You are on page 1of 3

SUCCESSFUL SCHIZOPHRENIA:So-called ‘Schizophrenia’ as a Process of Uncontrolled

piritual Emergence or ‘Spiritual Emergency’

The successful outcome of spiritual emergency depends on the appropriate

understanding, respect, encouragement and support which allow it to reach full
completion (‘successful schizophrenia’).

Insights into the workings of human nature are revealed by combining Western
scientific research with concepts provided by Eastern psychologies. Buddhism is
concerned with the dimension of human nature beyond the persona or ‘ego', namely
the transpersonal or ‘spiritual’ dimension which is defined in terms of
appreciation for the divinity of humanness and understanding of the ultimate
connectedness or ‘unity’ of all things. The spiritual nature of human nature is
characterised in terms of the universal moral values or ‘human values’. Human
values are the social values required for survival of the species as a social
species… ‘beauty’ as truth, ‘truth’as knowledge, 'knowledge' as understanding,
‘understanding’ as love, ‘love’ as unconditional caring, lovingkindness or
compassion, ‘justice’ as morality, ‘morality’ as freedom of conscience or peace,
‘peace’as social responsibility, ‘wisdom’ as intelligence, ‘intelligence’ as
intelligence of creativity and productivity or ‘creative intelligence’. Awareness
of human values ‘spiritual awareness’ results in spiritual insight of spiritual
intelligence or ‘intuition’. Intuition allows for accurate evaluation of the
complexities of changing social conditions) and is therefore necessary for
effective adaptation to the social environment or ‘social adaptability'. It is the
human values of social intelligence which define the human personality or ‘human
Much needless suffering results from ignorance of the multidimensional nature
of the human psyche or 'human nature'. Human nature is a social nature and the
human organism is a social organism with instincts for social cooperation and
social harmony i.e. ‘social instincts’. Social instincts must be cultivated in a
process of development of moral consciousness or ‘conscience’. Rational conscience
is a product of moral or 'spiritual’ development which involves the preservation
of the integrated functioning of the personality and transformation of the self
i.e. 'enlightenment' also known variously as 'individuation', 'self-realisation',
'self-actualisation', 'spiritual renewal', 'spiritual awakening', 'spiritual
rebirth’or 'spiritual emergence'. Spiritual emergence is prerequisite to creative
intelligence required for effective adaptability.
"In the most general terms, spiritual emergence can be defined as the movement of
an individual to a more expanded way of being that involves enhanced emotional and
psychosomatic health, greater freedom of personal choices, and a sense of deeper
connection with other people, nature and the cosmos. An important part of this
development is an increasing awareness of the spiritual dimension in one's life
and in the universal scheme of things. Spiritual development is an innate
evolutionary capacity of all human beings. It is a movement towards wholeness or
'holotropic state', the discovery of one's true potential." (Stanislav Grof)
Spiritual emergence is a gradual dynamic, fluid, naturally ordered and
integrated on-going process of personal development into greater maturity and
spiritual awareness. The process involves personal evolution from the limited
sense of self or 'ego' and its egocentric perspective to the expanded sense of
self beyond ego… the ‘higher self’, the ‘authentic self’ or 'Self' and its
transpersonal perspective. The transpersonal perspective allows for the attainment
of knowledge of one's true nature as the source of motivation for personal
productiveness and creativity or ‘work’ (personal power)... ‘self-knowledge’…
'self-empowerment’. Transcendance of the 'ego (‘ego-transcendance’) allows for an
inner sense of emotional liberation which results from expansion of consciousness
and heightened awareness. Intuition is purified and sharpened to allow for a
clearer more accurate perception of reality and the discovery of ideas and
behaviours which are more effective for social adaptability. Each person is at a
different stage of spiritual emergence depending on the level of their moral or
spiritual development.
Complete spiritual development takes place over a period of years and depends
on conditions of freedom in education… 'free education' or 'holistic education'.
Holistic education revolves around the biologically based motives for human
behaviour … the ‘human needs’. Human needs include both 'lower' psychological
needs for security and self-esteem - the 'ego needs' - and 'higher' psychological
needs for moral development… instinctive yearnings for human values.... the
spiritual needs or ‘metaneeds’. Motivation by the metaneeds or 'metamotivation'
allows for the discovery of one’s true potential.
If in highly sensitive individuals the processs of spiritual emergence is
blocked for any reason then they might be warned that their growth is in grave
danger and that they rapidly need to make adjustments which are for essential for
effective adaptation. The transformation process of spiritual emergence can be so
dramatic as to become uncontrollable and reach a point of crisis or emergency. So-
called ‘spiritual emergency’ is known by many names such as transpersonal
experience, transpersonal crisis, psycho-spiritual transformation, psychospiritual
crisis, spiritual journey, hero's journey, dark night of the soul, spiritual
opening, psychic opening, psychic awakening, spiritual awakening, enlightenment,
kundalini awakening, kundalini process, kundalini crisis, shamanic initiation,
shamanic crisis, psychotic-visionary episode, ego death, ego loss, alchemical
process, positive disintegration, post traumatic stress disorder with psychotic
features, night sea journey, psychosis, shamanism, mysticism, gnosis, inner
apocalypse, and so on. Spiritual emergency is a process of healing and renewal and
is characterised by spontaneous alternative consciousness states or ‘realities' in
which the person experiences unbearably distressing psychic overload involving
chaotic and overwhelming sensory experiences which in fact offer invaluable
opportunities for personal growth. Spiritual emergency has the potential for
bringing about the person's positive transformation and is therefore the concern
of psychology of the beyond persona or 'ego' dimension of the human psyche i.e.
‘transpersonal psychology’. In the conceptual framework of transpersonal
psychology schizophrenia is a brilliant condition which can be understood as a
self-healing process involving dissolution and removal of illusions and false
beliefs which originate in the programming of social conditioning. Schizophrenia
is a personal 'story' which involves a natural and temporary self-organising
transformative process or crisis of transformation or psychospiritual crisis now
known as 'spiritual emergency' - the term coined by psychiatrist Stanislav Grof.
Spiritual emergency is a self-healing process involving dissolution and removal of
illusions and false beliefs which originate in the programming of social
conditioning which leads to the formulation of aberrant thought complexes. These
prevent the person from making accurate evaluations of their social environment...
incorrect evaluation leads to inappropriate decision-making and ineffective social
adaptation... non-adaptive social behaviour. The experiences can be frightening
and confusing because they appear to be out of context with everyday reality. As a
result they are often misunderstood and discredited as being pathological and
hence the medical model. Passage from one into the next is revealed by the
person’s apparently bizarre speech and behaviour. These are mistakenly believed to
represent ‘symptoms’ of disease or ‘mental illness.'
The psychiatric profession has created one of the greatest myths by describing
so-called 'schizophrenia' as a nonspecific disease or ‘mental illness’. It was
German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) who originally coined the Latin
name 'dementia praecox' meaning 'prematurely out of one's mind'. He believed that
this supposedly devastating condition involved irreversible mental deterioration.
It later became clear that the term was a misnomer. In 1910 a new term was coined
by the kind and humane Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939), teacher of
Carl Jung and professor of psychiatry at the University of Zürich where he headed
the famous Burghölzli Clinic. Since the condition seemed to involve a mental split
between thought and emotion, Bleuler coined the term 'schizophrenia' for
'splitting of the mind'. The term is derived from German 'schizophrenie' from
Greek 'skhizein' meaning 'to split' and 'phren' of unknown origin meaning 'heart
or mind' so that ‘schizophrenia’ actually means 'broken soul' or 'broken heart’.
Although there is still no universally accepted definition of the term, it has
been applied to various conditions including a set of socially and culturally
unacceptable thinking and behaviour patterns… the model of ‘unwanted conduct’.
In fact so-called ‘schizophrenia’ is not a disease nor is it a hopeless
condition but a natural process which is a concern for psychology of the
transpersonal or spiritual dimension of human nature i.e. 'transpersonal
psychology'. In this context, so-called ‘schizophrenia’ can be viewed as a part of
the human condition. The apparent 'symptoms' are not problems to be combatted but
they are manifestations of a spontaneous healing effort by the organism as a
whole. In a period of crisis, the person instinctively surrenders to the
organismic process which involves the temporary separation of thought and emotion
(‘ego-loss’) which is necessary for the reassessment of their thoughts without
result having to deal with the emotional implications. The person undergoes a
series of varying stages or ‘episodes’. The apparently bizarre speech and
behaviour patterns reveal the passage from lower to higher consciousness states.
The person eventually learns to grow beyond fear based ego-consciousness, beyond
cultural conditioning and the ‘conditioned self’, beyond the expectations of
others and towards the new transpersonal, moral or ‘spiritual’ dimension of
awareness which allows for development of personal potential and effective social