Psychosis and spirituality consolidating the new paradigm second edition

It is suggested that they may produce a ‘secondary shift’, although not a primary shift.

The concept of a latent ‘higher-functioning selfsystem’ may help to distinguish states of ‘spiritual crisis’ from states of psychosis.

Indeed, anomalous experiences are diametrically opposed to integrated perceptions and frequently manifest as disassociations or fragmentations of consciousness, the splitting of cognition from affective aspects of experience, and powerful affective fluctuations manifesting phenomenologically as polarized expressions of good and evil, omnipotent control and helplessness, creative and destructive forces, heroic striving, groundlessness, and parallel dimensions.

psychosis and spirituality consolidating the new paradigm second edition-3

What is more a standard definition of the word should also honor the evolutionary purpose served by perceptual mechanisms; if all conscious perceptions are, in fact, cheap and quick guides to adaptive behaviors in environmental niches then the anomalous ones amongst them could also be conceived as perceptual constructions which are not adaptive guides to behavior (Hoffman, 2012).

Phenomenal content in conscious awareness that is not adaptive is bound to be atypical, discontinuous, incoherent, and irrational.

Positive internal appraisals of this content [or non-distressing anomalous experiences] attract to themselves the label of “spiritual” whereas negative ones that are significantly distressing and ensue in intellectual, interpersonal, social, and occupational impairment are pathologized and deemed “psychotic” under the hegemony of the biomedical model and the Western mind sciences (Mc Carthy-Jones, 2012).

Some anomalous experiences like autoscopic phenomena, multimodal hallucinations, and synaesthesias may be conceptualized within the dominant, existing scientific model.

Keywords: awakening experiences, transformation, primary shift, secondary shift, turmoil, psychedelics Temporary and Permanent Awakening in Spiritual Traditions Many spiritual traditions make a distinction between temporary spiritual experiences and a permanent, ongoing experience of ‘wakefulness’ or liberation.

In the Hindu Vedanta tradition, this is the distinction between nirvikalpa or savikalpa samadhi (usually seen as temporary) and sahaja samadhi (usually seen as a stable, ongoing and permanent state of samadhi) (Feuerstein, 1990).

Roughly a century afterwards Stanislav and Christina Grof took it a step further when they pioneered the related terms spiritual emergence and spiritual emergency (Grof & Grof, 1989; 1990).

Save for being interrelated they represent a continuum of experience.

In Sufism, there is a similar distinction between fana and baqa (Spencer, 1963); likewise in Zen Buddhism, kensho and satori are comparable terms (Suzuki, 1956).

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