving mass, and I sank more deeply into its warmth and blackness and rejoiced in my security and peace. I thought, “This must be where the valley of the shadow of death is.”

I have never felt greater tranquility in my life.’

- “Embraced by the Light” by Betty J. Eadie

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How Would the Spiritual Perceive the Atheist?

The spiritual, who is on earth, who ‘sees’ how it is in heaven (i.e., via visions), understands that judging or stereotyping would be a pitfall. Judgment of the clinician, who is a non-believer, as being anti-Christ, for example, by a person with a Christian orientation, blinds one from the subtleties available in a soul-to-soul conversation.

What the spiritual perceives is a care professional who is anxious for the safety and well-being of his/her client. He or she seemingly speaks against Him but performs His works of love.

“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” – John 13:34-35

The ‘anti-Christ’who performs His works of love, should be known as His disciple.

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The religious goes to see a ‘pro-Christ’ practitioner but is never there, seemingly the one who always wants to be waited upon by the client. A doctor’s unreliable schedule is detrimental to the well-being of his/her patient.

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The spiritual’s suffering seems to have been brought about by a beloved spouse, who has always been there financially dependable, but forever absent otherwise it seems. The self-proclaimed anti-Christ seemed to have triumphed by creating a spiritual vacuum for the spiritual spouse, one that lasted for 23 years. So it seems. Yet, God in his great mercy, uses the experience of contrast of extreme loss and worthlessness with the joy of being. The Divine uses even our adversities to build up our character.

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It then seems true.

There is a real anti-Christ and a fake one. Fortunately, for the spiritual.

There is a real pro-Christ and a fake one.

Double fortunately for the spiritual appreciating every experience as a learning experience, including what not to be in times when others need us.

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Only God knows what’s in the hearts of men.

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Spirituals need to be warned that one’s psyche is very volatile when experiencing the ‘visionary mode.’ It would be best to avoid negative people if at all possible during stages of transition, until the visionary mode has settled to a steady state, where visions can be had or activated voluntarily, at will.

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Nonetheless, as mentioned God uses every adversity. Each imperfection is part of the perfection of His master plan.

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Also, angels and ‘human angels’ are sent to assist the visionary, e.g., with remembering the important information that needs to be documented along with the catharsis.

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“The Laws: … :When we recognize these laws and learn how to use their positive and negative forces, we will have access to power beyond comprehension.” – Embraced by the Light by Betty J. Eadie

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… hidden from the clever and the learned,

revealed to the merest of children …

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REFERENCES:

http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/dsm4

http://personaltao.com/teachings/shamanic/about-visions/what-is-the-third-eye/comment-page-21/#comments/lesson3_3.asp


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II. MEANDERING

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The Spiritual Crisis: Seeing on Earth How It Is in Heaven

“Who can tell all that certain children communicate through gifts they are still unaware of? Some of them awaken others to God by the trust they display, by unexpected word.”

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“Can’t we be just Spirit?”

I experienced my spiritual crisis at the age of 33. There is not much in easy conscious recall now except for remembering, in response to having witnessed all the hardships mankind was experiencing, having said that to myself.

They say be careful what you wish for.

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This is not to discount the fact that in retrospect, such a crisis can indeed be viewed as risky, especially because it seems that Spirit has taken over control of logic. And one feels like going insane.

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Nonetheless, eventually we see that everything turns out to be part of the perfect Divine Order, which is based on perfect Love. Every need, even of the unconscious spiritual person in a spiritual crisis, is taken care of. ‘Human angels’ arrive exactly where and when you need them, such as in protecting you against the ‘entrapment’ of an egoic or selfish world structure.

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This hub then is written for those who feel ‘lost’ in a spiritually fast evolving earth, where the material world thinks them insane and treats them accordingly.

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Saints and mystics are in this category, if that is of any consolation. This is how it feels like, in a nutshell. This is the tip of the iceberg of what has been recently made available as existing literature about the spiritual crisis.

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This is not to judge anyone as better or any circumstance as easier. They, mystics and saints, may have lived a safe, secluded life, far away from the imposition of modern man’s high-technology western-based medical profession. Also, this is not to say that there are no professionals who can help. True understanding and compassion from a truly caring individual is a stepping stone towards providing an inspiring context and the correct therapy.

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Each critical event, like an individual, has its own unique set of challenges, manifestation of the sanctity of its soul’s unfolding.

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The Religious/Spiritual versus the Psychotic

“For clinical assessment, the mystical experience can be seen as a transient, extraordinary experience marked by:

feelings of unity

sense of harmonious relationship to the divine

euphoria

sense of noesis (access to the hidden spiritual dimension)

loss of ego functioning

alterations in time and space perception

sense of lacking control over the event.

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As with other types of spiritual emergency, individuals in the midst of intense mystical experiences have been hospitalized and medicated, when less restrictive and more health-promoting interventions could have been utilized. Some have suggested that the presence of a mystical experience is a contraindication for medication …

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Mystical experiences can be overwhelming for individuals who don'talready have a strong sense of self. They can become frightened and confused by the sudden influx of spiritual consciousness. Roberto Assagioli, MD, known for being the founder of psychosynthesis, described this clinical problem:

The personality is unable to rightly assimilate the inflow of light and energy. This happens, for instance, when the intellect is not well coordinated and developed when the emotions and the imagination are uncontrolled when the nervous system is too sensitive, or when the inrush of spiritual energy is overwhelming in its suddenness and intensity.

(Self-realization and psychological disturbances in Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis by Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof, pp. 34-5)

However, there are also several specific similarities between self-reported descriptions of mystical and psychotic experiences.

Feeling of being transported beyond the self to a new realm

Feeling of communion with the 'divine'

Sense of ecstasy and exultation

Heightened state of awareness

Loss of self-object boundaries

Powerful sense of noesis

Distortion of time-sense

Perceptual changes (synesthesia, dampening, or heightening)

Hallucinations

Differences:

“... studies have found that people reporting mystical experiences scored lower on psychopathology scales and higher on measures of psychological well-being than controls. (see The Psychology of Religion: An Empirical Approach by Ralph W. Hood, Editor).

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A computerized content analysis comparing written passages describing schizophrenia, hallucinogenic drug experiences, and mystical experiences with autobiographical accounts as controls also provides guidance for differential diagnosis:

  • Schizophrenic subjects emphasize illness/deviance themes
  • Hallucinogenic accounts emphasize altered sensory experience
  • Mystical accounts focus on religious/spiritual issues
  • Normal control subjects emphasize adaptive and interpersonal themes

(Oxman TE, Rosenberg SD, Schnurr PP, Tucker GJ, Gala G, The language of altered states)

This strongly suggests that content can be used as a guide in differential diagnosis.”

Overview of Treatment/Therapeutic Interventions: Spiritual Crises

“There are also a number of therapeutic strategies that apply to all spiritual crises. Stanislav Grof, MD, and Christina Grof, founders of the Spiritual Emergence Network, describe a spiritually-sensitive approach:

The most important task is to give people in crisis a positive context for their experiences and sufficient information about the process that they are going through. It is essential that they move away from the concept of disease and recognize the leading nature of their crisis...

Whether attitudes and interactions in the narrow circle of close relatives and friends are nourishing and supportive or fearful, judgmental, and manipulative makes a considerable difference in terms of the course and outcome of the episode...

[Therapy] should not be limited to talking and should allow full experience and direct release of emotion. It is absolutely essential to respect the healing wisdom of the transformative process, to support its natural course, and to honor and accept the entire spectrum of human experience

(Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis, p. 195)

Interventions can range from support for a time-limited crisis, with possible involvement of relatives, friends, support groups, and medical persons, to intensive long-term psychotherapy. Choice of specific interventions depends on the intensity, duration, and type of spiritual problem, and also on the individual and their support network.”

- http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/dsm4

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It seems then that the difference between the neurotic and the mystic/saint it seems is in their reported concerns and in their behavior. The mystic/saint reports regarding spiritual/religious issues. This difference is very subtle even to medical professionals.

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In addition, I am making a guess that a mystic who has attained the correct body-spirit balance would not be acting out what one knows to be true only in one’s inner world or the world of revelations.

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Having gone through such a crisis in the past, I am confident that since, it is God or the Divine who has allowed for the crisis to happen or be a part of the grand scheme of things, the right person or ‘human angel’ will come along to help. To answer arrives with the question.

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This is not to discount the fact that still others in such a situation have met with deleterious medical treatments and thus stigmatic experiences.

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It is therefore important to be prepared, fit in body, mind and spirit before looking to make a spiritual transition. In this light, some tips have been written in the book, “Opening to Channel.”

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Quirinus has also written “Grounding: Connecting the Spiritual to Earth”, which is about the importance of keeping the spirit in dynamic balance with the physical body.

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Some Examples

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BEFORE

As mentioned earlier, I had thought the wish of being just spiritual in lieu of being a sensitive person, hurt so much by witnessing the sufferings in the world. I am not sure whether this is a possible cause of experiencing a spiritual emergency.

A tale is also told of an overzealous karate learner meditating for an entire 24 hours instead of the recommended staggered schedule. This seemed to have caused the student to go into a spiritual emergency.

DURING

The student above, from a clinical perspective, seemed to report delusions or what, to the spiritual community, was the perception of thousands of reincarnations of the other students in the group.

In my case, I have had experiences of visions and what seems to be described as ‘Kundalini’ in the Eastern tradition.

Table of comparison

Kundalini manifestations* Western medical perspective

AFTER

For the student above, through the guidance of masters, some spiritual activities had to be temporarily stopped entirely and grounding exercises performed to help the student transition to a more stable balance of body and spirit.

By following a discipline of balancing body (i.e., drinking lots of water, having regular meals and going on 30-minute walking daily), mind (e.g., music, arts, reading, etc.) and spirit (i.e., through meditation and prayer), it seems that what used to be a spiritual emergency has evened out to a certain level of conscious awareness, as is usual, is one that is a work in progress.

SUPPORT RESOURCES

Based on Lukoff’s DSM IV article, I came to know that there now is the SEN (Spiritual Emergency Network). As regards to the particulars of how and what form of support can be obtained is left for further reading.

It would also especially be important if one has someone on the same level of spiritual experiences to make the transition easier to understand, because it is the normal tendency for such to be branded as experiencing insanity, which normally causes for fear to arise.

Having a highly volatile psyche, it is important for someone having a spiritual emergency not to be subject to fear or anger. The irony is that society ostracizes such people, creating alienation in them. And since esteem and belonging, as per Maslow, is an essential need, the volatile psyche can experience an explosion of sorts in a natural cycle of defense from attack. The individual’s automatic defense mechanism is triggered causing for more fear and anger, exacerbating the distance from reality instead of making him/her connect to earth.

Caution should always be taken to extend to the volatile psyche care only from a truly compassionate heart unlike from what transitioning spirituals usually have to deal with---a cold, impersonal western-trained medical practitioner who only knows to administer drugs instead of first listening for what really is the root of the problem.

Perhaps even a mere family member can do a great job when prepared for the contingency.

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“The ideal becomes the real.”

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The other night, as I am usually wont to, I dreamt of a song. This particular song it seems represents an important part of my spiritual liberation. After my silent sitting meditation, I had its related vision. The following day, after my usual sitting, I had a thought popup. Apparently, it was related to insights of the previous day:

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The ideal becomes the real.”

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A human angel had been there while I was in the midst of my spiritual emergency 23 years ago. He was the president of one of the most powerful corporations in the country. He was such that today I wondered how he seemed to understand the spiritual nature of what was behind what I was going through instead of ascribing it to drug abuse, which is also a common reaction.

He told me, “The ideal becomes the real.” He must have understood that I was experiencing visions.

He supported my visions.

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Instead of stigmatizing the spiritual, the fellow spiritual made room in the hectic workaday to incorporate the transitioning spiritual into mainstream. I was taken tug along with the corporation’s PR/Media group. I was able to experience the exhilaration of being in the elevated media view deck, with accessibility for more convenient photographic angles.

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Having been trusted, the transitioning spiritual responds likely, just is, to trust. No attack, so no need to defend against anything. The visions come unobtrusively and the visionary walks a normal walk.

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How the recall of that quote of 23 years past is possible today escapes me.

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We are all connected to each other.

Thoughts and prayers are swifter than the speed of light. It’s as if your thoughts are mind and vv.

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Because your thoughts and my thoughts are God’s.

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Maybe the fellow spiritual needs my prayer. Maybe my fellow spiritual needs to read this to know that they are doing okay. Know someone has been before where you are now. Much literature has been written.

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The more information, the lesser my ignorance, the lesser my fear. A volatile ego does not need to summon its defense-against-attack mechanism when there is nothing to fear, because there is nothing to defend. The spiritual knows he or she is not the personality.

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The personality, in the medical context, can be labeled anxious, neurotic, or to the extreme, pathological but Spirit can never be fettered by the box that is society’s thinking.

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To a Spirit that is forever free, visions come like a thousand doves. Beyond good and evil, loving, free to fly and be.

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… Being free to be, … To inspire.

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2016: Spirit touching ground, the ideal has become the real.

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Fulfilled and fulfilling.

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I lost my faith in Jesus in that crisis of 1993. It had become difficult for me to believe that this was all about a God experience.

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Recently I just found myself meditating hourly on the Holy Octave of God Our Father since it was easier, for me, to believe in The Father and not really in Jesus.

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For some reason, reflecting on the mysteries of the Octave hourly for over three months now has brought me to this greater perspective on earthly things. I actually saw personalities as they were probably related in the spirit, before they were born people on the earth plane. I wondered whether the persons that were Jesus and Mary were actually soul mates in heaven, having had it seems the same life purpose while here on earth.

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And so it went for other family members, relatives and friends as well.

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Suddenly, I thought that I am only human and am able to get these visions. What more of Jesus? So I thought or felt like, wow Jesus is my idol. For all the things he knewIt’s like a window was opened before my eyes, allowing me to have a view of heaven and how we were related before we were born to earth, how we are all related. in his heart and, more so, for not having gone over the edge for knowing all these and the things to come.

Next I wondered why I couldn’t believe in Jesus as God. All of a sudden it dawned on me. As mentioned before, the answer comes with the question. I had started doubting Jesus in 1993, after people discredited what I believed had been spiritual experiences for me. Since then I had been lost for 23 years and only now, having realized why I lost my belief them, am looking forward to re-establish my relationship with him as my Big Bro.

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“Who is my father? Who is my mother?”

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