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Transformation Review

            Spiritual Emergency - Edited by Stansilov Grof, M.D. and Christina Grof


 This is one of the first books I read to help me understand what was happening to me, or more correctly, "within" me, during the first year of my Kundalini awakening process. Although it did not provide me with all the answers I was seeking, it still had a very calming effect to read about how others were experiencing spiritual processes that were not all sweetness and bliss. The book does an excellent job of pointing out how each manifestation of spiritual emergence (or emergency) is highly individualized, with no two experiences exactly alike and it provides a very good introduction to the various types of Spiritual Emergence experiences that are most common. It discusses the "triggers" of Transformational Crisis and gives excellent brief descriptions of the shamanic crisis, Kundalini awakening, episodes of "unitive" consciousness, Near-death experiences, possession states, experiences of close encounters with UFOs and the other major types of experiences.

Stanislov and Christina Grof provide the introduction and co-wrote two of the chapters along with an Epilogue, but the rest of the book is a collection of writings by various authors who focus on their particular area of expertise. The works are brilliantly broken down into four distinct groupings which lead the reader smoothly through the subject matter. Part One is entitled "Divine Madness: Psychology, Spirituality, and Psychosis" and lays the solid foundation for the rest of the book. Part Two, entitled "Varieties of Spiritual Emergency", expands upon the brief descriptions of the various experiences introduced earlier in Part One by the Grofs. Part Three, "The Stormy Search for the Self", describes the difficulties and pitfalls that can lead to serious psychological and physiological complications, if not dealt with correctly, and Part Four is aptly titled "Help for People in Spiritual Emergency".

This is an excellent work which belongs in the library of anyone who is involved with, or interested in, understanding the phenomena of Spiritual Emergence and the crises that can escalate it to the category of a Spiritual "Emergency". It was a Godsend to me at a critical stage of my experience and I am personally very grateful that the Grofs cared enough to produce this work.