“So it is important for you, my dear ones, to recognize that many of the events in your life which seem to repeat themselves were chosen and planned by you when you still had your wider vision, before matter enveloped your spirit. It will be helpful for you to know this. A very ambitious spirit may sometimes even ask for a particularly difficult destiny, knowing clearly in the state of freedom from matter that the pain to be suffered is little and of short duration in comparison to the gain. This should give you food for thought.“
~ Pathwork Guide (Pathwork Lecture #3 – Choosing Your Destiny – The Will to Change)
Spiritual Emergence: A Challenge for Clients and Therapists Alike ©
Pamela L Chubbuck PhD
Are you or a client on a Spiritual Fast Track?
Some sort of Spiritual Fast Track has long been a method of enlightenment for a choice few. Some famous fast track folks are: Hildegard of Bingen, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc. Recently it seems many more “regular” people are using the fast track method I sometimes call Turbo Transformation (TT for short).
It seems we as a species are zooming toward enlightenment and more and more of us are needed to lead the way and to provide assistance to others to transform. Sad to say, modern psychiatry and psychology have joined together in recent decades to largely squelch meaningful spiritual questing. It is increasingly clear that widespread use of psychotropic medications is lucrative for “Big Pharmacy”. Suffering with difficult issues is most often dealt with by prescribing psychiatric medications which are not usually useful, and can be quite harmful.
(Watch for my updated article Medicating for Inconvenient Emotions. Available soon on VitallyAlive.com.)
I long to empower aspiring wounded healers to first heal themselves and to revitalize the nearly-lost art of psychotherapy – empowering seekers to become their best selves and be more vitally alive individuals; I know from colleagues I am not alone with this desire.
Peter R. Breggin, MD, known as “the conscience of psychiatry” writes:
“Emotional suffering is inevitable in life. But it has meaning – a purpose. Suffering is a signal that life matters. Specifically, it is usually a signal that something in our lives that matters a great deal needs to be addressed. Depression, guilt, anxiety, shame, chronic anger, emotional numbing – all of these reactions signal that something is amiss and requires special attention. The depth of suffering is a sign of the soul’s desire for a better, more creative, more principled life.” (Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How & Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications by Peter R Breggin, MD & David Cohen, PhD, 2007, pg 21).
Dr Breggin’s thirty-plus years of research has shown that psychiatric medications do not help and they often do damage, thus prompting his writing of the above book (and 20 others!). Numerous cases of expert witnessing have given him access to information and settlements not made public.
How Do I Tell if on A Spiritual Fast Track? (We are all on a spiritual path.)
There are many interesting forms of this fast tracking. Do you or someone you know have something weird going on, that medical professionals can’t put their finger on? Something that seems emotional and/or physical, and when checked out medically, even though many guesses are made as to diagnosis, there is really no known cause? Have you lived a pretty “normal” life up till now and suddenly you are sweating? Waking early? Having severe anxiety, and/or other symptoms that aren’t showing up in those many medical tests you have taken? Does it feel like Adrenal Fatigue, anxiety, depression, insanity, Chronic Fatigue, Lyme disease, hypoglycemia, addiction, chaos? Sometimes symptoms jump around to different aspects at different times of the day or even week?
Maybe it’s Turbo Transformation – Spiritual Fast Track. This revved up transformation is what the artist-visionary, *Alex Grey, has depicted so beautifully in his book Sacred Mirrors. His drawings of transformation by fire or blowing apart – resonate with what many people (clients and friends) I know and am hearing about, are experiencing. They are experiencing life on a Spiritual Fast Track. (See his amazing Journey of the Wounded Healer triptych on his website:.AlexGrey.com.)
I show some of my clients Grey’s drawing of body parts flying in every direction and they say, “Yeah, that’s how I feel.” It helps them to know they are not alone. In fact this transformation is an archetype of the mythic journey we all must eventually take to find our true selves and thus our deep connection to Spirit. Buddhists have long said: We can’t get out of this earth plane existence until all sentient beings are enlightened. That’s going to take awhile – so we might just as well settle down and enjoy the ride.
One of my favorite people on the planet is storyteller, visionary *Michael Meade. Michael brilliantly tells many versions of the archetypal Mythic Journey. Much like The Lord of the Rings – we all have to find ourselves by going through the underworld, fighting our demons, and facing our fears in order to come into the Light of our True Being. The Pathwork teaches us its version of these ancient wisdom stories. Core Energetics teaches its version also. Truth is truth; it just comes in slightly different story forms.
A client of mine, I’ll call Susan, has been going through what she calls Roto-Rooter-Turbo-Therapy, which I see (and now she sees) as her spiritual emergence. She is transforming before my eyes. It is not easy, nor quick, but often overwhelmingly intense. In fact it sometimes looks and feels as though she is wading through the darkest underworld as huge-fanged snakes wrap around her ankles and try to pull her deep down into her past – into her worst fears – into her most negative beliefs. Much dedicated work has brought Susan closer toward healing old wounds, so she can be more present in the Now with Higher Self guidance rather than tricked by her Lower Self into being triggered and reactive. Daily work, including crying, yelling, kicking, praying, meditating, beating the bed with a tennis racquet has brought good progress. Coming to me just after a suicidal crisis, possibly created by inadequately-supported withdrawal from multiple psychotropic medications after more than 20 years, she has now asked to be clear, unmasked, and alive. She has been willing to pay the price of hard work to move toward her personal version of The Light. The medications, Susan told me, occasionally seemed to help her stay on the planet, but primarily kept her robotically functional, too numb to really access feelings about the issues she hoped she was healing with her “talk therapist”. Susan reportedly still had frequent suicidal ideations and did not experience joy until she started *weaning off the meds. (*It is very important to go slowly and get help from a physician who has experience in weaning off medications).
“Plato is reported to have said ‘all of life stands in need of a right rhythm.’
Another old idea has it that ‘rhythm replaces strength.’ Finding the right rhythm or tempo in one’s life can be more important than developing outer strengths or simply following a plan.”
~ Michael Meade
We All Have Negative Parts – We Are All Part of the Light
In case you haven’t met yours yet, we all have negative parts – some snake-like, some three-headed-dog-like, some monster-mother/father-like – that want us to stay stuck and afraid. Their job is to keep us from expanding into our higher consciousness. Called Lower Self in Core Energetics and The Pathwork, they are our very own personal demonic force. Scary but quite tame-able when we connect with our Higher Selves and begin to know we are ultimately of The Light. In fact we must come to experience ourselves as an integral part of The Light.
Susan is very spiritual, a wonderful woman who is a helper herself. But for a while her world has seemed to be falling apart. She is in transition and part of her journey has been to blow apart everything she once did, thought, and knew. Long-term relationship, place of living, long-term job with good benefits – all gone. Thankfully she has a few helpers, on and off the Earth, with her, that understand this spiritual process and can assist with her transformation. It is taking far more than her logical mind alone for her ongoing healing. Susan reports that she especially resonates with, and finds helpful, my Say Yes to Life! DVD sessions, journaling from her “parts” (Higher Self, Lower Self (including Saboteur), Mask) as well as studying Pathwork lectures. And she needs and wants an un-medicated brain to be her conscious Higher Power.
Friends & Family Often Get Scared
I have other clients and some friends who have experienced or are experiencing this TT kind of therapy/change. Life changes are huge. The ones who choose to continue, as it is a soul choice, have much courage. Often friends and family who have not experienced this sort of expansion themselves become frightened and suggest ways to stop it so they are more comfortable. Suggestions are often: Take drugs. People think this is helpful as we have been educated by Big Pharma to look toward medication quickly. Just watch TV and count how many ads for medications there are in one day . Physicians who do not know what else to do will often try medication. Then a series of medications, as when one does not work, they try another. Or they add a medication to stop some difficult “side effect. (They are all effects, not side effects.) There is more and more current research proving that drugs do not assist the average person, but usually hinder our evolutionary process and often cause damage including chronic brain impairment.
Friends may say, “Get over it. It’s a midlife crisis.” Parents say, “Come back home and let us take care of you.” Or they want to continue to look for medical answers even after all tests prove negative. (This search may be dangerous as someone is sure to suggest something invasive that is not necessary. If one keeps going to conventional physicians sooner or later they will give you what they think you want or what they were taught. Tests, surgery, drugs, etc. Doctors get scared, too, and all too often their only known tools are pharmaceuticals.)
Back to Susan
This quick change has been compelling for her and for me; especially uncomfortable for me when the snakes wrapped around most menacingly and Susan still sometimes felt like she was going to die or wished she would. Those of us who help in these huge transitions, must stay very well grounded and clear of our own fears. Occasionally I falter and have to do more of my own work. I must send my roots even deeper when she is most distressed. Occasionally I need to ask for help from my friends who understand this process.
All my life experiences with clients are also lessons for me and I am grateful for them. I view my life as a never-ending learning experience, which has as its purpose expanded consciousness. I therefore embrace all experiences as opportunities to learn and transform.
My Own Turbo Transformational Experience
Years ago I had a spiritual turbo experience. Well, maybe my life has been fast tracked ever since I started Bioenergetics therapy over 40 years ago; and for sure after I met John Pierrakos, founder of Core Energetics. I must have come to the planet asking for a lot of learning this lifetime and I have been zooming along sometimes comfortably and often times not. But back to my TT experience. I trained with Barbara Brennan* author of internationally acclaimed Hands of Light, as she was just beginning her teaching. Our class was only 12 students and everything I did was supported and checked by Barbara herself. This was truly a blessing. During my time with Barbara we did some powerful continual work to change old patterns and to heal towards The Light. Whew. Those years were challenging. One day in class, as I lay on the floor after an exercise I felt weird and could not get up. Barbara came over and looked down at me and asked what I was experiencing. I told her that I felt like my molecules were floating, feet away from my physical body. She smiled and said casually, “They are.”
After that I spent three weeks lying on the ground in my back yard, when not working with clients. I could do little else. I’d have session with client, lie in back yard. Session with client, lie in back yard. Good thing it was warm weather! I started seeing inside bodies, and other extra senses began opening. I quickly and intuitively knew what clients needed to work on, while their verbalizations seemed nonsensical and as it turned out – did not matter, as feedback indicated that my work and insights were very beneficial and effective. What in the world was going on? I consulted a psychic who I did not know personally, who just took one look at me and said, “You are reincarnating into your same body.” Barbara Brennan agreed when I told her my experience next class. Interesting for sure.
Looking back the time before that experience does feel like another life to me.
All the work that I had been doing in Bioenergetics, Core Energetics, Primal Therapy, and The Pathwork must have prepared me to be able to do this. I am grateful for the helpers in and out of body who assisted me through this and every transition I have experienced in my life. There have been many transitions and many helpers. I expect there will be more. (See Pathwork Lecture #255 – The Birthing Process – Cosmic Pulse.)
“With people who follow an intense path such as you do, it might happen that what would have waited for a future incarnation under ‘normal’ circumstances is released now..But in a state of greater consciousness and vision you understand that it is truly worth undertaking an extra task in the same incarnation.”
~ Pathwork Lecture #255 – The Birthing Process – Cosmic Pulse
My Friend Joyce, wise woman-nurse-healer-shaman, is writing a book about the need for more consciousness on the planet and how to become more conscious; I can’t wait to read it! She and I have been talking for years about how we humans must transform our energies to make the electric-like-current, shift toward more consciousness needed on this planet. This is not news to most of us who are connected to Core Energetics and The Pathwork. We have been transforming, on the edge, for many years. What may be news is that a huge shift has already taken place and some of us who are healers, helpers, and therapists, have been, or are right now, experiencing Turbo Transformation so that we can prepare the way and assist others in their process of change. Folks need assistance because – hold your hats – it is usually quite frightening to go through a fast-rate transformation process.
Without help from someone who understands spiritual emergence, Turbo Transformation can be downright terrifying.
We are Not Meant to Do This Alone
We are not meant to do this journey called life, alone. We need helpers and mentors and friends to get through at all – much less the Turbo version. Core Energetics groups can be very useful for the TT process. Group members can assist in helping you not feel alone and crazy. Other groups such as AA, Al-Anon, a good psychotherapy group, church groups, singing groups, and any group where folks are real and supportive can help.
About six years ago, one of my healer friends started into a strange process of what seemed like ill health, anxiety, heart palpitations, and inability to sleep much. She had several medical tests and nothing of consequence was found. I emailed my international healing buddies in the Barbara Brennan graduate group. I asked the BBSHers if anyone else was having similar strange symptoms. I got at least eight responses that yes! Strange symptoms were occurring with them and that no conventional cause could be found. Huuummm.
My author friend Joyce, whom I mentioned above, researched, by many interviews, others who were having similar experiences. In my work, many clients hire me because they are ill or have a physical symptom that is bothersome but cannot be diagnosed or helped by conventional medicine. The message for most of my clients and many that Joyce talked with was slow down, change your lifestyle or be sick. In extreme cases the ultimate message is – slow down, change your lifestyle or die. Lifestyle to me means change your way of thinking; what you once believed important or vital, is no longer your way Home. Change your physical way of being, what you eat, what you do. Change your habits and experience the divine spark in yourself and others. Bring more Light into your structure. More Light into your very molecules!
Physical and Psychological Symptoms
Asking the deeper questions and addressing these issues should be undertaken even if conventional medicine has a way to diagnose and treat what is ailing.
Turbo Transformation to find more of your Spiritual connection looks like many different issues – some physical, some psychological. I already mentioned that many people who are experiencing TT have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, hypoglycemia, chronic fatigue, bipolar, depression, or an anxiety disorder. Who wouldn’t get these diagnoses, when the ground you thought you lived on suddenly changed?
Turbo Story 2
My friend Ricardo is experiencing all sorts of symptoms that conventional physicians cannot diagnose or help him with. It looks like Turbo Transformation (TT) to me. For Ricardo, and others like him, the closest diagnosis that he has found is Adrenal Fatigue. (Read: Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by Dr James Wilson). But even Wilson has stopped short of the bottom line – Spiritual Emergence. Blaming most on the adrenal gland is just not enough or correct. Yes, change your diet, rest more, and meditate. Also change your life to connect more with what truly matters: Inner Truth – Living from your authentic centered life – Living from your Core (C.O.R.E. = Center of Right Energy). Finding the God inside yourself and connecting, as best you are able at any given moment, with the Greater Consciousness of the Universe, is what we all must do to heal.
Ricardo had many of the above symptoms in addition to anxiety and later depression. When one is ill and cortisol levels are fluctuating, one can feel afraid and then anxious and/or depressed. Family members and friends wanted him to be on psychotropic medication. They got scared and their belief system was the mainstream one: psychotropic meds were the answer. The research of psychiatrist James S. Gordon, MD (author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression – see resource list) into psychotropic medication efficacy studies indicated that antidepressants are hardly more effective than placebos (but placebos do not have side effects!). Even if the medications seem to work, it is not the total answer to their spiritual awakening process, and remember Breggin’s extensive research and documentation of dangers. Jim Gordon also notes in Unstuck, the frequent suppression of studies and information which reflect less than positively on psychotropics, as well as the inadequacy of FDA-approval trials.
Psychotropic medications can make it more difficult to find your Inner God. Chemical therapy meds alter your brain and usually not for the best. Medications can make you not able to figure out how to truly heal, or even that you need to heal. For some, who are really afraid and can’t handle their symptoms or some who do not have anyone in life to truly understand or support them, they must find a good psychotherapist, go on a retreat, have a Psycho-Spiritual Personal Intensive™, to get them through to a place where they can begin to heal on a deeper level.
[On her TV show,] Oprah asked Dr. Peter Breggin, “How should a person go about selecting a psychiatrist?” Dr Breggin replied, “Very carefully.” He urged patients, “Trust the part of you that cares about you. The issue is not how to select a psychiatrist, but how to select a psychotherapist.”
See Life as a Spiritual Adventure
We must see the whole multi-leveled experience as a spiritual adventure that has brought us – without the possibility of denial – to the necessity of changing our lives to such an extent that even our molecules must be different. This realization is essential to the true healing taking place. Now, right now, all our molecules must be more Light-filled. There are ways to bring the Light in to the body-mind-emotions and Core Energetics has been working on this reality and belief for decades.
Spiritual Meaning of Crisis
The Pathwork* has a wonderful lecture that we all may read again and again: The Spiritual Meaning of Crisis (#183). Whether the crisis is emotional, as in great anxiety suddenly descending or increasing tendency to cry, anger or even rage; physical, as in a collapse of health, weight loss, exhaustion etc; or when the mind suddenly will just not work the way it used to, as in inability to read and focus, being suddenly more forgetful, etc, we must look for medical reasons, to rule out medical issues that must be addressed and toward the spiritual meaning.
Check Out Symptoms Medically
Yes, of course, when any strange and persistent physical symptoms appear one must check out any possible medical causes. Having heart palpitations – see a cardiologist. Fatigue of unknown origin and/or brain fog – check with your family physician and maybe an endocrinologist. See a reputable holistic physician and get good blood profiles done to rule out any medical issues that should be addressed by conventional medicine. Take the appropriate supplements, deep breathe, take up yoga. Check with an acupuncturist, a holistic psychotherapist, a homeopath and definitely talk to your Inner God. We all have an Inner Physician that knows, when given a chance to speak and be heard.
As a Counselor or Therapist You May Get Overwhelmed
If you do not know how to help your client you must first get some good supervision. If you still feel overwhelmed please consider referring to a psychotherapist who has more experience than you do.
Notice I do not say refer to a psychiatrist as psychiatrists are trained to give drugs and spend only minutes with patients these days. Unless you find an extraordinary psychiatrist – and I have known several – an average one prescribes medication and does not sit with a patient and help them solve their deep issues or see their suffering as an opportunity for spiritual growth.
What does a person have to change to get well again?
Ask yourself or your client: How are you pushing yourself physically and emotionally? How have you been living an ingenuous life? Masking your true self? Which chakras are functioning well and which are blocked? How do you go about your day? Are you in flow or pushing or pulling against life? Do you wake up glad to be alive and grateful for life? Are you angry about something you have no control over? Do you live in the present, the now, or are you re-thinking past or future too much?
Ask: What is draining your energy? What feeds you/gives you energy?
Those things that drain or feed you are: relationships (nurturing or draining), food (gives or takes energy. An apple may make you feel better – a piece of cake may taste good but extract the cost of vital energy), air & water (polluted or clean), places (for example, some people are nurtured by being in cities, others drained by that. Being in nature is nurturing and grounding for all), colors (People resonate with different colors. Some make us feel well, others may make us feel ill. If I wear grey, I look and feel like I need to go to the hospital)! Animals and people can be nurturing or draining. A calm, loving, vibrant animal is nurturing. A sick or depressed animal may subtract from your vital force. Same with people.
Look to your relationships and see what is true for you.
Asking the deeper questions and addressing these issues should be undertaken even if conventional medicine has a way to diagnose and treat what is ailing. All symptoms are pointing us to our spiritual unfolding. Acupuncturist, healer, teacher, wise woman, author, Dianne Connelly says it perfectly in her book titled, All Sickness is Home Sickness. Home being our spiritual centers. God. Core. (Read Pathwork Lecture #180 – The Spiritual Significance of Human Relationship.)
Our Energetic Reality
A way to explain who we are and what we are doing on earth is that we are truly spirit in flesh. The energetic hierarchy tells us we are – from top down – spirit – mind – emotions – body. Starting from the spiritual realm we create ourselves from spirit – to purpose – to flesh. Healing can happen when we deal with any level of this but for the deepest healing to occur we must touch our spiritual realm. It’s one time that “trickle down” theory works!
Changing the way we think, how we experience life, our belief systems, can and does, actually heal our bodies.
Every difficulty in our life, physical, mental – everything – is a road sign toward Home. The signs say, “This Way Home!” Home being our Core – the center of our very being. We just have to figure out how to interpret the signs.
Resources/Information to Assist in Your or Your Client’s Spiritual Emergence
*Michael Meade, story teller, mythologist, visionary www.mythicjourneys.org/passages/april2005/MichaelMeade.pdf
# 3 – Choosing Your Destiny – The Will to Change
#180 – The Spiritual Significance of Human Relationship
#183 – The Spiritual Meaning of Crisis
#255 – The Birthing Process – Cosmic Pulse
*The Pathwork – pathwork.org
Hands of Light; Light Emerging – Barbara Brennan (barbarabrennan.com)
Bioenergetics; Fear of Life – Alexander Lowen, MD
Core Energetics – John Pierrakos, MD
All Sickness is Home Sickness – Dianne Connelly
Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey (alexgrey.com)
Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome – James L. Wilson, ND, DC, PhD
Fully Conscious Living (to be published) – Joyce Dillon, MS, RN
Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients, and Their Families – Peter R. Breggin, MD
Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy & Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock & Biochemical Theories of the “New Psychiatry” – Peter R. Breggin, MD
Your Drug May be Your Problem: How & Why to Stop Psychiatric Medications – Peter R. Breggin, MD & David Cohen, PhD
Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression – James S. Gordon, MD
Medicating for Inconvenient Emotions (article) Pamela Chubbuck, PhD (available again soon – VitallyAlive.com)
Find yourself a truly holistic physician who is not scared of spiritual emergence.
Consider a Medical Intuitive. I recommend Julie North (julienorth.com)
Consider an Energetic Healer. I recommend Mietek Wirkus (mietekwirkus.com)
Or consult a graduate of Mietek’s school or Barbara Brennan’s School of Healing
Consider a Psycho-Spiritual Personal Intensive™ (VitallyAlive.com/Intensives)
“The deeper level brings new material to the fore that could not have been handled before, and it may also bring a feeling of hopelessness about self-purification. ‘Will it never end?’ I want to warn you about this feeling and tell you it is a good sign of deep progress.”
~ Pathwork Lecture #255 – The Birthing Process – Cosmic Pulse