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Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis (New Consciousness Reader) Paperback – 1 Dec 1989

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (1 Dec. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874775388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874775389
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Argues that many episodes of transformational crisis have been misdiagnosed as mental illness, and explains how to use such a crisis for spiritual development.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 28 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is about the crisis and personal chaos that can result from personal transformation or spiritual emergence. In the east this is called kundalini, in the west it's usually called ascension or transformation and is frequently associated with transpersonal experiences and what we perceive as strange physical, emotional, mental and psychic symptoms. For anyone who has been through, is going through, or is trying to support someone else while this process is taking place this book is like a gift from heaven, a light shining on a dark path.
There are contributions from many eminent people with expertise in associated fields. Ranging from: psychologists; Assagioli and Laing to the great spiritual teacher Ram Dass. There are sections covering kundalini, psychic opening, UFO encounters and much, much more. There are no wasted words either, no padding, it gets straight down to the nitty-gritty.
There is a section on help for people in spiritual emergency and while this is mainly aimed at the professional therapist it makes useful reading. The type of help that might be needed in such an emergency is as vast as the variety of experience because much depends on cultural background, religious or spiritual affiliations, ones personal path of approach and what triggered it in the place; for most people there is a trigger. These can range from meditational and religious practices to emotional trauma and near death experiences and because of this, this book should be on the "required reading" list of all health care professionals and spiritual counsellors of all denominations.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John & Tara tantra teachers on 10 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
I remember running a tantra workshop in the Colorado mountains in the early 1990's. I was sat near the first aid tent resting when someone came by who was having a "bad trip" on acid. I was sitting cross legged in the lotus position and looking very relaxed and peaceful. They asked for my help and I brought them back to earth and relaxed them with "anapansati - the most grounding of mindfulness breathing techniques I knew at the time. It worked! I ended up spending the whole day helping many others come off their bad trips, hallucinations and panic attacks. Later when I was as student of the renowned and somewhat unconventional ( I call her approach original and creative)meditation teacher, Ruth Dennison who is based in the Joshua Tree Desert, California, - she told me of how meditation states can sometimes induce psychotic states, indeed, she had experienced this herself as retold in her recent published biography. I had never heard of these "spiritual emergency states" before but it did ring some bells with me. Five years earlier, I too had experienced some very uncomfortable and hallucinatory effects through very concentrated, long and intense meditation sessions where I was pushing myself too far to get results more quickly. I wished I had had Stan Grofs book at the time. I wouldn't have had to go through a painful process of thinking I was going mad and being riddled with anxiety attacks. After unsuccessfully seeking help from meditation teachers, therapists and anyone that might be able to help, I worked out my own way through it, very much in the way Grof and the experts he interviewed have done. 15 years on I remain a very healthy, calm, and relaxed person, and whereby meditation has become a way of life to me.Read more ›
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By tim on 11 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
As a psychiatrist of some 20 years i think the spiritual emergencies described in this book are quite rare. And when they happen the people involved usually have enough sense not to go to a psychiatrist. Grof is quite right that the average psychiatrist doesn't understand these conditions and would tend to pathologise and prescribe. The important point is that if supported these experiences can lead to growth and transformation. The support is most likely to come from other people who have had similar experiences, usually as part of their own spiritual journey.

Its a slim book, less than 250 pages and nearly 20 years old. I would have liked to have read more about the effects of holotropic breathwork, the work of Roger Woolger and robert Monroe to name a few - but this book is the authoritative text. The authors are the world experts in their field. Each chapter is different, rich in information and perspective, well argued and lucid. The book is a gem. Buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Gillies-morgan on 26 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read most all of Stan and Christina Grof's books and can honestly say they are not only well educated people, their books are very well written, practical, and really do offer the self seeker "help".

As a qualified Psychologist myself, Stan and Christina's work is down to earth, with a human element that is not on offer throughout the psychology community.
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Format: Paperback
The definitive book on the mental states that are so frequently misunderstood by conventional psychology / psychiatry. The Grofs have collected a readable and fascinating series of articles from the eminent thinkers of the late 20th century. Should be essential reading for all in the field.
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