Stanislav Grof "Spiritual Crisis"

Views: 112
Get Embed Code
Stanislav Grof, MD, PhD, psychiatrist and pioneer of Transpersonal Psychology talks about altered states of consciousness, pathology, and how various cultures deal with spiritual emergency

You need to be a member of Depth Psychology Alliance to add comments!

Join Depth Psychology Alliance


  • Spiritual directors often find persons in spiritual emergencies calling for help. As this field continues to gain recognition (as if it has not been an age-old tradition) many more folks will be able to have their experiences or their dark nights witnessed, valued, and seen as worthy material for individual (and societal) growth. Unfortunately, religious dogmatism rules the current day leaving those experiencing such spiritual emergencies quite understandably wary of any spiritual director associated with a particular tradition. In this gap, I believe depth psychology has much to offer, starting with an openness to witness to a wide range of human experiences without knee-jerk pathologizing.

  • Some things emerge into the world very slowly; at other times, the force behind unconscious material is more like an eruption into the psyche and beyond it into physical events. When the nature of this force is spiritual, we do well to listen and beyond reacting emotionally, find meaning in the event and response in kind.
  • Yes, indeed. The term "spiritual emergency" was actually coined by Stan Grof (refer to the book with the same title: "Spiritual Emergency"). Having gone through one myself (as I'm sure many of us have in midlife) where my entire world was turned on its head and I didn't know which way was up or down, I am particularly partial to Stan's idea that Spritual Emergency is a play on words in reference to "spiritual emergence" (as you allude to, John) - and as in something that wants to emerge from the unconscious or the Self and which catches our ego self completely off-guard. For anyone interested in the topic, I highly recommend you check out Stan's book...
  • A "spiritual emergency" - something that urgently needs to emerge.
  • As a culture, we seem to be fascinated with the pathologies of the soul. We are a lot more reluctant to risk entertaining any vision of the soul moving toward wholeness. We are brave in our cynicism, but timid in our optimism. I like your term, "spiritual emergency." I see it implying a call to attention....
  • Thanks for your comment, Jamie Rosanna. I agree. Stan Grof is one of the smartest people I have ever met and he has an amazing way of conveying information. On the same topic of how we culturally assign a diagnosis of "psychosis"or "schizophrenia" to individuals challenged with some kind of spiritual emergency, there is a great article posted on the "Articles" page by Maureen Roberts. I also just read 4 in 1000 people worldwide are diagnosed with schizophrenia. Imagine if we treated them as some of the earth-based cultures do, by surrounding them with support and helping them work through whatever is emerging in the psyche....
  • Thanks for posting this video, Bonnie. I love the radical simplicity of what he is saying....
This reply was deleted.
E-mail me when people leave their comments –