So I occasionally get asked by someone to talk about my feelings of “standard treatments” and Spiritual Awakenings, such as Kundalini awakenings.
I am generally a reasonable person, and so my response to the person is that each person is individual and must do what is right for themselves in their own life. Which is the truth. I am not you, and I cannot decide if therapy, hospitalization, medication, and so forth is the right trajectory for you. Sometimes it is. But what is more often the case is that the current treatment options for anyone who is acting out of the “ordinary” and admits to it, or is not functional in their daily lives is medication and/or hospitalization. Basically, if it is not physical, it is mental.
That is where we are as a society, and where we still are in terms of treating diseases. Our society as a whole is just now really (well maybe for the last decade or two) understanding that mind and body are connected, and their are a gamut of new-age authors who were former doctors (or something like that) who say that they truly understand the mind-body-spirit and have discovered how they are connected. Most of them are talking about the mind-body connection, and their understandings are really surface but palatable to a wide, mainstream new-age audience who is just discovering the same surface understandings, but I won’t go there in this blog.
Most of the material about spiritual awakenings that has been introduced to a mainstream audience (well, an audience that has been interested in it, so not exactly mainstream) has been through psycho-therapeutic models. Meaning that psychiatrists and psychologists became interested in the subject and have written books, and done studies and programs about it. A lot of this material is still enormously helpful and insightful, by the way, even if it was written decades ago by this point. I do not wish to castigate this material, suggest it is not important, or that it is not essential readings and understandings for anyone going through a spiritual awakening.
But the psychotherapeutic model has its limitations.
Mainly because it considers anything deviating from “normal behavior”– meaning anything that the “normal” sleeping person (the person that just goes about their life in the repeated behavior/loops and is under a lot of conditioning and never really questions it, or gets upset if they have to) wouldn’t do is considered aberrant behavior because it diverges from that state. Meaning that anyone who is actually going through a spiritual awakening has something wrong with them because they are not acting or living their lives how a “normal” person should act.
There are all sorts of words for this– Qi gong sickness, or Meditation Related Problems, or Problems Related to Spiritual Practice. All diagnosable (some questionable diagnoses by the mainstream of psychiatry still, by the way) issues.
The difficult with this is that the Spiritual Awakening process is an aberration, but it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. In fact, it often means that something is really right. That someone is awakening beyond conditioned reality. And what happens is that the psychotherapeutic model defines this aberration as wrong, bad, medication or hospitalization worthy so that the person can return to “normal”– meaning the sleeper state.
I have read countless studies, for example, of well meaning physicians who became interested in “meditation related problems” who have blamed meditation for the cause of the issues presenting. In some cases it very much is an issue, by the way… we tend to focus on meditations that are too advanced for us (going from A to Z in one leap), make contact with spiritual truths that are too much for us to process, or focus on meditations that open us up psychically (open your third eye!) without processing any of our lower chakra stuff first. But even in those cases, what the person needs is someone to help them process, not someone to diagnose them and put them back to sleep.
And many times, even if it is the “wrong” meditation, what is actually happening is this… the person is going through an Awakening. It is uncomfortable. It is causing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues. It is causing the person to become non-functional in their daily lives, or to realize that their former, sleeping lives are not who and what they want to be now.
And this is certainly an aberration– a deviation from the norm. But we have a tendency to want to put back to sleep anything that is uncomfortable, anything that causes pain or dis-ease or difficulty in our lives.
And many times what is happening in spiritual awakening is a healing process. A rapid, uncomfortable, healing process.
But that is not how it is treated in the psycho-therapeutic model.
We are so used to medicating anything that makes us feel. Any emotions that are coming up (and there will be a lot in the awakening process) that we cannot define as “our own” are treated as dysfunctions, and something to be medicated or treated.
This is because psychotherapeutic methods have only “awakened” to the family system level. It is still news, and not accepted– that ancestral patterns, past lives, societal, world, cosmic patterns (for example, there are others… you can read about them in my book) live within us and can be expressed, processed, worked through. So when someone is coming upon a pile of rage, or a huge amount of grief that does not come from early childhood, psychotherapeutic practitioners do not (by and large) have the knowledge to know how to identify these patterns or work with them. So typically what happens is that the person under their care will go through therapy (talk therapy) to go over their early childhood again and again to solve the mental aspects of this (which certainly can be helpful) or to give the person some tools to help them in their daily lives be a bit more functional… or in some cases medication or being told they will “just have to live” with things.
Because most psychotherapeutic practitioners typically have a great deal of ignorance about the spiritual awakening process, or about anything beyond early childhood type trauma or energies. Some do, by the way, and are exploring ancestral work (family constellations) or spiritual awakening (transpersonal, some jungian, for example) but even many of those still define the spiritual awakening process not as a process of growth, of unfolding, and of healing… but of one of deviation from societal norms that must be stopped.
We do not like to feel, to experience, to grow. Growth can be painful, it can be brutal in fact. And our current society, our current cultural mindset is to make anything painful, out-of-the ordinary, or difficult simply go away. To sweep it under the rug, to put it back to sleep, to drug, drink, and screw it away until we no longer remember our existential pain.
SO I WILL SAY WITH A LOT OF CAVEATS: I am not a physician, I am not a therapist. I personally do not find those models helpful, and never particularly have. Personally, I have needed much more work on a spiritual level vs. a mental level, and have worked far beyond the context of any early childhood pain that I have experienced… and don’t feel the need to talk about it much anymore.
BUT I WILL SAY THIS: There currently is not a model in place to keep people in Spiritual Emergency safe. This is, unfortunately, the hospital systems and psychotherapeutic models. It is the limitations of our current cultural mindset that causes this. But I digress. There are some points in the spiritual awakening process that someone may need hospitalization or medication or they will harm themselves, or someone else. They are so broken down that they need someone to watch over them, and their family or friends are not able to.
I very much understand this. I also wish it was different, but for people who are in such a state of emergency, this is their only option, and it is often life-saving.
The difficulty with this option is that it goes on your “record” and you are given medication. Medication that is hard to titrate off of (despite what clinicians might say, all anti-depressants and/or anti-psychotics are extremely difficult to work your way off of, some more than others… but Acupuncture can really help with this by the way if you are wanting to do so in concert with your physicians knowledge). Once you are on medication it is intended to be for the long-term, and you are also expected to be in therapy for a long time (typically).
All of these methods may be life-saving, but medication in particular stops the spiritual awakening process. It just does– again, some more than others (I work with plenty of people on medication, by the way, and don’t pass judgement on people who are taking it, as I have mentioned, these are simply my thoughts). This may be exactly what you want or need if you are reading this, by the way. I do understand that, I have compassion for that. I talk to people weekly who I tell truthfully that I cannot help– they are too far gone into an emergency state that they need someone local (at the very least) because I work through teaching people tools and understandings to work through their stuff, and if they are not in a place to be able to process something (or anything) that I say, there isn’t much, quite frankly, that I can do.
My last caveat (I promise): Again, I am not a physician, but as someone who has gone through a difficult process I know that one of the biggest difficulties in this world is that people think that their own experiences, their own opinions and insights need to be had by everyone else. Basically, what this means is that (like I mentioned above) I do not personally suggest medication for people going through Spiritual Awakening, and I think that therapy is helpful only to a certain limited point (see limitations above) because the Spiritual Awakening process is spiritual, not mental… But I am not you. I cannot decide for you what you should do with your life. You can read my thoughts to family members of people going through Spiritual Awakening here, but I am not living your life and cannot decide what the right trajectory for you is. I am the first to acknowledge that hospitals can be life-saving. That is what they are there for. If you are at that point, that might be the best decision for you. But if you are not, you may want to consider things a bit more deeply.
Ideally, some day there will be treatment centers focused on giving people who are experiencing Spiritual Awakenings a place to really process what is coming up for them… instead of pushing it back down to the depths of their subconscious (Anyone want to give me funding for this?) But until that day, we must live in a world that all of us have co-created, and do the best that we can. There are ways to work with Spiritual Awakenings so they are not treated as a diagnosable process, an aberration, or something to be put back to sleep. There really are. The Spiritual Awakening process, despite its difficulty, allows for you to release what is not whole– what is broken, traumatized, and conditioned in you– so you can awaken to who you truly are. Just imagine if we could have that basic understanding… or if the whole world could (or at least the allopathic world could).
If you are interested in working with me, you can contact me