The above links to an article I wrote with the renowned Dr. Stanley Krippner.

What is your take on the concept of spiritual emergence as a phenomenon?

How do you think it relates to Jung's work with dreams and the transcendent function?

Is the concept useful to you personally, or to your work with others, for example?


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  • Dear Darlene,

    In my view the concept of spiritual emergence is very practical. I believe however that the roads to the other side, so to speak, are various, and should be addressed as such. I think however that the scheme proposed by Grof & Grof, and the various versions of it later on, are showing indeed these different roads. With my own experience with kundalini and expertise as a therapist I should not overreach myself in saying that I can be of help to all kinds of spirtual emergences and emergencies.

    It's funny that you mention Jung's concept of the transcendent function. It is, I believe, introduced by him in the context of active imagination, and that was just what I did with this soror mystica, however realising that I was traveling in a real world of its own, with its own rules. A world you share with other souls. I believe Jung used this name of transcendent function, because he somehow knew that in diving into your inner sanctum, you discover a real world, as real as the physical world, but larger, more flowing, because it's the habitat of our energetic body. With active imagination you can transcend your awareness of the physical world to the non-physical, energetic world. Remember also that his doctoral dissertation handled about research on his mediumistic niece Helene Preiswerk. Maybe he stumbled across some real data about this other world, Orbis Alia, but could not tell about it, as Freud couldn't tell about the real sexual trauma's behind the hysteria of his time.

    For me the concept of spiritual emergence is very helpful. I must say that with the symptoms I feel day and night, the thoughts have crossed my mind that, maybe, I should consult a psychiatrist. But by monitoring myself, talking with colleagues, and the fact that I can still do my job properly - even doing a post-doctoral study I just finished, while working more or less full time - I am asured that in my case you could speak of a spiritual emergence, or at least the semi-physical process (after a kundalinic spinal sweep) which prepares me for further development.

    I hope to be able to help people come through this same process, using my expertise as a psychologist, but also speaking from my own experience with kundalini.

    Light, Life and Love,


    •  The lucky part is that many Jungian and transpersonal psychiatrists can do just as you are hoping to do, Pieter, help people based not only on their expertise in psychiatry but also due to their own spiritual emergence.  Such psychiatrists, though relatively rare, are still valuable to have as sherpas/midwives or however else one might like to characterize their role. They would need to be interviewed before engaging their services. The Jungian institutes and transpersonal societies are full of such people, though again relatively few would be actual psychiatrists as opposed to other types of psychotherapists. Grof himself still runs holotropic breathwork groups here in the States for example. I don't know what the situation is like in the Netherlands.

       How about for others of you out there? Do you find that there are some times when you prefer to have a guide or aide in your dream-work or spiritual emergence process, and other times when you prefer to work "on yourself alone," as Jungian Arnold Mindell would put it, for example?


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