Synopses & Reviews
Many people are undergoing a profound personal transformation associated with spiritual opening. Under favorable circumstances, this process results in emotional healing, a radical shift in values, and a profound awareness of the mystical dimension of existence. For some, these changes are gradual and relatively smooth, but for others they can be so rapid and dramatic that they interfere with effective everyday functioning, creating tremendous inner turmoil. Unfortunately, many traditional health-care professionals do not recognize the positive potential of these crises; they often see them as manifestations of mental disease and repsond with stigmatizing labels, suppressive drugs, and even institutionalization.
In The Stormy Search for the Self, Christina and Stanislav Grof, the world's foremost authorities on the subject of spiritual emergence, draw on years of dramatic personal and professional experience with transformative states to explore these "spiritual emergencies," altered states so powerful they threaten to overwhelm the individual's oridinary reality. This book will provide insights, assurances, and practical suggestions for those who are experiencing or have experienced such a crisis, for their families and friends, and for mental-health professionals. It is also a valuable guide for anyone involved in personal transformation whose experiences, though generally untraumatic, may still at times be bewildering or disorienting.
Increasing numbers of people are experiencing "spiritual emergency"--a crisis that occurs when the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. Here, the pioneers of the field of spiritual emergency validate that such episodes have profoundly healing potential.
About the Author
was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Her original career as a teacher of art was interrupted when a powerful spiritual experience during childbirth launched her into many years of emotional turmoil, later identified as the manifestations of Kundalini awakening. She taught Hatha-Yoga and was deeply influenced by Swami Muktananda Paramahansa, head of the Siddha-Yoga lineage; she was his student until his death in 1982.
Her own unusual experiences generated in her deep interest in nonordinary states of consciousness and transpersonal psychology. Together with her husband, Stanislav Grof, she has developed Holotropic Breathwork, an experimental technique of psychotherapy that combines controlled breathing, evocative music, and bodywork. She and her husband have also organized international transpersonal conferences in Boston, Melbourne, Bombay, and Santa Rosa, California.
Christina's particular area of interest is the relationship between mysticism and psychosis. In 1980 she founded the spiritual emergence network, an international organization providing support for individuals undergoing transformative crises. More recently, her interest has extended into the area of the spiritual aspects of alcoholism and addiction. In the last decade she has conducted lectures and workshops in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She is also co-author of the book Beyond Death.
Table of Contents
The Stormy Search For The Self Authors' Note
The Uninvited Guest: Christina's Story
God in the Laboratory: Stanislav's Story
Part One: The Stormy Search for the Self
1. What is Spiritual Emergency?
2. The Dark Night of the Soul
3. Encountering the Divine
4. Varieties of Spiritual Emergency
5. Addiction as Spiritual Emergency
Part Two: Charts for the Inner Journey
6. Spiritual Lessons from the Other Times and Cultures
7. Modern Maps of Consciousness
Part Three: Living in Two Worlds
8. Strategies for Everyday Life
9. Guidelines for Family and Friends
10. Who Can Help and How?
11. The Homecoming
Spiritual Emergence and the Current Global Crisis
The Spiritual Emergence Network
A Vision for a Twenty-Four-Hour Care Center
Spiritual Emergency and Mental-Health Professionals