What is Spiritual Emergence/Emergency?
Spiritual emergence is a term used to describe a transcendent experience of perceived spiritual connection, unity or oneness, often felt in conjunction with a deep sense of eternal love, and an “unlocking” of human potential (at a transpersonal level of development). Many activities, including spiritual and contemplative practices, contribute to an inner journey which may lead to spiritual emergence (or emergency – see below). Spiritual emergence may also be triggered by a challenging life event such as a near-death experience, illness, or the loss of a loved one – or may occur through no apparent trigger.
Spiritual emergency, also referred to as spiritual crisis, is a period of psychological turmoil which can occur during spiritual growth and awakening. These seem to typically occur during the initial stages of growth or awakening, as an individual experiences profound changes to their world-view and/or meaning system (for example, in their sense of purpose in life, their values, and their beliefs systems). Spiritual emergency may also manifest during the later stages of spiritual growth and awakening, particularly as an individual starts to try and make sense of their experience, challenged by a new sense of self and of the world around them.
There are a number of organizations who provide specialized programs and services with the aims of helping individuals make sense of – and thus more successfully integrate – their experience of spiritual emergence/emergency, and support them in moving forward on their path to wellness and wholeness. Some of these organizations are included here below.
Spiritual Emergence Network
The Spiritual Emergence Network (SEN) provides individuals that are experiencing psychospiritual difficulties a specialized mental health referral and support service. In a culture which has not understood issues surrounding spiritual development, the gift of being heard and understood by a knowledgeable and supportive listener can be life-altering. Our referrals are licensed and/or trained mental health care professionals who are preferably in your area (but many also work by phone or encrypted video) who have expertise with many specific psychospiritual issues.
International Spiritual Emergence Network
The International Spiritual Emergence Network (ISEN) is a collaboration of not-for-profit support networks from around the world. Each network is run by volunteers and offers information and referrals at no cost to those experiencing or affected by Spiritual Emergency.
Spiritual Crisis Network UK
Spiritual Crisis Network (SCN) volunteers are experts through personal lived experience of a spiritual crisis and mental health professionals, whilst some volunteers have both personal and professional expertise.
Their vision is to promote understanding and support of those going through profound personal transformation and to act as a resource providing help and information.
American Centre for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences
The American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE) was established in 2009 to support people who have spiritually transformative experiences (STEs). We welcome experiencers of diverse backgrounds and beliefs and address a wide variety of STEs. ACISTE is both a community of experiencers and a non-profit corporation.
The Emergent Phenomenology Research Consortium
The Emergent Phenomenology Research Consortium (EPRC) is a multidisciplinary, multinational alliance of researchers, clinicians, and patrons who share a vision of bringing scientific methods and clinical sensibilities to the rigorous, ethical, ontologically-agnostic study of emergent phenomena.
Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences
The Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences (AAPS) is a non-profit membership and education organization whose mission is to promote open-minded, rigorous and evidence-based enquiry into postmaterialist consciousness research.
Their vision is to inspire scientists to investigate mind and consciousness as core elements of reality.
Scientific and Medical Network
The Scientific and Medical Network (SMN) is working with full awareness and appreciation of scientific method, but exploring and expanding, in a spirit of open and critical enquiry, frontier issues at the interfaces between science, health, consciousness, wellbeing, love and spirituality, to explore how to rediscover a meaningful spirituality to help rebalance our lives.
The Galileo Commission
The world today is dominated by science and by its underlying assumptions, which are seldom explicitly articulated. The Galileo Commission’s remit is to open public discourse and to find ways to expand science so that it can accommodate and explore important human experiences and questions that science, in its present form, is unable to integrate.
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Beyond the Brain Conference
Beyond the Brain is the world’s premier conference series exploring mind and consciousness beyond the physical brain. It has been running since 1996. Our speakers this year are all at the cutting edges of their fields. You will gain a vital overview and a deeper understanding of how consciousness research is expanding the horizons of science.
This year’s conference will be taking place from 4 – 6 November and tickets can be purchased directly on the website at beyondthebrain.org.
Imaginal Inspirations Podcast
Imaginal cells are responsible for the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a butterfly, the Greek symbol for the soul. These cells are dormant in the caterpillar but at a critical point of development they create the new form and structure which becomes the butterfly.
In the podcast series Imaginal Inspirations, David Lorimer talks to transformational authors and scientists about the experiences, people and books that have shaped their life and work.