So what happens when one undergoes a great spiritual emergence, yet feel they have no one they can speak to that truly understands what they’ve experienced? Or as a result of your experience, for the first time in your life everything makes sense, yet you don’t seem to make sense to those around you? These are common characteristics of sudden spiritual emergences and without the proper channels or grounding, can lead to what has been termed a spiritual emergency.
This is a subject which is very close to my heart, because I understand the overwhelmingly beautiful impact a great spiritual emergence can have on one’s life, and how challenging it is to ground and assimilate the experience without the proper channels to nurture it. So in this section I’m going to share some of the things that worked, as well as some that failed miserably to provide an outline for someone else who may have encountered similar challenges in the wake of a very beautiful experience. I’m going to also do my best to address some important things to consider which I myself discovered through my own process.
First, as soon as you feel you can, write down your experience. If you have multiple then try to record each one as soon as possible, as seeing the distinctions between various experiences can be quite revealing. Try to document them to the best of your ability, as this will be invaluable to you moving forward. An important thing to note here, is that this documentation is for you and likely will not translate well for others. It is so you can easily recall through reading it, your own experience. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make perfect sense, as writing is linear and revelation circular.
The point is to record the outline of the experience, as that will not only help you remember it but also trigger how you felt. I wish I would have written more about mine early on, but at the time they seemed such significant experiences I couldn’t possibly forget them. While much of my experiences have stayed with me, I know there’s a lot of details I’ve forgotten. It’s as though there is a part of the brain that wants to flush out any information that doesn’t seem to fit with what’s deemed normal or familiar because it can’t categorize it.
Second, try to keep a lid on it, at least until you find what I would call safe channels. I think the natural tendency with the emergence of a profound new experience is to tell anyone who will listen. The two main issues with this, are that one, words are dependent on interpretation, and only the experiencer can truly interpret an experience which is outside the realm of shared interpretation. Secondly, that most people will doubt first, and if they do believe, will not believe for long without something to substantiate it. In other words trying to convince others of your experience is going to likely yield doubt from them, and this in turn will begin to instill doubt in oneself. For me, the ability to preserve discreetly my experience came from realizing that the experience itself is for one’s own transformation. It’s not so much about what happened to you, as it’s about who you become and what you do as a result.
My safe channel was a small group of three people I shared intimate details of my experiences with individually. The channel was safe to me, because it was people I knew were very spiritually inclined, and that new me well but were not related to me. This small group allowed me to reveal different aspects of myself with each of them, and ultimately proved most valuable in the sense that it pulled relative information out of me, as well as teaching me what translated and what didn’t. One point I’d like to make here, is that for me the hardest people to share this type of intimate experience with was family members. I believe this is because the more you know someone, the more you expect particular behaviors from them. So the natural inclination, is to behave normally as not to disrupt the balance of that relationship. It’s also likely that fear would be more readily incited from those closest to or reliant on you, due to the nature of misinterpretation and the abnormality of the experience. If one incites fear in those around them, then their surrounding reflection becomes one of fear. Fear tends to breed more fear and lends to contraction, which is not a conducive environment for assimilating an expansive experience.
Third and probably most important, ground it! I didn’t even know what grounding meant until I ended up at a spiritual retreat and the first thing my cabin mate asked me was, “so what’s your grounding?” I had no idea, and until I began to learn, much of my experience had lead to confusion and disorientation. This was because the way I had begun to see the world, simply didn’t fit with the model I had been taught, and knew I could no longer embrace the old paradigm. It was as though everything changed within but I had no instruction on how to bring it to my external environment.
Ultimately, that’s what grounding is in relation to spiritual emergence. It’s taking an inner transformative experience, and learning how to build a new foundation for living which allows one to reflect their inner world upon the outer, in a balanced and harmonious fashion. Three things were critical to my ability to ground. One, was reading a lot of books which shared views with my experience. Another, was exploring established systems of grounding which resonated, and the last, a lot of emotional work. Not to cause alarm, but to stress the importance of grounding in this type of circumstance, what goes up must come down. Meaning, a very intense spiritual emergence (or expansion), is likely to be eventually followed by a fairly intense contraction. This was certainly the case in my experience and seemed to be a very natural response to my ability to assimilate it.
For me, the most expansive parts of my experience involved a feeling of energy which seemed to be vibrating at a much higher frequency than I was use to, and for fairly prolonged periods of time. In many ways, it was as though this higher vibratory rate was shaking things lose on the inside which had to be dealt with, stirring the pot, so to speak. It was as if a light was cast from inside that was so bright, the dark corners of my subconscious could no longer hide and had to be dealt with. This led to a lot of internal work, which was necessary to deal with much of the negative trauma of my past experiences and required a steadfast resolve to heal no matter what.
As I healed internally, I began to embrace an established system of grounding which aimed heavily at inner and outer balance. Fortunately, I was able to find a wonderful teacher to facilitate my learning which has been invaluable. We are all different, and no one system will work for everyone, but I certainly found one that worked wonderfully for me, and which I seemed to have a great affinity for. Much of my spiritual grounding however, came from learning to study from the place of matching what I’d seen internally to the writings of various religions, philosophies and written seer’s. Studying from this place began to take on an affirmational resonance, which afforded me the ability to ground much of my own insights across various religions and philosophies. This granted me the ability to converse freely with others including family members, the result of my own experience indirectly; through being able to relate them to accepted channels of wisdom or knowledge. (For more information on grounding, see the grounding section on the home page.)
I really hope this elaboration on my own experience with spiritual emergence proves useful for some, as I believe this topic is of great importance. When people undergo the types of transformation that these emergences lend to, the lasting sentiment is one of greater service to the whole, and the world needs more people willing to create from that space. In my own experience, finding true elders, or even simply healthy channels to help me assimilate things, was far and few between. For that reason, I’ve attached a form at the bottom of this page which you can use to reach out to me, if you’d like to share similar experiences or you’re struggling with your own and cannot find adequate support.
Above all, be patient, it takes a lifetime to get as messed up as some of us are, and it’s going to take time to heal. Just remember, the more one heals in the wake of a great spiritual emergence, the more proof it is they had one.