Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Spiritual Emergence

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_770

The term “spiritual emergence” was coined by Dr. Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina Grof, two leaders in the field of transpersonal theory, as a way of referring to breakdowns of meaning that lead to transformative growth and greater psycho-spiritual health on the part of the individual. It is, as the Grofs describe it, “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” (Grof and Grof 1990, p. 34). The term spiritual emergence is often used in conjunction with “spiritual emergency” (also coined by the Grofs), a term used to describe a crisis state in which the process of growth and change stimulated by this “emergence” becomes so overwhelming and unmanageable that the individual is unable to gracefully return to day-to-day functioning.

From Breakdown to Breakthrough

The concept of the “spiritual...

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  1. Grof, S., & Grof, C. (1989). Spiritual emergency: When personal transformation becomes a crisis. New York: Tarcher/Putnam.Google Scholar
  2. Grof, C., & Grof, S. (1990). The stormy search for the self: A guide to personal growth through transformational crisis. New York: Tarcher/Perigee.Google Scholar
  3. Webb, H. S. (2004). Traveling between the worlds: Conversations with contemporary shamans. Charlottesville: Hampton Roads Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goddard CollegePortsmouthUSA