Am I having a breakdown?
Do I have a mental health condition?
Am I losing my mind?
Whilst there are medical and biological reasons that people can feel this way, it may be that what is happening is a process of Spiritual Emergence or Spiritual Crisis.
The spiritual emergence is a crisis an individual may experience after going through an awakening. Essentially, a spiritual emergence occurs when the spiritual awakening process speeds up so much that it becomes terrifying and destabilizing to the body and mind.
Spiritual crises and emergence can happen to anyone at any point in life. Those who are not particularly ‘spiritual’ can experience it just as often as those who are actively engaged on the spiritual path. Activities such as music, creative pursuits or spiritual practices can bring about an inner journey and thus lead to spiritual emergence or crisis. Spiritual Emergence may also begin with a difficult life event such as a near-death experience, loss of a loved one or illness.
What is Spiritual Emergence?
Spiritual Emergence is a natural process of human growth and transformation characterised by increased awareness, greater sensitivity and richer connection to others and the surrounding world. These experiences may seem unusual, challenging and you can seem outside of everyday reality. It is common to become more concerned with social, economic, health, and ecological issues and questions such as purpose, meaning and values. When Spiritual Emergence happens too suddenly, intensely or before the person is psychologically and emotionally ready, this can be very stressful and overwhelming, with feelings of being unable to cope with what they are going through.
Symptoms of Spiritual Emergence
Feeling as if you are in a state which is different to how they ordinarily experience reality. Things can feel like they are falling apart or unravelling. Everyday tasks can seem unmanageable or they may feel it difficult to find the motivation to do them. It’s equally possible that you may feel unusually positive and full of energy.
It is common to feel anxious, afraid and desperate while, at other times, it is possible to have feelings of indescribable love and unity, with nature and humanity.
You may feel tired or unusually full of energy. You may feel restless and have difficulty sleeping. You may also feel spaced out, ungrounded, off balance, or like you are falling apart.
You may feel more sensitive in every way to light, sound, feelings, intuitions, information, sounds, tastes or smells.
The sense of self, knowing who I am can shift and change or be lost. This can be experienced as having no sense of identity, feeling disconnected, alone, and that you don’t belong.
You may experience intense and at times overwhelming dreams, memories, intuitions and visions.
Individuals can have psychic experiences such as –
clairvoyance (visions, auras, spirits)
clairaudience (hearing voices)
clairsentience (energies, sensing other’s presence or emotions)
out of body experiences
What can I do about Spiritual Emergency?
With understanding, counselling and support, people can learn about and work through their spiritual emergence and can integrate their experiences. They are more able to create a meaningful life for themselves and function at a higher level than before their crisis.