The term Spiritual emergence covers many types of spiritual experiences, in that it could be an activated kundalini, it may mean a very dramatic emergence into what is known as a spiritual emergency, or simply as previously mentioned a spiritual emergence, which is generally a softer emergence and less traumatic. It moves into the emergency category when it becomes hard or impossible to function in everyday life.
Spiritual Emergence has been defined as
"the movement of an individual to a more expanded way of being that involves enhanced emotional and psychosomatic health, greater freedom of personal choices, and a sense of deeper connection with other people, nature, and the cosmos. An important part of this development is an increasing awareness of the spiritual dimension in one's life and in the universal scheme of things." (Grof & Grof, 1990)
Many cases of spiritual emergence are and have been classified as being bipolar disorder
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Let's put it in terms everyone can understand. Bipolar disorder is an illness that affects thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behaviour ... even how a person feels physically. It's probably caused by electrical and chemical elements in the brain not functioning properly and is usually found in people whose families have a history of one or more mental illnesses. To be clear about this: a mental illness is one that affects the mind, not one that's all in the mind.
Most often, a person with manic-depression experiences moods that shift from high to low and back again in varying degrees of severity. The two poles of bipolar disorder are mania and depression. This is the least complicated form of the illness.
A traumatic breakdown in a relationship, losing a job, losing a partner or child, a car accident, are amongst the most common triggering events.. It takes very little to bring us to the edge. Society as we know it, has started to fail us as individuals. We no longer have the local support of the extended family, our connection to church, in what ever form it takes, is fragile, as are the institutions themselves. We find we are on our own, alone with our suffering.
Kundalini is a psycho-spiritual energy, the energy of the consciousness, which is thought to reside within the sleeping body, and is aroused either through spiritual discipline or spontaneously to bring new states of consciousness, including mystical illumination. Kundalini is Sanskrit for “snake“ or “serpent power,“ so-called because it is believed to lie like a serpent in the root Chakra at the base of the spine. In Tantra Yoga, kundalini is an aspect of Shakti, the divine female energy and consort of Shiva.
The power of kundalini is enormous. Those having experienced it claim it to be indescribable. The phenomena associated with it varies from bizarre physical sensations and movements, pain, clairaudience, visions, brilliant lights, super lucidity, psychical powers, ecstasy, bliss, and transcendence of self. Kundalini has been described as liquid fire and liquid light.
Indian yoga, with its emphasis on the transmutation of energy to higher consciousness, was the chief contributor to the cultivation of kundalini and the preservation of its knowledge prior to present times. Kundalini was a rarity in the West before the 1970s until more attention became centred upon the consciousness. In 1932, for example, the psychiatrist Carl G. Jung and others observed that the kundalini experience was seldom seen in the West.
Not all kundalini experiences are identical to those classical awakenings experienced in yoga and may vary in intensity and duration. Typically the yogi meditates to arouse the kundalini and then to raise it through his or her body.
The caduceus symbol of coiling snakes is thought to be an ancient symbolic representation of Kundalini physiology.
Theorists within the schools of Humanistic psychology, Transpersonal psychology and Near-Death Studies describe a complex pattern of motor functions, sensory, affective and cognitive–hermeneutic symptoms called the Kundalini Syndrome. This psychosomatic arousal and excitation is believed to occur in connection with prolonged and intensive spiritual or contemplative practice (such as meditation or yoga) or as a result of intense life experience or a near encounter with death (such as a near-death experience).
According to these fields of study the Kundalini syndrome is of a different nature than a single Kundalini episode, such as a Kundalini arousal. The Kundalini syndrome is a process that might unfold over several months, or even years. If the accompanying symptoms unfold in an intense manner – that de–stabilizes the person – the process is usually interpreted as what Stanislav Grof has termed “spiritual emergency“.
Interdisciplinary dialogues within the mentioned schools of psychology have now established some common criteria in order to describe this condition, of which the most prominent feature is a feeling of energy travelling along the spine, or progressing upwards in the body. Motor symptoms are said to include tremors, other spontaneous or involuntary body movements and changes in respiratory function.
Sensory symptoms are said to include subjective changes in body temperature – feelings of heat or cold – a feeling of electricity in the body, persistent sexual arousal syndrome, headache and pressure inside of the head, tingling, vibrations and gastro–intestinal problems. Cognitive and affective symptoms are said to include psychological upheaval, stress, depression, depersonalisation or de-realisation, intense mood–swings, but also moments of bliss, deep peace and other altered states of consciousness. Within the mentioned academic traditions this symptomatology is often referred to as the Physio–Kundalini syndrome or Kundalini–experience Awakening.
Transpersonal literature emphasizes that this list of symptoms is not meant to be used as a tool for self-diagnosis. Any unusual or marked physical or mental symptom needs to be investigated by a qualified medical doctor.
As I mentioned at the beginning, these experiences can be deeply transformative. Let me know, maybe I can help you. What I do, is rescue the person, who ever you are. I have been doing this for the last 15 years. Many clients have had very traumatic experience which shift them into the category of spiritual emergence. I am able, to calm the storm and bring you home.
If any of this resonates with you, you might want to contact me at www.4allthatmatters.com, a work in progress – just like me.
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