In 1994, the medical establishment changed the DSM4, by adding a non-pathological entry called, ‘a religious or spiritual problem (Code V62.89)’, also known as a ‘spiritual emergency’, to the guidebook.


 "The inclusion in the DSM-IV of a new diagnostic category called "Religious or Spiritual Problem" marks a significant breakthrough. For the first time, there is acknowledgment of distressing religious and spiritual experiences as non-pathological problems. Spiritual emergencies are crises during which the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. The proposal for this new diagnostic category came from transpersonal clinicians concerned with the misdiagnosis and mistreatment of persons in the midst of spiritual crises.” David Lukoff 


Spiritual crisis are categorized in the DSM4, as a transient, non-pathological mental disturbance. In other words, the affects eventually wear off, and consequently the experience is not considered a mental illness, by the APA. However, before 1994 all such spiritual experiences—no matter how graceful—were viewed by the prevailing authority as troublesome pathology.


What people don’t give much thought to, is that this nonsense has been going on for thousands of years, i.e., this business about the spiritual authority (or in our case, the psychological authority), not being able to recognize a valid spiritual rebirth when it occurs.


In fact, the whole biblical drama would have never even occurred, had the fathers of Haran simply recognized Abraham’s vision—as a valid initiation—instead of rejecting it, and sending him on his way. Or had the Fathers of Midian failed to recognize Moses’ vision, symbolized by the burning bush passage and his staff that turns into a snake. Note his brother Aaron—the first person to talk to Moses after his vision—was an example of secondary emergence, i.e., his ‘staff that budded’ is a symbolic reference to the secondary spiritual emergence experience.


When Paul and his followers were rolling around on the floor and talking in tongues, at Pentecost. People were amazed, but the elders said, ‘They are simply drunk on new wine’. This is a figurative way of saying; Paul’s followers were under the influence of a powerful new visionary experience, i.e., they were experiencing an ecstatic secondary spiritual emergence. 


One of the great unsolved mysteries revolves around Jesus experiencing one of these anointing visions, like Abraham’s and Moses’, which wasn’t recognized by the spiritual authority (i.e., his anointing vision and rebirth wasn’t recognized as a valid initiation, by the Sadducees and Pharisees). Luckily his cousin John was an Essene that understood these esoteric matters.


At any rate, Jung’s synchronicity, confrontation with the unconscious, and the recollection of infantile amnesia, can all come into play with this kind a numinous visionary experience. Unfortunately, all history has left us with, are vague metaphors, symbolizing the great prophet’s visions, no detailed descriptions of one.

Most likely, a first-hand account of say, the Buddha’s experience under the Bodhi tree, or Jesus’ long lost virgin birth (the virgin birth was interpreted by Joseph Campbell to mean, spiritual birth), would undoubtedly involve lots of weird synchronicities, happening around a major visionary experience/confrontation with the unconscious and spiritual rebirth, followed by an intense spiritual crisis. The passages below are unmistakably descriptive of a spiritual emergency.       


“Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 23:20-21, 31-35


In order to better understand how epic myths and new religious movements, spring forth from the unconscious and spread; it would benefit Jungians and the integral movement, to comprehend the notion of a, ‘Secondary Emergence’. Some confrontations with the unconscious, yield visions and examples of spiritual emergence so vivid, and emotionally powerful, that just by giving an emotive disclosure of the experience, one can inspire a secondary spiritual emergence in others.


Anthropologists and Evolutionary Psychiatrists are calling this observable psychological phenomenon, ‘Primary and Secondary Mazeway Resynthesis’. Our ancestors once called it, ‘Anointing by God’ and ‘Baptism by Fire’.


What, then, is the resurrection? “It is always the disclosure of those who have risen.” The Treatise on Resurrection, Nag Hammadi Library ca. 200 CE





You need to be a member of depthalliance3 to add comments!

Join depthalliance3

Email me when people reply –